Bridgerton‘s Mirror Scene Is Finally Here & It’s About Much More Than Just Sex

When we think of Polin's love story in Bridgerton, there's one event that we keep coming back to so often that it has become lore: the mirror scene.
In the books, the infamous mirror scene depicts Colin sharing a very spicy fantasy about his dear Penelope before they have sex for the first time. In the fantasy, Colin says that he wants to see Penelope "sitting up" so that he "can see them full and lovely and large," before saying that he wants to cup her from behind and "do it in front of a mirror".
But that's where the fantasies stop. There is no cupping or doing it in front of the mirror; instead his fantasies remain firmly in his imagination. Even so, the scene has become a fan-favourite moment, with everyone's anticipation going into overdrive after confirmation that the mirror scene will indeed be unfolding on our screens with the release of Part 2.
Nicola Coughlan finds the hype around the mirror scene to be amusing. "It's really funny because it's actually a bit of a Mandela Effect," Coughlan tells Refinery29 Australia. "Because it's a famous scene from the book, but it actually doesn't happen in the book! He says he would like to, but they don't do that. But we do do that."
Indeed, they do.
In Part Two of Season Three of Bridgerton, we finally see the mirror scene come to life, when Penelope Featherington has sex with Mr. Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) for the first time on what looks like a very uncomfortable chair. But instead of presenting the mirror scene as literal (i.e. full-blown boinking in front of a mirror), the show has taken a different route, using it as a space where Colin intimately examines Penelope and shares all the things he loves about her.
This take on the highly anticipated scene is actually far more romantic. "You are the cleverest, bravest woman I know," Colin says to Pen as he watches her in the mirror. "You make me feel seen in ways I've never felt seen before. And then there is the way your hair cascades down your shoulder. The way your eyes shine when you look at me, like two blue pools."
But soon, things become intimate. Colin comments on the "firmness" of Penelope's lips as he gently touches them. He caresses her skin, marvelling at how soft it is. And finally, he admits that there are "other parts" he's been dreaming about: cupping her breasts.
That's when it happens: Colin undresses Penelope in front of the mirror and removes her corset. She stands completely naked, his eyes feasting on her, before he instructs her to lie down and they share their first time together.
Speaking with her co-star Luke Newton, Coughlan tells him: "I adore that speech that you have, right before it. It's gorgeous. And how you delivered it was so beautiful."
For Coughlan, it was a big scene — but not for the reasons you might think. While the actress does bare her body — and her breasts — on screen, the Irish actress says that she's proud of it for completely different reasons.
"We were really just given the time and space to do it justice," Coughlan explains. "Watching it back, we're so proud of it. I love that scene. I didn't think I would at all."

"It shows how hot consent and care is."

Nicola Coughlan about Bridgerton's mirror scene
While some might be quick to simply write it off as just another sex scene with an iconic Bridgerton strings cover (this time, it's 'POV' by Ariana Grande), but Netflix's take on the mirror scene is about so much more than just sex — or Colin's utter devotion to Pen. Ultimately, the scene depicts Penelope's reclamation of her body and the shedding of her wallflower status, transforming her into an equal to Colin.
It's also a masterclass in communication and consent in the boudoir, with Penelope asking exactly where she can touch Colin. The scene underscores that respecting boundaries, advocating for yourself and checking in with your partner doesn't kill the vibe — it enhances pleasure.
Coughlan agrees. "It shows how hot consent and care is," she says. "Because people often don't understand it, but they're having the best time possible!"
For both actors, the importance of the scene lies in its writing and narrative significance. "I think with all of the sex scenes in this series, they're written really beautifully," Coughlan says. "It really is in service of the character and the story. And it's still sexy as well; it doesn't lose those elements."
Similarly, Newton highlights just how crucial it was for them to get that scene right. "It's really one of those scenes that's important to drive the story forward," he says. "Not only are they completely exposed physically, but it exposes them emotionally and in every possible way so that they have to just be completely honest and genuinely themselves in front of each other."
"That's why it's so important in the show that they have that moment of intimacy and understanding — it feels very authentic," he continues. "It feels like a very real situation."
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