Bridgerton Season Finale Teases Sapphic Romance

Curious about Bridgerton’s Queer twist? Read on to learn more!

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Photo of Francesca, Michaela, and John with a Lesbian flag background

Netflix’s beloved series Bridgerton wrapped up its third season — but not everything was tied perfectly in a bow. In fact, the season and its finale left many questions unanswered and teased more plotlines to come in future seasons. One in particular that most shocked viewers was the potential Sapphic romance shared between Francesca Bridgerton and her new husband’s cousin, Michaela Stirling. A certain departure from Julia Quinn’s books, this Queer twist garnered both praise and outcry. Read on to learn more and hear this author’s thoughts.

In Mayfair, Where We Lay Our Scene

Season 3 came to a close soon after Francesca Bridgerton’s quiet marriage to fellow introvert John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin. With a shared desire for calm, the couple plan to head to John’s family estate in the Scottish Highlands. But a twist rattles this simple love story when, still newly wedded, John introduces Francesca to his cousin, Michaela Stirling. It is apparent to viewers that Francesca feels more than friendly or familial upon her very first glance at Michaela, a gender-swapped take on planned love interest Michael Stirling from her book When He Was Wicked.

Photo of Francesca Bridgerton and John Stirling at their wedding holding hands
IMAGE VIA NETFLIX

Music to Their Ears

One viewer drew a clear connection between Francesca and Michaela’s first meeting and a previous quote from Bridgerton matriarch Violet. After a season of protesting that her quiet affection for her newly-wedded husband John was indeed love, Francesca’s starkly clear romantic pull towards his cousin made many fans swoon. Despite claiming her love story was different than her mother’s, a mirror is drawn when Francesca becomes speechless, just like Violet.

While only having a few moments of screentime, the golden thread between the two young women continues to pull them together until the season’s close. Another fan made heart-eyes at one specific moment between Francesca and Michaela, in which Netflix’s audio descriptions seem to confirm a romance in the works.

Yet another fan made light of this twist of fate with a humorous take on a popular meme.

“Must You Always?” – Me to Homophobes

But amidst many fans’ excitement surrounding this Queer development, a backlash erupted from other so-called fans claiming a desire for book-to-screen accuracy. Bridgerton showrunner Jess Brownell had a few choice words on this reaction, as shared with Glamour.

Brownell also revealed to Netflix’s Tudum, “Bridgerton book readers will know what it means when Francesca meets Michaela at the end of Season 3… You’ll just have to wait to see, going forward, what we do with that.” “The reveal of Michaela vs. Michael — from the books — is something that I’ve been pitching from season 1 of the show,” Brownell told Teen Vogue. “My approach to telling a queer story on Bridgerton has been to look to the books for thematic cues. I didn’t want to just insert a Queer character for Queer character’s sake.” Bridgerton is a show about love in all its forms, and it makes perfect sense that a sapphic romance would be included in this.

This author is a member of the watch-before-reading party, so I can’t yet attest to the adaptation’s accuracy or any book-to-TV comparisons. All I know is that, as a Sapphic viewer, this surprising turn offered some much-welcomed representation on screen, and I can’t wait to see where Francesca’s journey might take her — and us — in a future season. Every viewer knows to expect the unexpected from the ton, and only time will tell if Michaela will be the object of all Francesca’s desires.

Did this twist shock you, too? Tell us in the comments below!


To unbury some of Season 3, Part 1’s Easter Eggs, click here.

To browse the Bridgerton novels and more, click here.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / FIONA HANSEN