*Spoilers for Derry Girls series two finale to follow*
Derry Girls cranked the emotions up a notch with its series two finale, which saw wee English fella James (Dylan Llewellyn) deciding to stay in Derry rather than return to England with his estranged mother.
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James’s mother made a surprise return at the beginning of the episode. He later told his friends Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Clare (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) and Orla (Louisa Harland) that he would be leaving the city for good as they prepared for president Bill Clinton’s speech outside the Guildhall.
It led to a surprisingly heartwarming confrontation with his notoriously abrasive cousin Michelle, who dropped her guard for the first time and asked him to stay.
“Being a Derry girl, well it’s a f***in’ state of mind”, she told him, assuring him that Derry had become his home.
He decided to leave anyway, only to return, joyously, just before Clinton arrived on stage, shouting down to his friends: “I AM A DERRY GIRL!”. It was a great moment, and it tugged at the heartstrings of fans watching at home, who adopted the line themselves online.
“If you think I’m crying at James shouting ‘I am a Derry Girl’ then you would be totally correct,” @x_ellykate wrote.
Krystal Pearson added: “Me after the Derry Girls finale. Crying. Warm and fuzzy inside. Holding onto this feeling forever. I am a Derry Girl.”
They weren’t the only ones…
Me after the #DerryGirls finale.
warm and fuzzy inside.
holding onto this feeling forever.
I am a Derry Girl. pic.twitter.com/AkX1B7Sf18
— Krystal Pearson (@tinyypearson) April 10, 2019
I AM A DERRY GIRL!!! #iamaderrygirl— Dylan Llewellyn (@Djllewellyn) April 9, 2019
Bawling again at tonight's episode of #DerryGirls it's just so perfect and I love James, "I am a Derry girl", yes James, you are.— Sarah Verso Ryan (@mrsversoryan) April 9, 2019
Somebody start printing "I am a Derry Girl" on t shirts please. I need one.— mark cousins (@markcousinsfilm) April 9, 2019
I AM A DERRY GIRL ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️#derrygirls— Sarah Phelps (@PhelpsieSarah) April 9, 2019
I welled up at I AM A DERRY GIRL— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) April 9, 2019
There was also special praise for the way writer Lisa McGee weaved in the former US President’s rousing, real-life speech about peace.
Sarah Doran tweeted: “‘And so I ask you to build on the opportunity you have before you; to believe that the future can be better than the past; to work together because you have so much more to gain by working together than by drifting apart.’ Lisa McGee is a CLASS ACT”.
"And so I ask you to build on the opportunity you have before you; to believe that the future can be better than the past; to work together because you have so much more to gain by working together than by drifting apart." Lisa McGee is a CLASS ACT #DerryGirls pic.twitter.com/QfmMIjvy6p— Sarah Doran (@sarahisnothere) April 9, 2019
McGee told RadioTimes.com that she chose to end the series on the Clinton speech as it represented a period of hope for her city.
“[Clinton] coming was such a big deal for us,” she said. “I wanted to end the series this year on a more upbeat note. And also because I suppose him coming was the next step towards peace, which is where we were heading, so it was always the idea for series two that it would just be a bit more hopeful.”
Fingers crossed the newly confirmed series three builds upon this year’s uplifting climax.
Derry Girls series one and two are available to stream on All4