Controversial Take: 5 Reasons Why Penelope Doesn't Need Redemption In Bridgerton S3

Controversial Take: 5 Reasons Why Penelope Doesn't Need Redemption In Bridgerton S3
Image credit: Netflix

Let's try to change the majority's mind.

Outside of the titular family, Penelope 'Pen' Featherington is perhaps the most well-developed and nuanced character in Netflix's Bridgerton. Her image of a shy wallflower in Season 1 took a surprising turn when it was revealed that she was actually the infamous Lady Whistledown, who terrorized the London ton with her gossip column.

After that, Pen's two personalities began to merge. A few times she used her hobby to deal with personal issues. She outed Marina's pregnancy to make sure Colin was not trapped in a marriage based on lies, she gave a boost to Madame Delacroix's dress shop in exchange for help printing the column, she exposed Eloise's interest in radical ideas to protect her from the Queen's wrath.

All these controversial moves made many viewers think that Penelope needs a great journey of redemption before she finds happiness in the arms of Colin in Bridgerton Season 3, which lands on Netflix in two parts on May 16 and June 13.

If you agree, we're here to play devil's advocate and try to convince you that Pen's whole life has actually been one long journey of redemption, and she doesn't need any more in the upcoming episodes. Here are five reasons why.

Family Situation

Let's start at the beginning. The atmosphere in the Featherington family is hardly healthy. Their mother is controlling and dishonest, always looking for a way to make a profit. Her sisters are a duo. They exclude Pen from their company, look down on her, and are always rude. Like their mother, they expect their little sister to end up a useless old maid. Their father gambled away all their money and then committed suicide.

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In this situation, it is a miracle really that Pen has managed to turn her writing talent into a profitable business.

Attitude of the Ton

In addition to the unfair treatment of her relatives, Penelope feels the pressure of society. The Featheringtons are on the outskirts of the ton. People laugh at them, reject them, and disrespect them. This explains why Pen prefers to linger in the background of ballrooms rather than openly share her thoughts and opinions.

Unlike her friend Eloise, Penelope is not protected by the support and influence of her family. Thus, her every move could be the end of her. The only protection the girl has is the one she creates for herself.


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Let's not forget that Penelope is only 18 when she starts writing her column in Season 1. Remember yourself as a teenager. Teen angst and radicalism has always been a thing, even in the Regency era. So some harsh decisions are to be expected.

Add to that the general 19th-century attitude toward women as mere possessions of men, useful mainly for continuing the line. Penelope falls out of this scheme and is brave enough to find her own way.

Best Intentions

Given all of the above, it is natural to expect Penelope to be angry at the world, society, and family that keep her down. However, her actions are not revengeful at all. All of the moves that make people cry out for redemption were actually done with the best of intentions.

In Marina's case, she tried to find another way, even letting her cousin know that Colin was out of bounds. Only when nothing else worked did she take drastic action. Marina was as much in the wrong as Penelope, and Season 2 demonstrated that she had forgiven Lady Whistledown.

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In Eloise's case, creating a scandal around her was the only way to throw the Queen off her scent without revealing the truth about herself.

No One Hurt

When you think about it, Lady Whistledown's column didn't really destroy anyone. Marina eventually found a husband. And Eloise had to miss a few balls. By comparison, if Pen were to come out, it would ruin her reputation and her family's reputation forever.

As for the other subjects of her gossip, Pen doesn't really owe them anything. Besides, everything she writes is true. So instead of blaming the Whistledown column, the members of the ton had better stop doing things that could end up there.

All of this proves that writing is nothing more (or less) than a coping mechanism for the Season 3 protagonist. If, in the midst of all the pressure and struggle, Pen found a way to protect herself and make some money, good for her. No redemption arc needed.

Do you still think Penelope Featherington needs a redemption storyline in Bridgerton Season 3?