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The Worst Thing Sister Michael Has Done In Derry Girls

The Channel 4 series Derry Girls takes place amidst the Troubles that occurred in Northern Ireland throughout the latter half of the 20th century. The goings-on of this period of conflict factor into the lives of its central characters in unexpected, usually comical ways – like when a screening of The Usual Suspects is canceled over a security threat, preventing those in the theater from seeing its famous twist ending. More often, though, the titular Derry Girls are simply busy dealing with the inherent drama of living of life as a teenager.

Compounding the usual assortment of factors that make teenage years so notoriously difficult is the fact that the Derry Girls — Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), Erin's cousin Orla McCool (Louisa Harland), Clare Devlin (Nicola Coughlan), Michelle Mallon (Jamie-Lee O'Donnell), and Michelle's cousin James Maguire (Dylan Llewellyn), who gets to be a Derry Girl despite being English and a boy – all attend the Catholic secondary school Our Lady Immaculate. The school's headmistress is Sister Michael (Siobhan McSweeney), whose defining characteristic is her hard-headedness. She often serves as something of a brick wall opposite the sitcom hijinks of the series' main characters.

That said, though Sister Michael is literally a nun, she's no saint in the figurative sense. Like many school employees serving as comedic foils before her, she seems to view her job as more of a source of income than a chance to inspire the kids she oversees. With that in mind, the worst thing Sister Michael has done over the course of Derry Girls' two-season run (soon to include a third season) was meant to be a mere reprieve from her work, though it ultimately enabled a future infraction from the series' central cast.

Greed, one of the seven deadly sins

Sister Michael's transgression occurs in the second episode of Derry Girls' second season, titled "Ms De Brún and the Child of Prague." The Child of Prague that provides the namesake for half of the episode's title appears in its opening sequence. During an assembly, Sister Michael unveils a porcelain statue, called the Child of Prague, in front of the student body. She explains that a local bishop gifted it to the Our Lady Immaculate, with the intent of it traveling to every Catholic college in Derry thereafter. However, Sister Michael publicly defies the bishop's wishes and decides to keep the Child of Prague — even with representatives from the next school to which the statue was intended to travel standing next to her on stage.

Later on in the episode, the titular Derry Girls attempt to steal the Child of Prague as revenge for Sister Michael firing their cool new English teacher Ms. De Brún (Judith Roddy), not knowing she actually left Our Lady Immaculate to take a better job elsewhere. While staging the statue for a ransom photo, James and Michelle accidentally behead the child. In a scramble to hide their mistake from Sister Michael, Orla glues its head back on upside-down.

As a result, the Derry Girls are suspended from school for a week. As poorly thought-out as their ransom plot may have been, their sentence would never have befallen them were it not for Sister Michael's greed.