Bridgerton EP Breaks Down [Spoiler]’s Introduction in Season 3 Finale — What Does It Mean for Francesca?

The following contains major spoilers from Bridgerton Season 3, Part 2 — including the finale. Proceed accordingly.

Colin and Penelope weren’t the only love match in Bridgerton’s third season.

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Francesca (played by Hannah Dodd) found a fitting partner in the reserved but dashing John Sterling, Earl of Kilmartin (Victor Alli). After a season-long courtship, the pair wed with an intimate ceremony at the Bridgerton home in Thursday’s batch of episodes. They planned to live on John’s remote Scotland estate, which offered the peace and quiet they craved. Plus, Eloise would accompany them in the hopes of gaining new life experiences to one day change the world.

But John had invited another to join them: his cousin Michaela (Masali Baduza), whose name should sound familiar to book fans. In When He Was Wicked, Francesca — spoiler alert — fell for John’s rakish cousin Michael following John’s untimely death.

With that in mind, Francesca’s flustered reaction when being introduced to Michaela at the Featherington Ball raised a pressing question: Was this setting up Season 4’s big romance?

Bridgerton Season 3
Bridgerton Season 3

Showrunner Jess Brownell tells TVLine, “We’re not saying one way or the other who’s next, but we wanted to introduce that part of Francesca’s story. Her story is one that has more installments than some of the other book stories and so, we’re getting started on it a little more quickly.”

Regarding Michaela’s gender swap, the EP recalls the first time she read Francesca’s book.

“I really related to Francesca’s story as a queer woman,” she shares. “Her book isn’t intended to be a queer story — at least the way Julia Quinn wrote it. But Francesca talks a lot in the book about feeling different and not quite knowing why at times. I think [author] Julia Quinn was really just talking about introversion.

“But that can sometimes be a part of the queer experience, that sense of feeling different,” Brownell adds. “I thought there was fertile ground there to explore for Francesca in a queer story on the show.”

The Bridgerton boss notes that John’s death in the book had no impact on how the show handled his romance with Francesca. Instead, her writing team focused on creating a new kind of love interest for the Netflix drama — someone who complimented Francesca’s soft energy.

“[In the book], you only get a little bit of John before we lose him, and we really thought it was a great opportunity to see a different kind of romantic lead in Bridgerton,” she explains. “So often, especially our men… they’re all rakes, and they’re very extroverted. Francesca is still coming out of her shell, and I think it was only right to give her a match with someone who could understand her quietness.”

Bridgerton Season 3
Bridgerton Season 3

Bridgerton Season 3, Part 2 Explained

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