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'Derek' recap: Derek snags a date in a touching finale

Season 2 | Episode 6 | Aired May 28, 2014 (UK Channel 4)

Series 2 of Derek was a wild roller coaster ride of laughter, sadness and brutal honesty. We’ve seen the effects of substance abuse, we’ve recognized Derek’s emotional opposite in the new caretaker, and we’ve traveled the ups and downs of personal relationships. The series finale is a grand culmination of everything that makes Derek an important, enlightening series. And it all starts with a bicycle.

At the opening, Derek and Kev are doing a bit more junk hunting. Kev sees a perfectly good girls’ bike in a dumpster and asks Derek if he wants it. After Derek admits nobody has ever taught him how to ride, Kev offers to teach him. Unfortunately, Kev’s teaching method consists of watching Derek fall with no real instruction at all. His main direction is to encourage Derek to stand back up and try again after falling down. Kev is not much of a professor, but his intentions are good: Keep trying until you get it right.

Derek - S2 - E6 - Derek Bike Ground

Back in the home, Derek tells us how his dad was never around to teach him anything and his mom, for fear of him getting hurt, never wanted him to learn. Anthony confirms this to Derek, who is sitting at his bedside. Anthony apologizes to Derek for not being in his life, but Derek is unfazed. Since he doubts he can learn it now, Derek doesn’t see how he would have learned it when he was young. Anthony refuses to hear the negativity and says he’ll figure it out faster than he thinks.

The Big Foreshadowing Moment: As Anthony reminds Derek to keep practicing on the bike, he quips about seeing him ride it before he dies. If he doesn’t, Derek will just have to ride the bike to his funeral.

Anthony then gives Derek a gift: his own iPhone! Vicki has it all set up, including his beloved Twitter account. After asking Siri who would win in a fight (a gorilla or an orangutan), Hannah walks in with another surprise: Derek has a date! Someone reached out to him via the dating site and Hannah has set it all up. Not only is Derek terrified at the idea of meeting someone who may reject him, but he doesn’t want to leave his father behind.

Back in the day room, Derek is making a list of things to ask his date. Hannah suggests normal questions like what she likes and where she’s from, while Kev recommends getting right to the dirty talk. Kev also advises Derek to stop being Derek. Quit the mannerisms we’ve come to love for two series. While this reads as a bit rude, it’s actually a bit endearing, and reminds us of the little things we’ve come to love about the character.

Geoff chimes in with more nastiness about how Derek shouldn’t go out with a sick dad. Hannah politely tells him to “shut the fuck up,” and Vicki knocks him in the head with a box as she passes by. It’s clear everybody has had just about enough of Geoff’s smartass mouth. As Geoff complains to the camera about all the fuss everybody is making, the truth to his character comes rocketing out. He’s never happy unless all the attention is on him.

Derek - S2 - E6 - Derek Chokes Geoff

After some practice on his bike by the caravan, it’s time for Derek to get ready for his big outing. As Derek walks out, dressed in nice slacks and shoes, Geoff shakes up a can of soda, hands it to Derek and laughs like an idiot when it blows up all over him. Kev stands up, gets in Geoff’s face and, after a second of shouting gets shoved to the floor. A table breaks as Kev falls, but before anybody can blink, Derek has Geoff pinned against the wall with his hand around his throat. As Hannah separates Derek and rushes to see if a visibly shaken-up Kev is all right, Geoff runs off.

Derek and Hannah leave out the back. Geoff is sitting on the stairs and, before anybody can say anything, he genuinely apologizes. Without a thought, Derek accepts and jumps into the car. The incident was a small wake-up call to Geoff. After mentioning to Hannah that he fully expects to get fired, Hannah tells him that doesn’t have to happen. She just suggests he try to not be an asshole every waking moment. Geoff sheepishly agrees. While it’s not an immediate “bad guy becomes a good guy” turn, it’s clear he’s learned something. A choke hold from our wrestling-loving friend will do that.

But enough of Geoff and his changing ways. Derek has a date! After snagging some pre-meal after-dinner mints, Derek meets the lovely Tracey (Vicky Hall). Once they’ve introduced themselves to each other, Derek suddenly gets up and runs out the door. Turns out he left his questions back at the home. As Tracey wonders where he went, Hannah tells him to just ask her what she likes and what she’s all about. In classic Derek fashion, he walks back in and admits he forgot his question list. Luckily, Tracey has one as well!

What follows is a deliciously wonderful date full of awkwardness, silliness and overall fun. The two are a perfect pairing. They make the waiter uncomfortable with genuine questions about the complex French menu, have a hilarious burp-off (which horrifies the other patrons), and attempt to eat their after-dinner napkins, thinking they’re mints. Not their fault; they look the same. And seriously, why would you put frog legs on a menu when you have perfectly good chicken rattling around the kitchen? With all the drama in the home and his dad getting sicker by the minute, it’s great to watch Derek enjoy himself with a perfectly charming lady.

Derek - S2 - E6 - Burp Off

Meanwhile, Geoff slinks back inside after some time alone outside. With great difficulty, he asks the residents if anybody wants some tea. Both Shelia and Vicki cautiously accept, and as Vicki watches Geoff prepare it, she gives him a bit of sympathy. According to her, she used to be a dickhead once. It’s been a real joy to watch Vicki mature throughout the course of the series. Although Geoff has a long way to go and will probably go back to his emotionally needy asshole ways, at least he’s giving kindness a shot.

Back at the date, the Derek and Tracey chat about animals, the strange dish names and the horrors of licking a toad. Hannah, still waiting outside for him, comments on what a nice time he’s having. As he leaves the restaurant with Tracey, Derek gives her a nice handshake and begins to tell Hannah all about meeting her. His excitement is contagious, and Tracey’s backward glances at Derek makes it clear she felt the same way.

Back in the home, Derek rushes to his dad’s side. He’s not doing well, even going so far as to decline a glass of whiskey from Derek. As Anthony sleeps, Derek tells us how living is his favorite thing. He even enjoys sleeping because he dreams about being awake (with the exception of being able to fly) and gets to chat with his mother. Derek is uncluttered and open. Everything is great because it’s there, and any hardships are to be absorbed, digested and cast aside. Nothing weighs on Derek for too long. It’s refreshing to watch somebody so free of our everyday mental clutter simply be happy.

The next morning, Hannah knocks on Anthony’s door to find Derek still sitting in the chair. He looks up and simply says, “He’s dead.” Anthony has passed away overnight. Hannah rushes to Derek’s side, but he’s not shattered. Derek explains he’s actually happy because Anthony passed on happy. He told Derek he loved him, closed his eyes and died with a smile on his face. As Derek put it, it was the perfect ending.

Derek - S2 - E6 - Derek Dad Bedside

The “Fascinating Question of Life” Moment: Still in the room with Anthony, Hannah asks Derek if he thinks there’s a heaven. Derek is suspicious, but he knows if there is one, his dad will be heading there. As Hannah leaves and takes the cameraman with her, we hear Derek ask iPhone Siri, “Is my dad in heaven?” Siri’s answer? “I’m sorry. I don’t know where that is.” Chilling.

Hannah tell us about her role in life—how she ferries the old and aging to their final resting place. Midwives see you in; Hannah sees you out. She’s proud of her work and considers it a privilege. Derek tells us about his relationship with his dad and his swinging emotions. In the end, he’s happy he learned his dad cared, but all of his feelings are wrapped up in how Anthony felt.

Using his dad as an example, Derek shares with us his most important lesson. The amazing thing about life is that you can always start again. Wipe away the blackboard and start a new story. While his dad had a hard time doing facing up to his sins for the bulk of his life, he’s pleased Anthony made his whole life OK by taking his last few months to forgive himself. No matter what happens, it’s never too late to fix it until it’s really too late. Time is the only thing none of us has enough of. Derek urges us to not waste a second.

Derek - S2 - E6 - Hannah Kev

As the ambulance arrives to take Anthony away, we watch Derek scream after it on his bike. Hannah shouts for Kev to come over, and with a “Go on, boy,” from our beer-toting friend, Derek rides away. Derek is the perfect symbol of personal perseverance and emotional simplicity. His heart is an unfiltered vessel—an infinite container of love, forgiveness and emotional purity.

When I first started recapping Derek, I didn’t know what to expect. Thanks to honest writing and exceptional acting, I now have a new favorite program. Rumors of a third series are swirling about, and while I’d love to spend a few more episodes with this wonderful cast of characters, if this is where it ends, I’ll be satisfied. Just more time to hug my dog, call my mom and share a smile with a perfect stranger. A little more time to be a little more like Derek.


TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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