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Inside the 'intimate,' 'rocking' carriage scene in Netflix's 'Bridgerton' Season 3

By NICK GARCIA Published May 23, 2024 5:24 pm

The steamy carriage scene in the third season of Netflix’s hit historical romance series Bridgerton has been a hot topic among its viewers on social media.

Fans long waited for that kilig moment between childhood friends Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. As depicted in the source material Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, the two would have tension first before he wears his heart on his sleeve as she returns the favor—all while in a carriage.

It would ultimately lead to Colin proposing to Penelope but before that, they’d find themselves, in Quinn’s words, “completely misbehaving.” This left fans with bated breath as to how it will come into fruition on-screen.

Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) in the third season of Bridgerton.

Viewers got hyped up even more when stars Luke Newton (Colin) and Nicola Coughlan (Penelope) were asked to share their one-word reactions to the word “carriage” ahead of the season's release. Newton said “intimate,” while Coughlan, after careful thought, said “rocking.”

Here’s how one thing led to another in the fourth episode, aptly titled “Old Friends,” and how the viewers’ perception of carriages may have changed forever.

Carriage scene

(Warning: minor spoilers)

In the episode, Penelope’s suitor Lord Debling (Alan Phillips), who’s looking for a wife, intends to propose to her during the ball. Penelope dances with Colin, telling him that she “made peace with what Lord Debling has to offer” and will accept his proposal.

Colin, who told Penelope he’ll help her “find a husband,” makes a face and says he cannot watch her “make a mistake.” Penelope walks out on him, saying it was wrong to ask for his help. She then approaches Lord Debling upstairs, but he accuses her and Colin of being a thing. Penelope dismisses his claims, saying Colin “would never ever have feelings for me” and that they’re “just friends, nothing more.”

Lord Debling continues to question Penelope, saying it’s essential for him to make a match “with someone whose affections are not already engaged elsewhere.” He wishes her well and leaves her without proposing.

Lord Debling (Sam Phillips), right, is the suitor of Penelope (center).

Penelope leaves the castle and goes to a carriage, while Colin chases and joins her for a ride.

Colin asks about the proposal, but Penelope is dismissive. That’s when he tells her he cares about her, giving her reasons to forget Lord Debling. “You cannot marry that man. He will leave you, and he is too particular,” Colin says. “He’s just not right for you.”

Penelope asks him to leave and he refuses, just as he makes his grand confession.

“What if I did have feelings for you,” he says. “These past few weeks have been full of confounding feelings, feelings like a total inability to stop thinking about you. About that kiss,” he says of their supposedly “meaningless” kiss in Episode 2. (In an apparent existential crisis, the never-been-kissed Penelope asks Colin for it, for fear of not experiencing it before dying.)

“Feelings like dreaming of you when I’m asleep and, in fact, preferring sleep because that is where I might find you,” Colin says. “A feeling that is like torture. But one which I cannot, will not, do not want to give up.”

Penelope, who was dismissive and even pulled the friendship card earlier, responds with, “I’d very much like to be more than friends. So much more.”

The newfound lovers make out and reach first baseall while inside the moving carriage.

As the carriage “interrupts” their steamy session (as they arrive at Colin’s house), Colin tells Penelope, “Can’t we just ask the driver to keep going?” (Penelope originally delivers this in the book.)

They laugh together and kiss again. Colin steps out, extends his hand, and asks her, “For God’s sake, Penelope Featherington, are you going to marry me or not?” Before the panting Penelope can respond, the screen cuts to black.

How the 'really steamy' scene was shot

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Newton said there was a “different energy on set that day” when he and Coughlan filmed the scene. The sequence took three days to complete.

“We were locked in a carriage together with cameras outside. So it felt kind of real. It did feel intimate. It’s very honest,” he said.

According to Coughlan, she became aware of the scene five years ago when she read Quinn’s novel for the first time.

“It stuck out to me because I’d never read a romance novel,” she told the publication. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is really steamy. Like, whoa.’ I laughed thinking about, 'Imagine me filming this one day. LOL, could never be me.'”

But she and Newton had to prepare for the carriage scene after showrunner Jess Brownell told them it would be part of the series.

Coughlan said it “encapsulates everything that’s wonderful about Bridgerton.

“It’s got the suspense, it’s got the miscommunication, the heartfelt longing for one another, the profession of love, and then it’s got the sexiness. It’s got this brilliant pace,” she added.

Newton, meanwhile, reflected on his character’s romantic confession. “He’s insecure because he doesn’t get the initial response that he [expects],” he said. “Then it’s sexy, then it’s romantic, but then they laugh—all in the space of five minutes. It’s just so beautifully written.”

Colin and Penelope moments before sharing a kiss in Bridgerton 3.


As Penelope and Colin were getting it on, she gave him a nod to let him move his hand under her skirts. Coughlan highlights the importance of consent in the scene, which she described as something “managed so beautifully.”

“We realize later on, [Penelope] doesn’t know about sex fully, but she’s aware of her body and where she wants him to touch her,” she said. “It’s lovely because it’s so easy to see virgins on TV portrayed in a way that they’re like terrified and have no agency, but that’s not the case.”

She also gave a shoutout to their intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot.

“We want it to seem like it’s not teacher-student anymore,” Coughlan said of Talbot. “We’re in this together. It’s the first time that they completely see each other and they’re on a level and it’s like, ‘Let’s go.’”

Bridgerton Season 3 is divided into two parts, with the four episodes already on Netflix since May 16. The rest of the season’s episodes will be available starting June 13.

It got over 45 million views on its opening weekend. It’s ranked second in the streaming giant's “Top 10 TV Shows in the Philippines Today” list to date.