Breaking Down Penelope and Eloise's Friendship in 'Bridgerton' and Why It Fell Apart

Did Penelope keep a major secret from her near and dear friend? Yes. But that isn’t what set the flame to their friendship.

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May 16 2024, Published 3:01 a.m. ET

Penelope and Eloise speaking at the dress shop in Season 3 of 'Bridgerton'
Source: Netflix

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 3, Part 1 of Bridgerton.

Season 3, Part 1 of Bridgerton slowly brings forth the long-awaited love match between Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), or #Polin, but doesn’t hesitate to expose Eloise’s (Claudia Jessie) tainted friendship with the youngest of the Featherington sisters.

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Although Eloise stays bothered by Penelope’s presence, particularly when she notices her in the Bridgerton household visiting Colin, she has Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen) to distract her, playing the role of her new BFF.

Though one cannot deny the thick tension continue to build between Eloise and Penelope throughout Part 1 of Season 3, it does make one recollect back to what transpired between the two that got them to this point. If you need a refresher on Eloise and Penelope’s friendship timeline, and what led to its demise, we’ve got you covered.

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What happened between Penelope and Eloise in ‘Bridgerton’? Details on their falling out.

Penelope and Eloise walking together in 'Bridgerton'
Source: Netflix

Eloise and Penelope's free spirits and a shared love of reading likely played a key role in forging the strong bond of friendship they once shared. But, after Eloise learned in Season 2 that Penelope is the pen behind Mayfair’s most coveted gossip column, Lady Whistledown, the damage reached a point likely beyond repair.

Did Penelope keep a major secret from her near and dear friend? Yes, she did. But that isn’t what set the flame to their friendship. It is Whistledown’s decision to expose Eloise’s association with “political radicals” in Bloomsbury, particularly a less privileged man named Theo Sharpe (Calam Lynch), that leaves an indelible and damaging mark. She does this in hopes of convincing Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) Eloise is not Lady Whistledown.

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Eloise and Theo Sharpe having an intimate moment in his print shop.
Source: Netflix

However, once Eloise finds out her best friend is one of the most loved (and hated) women in London, she connects the dots and decides she can no longer be associated with such a person. Let’s not forget the time Whistledown uses her scandal sheet to break the news on Marina Thompson being with child in Season 1 or her constant questioning of Queen Charlotte’s timing and ability to select a season’s diamond.

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Do Penelope and Eloise mend their friendship in Season 3?

Eloise looking ahead at a gathering in 'Bridgerton' Season 3, Part 1
Source: Netflix

Throughout much of Season 3, Part 1, Eloise maintains her distance from Penelope, even in her moments of greatest need. She remains a passive observer as the men of the ton ridicule Penelope for enlisting the help of Colin in hopes of finding a husband. Moreover, Eloise does little to intervene when Cressida makes moves on Lord Debling (Sam Phillips), despite the obvious chemistry between Penelope and the nature-loving vegetarian.

But, in Episode 3, Eloise seems to realize she hasn’t exactly been the kindest of people, particularly to Penelope. Ironically, Cressida is the one to reveal this to her. While she does extend an apology for spilling the tea on Polin’s “arrangement,” which forces Penelope to call herself out in Whistledown, their friendship is far from repaired.

Perhaps in Part 2 of Season 3, we will not only see Colin and Penelope walk down the aisle, but perhaps Eloise will realize her former BFF was merely looking out for her best interest.

Stream Seasons 1 and 2 of Bridgerton on Netflix now. Catch Season 3, Part 1 airing on May 16, 2024, and Part 2 on June 13, 2024.

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