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“23 thoughts I had while watching Fleabag episode one”

Posted by
Helen Bownass
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Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s comedy is finally back and here’s exactly what we made of it. Warning, spoilers ahead…

In the first episode of Fleabag’s second and final season, the beloved Phoebe Waller-Bridge television series opened with a bang.

According to BBC’s official plot synopsis, the episode followed the return of the eponymous Fleabag as she joins “an uncomfortable family dinner to celebrate Godmother and Dad’s engagement. Alongside familiar faces, uptight sister Claire and her alcoholic husband Martin, Fleabag finds herself intrigued by Godmother’s new priest. The evening comes to a tempestuous end, however, when an unexpected attack brings old tensions bubbling to the surface.”

What did Stylist’s entertainment director Helen Bownass make of the series return? Here are the 23 thoughts she had while watching the episode: 

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1. Interesting: so this is set 371 days, 19 hours and 26 minutes after the end of series one? How long is that? One year and how many days? Why can’t I do basic maths? Okay, it’s one year and six days and a bit. Is that significant?

2. Of course the series starts with Fleabag wiping a mass of blood from her nose. Why wouldn’t it? Would I be so calm and collected at getting rid of all that blood?

3. I recognise that man that just offered to go down on her in the middle of a street, is he from an advert?

4. Is there an app I can use to take a picture of him which will instantly tell me who he is? Will I make my fortune by inventing it?

5. Why is her brother in law so horrific? I wonder if it’s fun to play someone so utterly toxic or if he ever feels guilty?

Olivia Colman in Fleabag 

6. I’m so happy to see Olivia Colman again. She really deserved that Oscar.

7. Oh, that’s Moriarty from Sherlock at dinner with them! This is excellent casting.

8. Why do I struggle with couples that don’t drink as a joint venture? Is it because I think it reflects badly on me?

9. Moriarty is playing a priest. A “cool, sweary priest”. Either Fleabag is going to find god or have sex with him. 

Andrew Scott in Fleabag 

10. That backless jumpsuit Fleabag is wearing is so great. Could I wear it without a bra?

11. I know. That man propositioning her in the street earlier was the sort of attractive but annoying guy she was seeing in series one. 

12. Her sister has moved to Finland, and talking about a Finnish colleague; I predict she’s having sex with him. I hope she is and leaves her awful husband.

13. “No-one has asked me a question in 45 minutes!” is very relatable. I hate people that don’t ask questions. It’s so easy; it means you don’t have to talk about yourself.

14. Can priests really not masturbate?

15. “It’s mainly hard because he was a paedophile” Who knew that a line about your brother being a paedophile could be so shockingly funny? 

16. And yes you’re right Fleabag, putting pine nuts on your salad does make you a grown-up. So too does halloumi, pea shoots and black olives. 

Sian Clifford in Fleabag 

17. I would also fashion a sanitary towel out of handtowels rather than ask a stranger for a tampon. Is this episode basically a summary of my life?

18. “Get your hands off my miscarriage” That’s really made my heart hurt. Sian Clifford is very, very good at playing Claire.

19. “It’s the kid’s fault if he wanted to jump ship” that’s the darkest line I’ve heard in a long time. Can the priest throw holy water on the brother-devil and vanquish him, please?

20. Oh god. They’re physically fighting in a restaurant. So stressful. Although it eases all those times I’ve got jealous over other people’s gorgeous happy family meals. 

Brett Gelman in Fleabag 

21. Which way over the bridge is she walking? Tower Bridge is on her left so she must be going north to south. Interesting. I always presumed she lived in north London.

22. Just going to rewind that smart final look at the camera, that was very good.

23. That was the best and most brilliantly dark Monday evening I’ve had in a long time. 

Fleabag is on Mondays at 10.35 on BBC One and on iPlayer. The second series is available on Amazon Prime Video in the US from 17 May. 

Images: BBC One 

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Helen Bownass

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