The second series of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s dark comedy Fleabag won plaudits for its downbeat, poignant conclusion, with Waller-Bridge’s titular character gently rejected by Andrew Scott’s priest after he decided their romance couldn’t continue.
Previously, Waller-Bridge has said there was a slightly different version of the ending which didn’t have the Priest admitting his love back to her, which was changed to make the conclusion more hopeful – but now, the actor and screenwriter has suggested there’s was once also a radically different version of the ending that will never see the light of day.
“There was an idea for an alternative ending, but I’ll never say what it was…” Waller-Bridge told the Guardian as part of an extended piece where creatives and other public figures asked her questions about the series (in this case, playwright Jack Thorne asked “Did you ever consider an ending where the Priest – I refuse to call him Hot Priest – said yes?”)
Clearly, there’s a spectral “what-if” Fleabag conclusion existing out there somewhere in the ether – but from the sounds of it, Waller-Bridge is pretty happy with how it played out onscreen.
“I was passionate about the character and the reveal of her story,” she said. “I was proud of that. I think that’s all you can really hope for when writing; that you create a character you would defend, however awful they are. I’d do the same for [Killing Eve’s] Villanelle. I’d go down fighting for my girls.”
Though there are one or two moments from the entire series that she still wishes could have worked out differently…
“I have discarded full episodes of Fleabag that have nothing to do with the series now,” she said.
“There’s an episode somewhere where Fleabag goes to ‘Grief Tango’ at the local church hall, which I’m slightly bereft about.”
Though who knows? If she does return to the character at 50, as she’s previously suggested, maybe Waller-Bridge will get to see Fleabag’s Tango after all…
Fleabag is available on BBC iPlayer