Friends to lovers, your time has come.

Grab some tissues and your allergy medication 'cause it's Polin season, baby!

On Sunday night, Bridgerton star Nicola Coughlan revealed that season 3 of the hit Netflix series will diverge from the order of Julia Quinn's romance novels to focus on a central romance between Penelope (Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton).

While speaking on a panel for an Emmys FYC event alongside some of her fellow castmates, creator Chris Van Dusen, and other members of the production team, Coughlan teased, "Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time and I can confirm to you all that season 3 is Colin and Penelope's love story. I have kept that secret since two weeks into season 2.  This is the first time I am saying it here." 

Luke Newton was not in attendance, but he told Netflix's website Tudum all about his excitement to dive into Colin and Penelope's love story, saying, "I'm hoping that he has sort of a more sensitive side to him. I love that we are exploring a relationship that so many people have had, where you form a friendship and you get to know each other down to the core. Then it sparks something from there." 

This news came as a surprise to many, given Van Dusen had initially pledged to follow the order of Quinn's romance novels, the source material for the Shondaland series. Next up would be An Offer for a Gentleman, which puts older brother Benedict (Luke Thompson) at the center of the romantic shenanigans. But since Jess Brownell is taking over as showrunner for season 3, things are changing course and the series will jump ahead to book 4, Romancing Mister Bridgerton.

Bridgerton March 2022 Cover
Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, and Claudia Jessie at EW's 'Bridgerton' cover shoot
| Credit: Zoe McConnell for EW

At the end of season 2, which dropped on Netflix back in March, things were not looking good for Penelope. In the season finale, she lost her best friend, Eloise, and her longtime crush on Colin was dealt a serious blow within the span of a single evening. The Eloise split came after the rebellious Bridgerton finally realized her BFF was the voice behind gossip columnist Lady Whistledown.

But the Colin situation was perhaps even more hurtful, as Penelope overheard him talking to his mates in the garden and dismissing her as any legitimate romantic prospect. That exchange was taken directly from the novels, and Coughlan previously told EW how happy she was Van Dusen included it.

"I always felt like it was important because Penelope needs to realize Colin is a fallible human being," she said. "He's is not a god; he's not an Adonis. If they're ever going to have any type of relationship, it's not healthy for her to see him in that way. She's got to see him flaws and all, and she currently doesn't. In the long run, it's probably a good thing, but it's not going to be an immediate good thing."

Looks like we'll get to see how it all plays out sooner than we thought — and one thing is certain, Lady Whistledown will have something to say about all of it.

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