An alcohol-swilling, foul-mouthed, French kissing Catholic priest made his debut this month in the second (and final) season of the Amazon series Fleabag.
The ribald series, starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the eponymous “Fleabag,” started its second season this month. The series follows the often mentally deranged behavior of a “woman without a filter” who drifts through life doing anything she feels whenever she wants. The hook for the series is Fleabag’s habit of breaking the “fourth wall.” In other words, she constantly winks at the camera and delivers witty banter to the viewer. But as season two advances, the viewer begins to realize that Fleabag is less a clever narrative tool and more like a person with mental health issues.
In one scene, for instance, Fleabag admits to her therapist that she uses “sex to deflect from the screaming void inside my empty heart.”
Consequently, Fleabag’s season two dalliance is the pursuit of a sexual relationship with a Catholic priest. Fans of the show have dubbed him “the hot priest,” and early in the season of six episodes Fleabag tells her therapist, “I want to fuck a priest.”
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The “Hot priest” (Andrew Scott) does not just succumb begrudgingly to Fleabag’s sexual flirtations. His character prefaces the sexual relationship by being “cool” and leading Fleabag on from the second they meet. He curses with abandon. He pals around with women. He drinks heavily. He flirts mercilessly. In other words, he pretty much acts like a libidinous lout from down at the pub instead of a Catholic priest,
For instance, in one of the “hot priest’s” early scenes, he is asked if he always wanted to be a priest. His answer clues us in that he is supposed to be the “cool guy” when he blithely tosses off the reply, “Oh, fuck no.”
Right away, it is clear that the priest is considering a sexual relationship with Fleabag even though he continues to warn her that as a priest, he is not supposed to act that way. In one scene he tells her sex won’t be any good with him. “We’re not gonna have sex…it won’t bring any good,” he says. In another, he laments their budding relationship saying, “if I fall in love with you, I won’t burst into flames, but my life will be fucked.” By episode four, the two are seen kissing and making out in the confessional.
Finally, by episode five of the six-episode season, the pair have sex. But instead of the act being anything remotely beautiful, the priest reveals a hard heart afterward because when Fleabag admits that she is falling in love with him, he cruelly replies, “It’ll pass.”
Fleabag season two is now on Amazon Prime. The series was not given an order for a third season.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.