Derry Girls is hitting its stride as we are now three episodes in to its third and final series.
Lisa McGee’s acclaimed sitcom is coming to an end at the series finale, and for its army of fans- and its cast and crew – saying goodbye will be bittersweet.
Star Siobhán McSweeney, who plays Sister Michael, previously told Metro.co.uk that while it’s hard, ‘there’s great dignity in bowing out before it gets s***.’
Unfortunately – or, fortunately – so far series three has been basically as strong as the first two, meaning it really will be difficult to say goodbye.
The new episode saw James, Erin, Orla and Michelle head to Portrush on the train for a day trip with Grandad Joe, Ma Mary, Da Gerry and Aunt Sarah.
Clare, tragically forgotten on the platform, is stuck at the station to wait for the next train, which is bad enough before she’s joined by none other than headteacher nun Sister Michael.
Series three has changed the winning Derry Girls formula up just ever-so-slightly, by making the adults of the show just as involved in each story as the teenagers.
This always worked really well in previous series, with Ma Mary faking Toto’s death and Grandad Joe’s secret girlfriend two massive highlights of the overall show.
Now that every episode features the parents, grandad, aunt and headteacher, Lisa runs the risk of the adults losing their novelty – but they’re all so genuinely funny that hasn’t happened.
There were a lot of great moments in this episode, many of them from the adults: listening to them arguing over Guess Who was tragically relatable, and Joe casually mentioning he had come down with dementia – and his daughters’ faces when he makes the announcement – was priceless.
The biggest highlight was a cameo by Irish comedian Michael Fry, best-known for his viral music remakes of classic pop culture moments like Nadine Coyle’s passport or, most recently, Liam Payne’s mad accent at the Oscars.
Genuinely, to a certain circle this is almost as big a deal as Liam Neeson’s jawdropping cameo in the first episode, and that’s only a slight exaggeration.
Not only was Fry’s cameo a great surprise, it didn’t feel like a cameo for the sake of it: the clearly mad character would have fit in the episode no matter who was playing the role (for some reason the thought of a £50 KitKat is just so funny? Why is that? Is it because of a deep-seated fear we might actually reach that point some day? )
But as class as the first scene was, it did veer a little too hard toward zany by the end, when Fra and Orla have a stand-off with a toothbrush and a banana.
Sister Michael and Clare being stuck together in silence listening to a woman discuss her sex life on the phone also seemed underutilised as a scene, although there was so much going on in the train it could have felt a little crowded.
And we have to mention the elephant in the room – the storyline was sort of done already.
The family go on holiday and accidentally become involved with someone dangerous, who may or may not be involved with the IRA … that is a bit familiar.
But while on paper the premise is the same, the actual adventures were completely different – Lisa hasn’t run out of ideas yet.
Derry Girls continues Tuesday on Channel 4.