Fleabag: Season 2 – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - Fleabag Season 2
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Season 2 of Fleabag presents us a character who hit rock bottom and is trying to find her way back to the light despite her past.


Network
BBC/ Amazon Prime
Creator(s) Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Genre(s) Comedy
Good If You Like Dark Comedies

British Humor

Breaking The Fourth Wall

Erratic & Sometimes Strange Characters

Isn’t For You If You Don’t Like Short Seasons

Are Expecting Fleabag To Digress Back To Her Season 1 Antics

Noted Cast
Belinda Kristin Scott Thomas
Fleabag Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Claire Sian Clifford
Martin Brett Gelman
Dad Bill Paterson
Godmother Olivia Colman
The Priest Andrew Scott

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Fleabag Season 2 Summary

It has been more than a year since the events of the season 1 finale and Fleabag has been doing well. Yeah, she hasn’t spoken to her family in ages and doesn’t appear to have any friends, but the café is doing well. But with her stepmother and father’s wedding on the horizon, she is invited back into the fold and appears to be one of the few members of her family who aren’t a hot mess.

Which of course is a surprise to all, yet it becomes a bit of a saving grace for Claire. Someone whose life is as chaotic as Fleabag’s once was and it makes Fleabag’s expertise the source of them rekindling their relationship. Though, naturally, Fleabag isn’t a saint. In fact, she may just get the priest for her father’s wedding to sin.

 

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Fleabag is 33

Highlights

Belinda

Belinda (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) talking at a bar.
Belinda (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)

While unfortunately only seen in episode 3, Belinda leaves an impression. She is this older woman who is post-menopausal and how she speaks about gendered awards and how she feels about being a woman gives you pause. Not in a bad way but it really does present how complicated a woman’s relationship with her uterus can be. The idea that your uterus makes you more so a machine than person and it really illuminates the mind a bit.

Also, when she speaks to how awards specifically for women ghettoize success, it helps you understand why when MTV decided to do away with gendered awards, it was seen as a path forward. For while, on the one hand, it could open up controversy if not enough women win, there is something to be said about being named the best actor – period. Especially since, fully recognizing all award shows are political and popularity contest, it presents a sense of legitimacy beyond gender.

So Belinda eye rolling a bit the idea of being praised for being a woman who is successful in business, it gives you the chance to see the other side of what those awards mean. For while being recognized is always nice, there is the undercurrent of it being presented you shouldn’t have succeeded because you are this or that. Thus creating what feels like an underhanded compliment and a need to question if you are really that good or just good despite your gender or ethnicity.

Breaking The 4th Wall

The best thing about Fleabag, is when Fleabag does something as small as look over at us. In doing so, we’re reminded this was originally a play, and we aren’t voyeurs peering on someone’s life but in on it. Making each bit which has Fleabag speak to us keep you engaged, likely laugh, and wonder why breaking the 4th wall is such a rare thing in television?

Fleabag noting Claire likely had sex with the lawyer they are talking to.

But, I must add, The Priest recognizing her doing that also puts you in this weird position. If a man of faith can see her talking to us, what does that make the viewer? We’re surely not God in the situation so are we to see ourselves as a silent guardian angel? While the answer isn’t given, it makes her breaking the fourth wall all the more meaningful as it makes it appear we’re the only thing she may have faith in, and it’s so powerful an actual man of faith can see it.

Claire & Fleabag Grow Closer

Claire and Fleabag’s relationship has always been complicated no matter what either one would do. However, it seems as Claire found herself in immense drama, she found herself forced to rely on her sister and with Fleabag showing up and being of help, she came to realize Fleabag isn’t the mess she thought she was. Which of course causes a new issue since that was the one thing Claire always had over Fleabag. Yes, she was unhappy, but at least her life was better than her sister.

But, it seems as Claire got over herself, she allowed herself to be a human who didn’t always need the easy or logical way. That recognized life can’t always be based on what’s rational and sometimes can’t easily be fixed. Sometimes you have to be messy and dysfunctional to find what works for you. Something Fleabag has done, albeit to the point of making a friend suicidal but rather damn her for it she can learn from it. Maybe even help Fleabag heal a bit as she, Claire, pursues her own growth.

How Much Martin Makes You Hate Him

Martin (Brett Gelman) saying he isn't a bad guy.
Martin (Brett Gelman)

There is a need to appreciate a character who can get a rise out of you. Someone you love to hate to the point where you forget it is an actor playing a character but almost think it is an a**hole being fed lines to play an a**hole. That’s how good Martin is played. But the real kicker might be the last episode of the season when he tries to manipulate Claire into taking back what she said. It’s then when you almost feel bad for him, as he seems to own his stuff, but then he reminds you he is a horrible human being. Showing you that, if this show went on longer, they could very well add layers to Martin and show he is much worse than he appears. It’s just we aren’t around him enough.

Priest’s Wedding Speech in Episode 6

Due to certain events in the series, The Priest, as named in the credits, has not only a conflict of faith but also a difficult time orchestrating a wedding because of his concept on love. With it being a complex subject, which bewilders him, as it does many in the cast, his speech, at first, seems inappropriate. Yet, like with Belinda, you recognize the rawness of the dialog to be more than it appears. It isn’t a joke but a well thought out vignette. Not necessarily on the level of a monologue but definitely delivered to represent how passionately Waller-Bridge feels about love and how torn The Priest is over the subject. Making for a scene that, if it weren’t for copyright fears, I’d make a clip of because it is definitely something worth sharing.

Low Points

So About That Therapist

Fleabag, as a belated birthday gift, is given a voucher to see a therapist. This doesn’t really go anywhere as there is a running gag of the therapist questioning if Fleabag is telling a joke or not. Plus, it doesn’t really go deep into her trauma over Bo or her past behavior really. It’s brought up, yes, but we don’t go past what was gone over season 1.

On The Fence

Is There More To Dad & Godmother Than Meets The Eye?

Godmother (Olivia Colman) looking shocked.
Godmother (Olivia Colman)

There are times when it seems the father is slowly losing it. Not going crazy but maybe Alzheimer’s or maybe the Godmother is controlling him. Heck, when you meet The Priest, for a moment it almost seemed like she was shamelessly bringing a lover to a family occasion. Then, as time moves on, even though Dad isn’t rich or anything, you consistently feel a need to raise an eyebrow and question if there is something going on she isn’t telling anyone.

This especially becomes an issue when Dad decides to check a mouse trap at the wedding, and hanging onto Fleabag as he walks down the aisle. Yet, it is never made clear if we’re just supposed to take on the paranoia of his kids or there is something afoot.

Storylines Which Could Have Used Another Few Episodes

The beautiful thing about UK based series is that they are often to the point. However, while to the point with the season’s arc, when it comes to specific characters you are sometimes left feeling wanting. Case in point, Claire’s decision when it comes to Martin leaves us on an ellipsis. As noted with Dad and Godmother, whether or not there is something to worry about there we are left to wonder. Making it so Fleabag might be the only one who doesn’t leave us wanting more, but that’s because, outside of her interactions with The Priest, which are rather tame, she doesn’t get into a storyline that leaves you feeling that you were left on a cliff hanger.

Overall: Positive (Watch This)

What makes Fleabag so good in season 2 is that feeling that you are actually connected. That with every glance or Fleabag talking to you, you are beyond a viewer but also a participant. Add in Belinda’s monologue, The Priest’s aforementioned speech, and the show feeling tight and like each moment has purpose, that is why this is being labeled positive.

Has Another Season Been Confirmed?

Waller-Bridge wasn’t very keen on making a second season for Fleabag, and with her touring the stage show, it does seem like she is trying to come full circle and be done with the character. So I wouldn’t hold my breath for a third season. Even though there is still quite a bit of material to explore.

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