As a Bridgerton fan, I love what the show did with Benedict but wish things worked out differently

Benedict and Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3
Benedict and Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3. (Image credit: Netflix)

Benedict Bridgerton doubled down on being the carefree second-oldest brother in the family in Bridgerton season 3. My only wish is that his time in the throuple would have lasted longer. 

After meeting Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New) at the hot air balloon event in episode 3, Benedict (Luke Thompson) finds himself absolutely smitten with the whip-smart, take-no-prisoners noblewoman who lives life on her own terms. They enter into a smoldering, no-strings-attached relationship that leaves the younger man’s head spinning every time they’re together. 

Benedict and Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3

Benedict loved Tilley's carefree attitude. (Image credit: Netflix)

Later, in episode 6, Tilley introduces Benedict to Paul Suarez (Lucas Aurelio). While on the surface it seems like Paul and Tilley are old, dear friends, Benedict sees a connection between them and he wonders why they were never involved. Paul explains that it’s Benedict that he’s interested in, and he and Tilley invite Benedict to join them in the bedroom. Benedict declines the invitation, but after considerable reflection he finds himself joining them by episode 7

It’s not often that throuples are explored in mainstream television and even when they do show up, it’s typically one man coupling with two women, though it can be a woman and two men, three men or three women. There’s even a reality show, From Couple to Throuple on Peacock, that features couples searching for someone to join their relationship. 

(If you’re wondering about the difference between a throuple and threesome, there are many different interpretations but generally speaking, a throuple involves three people in a committed relationship with each other whereas a threesome is usually a one-time event)

Reality shows aside, throuples aren’t common on television. The first time I remember seeing a throuple (or at least the beginning of one) was in True Blood when Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) decided that she couldn’t choose between Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgaard), so she was going to have them both. (Honestly, who could blame her?)

Benedict and Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3

Tilley introduces Benedict to Paul Suarez. (Image credit: Netflix)

Sookie’s throuple didn’t last long and, sadly, neither did Benedict’s. By episode 8, Tilley decided that after lots of hot and heavy time with both men, she discovered she wanted Benedict for herself. Benedict, now enlightened by the revelation of what being bisexual can mean, wasn’t ready to commit to a monogamous relationship with Tilley and decided that he needed to explore the new world he’d discovered. 

One of the reasons I love Bridgerton is that the showrunners created a bright, inclusive world thanks to the show’s “Great Experiment” which removed racial barriers between the residents of Mayfair. This season has seen members of the Ton who are persons with disabilities, and now it looks like the show is dipping its toes into sexuality as well. 

Benedict and Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3

Benedict is smitten with Tilley.  (Image credit: Netflix)

I appreciate that the show introduced throuples into Regency England and I also appreciate that Lady Tilley explains to Benedict that their world is full of people who don’t live within the traditional confines of acceptable society. 

I’m frustrated, however, that the relationship between Benedict, Tilley and Paul ended so abruptly. It felt like the whole idea was shortchanged by Tilley deciding she wanted a monogamous relationship with Benedict after she (and Paul) were the ones to convince him to join them. 

The upside to this “new experiment” in the Bridgerton world is that it opens up a world of possibilities for future seasons. What’s most exciting, however, is that Benedict’s perspective has been blown wide open and he’s interested in exploring every inch of this new world as only he can. And who knows, maybe he’ll find himself in a new throuple and he’ll bring his lovers home to meet the family….

All episodes of Bridgerton season 3 are available on Netflix now.  

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.