Fleabag (BBC/Amazon Prime, 2016-2019), adapted to film from Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ one-woman piece Touch, has become a major success. Season one won a BAFTA in 2017, and season two won six Emmys for comedic performance and writing (11 nominations).
Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays the main character, a Londoner in her early thirties who tends to struggle connecting with people. In the screenplay, this woman is referred to as “Fleabag“, despite the fact that she doesn’t have a name in the series.
Since her best friend died an unfortunate death, she manages a cafe by herself. She has a tense and awkward relationship with her sister and recently ended her relationship with her boyfriend. Her mother has passed, and her emotionally unavailable father is remarrying “the godmother”, a two-faced, self-obsessed artist.
Fleabag‘s connection with the audience has always been more than communicating her side thoughts. Due to the fact that her best friend, Boo, is no longer with her, the audience substitutes Boo, in a way. Then comes an attractive priest or popularly known as the Hot Priest, who in the last episode of season two will officiate her father’s wedding.
It was a refreshing sight to see Fleabag gobsmacked by someone, let alone a priest, who noticed her interaction with the audience, even though he couldn’t see the audience address, he could see her. It’s adorable though, seeing the priest take notice of the audience’s place but isn’t actually seeing anything.
Image source: reddit.com
Breaking the fourth wall could even be stated Fleabag‘s coping mechanism to Boo’s death and her guilt of it. She was always open to the audience, as she was with Boo.
The cafe scene with the priest made her anxious and uncomfortable by his curiosity towards her life and her minor absences conversing with the audience, maybe because she was aware of her struggle bonding with people that she’s afraid that it will happen with the priest as well. They both feel the emotional and sexual tension between them but disconnect whenever any of them think that things are moving too far. Their melancholic love story truly made the audience ache for a happy ending to both of them.
The final episode truly was a stepping stone for Fleabag. She was ready to accept her past, learnt to love herself as well as knew her worth when she stopped the fourth wall from following her home or to put it as saying goodbye. It was a perfect ending.
GIF source: giphy.com