Bridgerton season 3 episode 5 recap: "Tick Tock" is an understatement!

The pressure is on when it comes to Penelope's Lady Whistledown secret, but a plot twist happens and she doesn't reveal it to Colin. Here's what happened.
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

There was major progress when it came to Penelope and Colin at the end of episode 4 (that steamy carriage ride!), and now we're back with the final four episodes of the season! We're recapping Bridgerton season 3 episode 5, "Tick Tock." The last episode ended with an engagement, and now we pick up where it left off. Here's what happened. Let's get into it! For a full review of the episode, click here.

Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 305 of Bridgerton on Netflix.
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

The engagement of the season

The episode picks up right where we left off in episode 4 with Colin proposing to Penelope after their steamy carriage ride. All of the Bridgertons are happy hearing this news, except for Eloise of course who is upset that Penelope kept another secret from her - she's had feelings for her brother. There's the added pressure of the Lady Whistledown secret as well. When Eloise is able to confront her former friend she tells her, "until he knows the real you, he cannot possibly love you." And I have to agree with her. This is not a secret Penelope wants to keep from her future husband. It wouldn't be right. Eloise tells Penelope she needs to tell Colin the truth, or she will. And Penelope asks for some time, which Eloise reluctantly gives her. For now.

Portia finds out about her daughter's betrothal by reading Lady Whistledown, which makes her very unhappy. She starts to say some hurtful things to Penelope, not convinced Colin is in love with her. Instead, she believes Penelope somehow entrapped him into marrying her. She's still mad about how the Bridgertons treated the Featheringtons when Marina's secret came out. I mean, sorry Portia but you deserved it. You were trying to trick them. Colin overhears this and defends his bride in a really sweet way. It's the first time anyone has done that for Penelope, and she's so touched.

"I proposed to her out of love," Colin tells Portia. And this is the first time he solidifies his feelings after the carriage. This is what Penelope has needed to hear, especially because Colin hasn't seen her as a love interest for all this time. When the two are alone at the house that's to be their future home, she expresses her gratitude and asks him if he's sure he loves her. And yes, he reassures her. He says she's the most clever and brave person he knows and she makes him feel seen. Then we get into some very mature territory. The two become quite intimate, in the way we're all thinking. I think it was a nice depiction of a young woman's first time who doesn't know what to do. But Penelope is also brave about it and asks Colin to show her what she should do.

It's in the afterglow and the moment where they're alone that Penelope is about to tell Colin her secret, but of course that's when the servants arrive and so, the moment passes. This secret is definitely looming, and it's going to come to a head very soon. And we see that at the engagement ball Kate throws at the Bridgerton house in Penelope and Colin's honor.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 305 of Bridgerton.
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

Tick tock, indeed

The episode is appropriately titled "Tick Tock," and it's truly a race against time for Penelope. We can just feel the pressure she's under. But first, let's talk about Kate and Anthony. The lovely couple is back, and it just warms my heart seeing them so happy together. They're expecting, but choose to keep the news to themselves with Colin's announcement of his engagement. At first. By the end of the episode they do tell Violet and Lady Danbury, and of course the two are so excited!

There's a nice moment between Eloise and Kate as her sister-in-law gives her advice on just telling the truth of how she's feeling. This leads to an equally sweet moment between Eloise and Colin where she shares what's frustrating her so much, and her brother tells her he understands. And, it would mean the world to both him and Penelope if they had her blessing. She sort of gives it. But at the party, Eloise has had enough of waiting around and gives Penelope a deadline - midnight. She has until midnight to tell Colin her secret or Eloise will tell him herself because she's afraid her brother will find out she kept this secret from him too.

As the family and friends are playing charades, it's evident how well Penelope and Eloise know each other and are both equally smart as they keep guessing each other's answers. Poor Anthony is so hilariously bad at guessing, yet he's so eager. And in the best dramatic way possible, I love the ending of this episode! So Cressida Cowper invited herself to the party and is under pressure about finding a way out of marrying Lord Greer, a man who is three times her age. Ew. Queen Charlotte has put out a reward of £5,000 to whoever can identify who Lady Whistledown is. She's ready to get this secret exposed.

And so, the gears start working in Cressida's mind. This is her way out and she'll never have to marry. She can take the reward money and live out her life. Just as Penelope is basically having a panic attack at telling Colin the truth since it's now midnight and Eloise is ready to say it herself as well, Cressida has an announcement. She tells everyone they've been wondering who Lady Whistledown is. And she claims it is her. At that, Penelope faints and the episode ends. Woah!

Joanna Bobin as Lady Cowper, Jessica Madsen as Cressida Cowper, Dominic Coleman as Lord Cowper in episode 305 of Bridgerton
Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2024 /

The other happenings of the ton

In terms of the other couple of the season, Francesca and Lord Kilmartin, we continue to see their connection grow. He basically tells her he wants to propose, and she's delighted. Violet is still wary as she wants someone for Francesca who can bring her daughter out of her shell, not be exactly like her. Though when Lord Kilmartin tells the family a story about how he doesn't always see what's right in front of him, but he did see Francesca right away, Violet begins to see the love that's growing between them. Is she finally going to let this go and support her daughter?

Elsewhere, the solicitor is poking around once again about Jack Featherington and so Portia needs to find a solution to this soon. I mean, both Phillippa and Prudence are pregnant. Hopefully one of them has a boy so they don't have to worry about this problem. Benedict and Lady Tilley are still spending time together in bed, while in the Mondrich family Will is spending more time working and away from them to keep his club afloat.

Be sure to come back tomorrow as we recap and review episode 6, "Romancing Mister Bridgerton." The full season of Bridgerton season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.

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