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Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington in \'Bridgerton\' Season 3
Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington in \'Bridgerton\' Season 3
Culture > Entertainment

The Mirror Scene In ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Part 2 Is A *Bit* Different From The Book — But Is Still So Hot

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 is finally here, and it’s safe to say it was worth the wait. Even though several big moments from Polin’s book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, made it into the show, fans of the series were waiting for *one* particular sex scene that didn’t disappoint. Of course, we’re talking about the mirror scene in episode five. It’s probably the most well-known scene from the book, but it doesn’t go down in the show exactly how it’s written. Here’s a breakdown of the mirror scene in the show vs. the book. Spoiler Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 follow.

The show’s mirror scene (15 minutes into episode five, you’re welcome) combines two book scenes. In the show, Colin Bridgerton (played by Luke Newton) takes Penelope Featherington (played by Nicola Coughlan) to his home in Bloomsbury, where they will live once they’re married. He tells her how much he loves her and wants her to see how beautiful she is. He stands her in front of a mirror and compliments her.

Things get steamy fast as Colin takes down Pen’s hair, parts her lips, and talks about parts of her he has dreamed of seeing. They make out, and he undresses her in front of the mirror. He then instructs her to lie down on the sofa, and she watches as he undresses. 

Penelope then asks Colin to tell her what to do since it’s her first time. He tells her to touch him, and of course, she does. He returns the favor, and then they do way more than just touching. If you missed the full-on sex scenes from Season 1, you’ll love this one. In the words of Penelope, “It was perfect.” 

Later in the episode, we get Polin’s iconic lines from chapter 15 of the book. “Do I look a mess,” Penelope asks Colin. “Yes. But you are my mess,” he said. Of course, the moment is ruined when Penelope is reminded she has yet to tell him she is Lady Whistledown. In the book, Colin already knows about Penelope’s secret identity before they get married. However, in both the book and the show, the sex scene also happens before they are married. 

In chapter 15 of the book, while in Lady Bridgerton’s informal drawing room, Penelope and Colin get a moment of privacy and use it to their advantage. They begin to kiss, and he lays her down on the sofa. He slowly touches her legs under her dress but quickly realizes he shouldn’t go any further in his mother’s house before his wedding. Ironically, in chapter 18, Polin ends up doing the deed in Colin’s bedroom. 

Running away from their engagement ball at the Bridgerton house, Colin takes Penelope to his room through a hidden passageway. They have a fight but begin to make up when Colin asks her to stay and kisses her passionately. The room was lit by dim candlelight and filled with desire. Colin took off Penelope’s dress, caressed her all over, and then, as he began to undress, he stated that he wanted to have sex in front of a mirror. Of course, since they couldn’t see, they couldn’t use the mirror, but in the show, that’s a huge part of the scene. In the book, Colin says they’ll do it later, so for Polin fans, the show fulfills that promise. 

In the book, this is also when they say I love you to each other for the first time. A large part of their story is Colin deciding if he loved Penelope and when he should say it, which they excelled timeline-wise in the show. Then they get back to it, and just like in the show, Penelope asks Colin to tell her what to do.

Dear reader, we cannot write the rest of what goes down, but let’s just say the mirror scene in the show depicts it well. 

Coughlan talked about feeling empowered while shooting the sex scenes for Bridgerton. “People ask ignorant questions like, ‘How do you feel knowing anyone can go on Netflix and see you naked?’ and my answer is I feel great about it, because not only did I consent to it but I drove it,” Coughlan said in a May 2024 interview with Stylist Magazine. “There’s a reason this show became a phenomenon: it’s about women feeling desire, owning their sexuality and driving the charge in those situations rather than just being an object of a man’s affections.”⁠

There’s no doubt that Penelope broke out of her wallflower shell this season. Now she’s officially engaged to a Bridgerton, and we’ll never think of mirrors the same way again. 

EnJanae Taylor is a Her Campus national writer. She writes for the Style section, covering beauty, fashion, and decor. She graduated from LSU, earning bachelor’s degrees in fashion merchandising and journalism. She was also the entertainment editor and later the managing editor of LSU’s award-winning newspaper, The Reveille. EnJanae’ is currently a contributing writer for Southern Living. She’s previously written for The Everygirl, College Fashionista, and Basic Magazine. EnJanae’ loves everything fashion and pop culture related. Her favorite activities are going to the movies, shopping, and seeing her favorite artists in concert. She also runs a food account with her best friend and loves eating a good meal.