As Derry Girls draws to a close, it almost feels like the victory lap of an almost perfect run. However, that doesn’t stop Lisa McGee from trying something new in episode four of the last season.
Last night’s instalment saw the gang cross the border for a spooky night in Donegal, while the rest of the Quinn family crossed over to beyond the grave for long-awaited answers.
Thankfully, the beloved sitcom seems to be back to its usual strengths after last week’s underwhelming trip to the seaside.
The Channel 4 comedy is at its best when it shows truthful snapshots of life with a ridiculous filter over it.
Really this episode is about love and grief, but in the Derry Girls universe, these human emotions are exaggerated to show how irrational they can drive us.
However, Lisa McGee never misses an opportunity to make her audience feel vulnerable when they least expect it.
In this season, more than any other, the adults are allowed to be strange and over-the-top. Its not only a young person’s game to be silly.
The Quinn family feel like a gang in their own right. They make mistakes as they try and follow the strict, and sometimes ridiculous, social standards of Northern Ireland.
Da Gerry (played by Tommy Tiernan) acts almost like a straight man to the eccentricities of his wife’s family.
In many ways, James (Dylan Llewellyn’s character) fulfils a similar role amongst the teenagers. Often shedding light on the bizarre social etiquette that dictates a lot of Irish interactions.
This allows room for the older characters, and even the girls themselves, to be fun and ridiculous whenever these groups are usually depicted as the opposite.
It shows the writing team’s ability to write for the character and not for age, gender or sexuality.
The increase of focus on the older generation of the Derry Girls’ ensemble could be due to the flashback episode dedicated to Tara Lynne O’Neill and Kathy Kiera Clarke’s characters.
Next weeks episode, which was announced this week, will follow Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah’s experience of growing up during the Trouble in the 70’s.
Speaking to Digital Spy, McGee explained how the episode will serve as a reminder of how traumatising the Troubles really was;
“I think for the parents’ generation, it was a war zone. It was horrific what they went through, and we just didn’t appreciate it.”
It will be interesting to see how the sitcom balances the light hearted nature of the show with more terrifying aspects of history. The show has come close to the conflict many times before, but never for too long.
It was also announced this week that the show will air an extended episode the same week as the finale. The special episode will focus on the Good Friday Agreement.
This news comes as a relief as one particular scene in last nights episode may leave fans wondering whether McGee is risking leaving behind too many loose ends in her final season.
Time will tell as the series draws to a close whether we can call this a perfect run. But so far the creative team can pride themselves on bringing positive Northern Irish representation to the screen.
Derry Girls airs on Channel 4 every Tuesday at 9pm.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 4.