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Fleabag Episode 5 Recap: Fleabe Waller-Bridge



*Spoilers for Fleabag Season 2 Episode 5 and cycle lane ahead.


Have we all recovered after last week’s confessional booth drama?

No, still not. Ok well we have to continue on with the season so let’s get cracking.

Fleabag seems to be dealing quite well, all things considered. This week’s episode opens with her going for that drink with the lawyer. She’s having a great time , he’s got a lot of great qualities, she assures us.  And despite her being confident that he’ll be terrible in bed, a quick smash cut reveals, he’s not. In fact, he’s great.

Holy mother of hangovers, Fleabag looks rough the next day. She and Claire arrive at Oscar Winner Olivia Coleman’s house for another sitting. Claire has a big bouquet and a lot to do today, including a very important appointment. And despite Fleabag offering Claire says she doesn’t need anything. Unless Fleabag knows a way to stop the wedding from happening. Little does she know about Priest-y McKissyface. Oh look, he’s here. That’s right Father. Andrew Scott is at home with Dad and Oscar Winner Olivia Coleman. Fleabag looks awful, and is told as much and you can tell seeing Father. Andrew Scott is not helping that hangover. He’s there to tell the family that, unfortunately, he cannot officiate the wedding. He’s brother was in an accident and he (says rather pointedly at Fleabag) that he can’t do it.

Oscar Winner Olivia Coleman, despite Fleabag waiting for a spectacular show of dismay, takes it rather well. Although, once the Father has left her outburst (‘What a… CUNT!’) proves she had some hidden true feelings there. Fleabag is still holding the massive bouquet when Oscar Winner Olivia Coleman tells Dad to send the girls away, which they’re both pretty glad to do.

Head in hands Fleabag is at the bus stop when Father Andrew Scott takes a sneaky seat.  

‘You can’t cancel the wedding, you’ve already got the dress.’

So, here we are. They’ve not spoken since that night. And things are awkwaaaaard. Finally, Father. Andrew Scott tells Fleabag not to come to the church.

‘I mean that with the greatest of compliments.’ She looks at us before putting her head back in her hands.

Chatty Wednesday is well underway and Fleabag is struuuuuuuggling to deal with it. So much so, that she blows up at Joe before a surprise guest turns up.

It’s the guy from the bank from season 1. He’s got a new job and as a parting (?) gift he’s brought a guinea pig (actually a hamster). Fleabag’s phone rings and it’s Claire, she’s in tears, distraught, she’s messed it all up and guy from the bank offers to keep the cafe open. Is he here literally so that the cafe can stay open? Sure, why not.

We find out that Claire’s important appointment was in fact a haircut and a very edgy one at that. She hates it. She hates it so much she thinks she’s going to lose her job, despite Fleabags attempts at compliments. The only thing that seems to work is the assertion that the style is French… Really? Turns out Claire has had some champagne and went to see Antony… who is Antony? Oh, the hairdresser, who in an hilarious cut away is about to hack off most of Fleabag’s hair. So, Fleabag takes it upon herself to save the day. I love how Claire tries to boss Fleabag around, shouting ‘Slow down!’ as Fleabag charges off to save her.

At the salon, Fleabag delivers a great, great monologue re the importance of hair. I truly felt seen in this moment. Hair really can make or break a day. Unfortunately, when Claire demands to see the example it does look exactly the same as the cut Antony did. He tells them: ‘If you want to change your life, change your life. It’s not going to happen in here.’ The sisters are apologetic and Fleabag says she’ll see him next week. Lols, he’s still her hairdresser.

They return to the park bench. Claire thanks Fleabag for coming to the hospital after her miscarriage and then reveals that she didn’t actually want the baby. She didn’t want the husbands baby.

Fleabag then tells Claire that she’s met someone, to which Claire is very excited, until she finds out that it’s a priest, that it’s THE priest and then… then she’s ecstatic, she finds the whole thing hilarious and declares Fleabag a genius.

‘You’re my fucking hero.’

Looks like she’s getting her wish re Fleabag stopping the wedding. Maybe she can use her powers of messing stuff up for the better.

Oh look, it’s the other Claire, the handsome Tom Fenton looking Finish Claire. He LOVES the hair and invites Claire (sister Claire) to a concert. Fleabag volunteers to hold onto creepy stepson’s masson and heads back to the cafe.

‘Bye Claire. Bye Claire… Bye Claire.’

Guy from the bank is just closing up the cafe and mentions a visitor waiting for Fleabag. He heads off and keeps the apron, weirdly enough.

Sleazy Martin is the surprise friend, great! We’re all suitably annoyed. He’s persnickety and supercilious and looking for Claire. He knows something is up then. He’s also drinking. And blames Fleabag for all the problems in his ‘perfect, awful life.’ No matter how sort of aggressive Martin gets Fleabag isn’t backing down. She knows he’s too much of a wimp to really do anything and then we find out he’s really quite broken. ‘Is she leaving me? Don;t let her leave me please…’ To which Fleabag responds: ‘I hope she doesn’t come home tonight.’

Then there’s a lot of ‘fuck you’s’ and vows to destroy each other and I feel like maybe this will blow up in the next episode and maybe we’ll get to see Claire taking Fleabag’s side, which will be a nice turn around from the last episode. A sign of growth in their relationship.

Anyway, the interaction with Sleazy Martin has put Fleabag in a bad mood and she knows what she wants, 9 orgasms from the lawyer, to make her feel better. As she waits by the door, there’s a super nice call back to her monologue from the very first episode while she’s waiting for a guy to come over. The doorbell rings, ah, the lawyer is here… only it’s not the lawyer, it’s Father Andrew Scott. And she’s only wearing underwear under her trench coat.

He knows her address because Claire (who also knows Fleabag has a thing for the priest) gave it to him. He’s come to say that he’s going to officiate the wedding, he can’t let them down and no one else will wear the dress. He’s about to start talking about all the things he’s sacrificed for his life as a priest, Then the doorbell rings again. This time it is the lawyer.

‘Aren’t you going to get that?’

No, I don’t like opening the door to people I don’t know.’

‘I”M BAAAAACK!’

Stupendous. Agaian, Father. Andrew Scott is about to get deep, talking about his childhood but the lawyer is being persistent and keeps ringing the bell. She’s going to get rid of him.

But he is stubborn and doesn’t understand why she wants him to leave. He keeps telling her that he’s good at sex, like that’s why she’s not letting him in. When in actual fact it's her priest… who needs guidance. She tries to convince him that he was, in fact, very good at sex. 9 orgasms! That convinces him and he leaves.

‘9 times. You’re a saint.’

Father. Andrew Scott could of course hear everything and is also impressed by the number of orgasms. He starts to tell her that he can’t be physical.

‘We can’t even wrestle.’

He can’t be physical because if they were [physical he couldn’t stop himself from loving her. And this is where things get really interesting.

Love is a whole different bag of fleas. Their last dalliance was purely lust based, in fact most of Fleabag’s interaction with men, men she wants to sleep with, are lust based, or just because she’s horny. In her mind, she doesn’t deserve love. But he said love. Which maybe trumps the whole he’s a priest thing. Maybe love is more pure. Meaning if they were to connect in a loving way, it wouldn’t be a mistake, a slutty mess that would destroy his vocation and make her an evil temptress. Maybe it would be ok.

Anyway, Fleabag knows the instant he starts talking about love that they are going to have sex. She tells us, as in, looks to camera and tells us and he shouts:

‘For fucks sake, stop that!?’ Man, he’s had it with her and her asides. Why does he hate us so much? Jeez!

Father. Andrew Scott asserts that despite what she said in the last episode, Fleabag doesn’t need telling what to do. She knows what she wants. And in this moment we can start to feel that her following her impulses isn’t a sinful, reproachful way to live. It’s actually her power.

He gets angry because she makes a feminist joke about women priests and that does it for him. He’s in. He concedes that they are going to have sex.

When they start kissing, after a moment of shock at her lack of clothes beneath that trenchcoat, there’s an obvious difference between this time and last time. It’s not crazy lustful, it’s not just from their loins. There’s a deeper connection here and actually, their hooking up feels like the right thing to do in the moment. It doesn't feel like they’re both fucking up. It feels like they’re making a decision. The acting in this scene is great, the ambivalence in Father. Andrew Scott is painful.

Finally, they’re in bed together and what happens? Fleabag pushes the camera down, until we can’t see what’s going on. She shuts us out. Is this her having a real connection? So she doesn't need us anymore? Doesn’t need the secret audience? Doesn’t she want to share anymore? It’ll be interesting to see if her asides are gone by the next episode and depending on how happily or, more likely, unhappily things end, if they come back.

Thanks for watching, see you next week for the finale!

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