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Derry Girls review: Episode without main characters so close to the end was risky but paid off

The new episode of Derry Girls was unique in that it didn’t feature the girls at all (Picture: Channel 4)

We’re almost at the end of Derry Girls, and fans have been given a taster of life without them.

The fifth episode brought viewers back in time to 1977, where wee Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah were preparing to step into the adult world with an underwhelming school leaver’s bash.

(Well, Ma Mary was leaving – she just had to bring Aunt Sarah with her.)

Creator Lisa McGee was taking a risk in making one of the last-ever episodes of the beloved series not about the main Derry girls at all, but, as usual, it paid off.

Instead of Clare, Erin, James, Michelle and Orla, viewers were treated to watching their parents (and Yank cousin Rob) get into mischief instead.

It’s a testament to McGee’s writing that, while the main characters were nowhere to be found in the episode, there was the same vibe and banter as ever, with each of the girls’ mums enjoying the same chemistry found in their kids’ group 20 years later.

While the big reveal of the episode – just what had Ma Mary’s group done at the leaver’s bash that was so shocking? – maybe wasn’t as mad as viewers were hoping, the journey to the climax was as fun as ever.

In a recent interview with, Siobhán McSweeney – aka Sister Michael – revealed the new series would show much more of the adults of the show, and McGee absolutely delivered on this promise.


The frenemy situation with Jenny Joyce’s ma – Jenette Joyce-formerly-O’Shea – showed a more childish side to the usually strict Ma Mary, while a glimpse of a 20-year-younger Granda Joe was an absolute treat.

Watching Michelle’s mother, who we had previously just caught glimpses of throughout the series, be a punk teenager as ballsy as her daughter, was another highlight, as was seeing exactly where Clare got her nervous and ever-dramatic personality.

The girls’ mums were basically the exact characters as their daughters, just 20 years earlier (Picture: Channel 4)

It is a shame, however, that the revelation the girls’ parents were thick as thieves at school came so late in the game, as it’s opened up a plethora of possibilities (spin-off, anyone?).

And with just two episodes to go – both of which will be shown back-to-back next Tuesday – Derry Girls fans will really be feeling the loss of the show.

Fans may not have missed the main cast as much as they thought, with the flashback episode keeping the same chemistry that made the show a smash-hit (Picture: Channel 4)

Because it’s clear that McGee has plenty more up her sleeve, with even this fairly gimmicky episode likely to be more than a few fans’ new favourite.

That said, it wasn’t the strongest of the series so far, and we’ll have to wait until next week to see how it all wraps up – especially that romantic moment between Erin and James.

Then again, it’s not quite the end, with McGee recently confirming a special extended episode will air after the series finale, so – to fans’ immense relief – we won’t have to say the final farewell just yet.

Derry Girls continues next Tuesday at 9pm.


Credit: Original article published here.

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