Bridgerton: Why Colin Is So Mean About Penelope

In Netflix’s Bridgerton, Colin Bridgerton completely rejects the idea of being interested in his longtime friend Penelope Featherington, who has been in love with him for years. Colin doesn’t know about Penelope’s romantic interest, nor does he show any romantic interest in her. He does make it clear that he cares about her a lot, giving her hope that one day he might see her as more than a friend.

Penelope and Colin have known each other for a long time, and she has had secret feelings for him for years. When Colin’s brothers ask him about Penelope in Bridgerton season 2 he dismisses the idea right away and even makes fun of it. Penelope overhears and runs away in tears, heartbroken. Seeing as the two had been dancing together just before Colin’s devastating comments, his dismissal of Penelope hurts even more.

Of course, Penelope is heartbroken by Colin’s comments, but she doesn’t know the real reason behind his remarks. During season 2 Colin tries to show himself as a worldly grown man. During “The Viscount Who Loved Me », the Bridgerton season 2 finale, Colin dances with Penelope at the Featherington Ball and tells her she’s special to him. Later on, when Colin is talking to some other men at the ball, and they ask him about Penelope, he dismisses her so quickly not because he doesn’t like her, but because he’s trying to appear independent and aloof in front of the other men.

Colin is trying to portray himself as a powerful, well-traveled man. Courting Penelope, a girl he’s known for so long, wouldn’t help make him appear more like the mature adult he’s trying to be. More importantly, showing sensitivity around the other men by considering Penelope as an option and giving an answer that shows how much he truly cares about her would make him very vulnerable. If Colin showed romantic affection for Penelope in Bridgerton, he’d give the other men power over him. By pretending not to care about her, Colin is protecting himself and his position as a powerful man in the round.

Watching Colin say what he said about Penelope is upsetting, and her reaction is heartbreaking. But from his point of view, he clearly didn’t mean to hurt her feelings. She overheard him secretly and had Colin known of her presence he would never have said what he said. His words were meant to protect himself, as well as her. It is very much possible that Colin has realized Penelope’s feelings for him, and he doesn’t want anyone else to point it out – he wants to end the conversation about her right then.

The fact that she heard what he said is devastating, and will surely leave her hurt for some time. Bridgerton season 3 will be about Colin and Penelope’s love story, but before then Penelope has to evaluate if Colin is really worth her time. Meanwhile, Colin has to realize how he really feels about Penelope and learn to appreciate her. Hopefully, Colin will find a way to earn her forgiveness in Bridgerton season 3, which will focus on their love story.