If you’ve not yet watched the final episode of Fleabag Season 2, then be warned — spoilers abound.
It’s been 18 hours since I watched the final ever episode of Fleabag. But, even now, one day on, there’s one line — just two words, actually — that I cannot shake from my mind.
Two devastating words that cut me to my core as I watched Andrew Scott whisper them to our eponymous heroine in a bus shelter: “It’ll pass.” Just seconds before, Fleabag had uttered three very different words to the man who’ll henceforth be known as “hot priest.”
“You know the worst thing is that I fucking love you. I love you,” she’d said.
“No, no don’t,” she added moments later before the priest replied. “No. Let’s just leave that out there just for a second on its own. I love you.”
Then, in one devastating motion, the priest reaches across, grabs her hand and says matter-of-factly: “It’ll pass.”
It’s a rarity, when watching telly, to feel your skin prickling with goosebumps as tears are welling in your eyes. But it happened to me last night. Firstly, I think that’s testament to just how evisceratingly good Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing is. That woman knows how to knock us over with two short words. But Waller-Bridge really tapped into something with that line.
I felt those words so keenly. I felt them because I’ve had my own bus shelter “it’ll pass” moment. A moment of realisation that the person for whom you feel boundless love just… doesn’t feel the same amount of love for you — or even any love at all. A moment that’s compounded by the fact that you just so happen to be standing right in front of them, looking them in the eye, and blinking back tears as you do so. A moment you’ll later relive time and time again in your mind until… Until one day it passes.
It does pass. But, for a very long time before it actually passes, you convince yourself that it will, in actual fact, never pass. That you’ll be stuck in this broken record of heartbreak for the rest of your days.
After I wiped away my tears and exhaled a deep, shaky sigh, I did what every Extremely Online Fleabag fan does. I looked at Twitter.
And I saw that everybody else felt that line too. Everyone else is *still* thinking about it. It’s not at all surprising, really.
rewatching Fleabag for the third time now (me, obsessive? never!) and oh God, this is literally putting my idealistic stupid little hopeless romantic heart through hell and back…. IT’LL PASS, oh my God, IT’LL PASS – nobody talk to me for the rest of today, or maybe ever x
— Bonnie McLaren (@bonaldmcdonald) April 9, 2019
“I fucking love you”
— kmux🌶 (@katiemux) April 9, 2019
That line succinctly encapsulated a moment that is equal parts personal and universal.
It’s personal because we feel those moments in life so acutely that we convince ourselves we’re the only person in the world to feel love and heartbreak as bad as this. I say this from my own cringeworthy experience of being a very dramatic break-up victim.
But, we all actually have our own bus shelter moments. Millions of us go through them. And many of us will live through this agony not just once, but several terrible times in our lives.
So yeah, Phoebe Waller-Bridge has gone and sucker-punched me, and the entire nation in the heart. With two words. Obviously the only conclusion to draw is that she is one of the greatest TV writing talents that the United Kingdom has ever produced.
Pass the tissues, please.