Emmy episode analysis: Olivia Colman (‘Fleabag’) tries to comfort a grieving family

2019 just seems to get better and better for Olivia Colman. She’s won the Best Actress Oscar for “The Favourite” (as well as the Golden Globe and the BAFTA), “The Crown,” on which she replaces Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, debuts in November, and she’s gotten her second career Emmy nomination. She’s up in Best Comedy Supporting Actress for “Fleabag” for playing the role of Fleabag’s godmother who is about to get married to the character’s father. She was last nominated in 2016 in Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “The Night Manager.”

For her episode submission, Colman has chosen “Episode 2.4.” Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) is in her cafe with Hot Priest (Andrew Scott) as he asks her about her relationship with her mother. This causes Fleabag to flash-back to her mother’s funeral, where we see Godmother telling Fleabag and Claire (Sian Clifford) to come to the sanctuary since people are starting to arrive. She also gets sidetracked by how stunning Fleabag looks for the occasion. As Fleabag and Claire greet the guests, they see Godmother trying to console their father (Bill Paterson), causing Fleabag to realize that he’s trying to sleep with him. When the service is over, Godmother warns the two daughters that the hard part of mourning is still yet to come, that the men in their lives might not be able to cope with them and that she’ll always be there for them.

At the reception, Fleabag finds her father hiding in his bedroom. As the two attempt to have an honest conversation about the mother’s death, Godmother walks in the moment, apologizes, lingers for a second and goes back to the reception. The father comments that Godmother can be quite annoying.

Could this episode lead to Colman striking gold yet again? Let’s break down her pros and cons.

SEE Emmy episode analysis: Sian Clifford (‘Fleabag’) explores sisterhood in high-wire farce


Because of her Oscar win (and equally memorable speech), Colman is probably the biggest name in this lineup. If a good number of Emmy voters are simply name-checking, that’s good news for Colman.

“Fleabag” got 11 nominations after getting completely skunked for the show’s first season. It’s not hard at all to see Colman getting swept up in the love if the show is as big as a juggernaut as its nominations would suggest.

While her performance is short in screen time, Colman brings great comedic timing to her appearances from the way she reacts to Fleabag’s appearance to listing how hard things have yet to be for the daughters, and how she lingers for just a little too long after walking in on Fleabag and her father.

SEE ‘Fleabag’ video interview: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford and more exclusive chats [WATCH]


Colman is hardly in this episode and her appearance feels more like a glorified cameo.

There’s nothing that’s very laugh-out-loud funny about her scenes in the episode, and because her scenes are in the middle, the episode is very easily overshadowed by Waller-Bridge’s performance at the beginning and end.

Colman also faces internal competition from co-star Sian Clifford, who had a stronger arc in the second season and whose nomination proves that voters are watching the show, so a vote-split is not out of the question.

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