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20th Apr 2022

Spice Girls, burst boilers and a priest with a ponytail – best bits from Derry Girls ep2

Fiona Frawley

Iconic has taken on a new meaning.

We weren’t ready for a tear-jerker episode this early on in the series, but Lisa and co gave it to us anyway.

Episode two of the final instalment of Derry Girls brought with it a personal breakthrough for Mary, a venture into the kitchen for Aunt Sarah and a truly monumental cover Spice Girls cover. One for the sitcom history books.

We started off with an insight into Mary’s life as a woman on the edge. While Sarah blowdries a frozen chicken and Erin searches frantically for her fountain pen, Mary did something I’m sure everyone remembers their mother doing at some stage of childhood – went on strike. She couldn’t have a bath because, famously, the boiler needed replacing, but she treated herself to a bitta Wuthering Heights and chilled the f out. Episode 2 was a love letter to Mary and ma’s everywhere, and we were very much here for it.

Enter Gabriel, the ride-y plumber with a penchant for classic literature.

Mary finds herself swept up in the romance of it all, while Aunt Sarah delights by quizzing Gabriel in classic Aunt Sarah-esque fashion.

As the girls rehearse upstairs for a quintessentially 90s school fundraiser, Clare, who is on vocal rest to raise money for charity (obviously) witnesses something shocking in the hallway. It’s Gabriel passing Mary a secret note as Robert Miles’ anthem Children mounts dramatically in the background. Just when you think the soundtrack can’t get any better, it outdoes itself again.

Trailing Mary to her secret rendezvous at a glacial pace thanks to James’s newly acquired driving license, Erin and the girls discover the unthinkable – Mammy in a strange house with a man, closing the curtains to watchful eyes outside.

But the show must go on, and we cut to the girls backstage at Stars in Their Eyes, preparing themselves for the performance of their lives. And our lives too, let’s be honest with ourselves.

While Father Peter and his newly-sprouted ponytail terrorise Sister Michael and everyone else involved in the fundraiser, Erin grapples with the discovery of her mother’s suspected affair and the need to put on a great show. To our delights, the Derry Girls cast off their robes and our wildest dreams become reality – they’re performing as the Spice Girls.

From the immaculately in-sync choreography to Erin’s subtle reimagining of *that* dress, the performance is perfection. Truly, there are no words.

We finish up with the truth about what Mary has really been doing with Gabriel coming to the surface, and a heartfelt admission that she wants to return to education. Hats off to UL, who were absolutely READY with the marketing.

In typical Derry Girls style, we weren’t given long to weep before Granda Joe hits us with the comic relief. He’s always there for us.

Truly, a whopper of an episode. Until next week.

Header image via Twitter/runthealleys

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