One of the burning questions everyone is left with at the end of Fleabag, a perfect series, is what the fox represents. If you haven’t seen Fleabag A. What is wrong with you? and B. A literal fox shows up the middle and end of Fleabag’s second season, serving as a metaphor for… well, it’s kind of up to you, but if you’ve been watching closely you likely have a strong feeling on what it represents.
Stephen Colbert certainly does. Fleabag creator/star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was a guest on A Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night—Colbert is doing his show from his home during quarantine, and is having guests on remotely—and he asked Waller-Bridge what the fox means. As per usual, she declined to answer, and then she asked Colbert what he thought it meant. At first it appears that Colbert has no clue… but then he begins reciting this beautiful poem as evidence to support his interpretation, and Waller-Bridge is legitimately stunned. It’s a kind of beautiful moment that reminds you Colbert is a super thoughtful and intelligent guy, and while most of his late night discussions are fairly banal, when he decides to really dig into a subject he can turn it into a genuinely insightful moment. See also his moving discussion of religion and grief on Conan O’Brien‘s podcast Conan Needs a Friend from last year.
Waller-Bridge was on Late Show to talk about her filmed stage production Fleabag Live which is available to rent on Amazon Prime right now, with all the proceeds going to the Fleabag Support Fund which is giving grants to freelancers working in the theater industry who are in urgent financial need right now. So you pay to watch one of the best pieces of art made in the last 20 years, and you’re supporting a good cause in the process. That’s a win-win!
Check out Colbert’s interview with Waller-Bridge below. The fox answer appears in the first video, while the second is a more general discussion with the brilliant writer/performer.