#CrazyStupidTV: Derry Girls – 2×03: ‘The Concert’

Another week, another new episode of Derry Girls to get through. We’re at the halfway point of Series 2 already and quite frankly, we’re wondering why it’s not long enough. Damn you Channel 4. But no time for mid-series wallowing, for we need to catch ourselves on and dissect what went down on Episode 3…


No, that’s not Granda Joe becrying the whole ‘sectarian conflict’ again. Instead he’s bemoaning Take That’s severe lack of a wardrobe in their video for their chart topping smash ‘Pray’ that’s on the telly at the opening of this week’s episode. The girls and James meanwhile (especially the latter, who, according to Michelle, is ‘riding Gary Barlow‘ – ‘He’s a good songwriter’, protests our wee English fella) are looking on admiringly.


Aunt Sarah’s also admiring ‘the great pins’ of Jason Orange, whilst she herself tries to turn a fetching shade of the latter colour.


Da Gerry is just about to rally the troops to go and take them to see Take That’s first ever Northern Irish concert in Belfast (much to the disgruntlement of Granda Joe) when the TV’s flicked over to UTV Newsroom, at the exact moment that breaking news comes in of a polar bear being escaped from Belfast Zoo. But hey, a polar bear’s not going to stop the girls going to see Take That, is it? Orla reasons it couldn’t even get a ticket when they sold out months ago.

Duh, this is Derry Girls! Of course Ma Mary’s gonna turn even more Irish matriarch than usual…


A council of war meeting is duly held up in Erin’s room with the others, in which Michelle seethes at the fact a ‘fat furry f***’ is ruining what should be the best day of her life, and reveals something about being able to telepathically read that her and Robbie Williams are meant to be together whenever he’s being interviewed. And then a decision is made – they’re not going to try and change Ma Mary’s mind. Instead they’re gonna ‘lie their holes off’ and do a flit to Belfast on the next bus.

So with Clare ‘dressed like a Provo’ in a balaclava that makes her look even more recognisable than she does in normal everyday wear, and acting under the proviso that they’re ‘at each other’s houses’, off our anti heroes troop on Routemaster’s finest to Belfast. Michelle’s properly supplied for the journey, of course:


She doesn’t have time for that question to be answered though, as who is also en route to Belfast on their bus but none other than Sister Michael. They quickly invent a just about believable story about going to the Ulster Museum to research for a history project, leaving Sister Michael to take a seat up front and enjoy some light reading…


A hot and bothered Clare suddenly decides after their near rumbling from their headmistress that the ‘Provo look’ wasn’t a good one, leading to this hilarious dialogue:


Sister Michael then reappears down their end of the bus, as her fellow passenger was eating an ‘egg and onion sandwich that’d be enough to turn an Orange march’. It’s at this point she notices Michelle’s contraband suitcase of alcohol, which the girls deny having knowledge or ownership of, leading to Sister Michael to declare a ‘code red’ situation to to the bus driver. Cue an emergency stop for bomb disposal experts to detonate the suitcase. Orla’s particularly thrilled about this…


Or at least, she’s thrilled until the point one of the disposal team is overheard on their walkie talkie smelling a strong scent of vodka upon explosion. The girls and James quickly scarper before Sister Michael’s put two and two together, suggesting that they just walk to Belfast. This despite Clare reminding them that a polar bear is still vicious and still on the loose.


But then they have even bigger problems, as up ahead on the beaten country path lies a group of fruit and veg selling travellers (or ‘gypsies’ as Michelle and Orla keep calling them to Erin’s self righteous disgust) headed by the barely audible Jonjo. Mistakenly thinking they’re psychos on being greeted by them, they promptly leg it, only to be confronted by a hurt Jonjo who was just saying that one of them had dropped their purse in their mad dash to run away.

Fortunately, Rita, a seriously cooler than cool counterfeit merch seller rocks up in a transit van bound for the Take That gig and asks if the girls want to hitch a lift. They quickly accept, and Michelle’s immediately happy…


However, Erin and Orla (but less so Orla) travelling in front aren’t so happy, when they realise that Rita is perhaps even more of a dangerous nutter than Jonjo and the travellers were. After all, she says that all of Take That’s fans are thick as two short ones and is regaling the time she duffed up a fan of Luciano Pavarotti mentally and physically, whilst downing a beer AND driving.

Clare, who’s been sat in the back with Michelle, is just realising how dire the situation is too, but for different reasons…


It’s not long though before they quite literally hit a bump in the road. Orla can’t quite believe it when she sees that it’s the escaped polar bear.*

* – a half mauled sheep.

Already terrified of Rita and what she might do to them next, the girls are tasked with hauling the sheep off the road into a nearby field. This doesn’t meet well with Michelle as you can imagine…


She’s just about to rant at James for not doing his bit to move it, before they realise that they’ve left James behind with Jonjo and the travellers. Cue a crisis meeting to decide what to do, headed by an increasingly irate Rita. They eventually have to go back though, when they realise James has the tickets for the gig.

Meanwhile, back at Chez Quinn, Ma Mary is half torn looking at the newspaper, annoyed that the residents of Strabane are going to be receiving wheelie bins before Derry does. Granda Joe then bursts in with a tranquilizer gun that he’s pointing far too closely to Da Gerry’s head, saying that he’s heard from idle rumour mills that apparently the polar bear’s gained ground and is heading towards Derry.


It’s not long before Deidrie Malone and Geraldine Devlin (Clare and Michelle’s mas) are both round at Chez Quinn to try and reclaim their bains in a panic. UTV Newsroom is then on the telly again, as it’s revealed the polar bear’s been recaptured on the road to Belfast from Derry, having been found near to a half mauled sheep. An incensed Ma Mary, Deidrie and Geraldine (and Aunt Sarah, who’s more incensed about her new tan shade not being what it was specified on the bottle) then quickly realise where the girls and James are.

The girls head back with Rita in the van to the travellers to rescue James, who by all accounts has actually bonded very well with Jonjo in their absence, and proved himself to be a fine fruit and veg salesman. So much so that rescuing him proves a tougher exercise than they first thought…


And so, as James’ promising new career and way of life comes to an end before it’s even started, Ma Mary’s leading a council of war with the other Ma’s to decide what to do about their lying delinquent daughters. All the while, Da Gerry’s watching the TV screening of Take That’s Belfast concert at the King’s Hall when he spots some familiar faces getting their actual life to ‘Everything Changes’…


Aah. It’s quite nice that things end well for them for once, no? Roll on Episode 4!

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