Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge has repeatedly said that her Amazon series is over and won't get a third season—but it almost didn't get a second season, either. The show's first season was an adaptation of Waller-Bridge's one-woman show, also titled Fleabag, and it told a full and complete story about Fleabag's dead friend, Boo, and didn't particularly call for another season. Or, at least, that's what she first thought.
Waller-Bridge sat down with Jimmy Fallon during a Tonight Show appearance Wednesday to explain what changed her mind about season two and, well, it all came down to that priest, apparently.
"I thought I had a lot of artistic integrity in not coming back after the first season, because the first season had a proper ending in my mind," Waller-Bridge said. "Fleabag talks to the camera a lot, and that was the relationship that was most important to me. And in the first season, by the end, she stops talking to the camera. And I thought, unless I can reinvent a reason for why she talks to the camera again, I can’t see how I can justify coming back."
That's where the Hot Priest comes in. "When I came up with the trick of another character seeing that she looks to the camera, that’s when the whole thing cracked open again," Waller-Bridge went on.
And, sure, the Priest's ability to sense when Fleabag is disassociating and breaking the fourth wall is an absolutely brilliant piece of season two, but it's only one of the things that makes season two of Fleabag some of the best TV ever. The writing is impeccable, managing to squeeze formal experiments and dense character work into tight, 22-minute episodes without ever feeling overstuffed or showy, and the entire cast deserves Emmys this year for their acting. But apparently we wouldn't have gotten any of it if it wasn't for the Priest.
Now, Waller-Bridge seems pretty serious that Fleabag won't be coming back for a third season, at least not any time soon. But maybe another Priest will come along to crack the story open once again and, when that happens, Amazon will be more than ready to bring the show back. In the meantime, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's surprise Fleabag book is set to hit shelves this fall, so that's something, at least.