The Young Offenders Season 4 Review – This new season is silly, crude and surprisingly emotional

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 2.5/5

Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) return in Season 4, though not as we have seen them before. After enjoying a “free holiday” to Colombia, where they unwittingly ended up as drug mules, the two loveable scallywags land themselves in prison.

As the new season begins, we discover Jock is in a Colombian prison while Conor is locked up somewhere near Cork City. We don’t spend a lot of time seeing them deal with incarceration as the narrative skips ahead three years to the day when Conor is released.

Jock, meanwhile, must endure his longer prison sentence abroad, so we don’t see much of him this season. As the actor who plays him, Chris Walley, recently popped up in the Netflix series Bodkin, we’re assuming there may have been a filming clash prohibiting him from having a huge part to play in Season 4. It’s a pity as the banter between Jock and Conor is sorely missed, but that doesn’t mean this season isn’t worth watching. 

After his release from prison, Conor is greeted by his old enemy Billy Murphy (Shane Casey) who greets him at the prison gate. Billy is keen to be friends with Conor, for reasons revealed midway through the season. The two pair up in the first couple of episodes, and seeing them together is a little jarring to see. 

Thankfully, the show’s writers don’t try to replicate what we have seen before within this new relationship. Conor is actually a little afraid of his new mate as he never knows when Billy is going to punch him in the b******cks next. They still manage to get along, however, and in episode 4, their unlikely friendship even strikes an emotional chord when we learn more about Billy and his personal struggles. These revelations provide some depth to his character, with writing that transcends the silliness that the show is known for.

Don’t expect this season to be overly mawkish, however. While episode 3 also pulls on our heartstrings with scenes of bonding between Conor and Healy, there is still plenty of room for the show’s trademark lowbrow humour. Take episode 2, for example, which follows Conor’s attempts to cheat his way through a leaving exam. He unwisely takes a pill that later has explosive consequences that take toilet humour to the extreme.

Elsewhere this season, Barry (Conor’s former headteacher) tries to win back Orla’s affection, Conor tries to do the same with Linda, and there’s trouble in town when a new Fake Billy Murphy causes mayhem. Meanwhile, Jock languishes in a Colombian prison, where he struggles with his less-than-hospitable fellow inmates who don’t appear to like him.

If you’re already a fan of The Young Offenders, you’ll be glad to know this season offers more of the crass humour and pratfalling of previous seasons. Jock’s absence is noticeable but there’s still much to enjoy, thanks to Conor and Billy’s escapades and the quick one-liners that raise a giggle. There are even a few moments of character development as we see sides to Billy, Barry, and Healy that have previously been untapped.

Season 4 of The Young Offenders isn’t an all-out laugh riot but it’s still good, silly fun. It’s available to watch now on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, though surprisingly, viewers in Ireland (where the series is set), will have to wait until 2025 to see the new season on RTE. 

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  • Verdict - 7/10

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