We’ve reached the midway point of Derry Girls’ final season, but the train doesn’t quite leave the station with this one.
Episode three sees the Quinn family take a trip to the beloved seaside spot of Portrush, but as always, things are never that simple.
The girls must return a gun to its owner before they realise it’s gone, while the adults are in a dangerous spot. They don’t recognise someone who recognises them.
This has been one of the most anticipated episodes of the season for Irish viewers due to the Portrush backdrop.
When production came to town, the small holiday destination came to a standstill. Much like this episode.
The episode isn’t bad, it’s just not great.
We’ve come to expect a certain level of brilliance from the show. So, when we get something that’s anything less than that, it feels like we’ve been short-changed.
All the storylines aren’t as fully developed as they usually are. Each of them are very one-note and fail to escalate in any satisfying way.
In one scene, the girls attempt to bargain with a “Trolley Dolly” (played by Michael Fry) on the train. The conclusion feels more like something out of Monty Python than the Derry Girls’ universe.
This Sitcom is not scared of referencing different genres, but this moment feels more like a cop-out than anything.
Claire (Nicola Coughlan) has had noticeably less screentime this season due to scheduling clashes with Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton.
So far McGee has handled this well but again we run into the same problems in episode three.
Coughlan’s entire role in the story is just centred around one joke. There were plenty of opportunities to develop it further but we just don’t get there.
The whole episode just feels a bit stunted. It’s like they spent so much time getting the right to film at the famed Barry’s Amusements they forgot they had a script to finish.
Don’t get me wrong there are some funny moments, and it is definitely worth a watch.
For example, the whole drama around Mary and Sarah’s mystery acquaintance is spot on and anybody can identify with the utter mortification of it all.
But compared to past episodes, this one is just not up to scratch.
Lisa McGee has always managed to strike a nice balance between representing her hometown but still making the programme accessible to international viewers.
But last night’s episode didn’t know where it would land.
It was too cartoonish for Derry viewers to really identify with it on the level they usually do.
While it felt too flat for fans from further afield to understand what was going on.
The twist at the end of the episode was fun, but it wasn’t fulfilling. However, there are plenty of Irish comedy cameos for you to spot to keep you entertained.
All that being said, this wasn’t a completely terrible example of TV, it just wasn’t the level we expect from the mind of Lisa McGee.
Hopefully next week the season gets back on track and the series can end on a high.
Derry Girls airs Tuesday 9.15p.m on Channel 4
Featured Image Credit: Channel 4