Derry Girls season 3 ending explained: What happens to Erin, Michelle, Orla, Claire and James?

Derry Girls follows the adventures of a group of teenagers in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in the 1990s against the backdrop of political unrest in the country. Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

It’s the day before the children’s GCSE results and Claire is freaking out about it while the rest of them don’t want to focus on it. They go to the video store to rent a movie where they meet Sister Michael who implies that some of them may have failed as she gets the results early.

Joe has a new cat named Seamus that he adores but Gerry is fed up because it keeps killing smaller animals. He suggests getting rid of the cat or at least putting a bell on it but Joe refuses. Things get complicated when Seamus kills someone’s pet rabbit.

Michelle suggests breaking into the school to check their results and they manage to do it. They find two strange men inside who say they need to shift some stuff, and the girls help them load all the computer equipment into a van.

Joe and Gerry hide the body of the rabbit and when they return, they find Jim from across the road with his granddaughter who’s lost her pet rabbit. Joe says he hasn’t seen it and keeps things quiet.

As the men leave the school, the police arrive and take the children under suspicion of robbery. They insist that it wasn’t them and when the police ask them to call a guardian, Erin calls Uncle Colm to wear the cops out. They’re eventually let go when the cops find footage of the real culprits.

Mary is tired because everyone keeps piling on her and she feels suffocated. She claims she wants to try something new in her life. The gang are preparing for a performance at school that might get them on TV but when Mary is seen conversing in whispers with the attractive new plumber, Erin is distracted.

She confronts her mother in front of everyone after ditching the performance and Mary is forced to come clean about the fact that she wants to finish her schooling and maybe attend university.

The family is visiting the amusement park in Portrush by train but the journey is fraught with danger and confusion. Mary and Sarah meet an old acquaintance of theirs but have trouble remembering who the woman is even though the woman knows all about them.

The children are in a different compartment trying to pass the time. They run afoul of the trolley man and then find a bag with tons of money and a gun which flusters them. They get the bag back to its owner and head back to their family.

Mary finally realizes that the woman is a girl they grew up with who went to prison. The children are also shocked when the man they thought owned the bag comes and gives it to the woman, meaning she’s the one carrying the dangerous weapon and cash.

The gang are asked by Sister Michael to go to her dead aunt’s house to tidy it up. They run into van trouble and eventually reach the house but believe it to be haunted. The next morning, Sister Michael arrives to tell them that they were in the wrong house.

Mary and Sarah have to attend their school reunion and Mary cannot stop talking about the issue she has with their former friend, Janette Joyce. At the reunion, Mary threatens to reveal a secret while a flashback sequence shows what happened many years ago between the girls.

Fatboy Slim is performing in Derry for Halloween and the gang tries to get tickets for the concert. After some ups and downs and creative lies, they get the tickets and a VIP experience. However, things go sideways at the concert and they’re all kicked out before the performance starts.

Derry Girls season 3 ending explained in detail:

What happens to Claire?

On Halloween, Gerry gets a call at home with some bad news. He goes to the concert where he finds the gang outside and tells Claire that her father had an aneurysm.

Claire is devastated at her father’s passing and her friends are right there to support her. A year later, Claire and her mother moved to nearby Strabane because Derry reminded them of her dad too much.

She goes to a different school and regularly talks to her friends on the phone.

Why do Michelle and Erin fight?

The Good Friday Agreement is approaching and one of the conditions is that all ex-paramilitary forces in prison will be released. Michelle’s brother is one of them who was arrested for killing another man.

Erin isn’t so sure that letting them all out is a good thing and speaks her mind to Michelle but Michelle is not happy about the whole situation and she and Erin have this big argument before Michelle leaves.

What happens on Erin and Orla’s birthday?

Erin is forced to delay her 18th birthday party by 3 months to coincide with Orla’s. They plan to host it at the parish hall but Mary shares the booking with a group of children having their first communion.

Erin and Orla cannot agree on a theme either, with Erin wanting to go with literary greats and Orla wanting a monkey theme.

To make things worse, Jenny Joyce is having a Hollywood-themed birthday party on the same day with tons of attractions. Michelle and James attend Jenny’s party after Michelle’s fight with Erin.

Erin and Orla make it there too and they leave with Michelle and James after noticing that Michelle is miserable about this business with her brother.

Claire shows up later along with the whole of Jenny’s party after she cut the power there and they have a joint party at the parish hall.

What happens to Sister Michael?

Father Peter informs Sister Michael the time has come for her to be reassigned to a different place. He tells her that word has come down from the Bishop himself but Sister Michael isn’t ready to leave Derry just yet.

She sits in her office drinking rather than attending the first communion. Father Peter joins her later and she pours him a drink. She tells him that Bishop called and she accepted her fate.

Then she had a change of heart and told the Bishop that she’s not going to be moved and can still contribute a lot to the girls of Our Lady Immaculate College.


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