Bridgerton’s Eloise And Theo Have Purpose – Even If They Aren’t Endgame

Eloise Bridgerton and Theo Sharpe’s relationship is short-lived, but it leaves an impact on Eloise and spurs a major story for Bridgerton Season 3.

Bridgerton took the world by storm when it first made its debut on December 25, 2020. The historical fiction centers on the Bridgerton family and the Bridgerton siblings’ love stories, based on Julia Quinn’s book series of the same name. And with the return to Bridgerton’s ton on the horizon, a look back at one of Season 2’s most underrated relationships, Eloise Bridgerton and Theo Sharpe, is not only fair but will be beneficial ahead of Season 3. Anthony Bridgerton and Kathani “Kate” Sharma’s enemies-to-lovers romance, built on emotional intimacy, takes center stage in the drama’s sophomore season, but Bridgerton’s ensemble cast allows other love stories to blossom, and wither.

Fans of Julia Quinn’s books know Eloise’s story in To Sir Phillip, With Love details how the heroine falls in love with Sir Phillip Crane, not Theo. Yet, Eloise and Theo’s relationship holds a purpose even though it’s not the central romance of the season or a canonical endgame in the books. Bridgerton Season 3, set to premiere on May 16, 2024, will veer from Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton’s love story in Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton, so there’s hope for a rekindling of Eloise and Theo’s spark as well. But if Bridgerton doesn’t feature this original pairing in its next season, what the characters have in Season 2 maintains its significance.

Eloise Bridgerton Finds A Match Of Wits In Theo

Eloise is still coming of age in Bridgerton, and part of that story comes with people around her questioning her interests and opinions, challenging them as fleeting or a phase. Eloise addresses this most pointedly with her mother, Violet, in Season 2, Episode 4, “Victory,” when Eloise distinguishes her rebellion as a part of her, not an acquirement or an accomplishment. In that episode, Violet sets her daughter up with Lord Morrison, a man who supposedly has a “rebellious spirit” but crumbles under the conversation Eloise spurs. Where their ideals don’t align, Eloise finds an intellectual match in Theo Sharpe, a man of different socioeconomic status who attends feminist gatherings and admires Eloise’s mind.

Eloise and Theo also serve another purpose, which is to make Eloise grow as a character. Through most of Bridgerton’s first season, Eloise believes that love and marriage are not for her, and she seems to judge women who fall in love. Eloise gets obsessed with finding out Lady Whistledown’s identity, and Theo’s introduction in Season 2 sets the tone for Eloise to learn about love and attraction, and about heartbreak as well. Her interest in marriage and society’s expectations of women might not waver, but Eloise and Theo’s brief love story can open her eyes to what romance can mean for her, and what she looks for in a partner.

Since Season 1, Eloise pushes back against the expectations set for women in the Regency era and positions herself as a rebel with a cause, which is why she strives to uncover Lady Whistledown’s identity. It’s quite clandestine the way Eloise finds Theo as she tries to discover Whistledown. The pair’s meet-cute in Season 2, Episode 2, “Off to the Races,” captures how Eloise and Theo hold assumptions about the other upon first impression, only to learn they are far better suited than they imagine. From there, Eloise finds a connection that she’d never expected, literally and figuratively. Throughout the season, Eloise and Theo grow closer and discuss topics pertinent to them both, like women’s rights and shared books. This opens Eloise’s eyes to what true partnership can mean, and what it could feel like to find a love match, something Violet Bridgerton desperately wants for her children.

Theo Sharpe Is Eloise’s First Love – Or First Great Affection

Eloise and Theo’s tearful farewell in Season 2, Episode 8, “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” comes after a consistent season of their dynamic developing and showcasing how much Theo means to Eloise. That first love, or first great affection, comes with the first heartbreak that crescendos with the discovery that her best friend plays a role in her relationship’s demise. That knowledge makes it harder to hear Eloise describe her connection with Theo as “one of the few good things in” her life. Those points unfolding in such quick succession are understandably tough for Eloise to reckon with and will likely take time to unpack in Season 3. To Sir Phillip, With Love, doesn’t expand on Eloise’s years as a single lady of the ton, but her heartbreak in the Bridgerton series could influence some of her decisions moving forward, and give more depth to her story.

Eloise and Penelope’s friendship has always been a source of comfort and safety for both of them. Knowing the personal lengths that Penelope will go to as Lady Whistledown jeopardizes that. Still, that irreversible shift in their dynamic gives the show a rich story to explore, in which Penelope and Eloise are dynamic, imperfect characters who hurt each other even though they care so much about each other. Their rift will undoubtedly be a major point for Season 3 since Bridgerton views Eloise and Penelope’s friendship with the same significance as any romance. Unlike the book, where Eloise learns about Penelope’s identity as Lady Whistledown with the rest of the ton, Bridgerton changed the context of their friendship and therefore adds new layers of their friendship worth exploring.

So, even though Theo may never return on-screen, his impact ripples throughout the show. First and foremost, Eloise learns a lot about herself and society during her time with Theo. No matter how short-lived, their connection visibly means a great deal to her. Whatever romantic path she takes next, whether with Phillip or someone else before him, the lasting impact of Eloise and Theo’s dynamic will remain significant. Just as Anthony, Benedict, and Colin have prior relationships that impact how they view love and life, so will Eloise.

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