The Fleabag season 2 finale is a perfect ending to Phoebe Waller-Bridge's fourth wall breaking dramedy series - so it should never get a season 3. Fleabag season 1 hit Amazon Prime in September 2016 (after airing on BBC Three in the UK) following the titular character as she grieves her best friend and tries to keep open the cafe they opened together - all while dealing with her family. The series garnered widespread critical acclaim for its uniquely comedic take on the drama of the lead character's life. Fleabag season 2 premiered on Amazon Prime earlier this month and has garnered even more critical acclaim for how it continues the story of Fleabag (Waller-Bridge).
As for whether Fleabag will return for season 3, Waller-Bridge has left the door open, telling the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in February (via THR) that although she's put the series to bed, just as she did after season 1, "I may be surprised again." Certainly, it didn't seem Waller-Bridge would continue Fleabag's story after the first season, which was based on a play she also wrote, but then season 2 arrived - though nearly three years later. Still, Fleabag co-star Sian Clifford, who plays Fleabag's sister Claire, has said the show is over, telling BBC Breakfast, "There will not be a third series." While that decision may ultimately be up to Waller-Bridge, Clifford does have a point that the ending of Fleabag as it currently stands is a "beautiful perfect ending."
Fleabag season 2 sees Waller-Bridge's character moving on from both the death of her best friend, Boo (Jenny Rainsford), and the events of season 1, which saw a rift created between her and her family, particularly her sister. After taking a year to work on herself, including giving up casual sex, Fleabag returns in season 2 in a much better place, though she gets pulled back into the drama of her family very quickly. Season 2 also sees Fleabag fall in love with a Priest (Andrew Scott). Fleabag's relationships come to a head in the season 2 finale, which offers a perfect ending. SPOILERS for the Fleabag season 2 finale ahead.
Fleabag’s Season 2 Finale Is The Perfect Ending To The Series
Unlike season 1, the Fleabag season 2 finale gives its characters hope. At the end of season 1, Fleabag is estranged from her family and it's revealed she's the one who slept with her Boo's boyfriend, which lead to Boo's death. Without her best friend, her sister and the rest of her family, Fleabag season 1 ends on an incredibly unhappy note. There is some hope in the season 1 finale, with Fleabag finding some kindness in a near-stranger, but she's essentially alone. That sense of aloneness is exacerbated when viewers realize that Fleabag uses her fourth wall breaks as a coping mechanism, turning to the audience when she has no one else to turn to, and with the season over, she doesn't even have that. In contrast, by the end of season 2, Fleabag leaves the viewer behind because she no longer needs the coping mechanism she's fallen back on.
Viewers can track Fleabag's emotional healing through her fourth wall breaks. The series opens with Fleabag talking directly to the audience, and it becomes clear across both seasons that she uses the moments in which she's breaking the fourth wall to distance herself from whatever situation she's currently in, disassociating as a way of coping with whatever she's feeling and breaking it down for an outside party. The fourth wall breaks give Fleabag control over situations and emotions that she otherwise feels incapable of managing: the death of her friend, the guilt over her part in it, her relationships with her family, her habit of using casual sex to deflect from true intimacy, etc. But while Fleabag's fourth wall breaks are a constant theme in season 1, they become rare in season 2, often reduced to Waller-Bridge simply making faces at the camera instead of offering full monologues.
The reason Fleabag's fourth wall breaks become rarer in season 2 is her relationship with the Priest. Though their romantic relationship is fraught with sexual tension and the struggle between their feelings for each other versus his connection to God, Fleabag ultimately opens herself up to the most emotionally intimate relationship she's had with a person since Boo. It's further implied by the episode about Fleabag's mother's funeral that losing Boo compounded the grief of losing her mother because, as Fleabag says, she has so much love for her mother and nowhere to put it - until Boo volunteers. With Boo then gone and Fleabag estranged from her family after season 1 (and distanced from them even before then), Fleabag offers her love in manageable pieces to the audience, but it's ultimately a one-sided and unfulfilling relationship. All that changes when Fleabag meets the Priest and she allows herself to give her love to another person.
Even though Fleabag and the Priest's relationship doesn't end happily, with him choosing his love for God over his love for her, Fleabag being able to open herself up to the intimacy of loving someone, and having those feelings reciprocated, is a major step for her. We've seen her distance herself from those in her life by stepping away from them to talk to us, the audience, but in season 2, Fleabag is more present with the Priest - at least in part because he notices her "disappearing" and calls her on it. He manages to cross the distance Fleabag puts between herself and others, and that ability to be more emotionally intimate with the Priest opens her up to other relationships, particularly with her sister and father, as seen in the finale.
Ultimately, the season 2 finale sees Fleabag walk off into the night, shaking her head at the camera as she leaves us behind, offering a bittersweet wave before she moves on. It's reminiscent of how the Priest walks off just moments before, leaving Fleabag so that they may each pursue more rewarding relationships. Similarly, Fleabag leaves us, her audience, behind to pursue a more rewarding, connected and emotionally intimate life. After spending so much time distancing herself, the Fleabag season 2 finale offers hope that she's truly moving forward with her life and will be able to find happiness. It's a beautiful and hopeful end to her story, making the Fleabag season 2 finale perfect.
Fleabag Season 3 Shouldn’t Happen
With such a wonderful ending, Fleabag season 2 should be the show's last. Because season 2 concludes with Fleabag moving on from the coping mechanism of using fourth wall breaks to speak to the audience, Fleabag season 3 would mean - within this world Waller-Bridge has established - the character has backslid in her recovery and life. Fleabag had an audience during difficult points in her life because it was how she coped with tragedy, grief and other hard emotions.
If Fleabag season 3 were to happen, it would mean that she's going through another difficult time in her life, whether she's still dealing with her grief for Boo and her mom or something else entirely. Certainly, the healing process has its ups and downs, and it would be understandable for Fleabag to hit another rough patch, but it would also be tragic if she reached a point where she fell back on the (arguably unhealthy) coping mechanism that got her through the worst time in her life.
A third Fleabag season would also undercut the hope of the season 2 finale, which insinuates that she's healed enough to move on from using fourth wall breaks to distance herself from reality. As the series stands now, we're left feeling hopeful that Fleabag has once and for all moved on to a more healthy emotional state. So, a return to Fleabag would undermine that sense of hope in the season 2 finale.