'Bridgerton' season 3 finale moved Shonda Rhimes to tears

Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton season 3
(Image credit: Netflix)

From stirring declarations of love to tragic familial losses, the "Bridgerton" universe has tugged at the old heartstrings throughout two seasons of the Netflix original as well as its prequel spinoff "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story." And it seems like the emotional second half of "Bridgerton" season 3 — the final four episodes are now streaming on Netflix — will have fans of the Regency-era romantic drama reaching for their tissues, teased executive producer Shonda Rhimes. 

Rhimes, who recently confirmed that she's "committed" to adapting all eight "Bridgerton" novels for Netflix, discussed the back half of season 3 with The Hollywood Reporter.  As for what fans can expect from the last episodes of the season, especially the friends-to-lovers romance between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan), Rhimes didn't offer specifics but did dub the eps both "sexy" and "moving." 

“We’re very secretive about it but I will say it is sexy and surprising in many ways,” Rhimes told the outlet. “And also, I cried at the end. I found it very moving — and I don’t always cry. So I really got into it. I think it’s a beautiful story.”

"Bridgerton" fans can surely expect some angst to come up in the season's back half, what with the long-awaited reveal of Lady Whistledown bound to drum up drama between Colin and Pen. In a major difference from their respective "Bridgerton" book, "Romancing Mister Bridgerton" by author Julia Quinn, at this point in the story onscreen, the Bridgerton gent doesn't yet know that his betrothed is actually the Ton's most notorious gossipmonger. Rhimes previously shared that the Lady Whistledown reveal actually sped up the "Bridgerton" timeline, causing the producers to skip over Benedict Bridgerton's story from book four and move up the "Polin" relationship to season 3. 

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton season 3 on Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

But despite the emotional nature of the season's end, star Nicola Coughlan also recently teased that there are plenty of "giddy" times ahead for Colin and Penelope in the highly anticipated final episodes. She told The Hollywood Reporter last month: “I love episodes five and six when they’re in that giddy, giddy time, and they’re so in love because that’s the thing. Some of the best things in this show are when you see people truly in love with one another, so blissfully happy.” 

Such "blissfully happy" moments between the couple will reportedly include that infamous steamy mirror scene adapted from "Romancing Mister Bridgerton" (if you know, you know!), as well as a love scene so passionate, Coughlan revealed that she and Newton actually broke a piece of furniture while filming it

Tom's Guide will keep you up to date on all intel about the back half of "Bridgerton" season 3, including any new clips, behind-the-scenes tidbits and emotional moments. (Speaking of, it would be very prudent of you to purchase some extra boxes of Kleenex in preparation for the new eps.) In the meantime, you can rewatch the first two seasons of the show, as well as the first half of season 3, with a Netflix subscription.

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.