Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Mother's Back, and I'm Gonna Be in Trouble

Season 20, Episode 62
First aired 29 March 2016

We open with Fia sitting at the kitchen table putting on makeup, and judging by the state of her face, this activity has been going on for a while. She finishes, or rather her supply runs out, and puts her coat on to leave just as Evan shows up. She explains that she’s on her way to Galway because her children’s allowance has come through and she needs to buy some more makeup. Someone should tell her it would last longer if she didn’t treat a tube of lipstick as a single serving. When he complains about the mess, she says she’ll clean it up when she gets back, and when he asks when that will be, she helpfully explains, “Later.” Then she tells him to “chillax,” and I am officially done with her. As she skips out the door, he yells after her that she should be ashamed of herself, leaving Péadar and Máire to take care of her baby while she doesn’t lift a finger. She comes back to give him a lecture on the plight of today’s single mother, and there is more of their usual arguing before she leaves and slams the door behind her. Just then, Evan gets a text saying “I’m on my way,” and we all hope it’s Supernanny Jo Frost come to straighten up this dysfunctional mess.

At Berni’s, Bobbi-Lee returns from shopping with the mail in her hand. She puts an obviously empty milk carton down on the counter and starts to open an envelope when she hears someone coming, so she stuffs it in her coat and quickly gets into an “I wasn’t doing anything!” position, which in this case involves casually leaning against the counter as if she’s waiting for a bus. It’s Berni, who’s spun the Berni Wheel Of Complaining and landed on “it took you too long to get the milk.” Bobbi-Lee explains that she got held up by the apparently sexy postman, who wanted her autograph. Berni doesn’t even reply to this nonsense, instead flipping through the mail and complaining that it’s all junk. Bobbi-Lee offers that at least it’s not a bunch of bills, and then the subtitles claim that Berni says this gem: “Unfortunately they are unavoidable, and they have to be paid at some point,” which is a sentence no one would ever say unless they were in a foreign-language textbook having a conversation that also included “Twelve francs! That’s very expensive, but it is a gift for my aunt!” and “Where is the train station? Is it far?” Bobbi-Lee, nervously hiding the letter under her coat, asks Berni if she’s opening the café today, and when Berni says that no, Siobhán is doing it for her, Bobbi-Lee announces that when she went by earlier, nobody was there, especially not Siobhán doing any kind of opening. Berni flips out and goes flying out the door in a rage, hungry for poor Siobhán’s blood, and we wonder why Bobbi-Lee didn’t, for example, GO READ THE LETTER IN THE BATHROOM rather than probably getting poor Siobhan, who I am imagining is a single mother with a severe limp whose twelve children all have different disabilities, fired. Bobbi-Lee opens the letter, and of course it’s Berni’s credit card bill, showing that Bobbi-Lee has racked up a balance of €1942.57. Oops! Well, if she needs a job to pay it off, I know a local café which is probably hiring as of two minutes from now.

Back at the B&B, Fia has missed her bus and come back to argue with Evan some more, telling him he doesn’t understand how hard it is for her. As a stalling tactic, he apologizes, and then says he doesn’t have any room to talk given that he still lives at home with his mother. Fia resists the temptation to say, “Yeah, and your mother is a total trainwreck.” She realizes things are hard on Máire and Péadar, who should be spending their old age doing the Charleston on a flagpole instead of taking care of her baby, but she needs all the help she can get. Evan offers that she could get all the help she needed if she’d just contact Vanessa, at which point Fia turns back into Dark Fia and asks if there’s a hackney that could take her to the Lipstick Warehouse. Yes, it’s Mack’s, and he knows exactly where the makeup store is because he mostly drives prostitutes around. Evan offers to drive her himself as a peace offering, and tells her to give him ten minutes to go get the car. Good lord, where’s the car? Belfast? Fia looks annoyed, but we notice that there’s one tiny spot on her face where you can actually see that there’s human flesh under there, so we understand why it’s an emergency that she go replenish her makeup supply.

At the pub, Micheál is asking Frances to coach a children’s football team, which she can’t believe, mostly because she doesn’t know anything about football but also because everyone knows she is semi-evil. He tries to butter her up, but she’s having none of it, and tells him there must be someone in the village who’d be more suitable, and at that moment Tadhg appears, yelling at the chip salesman to get out of his pub and take his trashy flavors nobody wants with him. Ros na Rún is a cheese-and-onion town, and it will stay that way, damn it! The poor salesman slinks out of the pub, and Tadhg returns to the closet or crypt where he’s stored until there’s someone who needs yelling at. Frances says Tadhg should be the coach of the kids’ football team, but Micheál is skeptical of this idea, because EU under-10 sports guidelines require that two-thirds of the children still be alive at the end of the season.

Out in the street, Evan has dragged his feet as much as he possibly can, and finds an annoyed Fia standing at the bus stop rolling her eyes and sneering. She complains that he took too long, and that she couldn’t find a hackney, and now the Makeup Barn will be closed for the day. To her delight—as much as Fia knows how to be delighted—a taxi conveniently pulls up and stops right in front of her, and she practically drags the customer out of the backseat only to find…it’s Vanessa! Whom I’ve never seen! So I don’t know if she’s ever been on the show before! But Fia gets instant Diarrhea Face, so it’s all worth it!

Meanwhile, over at the love shack, Katy is ironing while Jason is filling out paperwork from the crèche and he, eventually, asks her if he can put her down as an emergency contact for Cuán. Jason always talks to Katy hesitantly while looking at something else, as if he’s asking her for help with a crossword puzzle. She supposes it’s OK since they’re roommates, but when he adds “and a couple,” she throws the boxer briefs she’s ironing at him and says he treats her more like a slave. Well, the issue of your slavehood is in whether you’re getting paid, Katy, as we learned a couple of weeks ago from Dee in the courtroom. He tries to be cute with her, but she’s in a mood, and complains that she’ll be at the Worldwide Restaurant Awards Or Whatever tonight as his chef, not his girlfriend. She soliloquizes for a bit about the pros and cons of people knowing they’re a couple, and she’s a bit all over the place to be honest, and when Jason says so, she storms out of the room and says he can just go by himself then, hmph! Jason looks understandably confused, although he may also be trying to figure out who the men’s underwear he’s holding belongs to.

At the B&B, Vanessa is marveling to Fia and Evan that the place hasn’t changed a bit. So, I guess it’s always looked like a tip. Evan leaves so the bloodbath can begin, and Fia gives him a murderous look through her mascara. Vanessa spots a baby’s bib and asks who it belongs to, and because Fia is not quick enough on her feet to claim that Péadar’s eating has gotten a little dribbly, she starts to panic, and Evan, smelling blood in the water, comes back to watch. Fia recovers and says that Máire and Péadar are fostering another baby, and she’s surprised Vanessa hasn’t heard. Evan seems surprised by Fia’s lying, and it’s like, have you never met her before?

At the community centre, Micheál is trying to talk David into coaching the team. David offers the names of a few possibilities, but they’ve all broken their backs/gotten locked in that barn where Eimear almost died/moved on to other soaps. Micheál tells David he’d be perfect for the job, what with his having been on an all-county team in 1066, but David sheepishly confesses that he was less on the team than in the band that played before the team. Next Micheál should ask Bobbi-Lee, whose qualification is that she walked past a TV that was showing the World Cup one time. Before wandering off, David tells Micheál to let him know if he’s ever looking for a badminton coach, and it’s a shame Mack isn’t there because he would tell David to shove his badminton up his arse.

Back at the B&B, Evan is still watching Fia twist in the wind. Vanessa notes that a baby is a lot of work for Péadar and Máire, who are old, and Evan volunteers that Fia is a HUGE help, and in fact is a natural with the baby. It’s almost as if he came out of her body! Evan and Fia squabble for a bit, and she gets so annoyed her lips completely disappear, much to Evan’s delight, and it’s here that you can clearly see that he is Berni’s son. Vanessa produces a gift from her bag that she’s brought Fia all the way from wherever she came from (Australia? Croydon?), and it’s an obviously brand-new, never-used, never-washed baby blanket, which Fia exclaims was hers when she was a baby. Vanessa finally decides to put her out of her misery by saying she thought Fia might want it given that Nollaig is her baby and all, and if Fia’s hair weren’t so full of product, it would stand on end in shock.

After the break, we’re back at the community centre, where Frances is scolding Micheál for not asking Tadhg to coach the team. He’s still reluctant, though, because he has met Tadhg, so Frances goes for the guilt and talks about how devastated Réailitín and Áine will be that they won’t get to play. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll be playing for the prison team soon enough.

Fia is shouting at Evan for being such a ruining ruiner who’s ruined her amazing, well-thought-out life plan to, err … uhh … she’s shouting at him because he sucks. When she tells Vanessa she shouldn’t have come, Vanessa protests that she wanted to, but Fia warns her that she’ll change her mind when she finds out what she’s done. Vanessa reassures her that she’s done nothing wrong, and that what’s done is done. Fia cries that she’s betrayed Vanessa, and assumes her mother knows who the baby’s father is, but there’s a misunderstanding, and it turns out Vanessa thinks the father is some dud boyfriend of Fia’s named Ganja (ha!) who presumably has a pierced neck and no job. Once Fia susses out what’s going on, she decides to play along with it and let Vanessa believe Nollaig is actually Ganja Junior, as Evan looks squinty in the background.

At the pub, Bobbi-Lee is scratching lottery tickets at the bar and then curses when none of them are winners. Well, at least she’s developed a solid plan to deal with this credit card debt. David appears and apologizes for last episode’s misunderstanding again, and Bobbi-Lee responds that he should really try being less fat. David’s weight seems to be her new pet issue, and it’s always good to have a cause. Instead of leaving in a huff like anyone else would’ve, David decides now is the time to invite Bobbi-Lee out for dinner. She says no, because she’s not hungry, which is amusing since it’s the middle of the afternoon, but then when he offers to take her to the poshest restaurant in Galway, she suddenly develops an appetite and says he can pick her up at 7. God, I hope her plan is to pay Berni back by robbing David and leaving him beside the road to Galway.

Máire and Péadar return to the B&B and have a surprisingly muted reaction to finding Vanessa sitting there. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I was hoping there would be fainting or at least speaking in tongues. Máire sends Fia to fetch Nollaig out of the car so Vanessa can meet him, and after she leaves, Vanessa gets up and sidles over to Máire as if there’s about to be a fistfight. She asks them accusingly why they didn’t tell her this was going on a long time ago, and they explain that it wasn’t that simple because they didn’t discover Fia was Nollaig’s mother until recently. Vanessa is all “Buh?”, so Evan, who is still there for some reason, tells Vanessa about the Christmas Eve baby-dumping. This causes Vanessa to change her tune and calm down, so Máire is able to put down the broken bottle she’s been hiding behind her back in case of trouble. Fia comes in with the baby, who is still cute, and Vanessa pats his head while Evan looks on squintily in the background.

Tadhg is talking to Micheál in the kitchen when Áine wanders in and says she wants him to put up another picture she’s drawn, and Tadhg demonstrates what a way he was with children by basically telling her he’s tired of having to look at her stupid pictures everywhere. She wanders away, and Tadhg asks Micheál how much the coaching job pays, and when Micheál responds nothing, Tadhg asks, “Why the hell did you come in here then?” Hee. Micheál explains that it was Frances’ idea, and Tadhg creepily notes how nice it was of Frances to think of him in a way that makes it clear he’s now plotting her death. Just as he throws Micheál out, Áine reappears with a picture she’s drawn, which is of course of her killing herself if she can’t play football due to a lack of a coach.

Back in the Romeo & Juliet portion of our story, it turns out it never occurred to David that nice restaurants always require reservations, which fortunately for him means Gaudi is available. Bobbi-Lee tells him she’ll be appearing at the festival Awful Suzanne from the other day is organizing, but that her set has been scheduled for Monday afternoon or Thursday morning or something, which stinks because nobody will be there. She sadly tells him she’s not getting any younger, and it almost looks like she’s having a serious moment of existential self-reflection, but then she’s all like, “If only somebody would give me some money to cut an album! €1942.57 would probably cover it!” He tells her all she’s lacking is self-confidence, which is a very nice sentiment, except self-confidence won’t prevent Berni from murdering her. He goes on to tell her she’s beautiful and kind and has a voice like Patsy Cline’s, and Bobbi-Lee is like, “Well, yeah, but I didn’t die in a plane crash, so I’m actually better than Patsy Cline!” Bobbi-Lee then declares that her amazing talent, beauty, and humility are gifts from God, and it’s a huge coincidence because that’s the same God David used to work for! What are the odds?

At the B&B, Vanessa thanks Evan for calling her, and they have a discussion of what a useless mess Fia is. Don’t forget tacky! Vanessa says she and her daughter were always close until Niall moved in, and when Evan questions her, Vanessa says that Niall was her boyfriend, whom Fia never got along with even though he was nice to her. OK, so now we know Niall is the baby’s father. Ooops, spoilers!

At the restaurant, Jason tries to make nice with Katy by apologizing for earlier, and Katy admits that the real problem is that she’s worried that when people find out about them, they’ll accuse her of jumping into Lee’s bed before her body was even cold. There is back and forth, and he concludes that if “people” don’t like it, then “people” can suck it, but somehow Katy is unconvinced by this logic. During this whole scene Jason’s tie is so crooked I can’t believe it’s not so Katy can lovingly straighten it for him after they make up, but no, it seems it’s just crooked.

At their flat, Bobbi-Lee is on the phone with Berni’s bank, trying to charm them into forgetting about all this li’l ol’ credit card fraud, and then hangs up hurriedly when Berni walks in. She’s looking for her phone, and there’s a hilarious moment in which a panicked Bobbi-Lee thinks she’s calling the Gardaí, but it turns out Berni’s all worked up about Vanessa being back. Because Vanessa is not Bobbi-Lee, Bobbi-Lee is of course like, “Who the frig is Vanessa?”

It’s kiddie football practice at the community centre, and Micheál introduces the children to Coach Tadhg, who tries to give them a pep talk, but of course they are running around screaming and paying no attention because they’re children. Tadhg is about three seconds away from yelling at them all to sit their effing arses down and shut the hell up, but then tries tossing a ball at them instead, and they all run away from it as if he’s thrown poo at them. Which he may very well do before this storyline is over.

Evan comes back to berate Fia some more, and she speaks for all of us when she asks him why he’s still there. They argue, and it’s exactly like the other 50 arguments we’ve seen them have since she showed up, but finally she can’t take it anymore either, and confesses to him that she’s ashamed that she slept with her mother’s boyfriend. And to make sure we didn’t miss what’s going on, she clarifies that Niall is the baby’s father! And Niall is Vanessa’s ex! And Vanessa is Fia’s mother!

Next time: Mack and John Joe are giving David and Bobbi-Lee crap about their date, and she replies that David’s the only one of them who could even get a woman. John Joe says he never wants to be tied down again, and Bobbi-Lee tells him that’s a good thing because he’s gross. And when Mack laughs at this, she tells him he’s a big loser, too! Also David needs to lose weight! Well, that last one is implied.

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