#CrazyStupidTV: Derry Girls – 2×06: ‘The President’

So six episodes later, we find ourselves at the end of another series of Derry Girls. And if you thought last week’s episode was a rollercoaster and a half, wait until you see what this week’s end of series hurrah holds in store – oh, and read on for a special announcement from our sponsors…*

*-Channel 4…on with the review…

There’s great excitement abound in Derry, as the then current POTUSA – Bill Clinton – is making a presidential visit. It’s half tearing Ma Mary, who hasn’t even so much managed to look at the skirting boards yet. And it’s sending Granda Joe even more doolally than usual, as he is determined that Uncle Colm isn’t going to do him out of another president meeting like he did last time. So much so that their neighbour Jim – much to Da Gerry’s horror and disbelief – is bringing over an illegal transmitter device to try and bug the CIA and trace the Clintons’ whereabouts.

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Even Erin and the gang have gone Clinton crazy, highly of the belief that they can get his daughter Chelsea into their posse. The leisure centre has a class new water slide, after all. Alas it looks like their chances are scuppered to begin with as – following a nightmarish rendering of ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ from Jenny Joyce – Sister Michael announces in that morning’s assembly that she’s expecting everybody in school the following morning because she’s worried that Clintonmania will give the Pope ideas and that’s not happening on her watch. Not when there’s probably a Rawhide rerun on ITV.

Of course, this being our girls, they fully intend to flout the ban, because they’re sassy and untameable and are not gonna be told they can miss history (although Orla is bummed about missing history for different reasons, because she wants to know how it all ended for that wee Oliver Cromwell). Cue an after school march to Dennis’ corner shop to purchase a stars and stripes flag for the following day’s parade. Except that his stars and stripes only have 30 stars and not 50. And they’re also pink, purple and white, not red, blue and white. A cross sectioning from Erin and Clare at this short changing knock off inevitably ends in them being yelled out the shop.

Erin’s just pondering why Dennis ever thought a career in retail would suit him when a car pulls up across their path…

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Of course, Erin, Orla and Clare react exactly how you’d expect them to…

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Michelle then talks some sense into them all…

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And then we know for why she’s talking some sense into them because, yes…it’s the much mythologised James’ mum, Cathy, returned from England.

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Back at Chez Quinn, Granda Joe, Da Gerry, Jim and – much to the former’s disgust – Uncle Colm (Jim figures as he’s had presidential ‘experience’ before he’ll be the best man for helping them with the job of tracking the president down) are listening into the interceptor intently when Erin bursts through the door with the news about Cathy’s return. Ma Mary’s immediately worried that there’s more to it than meets the eye given she abandoned her only son, and Aunt Sarah’s wanting to know one very crucial detail…

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It’s at this point Jim picks up on the interceptor something about ‘a base at Burt’ in County Donegal. Cue our intrepid illegal trackers beginning a five hour drive in a circle to Burt, with Uncle Colm filling the awkward silences (to an agitated Da Gerry’s annoyance) by listing presidents…

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They eventually reach Burt the following morning, to a locked parish hall (why that would be the Clintons’ base is perhaps something only they know) and then to the only other place open at 7am – a taxi rank office, where it’s revealed that that was the ‘base’ they heard talk of on the interceptor. Jim then said he thought he heard a strong Donegal accent but decided not to pass comment on it at the time.

Meanwhile, back in Derry, Erin and Orla are getting ready for the Presidential parade – Dennis’ knock off flags and all – when Cathy and her eyebrows arrive to drop off James, and she’s immediately cross sectioned by Ma Mary about her divorce and her new self adhesive label (READ: sticker) business.

Over at Our Lady Immaculate College, the school is deserted except for – well. We don’t need to tell you, do we?

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The girls eventually reach the front of the town hall where the Clintons are expected to appear, and where Clare has quite literally been holding fort and guarding the barrier with all the conviction of Michelle thirsting after Robbie Williams at a Take That concert…

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And it’s at this point that James decides to drop another bombshell to the girls. Namely, that he can’t stay at the parade, or indeed in Derry. Because he’s going back to England right now with his mum to help her with her sticker business. The others immediately state that he’s one of them now and he can’t leave.

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Their protests aren’t enough, though, as James leaves the town hall to head for his waiting taxi. But not before Michelle catches up with him to tell him that Cathy will just abandon him again like she did before, and delivers a quite frankly epic speech/rant…

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To the wistful strains of East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’, James departs in the taxi with Cathy (who declares she can’t wait to be shot of ‘this hole’ and that she knows her boy will be too), whilst the others await President Clinton’s arrival. But something catches Orla’s eye despite the fact she’s facing the wrong way when the President arrives…

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They can’t quite make out what he’s trying to shout, but it soon becomes clear enough…

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And so, ending as the series began – with the backing of Enya, interspersed not with an imaginary Terry Wogan interview this time, but instead President Clinton’s address to the people of Derry, our reunited gang head off to enjoy the parade as another series of Derry Girls draws to a close. Hugs all round?

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*- no. We didn’t forget…over to Channel 4 for that announcement.

 

Until next year, readers, we’re off to raid Ma Mary’s Christmas cupboard to celebrate. Even the very Tunnock’s.

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