#CrazyStupidTV: Derry Girls – 3×03: ‘Stranger On A Train’

Before we begin this week… There’s an announcement of sorts. Far from being half way to the end of this current series and thus to the end of Derry Girls entirely, turns out that actually…

Well that’s good craic, isn’t it?

And now for this week’s episode. All aboard…

It would appear the Quinns are off somewhere this week. We know this because A) Ma Mary has made enough ham sandwiches and flasks of tea to feed an Orange march. And that’s just for the journey…

B) Granda Joe has – yes, really – got a surfboard out. Turns out he’s been a fan since watching a film about a musical boat…

And C) Orla’s wearing… well, these…

Turns out the whole gang’s heading off for the day to Northern Ireland’s answer to Blackpool, Portrush. And despite a frantic rush to the opposite platform to make the train in time, their journey soon begins. As the girls are a bit older now, they ask to sit on a separate table…

Meanwhile, back on the platform in Derry as Clare emerges from the ladies’ room…

Clare flits in a blind panic to the booking office, to be told by the ticket lady that the next train is another 20 minutes away. She appears to be more concerned about relaying her sex life down the phone to a friend – much to Clare’s abject horror. More so because she’s sharing this uncomfortable experience with Sister Michael…

On the train – which has had to make a stop due to a delay further up the line – Erin is of course, half torn. This trip wouldn’t be the same without Clare and she’ll just not forgive herself for them leaving her behind. Well, that is of course until the refreshments trolley comes along.

They all make their orders, but Fra, the proprietor of the refreshments trolley, is strictly refusing them to have the “display Kit Kats”, even after Michelle puts up a good fight (and also not before a man sat behind the gang, who we’ll refer to as Big Burly, sulks off down the carriage to get away from all the noise they’re making).

In the other carriage, things are a bit quieter for Ma Mary, Aunt Sarah, Da Gerry and Granda Joe, who are having tea and playing Guess Who. Well, at least, they were playing the board game version, before they suddenly find themselves playing a real life version with someone who looks vaguely half familiar and begins striking up a conversation.

Do they know who she is? Do they heck. Cue Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah flitting off to the loo on account of their IBS. They’ve had it all their life. Granda Joe doesn’t remember. On account of his Alzheimer’s.

With Erin’s attempts at conversation having dried up and the promise of what turned out to be display Kit Kats long passed, there is an unbearable silence. Well, we say silence…

James is a bit put out. But all he was doing was breathing. Michelle quantifies that it’s English breathing, so thus more annoying. Erin backs her up and says it’s oppressive. So in a huff he decides to get something out his rucksack to pass the time. Only he then realises that his camcorder is missing. In fact, he’s fairly certain that, unless he packed a gun and a shit ton of cash, Big Burly who huffed off down the carriage earlier on has taken his rucksack by mistake, as they’re both the same colour.

Orla starts taking a look through the rucksack. The contents of which also include a pair of pliers, some hairspray, a toothbrush and a wee face hat.

Over by the loo carriage, Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah realise and come face to face with an uncomfortable truth about the unknown stranger in their carriage…

They happen to re-enter the carriage just as they catch wind of someone’s name being mentioned that this is in fact Aideen, their old neighbour from a couple of streets along, who went to prison for a bit and used to be a lot bigger according to Ma Mary – something that proves a sticking point for Aideen. Sadly no GIF of this but hats off to Aunt Sarah for having the line of this episode when she realises who it is: “Och Aideen, how’s about ye?”

Meanwhile, the gang are grappling with the fact that not only has James accidentally wound up with the bag of a Provo (although Michelle disputes that they are a Provo as they don’t exist anymore), but that Orla has also demolished their bag of Tayto Salt and Vinegar crisps and managed to come into possession of the display Kit Kats with £500 worth of the cash from the bag.

They track Fra down and demand to get the money back. Which they eventually do, via the twin weaponry of a banana and possibly the best decoy distraction we’ve ever seen or heard…

With the money retrieved and back in the Big Burly Provo bag, the gang all decide that as it’s James’ fault they’re in this mess, he needs to be the one to go and make the exchange of the bag for his own. Concerned that he won’t be able to reach it, he hobbles off down the carriage wearing Orla’s platform boots.

And then as the train finally starts moving again, he ends up legs akimbo on top of Big Burly Provo whilst trying to swap bags…

Rejoining the adults in their carriage as the train stops at the last station before Portrush, it is quickly apparent that Big Burly Provo’s bag wasn’t his at all. He was minding it for yes, you guessed it, Aideen. Who thus starts knocking several kinds of shite out of him for stealing her Taytos.

Back over at Derry, and as the next train to Portrush pulls in, Sister Michael interrupts the ticket lady to offer some sage advice…

And with the Quinns and the gang having finally arrived in Portrush, another episode comes to a close. But not before the rollercoaster breaks down – leaving Da Gerry (who’s very afraid of heights) facing his worst nightmare…

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