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11th May 2022

Satsumas, suits and the Soviet Union – best bits from Derry Girls ep5

Fiona Frawley

wee mammies from last nights derry girls, sitting on a bench wearing 70s clothing

After finally getting the flashback we’ve dreamed of since Ma Mary and Aunt Sarah burst onto our screens back in 2018, it’s getting harder and harder to fathom saying goodbye forever to Derry Girls next week.

We’re simply not ready.

While we adore Erin and the gals, the Derry Girls fandom has always been crying out for more Mary and Sarah content. And of course, any extra screen time for Granda Joe is always a bonus.

Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee announced last week on Twitter that episode 5 would be a flashback for everyone’s favourite Ma and Auntie, something she had wanted to write for a long time.

The episode didn’t disappoint, switching seamlessly between the 90s school reunion which Mary and Sarah dieted tirelessly ahead of for a total of 20 minutes (putting Kim K to shame), and the infamous Leavers Night 1977.

Like her daughter Jenny after her, Jeanette Joyce-formerly-O’Shea was introduced as an antagonist for Mary and the girls, parading around the reunion with her red suit and non-verbal husband (who’s a surgeon, incase you didn’t know).

The flashbacks teach us Jeanette was once friends with the girls, engaging in activity during Leavers Night that all the now-mammies have long tried to forget.

Irish Twitter applauded the casting of the wee mammies (a moment for 70s Michelle’s mammy, please?) and the likeness between them and their on screen daughters. We were even treated to a vintage James in the form of Rob, the cousin from America (he’ll do his best to tell you he’s from Canada, but sure aren’t Americans just so argumentative?)

Also a highlight – the powder blue suits from Dunnes Stores, which would be sold out in seconds if they went on sale again today.

We laughed, we cried, and I’m sure many of us hugged our own mammies a little bit tighter last night.

No doubt most of us will need rest of the week off work to emotionally prepare ourselves for the finale next Tuesday, and the bonus episode centering around the Good Friday Agreement that’s set to follow. As Aunt Sarah would say, “Just hand me a spade and let me bury myself”.

Header image via All4

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