As Bridgerton focuses on a family made up of eight siblings, not to mention their various love interests and other supporting players, some characters were always going to fall by the wayside. In season one, that was sixth child Francesca (Ruby Stokes), who was written out as visiting relatives in the country early on. Now that season two is here, as it’s just dropped on Netflix this Friday, we now know the latest family member to draw the short straw is… Francesca again.
Yes, for the second season running, Francesca has the least amount of screentime among the Bridgerton brood. This wasn’t always the plan, though, as showrunner Chris Van Dusen has revealed that scheduling conflicts prevented Francesca from having more to do. Speaking to TV Line, Van Dusen explained that Stokes’ commitments to another upcoming Netflix series, Lockwood & Co, meant she had to drop out of shooting after just three episodes.
“I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through season 2,” Van Dusen said. “After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control. Perhaps season 3 will be the charm.”
Due to Stokes’ absence from this season not being planned ahead of time, that means there’s no reason given within the storyline to explain what happens to Francesca, so fans should be prepared for the character to randomly disappear halfway through the season. While that’s disappointing for any viewers hoping to get to know her better, like Van Dusen says, maybe season three will finally manage to give her a chance in the spotlight.
Just like the rest of the clan, Francesca has her own book in the original novel series by author Julia Quinn, with the sixth installment, When He Was Wicked, focusing on her romantic entanglements. The show won’t be reaching that for a while, then, although the series has already been commissioned through season four. Not to mention, there’s a prequel spinoff on its way, all about the young Queen Charlotte.
Bridgerton season two is now streaming on Netflix.