Is it ok to have sex with a priest? In real life, the answer is not up for debate. It’s a no that is usually followed with a stint in prison. In other shows or movies, having sex with a priest is offensive, blasphemous, and highly inappropriate. However, in the masterful second season of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge character’s desire to have sex with a hot priest (Andrew Scott) is morally wrong, and yet I found myself rooting for it to happen the entire time.
Immoral decisions, self-deprecation, and loneliness are at the heart of the dark comedy, Fleabag*. Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as the titular character, Fleabag, a humorous, yet troubled young feminist trying to cope with her complicated life in London. In the first season, Fleabag constantly fights with her emotions and struggles to find peace over the recent deaths of her mother and best friend, Boo (Jenny Rainsford), with the latter serving as a co-owner of their guinea-pig themed cafe. While fighting her own issues and female angst, Fleabag has to juggle relationships with her successful, but miserable sister, Claire (Sian Clifford), her passive and distant father (Bill Paterson), her pretentious and villainous godmother (Olivia Colman), and a revolving door of sexual partners.
I did not discover Fleabag until a few weeks ago. Therefore, my review of the show comes after the second season has aired.
Fleabag’s inability to sustain successful and healthy relationships leads her to communicate her thoughts with the audience. Fleabag constantly breaks the fourth wall to hilariously describe her feelings and emotions. Her breaks range from well-thought-out monologues to simple, effective eyebrow raises. The fourth wall starts off as a way to convey Fleabag’s actions at the moment, we quickly learn that the audience is her closest friend and the fourth wall is a coping mechanism for her unhappiness and isolation.
Fleabag Season 2 Trailer
The second seasons picks off “371 days, 19 hours and 26 minutes late” after the first season ends. Fleabag’s bickering with her chaotic family (in a spectacular jumpsuit if I might add) at the engagement dinner of her father and godmother. This time, Claire’s sleazy husband Martin (Brett Gelman) and the aftermentioned handsome priest join in on the family’s dysfunction to cause an unforgettable and hysterical dinner scene.
Waller-Bridge, who also created the hit drama Killing Eve, states that the second season is a “love story,” but it’s not a typical one. It’s a beautiful, fucked up love story that accurately shows how trauma and grief can sadly lead to loneliness. Losing her mother and friend causes Fleabag to be emotionally distant from the rest of her family. To cope, Fleabag uses humor, sex, cursing, and theft, but it’s still not enough to make her grief and pain go away. This repressed trauma leads to the self-sabotage of Fleabag’s own life.
It’s also why Fleabag’s attraction and desire to have sex with a priest makes a lot of sense. The priest is similar to Fleabag in that he curses a lot, enjoys a good drink, and uses humor any chance he gets. There’s real chemistry between the two. However, Fleabag has lived a life full of heartbreak, meaningless sexual encounters, and trauma. Fleabag views the priest as someone who cannot break her heart since he’s dedicated to God, which is why her sexual desire for him is so strong. As Fleabag later confesses, she’s looking for someone to tell her how to live her life because her choices haven’t led to happiness and fulfillment.
For a show that’s so hysterical and vulgar, Fleabag is also emotionally gripping and extremely powerful in its portrayal of love, grief, and despair. Fleabag successfully balances hope and tragedy to showcase a troublesome, caring, and thoughtful woman in an amusing way. Waller-Bridge recently stated that the second season would be the show’s last. However, it’s time to steal a page out of Fleabag’s playbook and start praying so it can return for a third season.