Friday, February 26, 2016

That Time Réailtín Was Missing But Then She Wasn't

Season 20, Episode 52
First Aired 23 Feb 2016

David and Micheál are arguing in the street, as usual. The topic once again is Rónán, who is still missing, but David thinks he may have a lead on his whereabouts. I have to say I am totally bored by this whole Rónán storyline. Go to jail, don’t go to jail, run away, join the circus, I don’t care. Anyway, David is upset when he sees Rónán’s probation officer Proinsias arrive, and goes over to distract him. Conveniently, O’Shea appears at that moment to ask Micheál if there’s any news on Rónán. Micheál says no, and O’Shea warns him that if Rónán doesn’t appear by 5 o’clock, she will have to file an official report. Oh, no, not an OFFICIAL REPORT!

In the shop, John Joe is on the phone making plans for a funeral. Katy comes in and asks him to take a look at her car because it’s making a noise. He’s wearing a suit, so she asks him if he’s got a funeral, and he says no, he’s got a meeting with the accountant. Lies!  Evan appears and John Joe calls him over to tell him how much he’s enjoying Caitríona’s book, particularly the part where Evan hits Cathal in the head. Evan, flustered, tells John Joe he must’ve read it wrong, because he never hit Cathal, Cathal slipped and hit his head on a pillar. There’s some back and forth about what exactly Evan did to Cathal – my guess is that Evan killed Cathal in the conservatory with the lead pipe – and meanwhile Katy is pursing her lips and rolling her eyes and looking completely annoyed by the whole thing. I adore Katy, mostly because of her ability to be hilariously annoyed by absolutely everyone and everything.

Back in the street, David and Proinsias are getting into a car when Micheál chases them down. He tells David he has something to tell him, but David’s having none of it, telling him that he and Proinsias are on the way to the boxing club. Because Rónán is TOTALLY GOING TO BE THERE, I’m sure. Elsewhere in the street, Ailbhe leaves the shop and sees something in the newspaper she’s reading that makes her pause in the street in dismay. I was totally hoping that we’d see David and Proinsias run over her with their car while she was standing there, which would’ve been the first interesting storyline David has had in months.

Over in the café, Mack is ordering five of everything off the Heart Attack On A Plate menu. Máire, ever in buttinsky mode, asks him if he shouldn’t be fasting since he’s having an operation the next day. Mack tells her that he can eat up until 4:00, so this is his last meal, the entire time giving her a hilarious look that says what he really wants to do is go over there and punch her in the neck. Máire, undeterred, produces some leaflets on MRSA which she apparently always carries around in her handbag just in case, as one does. She offers to take Mack to the hospital the following day, but since he would rather die in the street than spend one more second with Máire, he tells her Mo is taking him. He answers his ringing phone and tells whoever’s on the other end to calm down and that he’ll be there in two minutes, and gets up and leaves, forgetting the MRSA leaflets Máire gave him for relaxing bedtime reading.

Evan, in perma-foul mood these days, comes into the café and complains to Berni about the fact that there are copies of the book on the counter. Berni agrees that the book is trash, primarily because it’s full of errors about her clothes and lipstick. Yes, that’s what I’d be upset about, too. She’s beaming because she just got off the phone with a newspaper editor who’s going to write an article about her. She explains to Evan that finally they’ll get to tell their version of the story instead of that cow Caitríona (I may be embellishing a little), because the reporter wants to interview Evan as well. She walks away, leaving Evan standing there making a face that suggests he’s just realized he’s five seconds away from having diarrhea.

Ailbhe storms out of the door of her flat or B&B or wherever she’s staying with her bag, asking Mack if the car is ready. Mack, always five minutes behind everyone else, is confused about what’s happening. She shows him the newspaper article that says her mate who was supposed to testify about Muiris has been severely beaten and she worries that they’ll come after her next, so she is fleeing to Shannon. Her suitcase is bright pink and looks like it should have Hello Kitty on it. Mack tells her that if she disappears the whole case will collapse, and she agrees that she wants justice, but not if it means getting killed. She has a point. Mack says he’ll protect her. She’s skeptical, as are we, given that Mack is one day away from an operation and also recently lost a fight with Mo’s bookcase. They get into the car.

Máire stops Peadar in the street to berate him for sending Mack out on a fare the day before an operation. Peadar says he had nothing to do with it, so Máire, who is in rare form today, complains because he doesn’t know where Mack is going. She really is a pill. She then sees Evan going into the pub and complains about his shirking his responsibilities, and she’s going to go in there and tell him off. Hopefully she has some leaflets in her handbag about daytime laziness. Peadar tells her that Evan isn’t Nollaig’s father and that she needs to calm down and stop making a fool of herself. She cryptically says that all will be revealed soon and walks away.

David appears in the café to argue with Micheál some more. He was able to get the boxing coach to lie about Rónán’s whereabouts to the probation officer, but if Proinsias finds out Rónán has done a runner, he’ll go to prison for sure. We get some long, lingering shots of Réailtín, who’s sitting at the table, busily acting. Micheál tells David that O’Shea has given them until 5:00 to produce Rónán, so the two of them dash out, with Micheál asking Berni to look after Reailitin while he’s gone. Berni, Máire, and Peadar discuss Rónán’s theft of the money box in front of Réailtín, and Máire dramatically proclaims that the truth about the theft will come out, because it always does. The look on Réailtín’s face suggests she is regretting her foray into a life of crime. I blame Áine!

In the restaurant, Katy shows Jason a magazine article about an upcoming food festival and tells him she wants Gaudi to have a stall there. Jason tells her he doesn’t want her representing the restaurant because he worries that people will see her and assume Gaudi is a teenage hangout. Katy goes nuts, because a) she is 22; b) she is a trained chef; and c) Jason is being a complete dick. Jason semi-apologizes and tells her they’ll discuss it later, so of course as soon as he leaves Katy picks up her phone and smugly makes a call.

At the hospital, Ailbhe and Mack are visiting Ailbhe’s friend, who is unconscious, bruised, and hooked up to machines. Ailbhe is distraught, but it’s hard to pay attention to her because Mack is wearing a blue paper smock over his fur-lined parka and looks like a dental hygienist at the North Pole.

Back at the café, Máire harangues Mo about the fact that she saw Mack in the car earlier when he should really be at home reading his MRSA leaflets. Mo clearly could not give two shits about this, because she is the most sensible one on the show. Micheál comes back and asks Berni where Réailtín is. Berni looks around and then her fringe stands on end when she realizes Réailtín is missing. We cut to outside, where Réailtín is purposefully walking down the street away from the café, in her bright pink backpack which clearly came from the same luggage set as Ailbhe’s suitcase.

After the break, we’re back at the hospital visiting Ailbhe’s friend, who is badly injured. Mack now agrees that Ailbhe is right to leave the country, because he doesn’t want to see her wind up in this state. He goes to get the car, but Ailbhe is now hesitant and gives a meaningful gaze into the middle distance.

Back in town, Micheál, Berni, and Peadar are frantically looking for Réailtín. Well, I hope somebody looked in that barn Eimear got locked in. (I also hope it’s now got a big sign outside saying WARNING: BARN.) Berni suggests she probably just went home, but before she can even finish that sentence, John Joe’s hearse pulls up and Réailtín gets out, making this the shortest missing-child storyline in soap history. I do appreciate that Ros na Rún keeps things moving at a breakneck pace (unlike, say, Fair City, which just had a Munchausen-by-proxy storyline drag on for literally three months), but this seems rushed even by this show’s standards. It reminds me of that low-speed hostage situation on Downton Abbey in which Mrs Farmer’s Wife kidnapped Marigold but before we could even remember who Marigold was, they found her. Anyway, John Joe says he found her on the way to the Gardaí, and she explains she was going to confess to stealing the petty cash and worries she’ll go to prison.

We cut to John Joe’s, where Noreen is talking to … Deirdre! No, her name ain’t baby: it’s Deirdre. Miss Dee if you’re nasty! John Joe tells her that Mack is going under the knife tomorrow, and Dee snots that it’s karma. John Joe says the best thing ever about Mack, which is: “Listen, I know he’s a fool, but he’s harmless.” Well, that’s a good way of encouraging an intelligent, successful, ambitious woman like Dee to take him back. John Joe tells her that the rumors floating around about Mack are all lies and that he would never lay a finger on a woman. He continues to tell Dee, who really is stunningly beautiful, all about the case, and she tells him to leave it.

Back at the café, Berni scolds Evan for smelling like alcohol, and then takes Réailtín a cup of hot cocoa to warm her up. Yes, I’m sure she got very cold during the thirty seconds she was gone. Berni feels guilty that she was talking about Rónán’s guilt earlier, and Micheál reveals that Rónán has done a runner, and asks everyone to be on the lookout for him. I’m telling you, somebody needs to go look in the Eimear Memorial Barn. Evan continues to have diarrhea face.

At Gaudi, Katy is serving tapas to the food festival organizer, whom she’s invited to come check out the place. Jason is annoyed until he sees it’s going well and that Katy is not a silly teenager who’s always dropping E and stealing cars and rollerskating indoors or whatever Jason thinks teenagers do.

At the hospital, Ailbhe has decided she’s going to stay and testify. She explains that her friend is only 16 and didn’t deserve this so she feels obligated to seek justice. Wait, the friend is only 16? How old is Ailbhe supposed to be? She looks about 25.

Back in the village, O’Shea is looking for Rónán, so it must be 5:00. David is worried, but then Micheál appears to tell him that Evan has found Rónán. Hooray, I guess. Dee sees Mack get out of his car and initially seems happy to see him, but then Ailbhe gets out of the car behind him and he leads her back to her place with his hand on her back, which of course Dee doesn’t like.

David goes to the café where he finds Rónán, who looks annoyed. Rónán needs to take lessons from Katy on how to make annoyance look more entertaining. David tells Rónán he needs to check in with his probation officer, but Rónán doesn’t see the point since everyone knows he’s going to prison anyway. Does anyone even remember what he’s charged with? Micheál produces a stack of character references people have written on Rónán’s behalf that should help with his case. Rónán looks appreciatively annoyed.

At Gaudi, the food festival organizer is leaving and tells Jason to hold on to Katy because she’s a wonderful chef. She also says that it often doesn’t work out when a couple runs a restaurant together, causing Jason to get flustered and explain that he and Katy aren’t a couple. Máire, who really has nothing better to do today – doesn’t she have a job? – walks in with Mo, and they find Mack ordering food even though he’s supposed to be fasting. He pretends to be confused about what time it is, which in his case may not be pretending, so Mo says she’ll go home with him to make sure he doesn’t accidentally eat the pizza in the fridge. Máire gives Mo a stack of leaflets to make sure Mack reads. Máire is apparently now Chair of the Irish Leaflet Board. Máire says she’ll light a holy candle for Mack, and as she walks off, he hilariously says under his breath that she can light a candle under her own arse.

Berni and Evan are in their flat and Berni’s musing about how difficult it must be for poor Rónán to know he might be going to prison soon. Evan tells her he’s not going to do the interview, but she says it’s too late, she’s already committed them both to it. Saint Berni says she feels a duty to inspire people who are suffering from “mental awareness agus domestic abuse.” Snerk. She reassures him that there’s nothing to worry about and that all they have to do is tell the truth. The episode ends with Evan giving his most acute imminent-diarrhea face ever!

Next time: Mack is worried about his operation because the doctors all look like children and he is a hypochondriac! And Máire gets the DNA results and they show a 96% chance of a familial link between Nollaig and Evan!

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