The real love story in Fleabag isn’t about the priest, but the two sisters
Seriously, think about it
As Fleabag bid her final farewell to our screens last night, she's left us with lots to think about. Was the priest actually hot? Do I too try and validate myself through meaningless sex? Will I ever be a successful writer when Phoebe Waller-Bridge can write THAT?
But it also tied up loose ends, and gave us the cathartic ending we all needed. After the priest chose God over Fleabag, and after her dad revealed that Fleabag was the biggest romantic of all ("I think you know how to love better than any of us, that's why you find it all so painful"), we are all wondering, what was the true love story?
In Fleabag's first look to the camera in the first episode, she tells us "this is a love story". And I'm here to tell you that the love story is between the sisters, Claire and Fleabag.
The transformation of their relationship from resentment to acceptance
At the beginning, Claire is introduced as Fleabag's "super high-powered perfect anorexic super sister"; haughty, rich, and totally misunderstanding her sister. Throughout the series, however, we see both a softer side to Claire and a vulnerability, as she is trapped in a loveless marriage with a disgusting predatory alcoholic, and as she struggles to stay on top of her career. This softer side is truly clarified in the final episode with…
THAT airport quote, where Claire says that she'd only run through an airport for Fleabag
After Claire mourns the loss of the man who she is in love with, Klare, Fleabag encourages her to follow him to the airport, which Claire swiftly dismisses as ridiculous, before telling Fleabag: "The only person I'd run through an airport for is you." Claire, with all her sensibility and practicality, would happily put all of that on hold for her sister.
The miscarriage storyline and the way Fleabag covered for Claire
Aside from depicting a miscarriage on television unlike any other, the opening tragedy of series two led to Fleabag covering for Claire, who later admitted that she was glad she wasn't having her husband's child. Reminding us of the black comedy which makes Fleabag so irresistible, Claire finally reveals that she was the one who miscarried, after witnessing her sister receive verbal abuse from Martin and Godmother throughout the second series.
Fleabag always has Claire's back, especially after bad haircuts
"Hair is EVERYTHING!", the speech which hit home with everyone who's tried, and failed, to emulate any hairstyle they've seen in the pages of Hello! Magazine or on Pinterest. Whilst Fleabag is later corrected by Claire's hairdresser, the scene showed Fleabag's unwavering dedication to her sister, defending her at every opportunity.
Claire finally chooses her sister over her gross husband
Martin, Claire's alcoholic and predatory husband, has been one of the main antagonists of the two series, along with Godmother and Fleabag's own self-destructive tendencies. After he kissed Fleabag, Claire chose to believe her husband that Fleabag initiated the kiss, not talking to Fleabag for over a year. By the end of series two, however, Claire found herself on her knees, begging Martin to leave her. Did Claire believe Fleabag all along and was she just building up the courage to leave her husband? I'd say yes.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge's own sister wrote the score for the series
The music, a melodramatic cocktail of jazz and rock, was written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge's own sister, Isobel Waller-Bridge. If that isn't a love story to sisters, I don't know what is.
Fleabag has given women a voice and an understanding, and it's also given them a newfound appreciation for sisters.
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