Why Did Francesca Look at the Cousin Like That In Bridgerton Season 3?

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
Bridgerton Francesca, her cousin Michaela, and Netflix logo

With Netflix's Bridgerton Season 3 in the books, fans are reflecting on one particular scene in the finale that featured Francesca Bridgerton eyeing the cousin of her husband, Jack Stirling.

Bridgerton Season 3 focused a lot on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington's characters, but Francesca Bridgerton (now technically Francesca Stirling) was also a major player.

Deemed the season's "sparkler" by Queen Charlotte instead of the diamond, Francesca had a lot of eyes on her. However, although she did find her match by the end of Season 3, the finale revealed she had her eyes on someone else.

Bridgerton Season 3's Francesca Tease

In the Season 3 finale of Bridgerton, following the wedding of Francesca Bridgerton and John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin, the couple (along with other members of the Ton) attended the Dankworth-Finch ball.

While there, Francesca's husband, John, announced that he had someone he would like to introduce to her - his cousin, Michaela Stirling.

Hannah Dodd's Francesca in Bridgerton

Fans immediately noticed the starstruck gaze that Francesca gave Michaela following the latter's Bridgerton introduction, wondering exactly what it meant and why Francesca began stumbling over her words.

When looking at Julia Quinn's book series, which the show is based on, it is clear that this sequence was a tease of what was to come.

Masali Baduza's Michaela in Bridgerton

In the scene, Francesca seems immediately attracted to Michaela, which will come into play later.

However, some fans have openly voiced their disappointment with this reveal since Michaela has been gender-swapped from the source material, where the character was originally known as Michael.

In the sixth book of the series, When He Was Wicked, Francesca and Michael meet, but the former is not attracted to the latter. Instead, Michael first has feelings for Francesca.

However, John falls ill and dies, leading Michael to move to India. He does return, though, even if it is four years later, where he still has feelings for Francesca.

After the two spend time together and lean on each other in grief, Francesca falls in love with Michael and forms an official relationship.

This is a bit different than the show, which seems to feature Francesca immediately in love with Michaela.

The Season 3 finale of Bridgerton teased that a romance between Francesca and Michaela would occur at some point, but the show did change things up a bit by making Francesca the one to have feelings first and gender-swapping John's cousin.

Why Are Fans Upset at Bridgerton's Francesca Reveal?

While the reveal at the end of Bridgerton Season 3 proved to be a big one, some fans were unhappy with how things played out, specifically how the show handled Francesca meeting Michaela for the first time.

In the books, Francesca is not immediately attracted to John's cousin. Instead, she loves John, and the two have a happy marriage with one another.

However, they sadly struggle with infertility despite wanting a child, which caused a lot of fans to sympathize with Francesca in the books (specifically book six).

Some claim that, since Francesca was already attracted to John's cousin, it lessens her relationship with John; whatever struggles they may go through in future seasons won't hold as much weight.

In the book, after John dies, Francesca goes through an even harder time. On top of feeling the weight of not being able to have a child, she has to deal with the loss of her husband.

Since John's cousin returns in the books, though, she can grieve with him, which inevitably leads to her falling in love with him. Many are saying that, since she is already attracted to Michaela in the show, this will lessen her character arc.

However, fans will have to wait and see how Francesca's storyline plays out in the show when future seasons are released.

Season 3 of Bridgerton is streaming on Netflix.

Read more about Bridgerton Season 3 on The Direct:

Does Colin Find Out Penelope Is Lady Whistledown In Bridgerton Season 3 New Episode?

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 Spoilers & Ending Explained

Netflix's Bridgerton: Who Does Hyacinth End Up With?

Full Cast of Bridgerton Season 2 - Every Main Character & Actor Who Appears (Photos)

- In This Article: Bridgerton (S3B)
Release Date
June 13, 2024
Adjoa Andoh
Luke Newton
Nicola Coughlan
- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.