liam neeson and derry girls cast

Derry Girls Season 3: It's perfectly mental

Well f**k-a-doodle-do, it’s about time we heard the sweet sound of Michelle’s voice again. And if that isn’t enough to make you watch season 3, maybe Da Gerry talking about dead feckin’ frogs might.


It’s been a long time coming, but Derry Girls season 3 is officially back, and we’re talking full-throttle this time. Nobody is safe from Clare’s wrath, not even Clare. If you missed Tuesday night’s episode, shame on you. We hope you recorded it. And if not, the next re-run is showing on 15th April at 11.05pm, Channel 4HD. If you did watch it, keep reading to see if we share the same brain cells...  


So I spoke to a few people about episode 1 and the general consensus was that they needed a bit of time to get into it. I thought about it, and on first watch I'd agree. The first episode, titled The Night Before, is all about the girls entering the school late at night to find out their GCSE results early. Chaos ensues and they soon wind up under arrest. Lisa McGee really throws us in the deep end, and we have a feeling the rest of the season is going to continue this streak. When I watched it a second time, I was hooked. But not entirely - something was still bugging me. I feel sorry for Clare. She begins the episode distraught; by the halfway mark she’s practically beside herself, and at the very end when she gets her one moment of relief, it’s barely acknowledged before shock horror hits her like a door in the face. Clare’s always been frantic, but this feels like an injustice to the character who we came to know and love in the previous seasons. Nonetheless, Nicola Coughlan’s panto-performance as Clare doesn’t take away from the episode. Instead it adds a certain element to it – like ‘WTF just happened’, personified. If you’re ready for a rollercoaster, for the love of god, don’t wear flip flops (somehow saying this last part in a Derry accent makes it sound better).   

The snorkel thing 

Yes, that required its own subheading. During one of Clare’s panic attacks the night before their GCSE results are revealed, Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) wonders if she’ll have to run away from home in fear of her parents’ reaction. That’s when Orla (Louisa Harland) asks for her snorkel back from James (Dylan Llewellyn), prompting his attempt to calm the ever-growing chaos down. It doesn’t exactly work, but it does leave us wondering why exactly he’s so obsessed with this snorkel. And what exactly is the function of a snorkel in Derry? Fishy. That’s all I'll say.  


In a well comedically-timed moment from guest star Liam Neeson – I'll repeat that, Liam Neeson, the Hollywood actor, who guest starred in Derry Girls season 3 episode 1 – he refers to Sister Michael (Siobhán McSweeney) as Sister George Michael. James then repeats the name questioningly and really, it’s the highlight of the episode. But it isn’t all Neeson stepped in to say. His cameo role took up a good chunk of the episode as Chief Inspector Byers, and we're hoping it isn’t the last we’ve seen of him. A bit of flirting from Michelle (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell) is expected, but still funny, and James informing Byers he’s "actually a boy" is a used joke from previous seasons, but Byers’ quick "Ok, love" really brings the episode home. It’s a win for me.  


Not to mention they end the episode with this smash hit...  

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