Thursday, March 10, 2016

Nightmare on Blecch Street

Season 20, Episode 56
First aired 8 March 2016

One of the things I love about Ros na Rún is that it keeps the stories moving along at a rapid clip, without letting them get too bogged down, and that it feels like something worthwhile happens in every episode. This one, however, feels like treading water, and is kind of a yawner. Was it broadcast opposite some program that TG4 figured everyone in Ireland would be watching, so they didn’t want to waste a real ep? Did the World Cup just happen without my noticing again?

We open with Jason looking pensive and/or constipated in the shop, and then Katy comes in, and she’s last person he wants to deal with right now, obvs. He suddenly becomes very interested in the latest issue of Seventeen or Your Horse or whatever it is that he’s pretending to look at and then remembers he’s late for an appointment in Galway and tries to dash off, but Katy wants to talk to him about what happened. He tells her the kiss was a mistake and escapes, leaving her standing there with the same open-mouthed gape we left her with at the end of last episode.

At the café, Mo, Micheál, and David are enjoying a laugh about what an idiot David is. So, business as usual. O’Shea stops by to tell Micheál that she’s leaving for the station now, and he tells her that he’ll drop by with an unidentified “her” soon. O’Shea leaves, and of course David and Mo are curious, and assume that “she” must be a euphemism for some part of Micheál’s anatomy, since he and O’Shea are DOING IT, obviously. But Micheál explains that it’s all very innocent, and that he’s bringing Réailitín by the station for some school project, which is code for “so she can see where she’s going to end up what with her life of crime and all.” Micheál says that Imelda is quite a nice person when you get to know her, and David gets all “oooooohhhhh!” at the fact that Micheál is on a first name basis with O’Shea all of a sudden. He’s about three seconds from breaking out into “Imelda and Micheál, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.” Except the spelling probably doesn’t work with the rhythm in Irish. Micheál leaves, and David tries to rope Mo into the juvenile madness, but she has no time or patience for it. David really is in desperate need of a storyline, especially now that the fascinating story of what’s-his-name who got charged with theft or arson or murder or something is over. Mo does warn David that if something is going on between Micheál and O’Shea, Micheál is probably going to bollocks it up anyway, and the last thing he needs is David getting involved and turning it into an even more embarrassing Two Stooges routine.

And now, this. You may recall that John Joe has been running a secret under-the-table funeral scam and cutting Tadgh out of the takings, and Tadgh and Frances have sworn that they’ll make him sorry. So two-thirds of this episode consists of a boring and meandering plot for them to get revenge on John Joe, which is extremely elaborate in a very tedious way, and there is really no payoff at the end, so I am going to go out of chronological order and zoom through the whole thing now. Tadgh and Frances have invented a dead woman who is American, or has American relatives, or went to America one time, and her family wants a proper Irish wake, but their house doesn’t have a roof, and it’s going to rain, and they need somewhere to have it, and they are going to pay 1000 euros to somebody to sit up with the body all night. So they trick John Joe into taking a coffin full of sandbags to his house, but then they tell a long and pointless ghost story about haunted et cetera, and John Joe gets scared, and then in the middle of the night Tadgh and Frances sneak into his house and yell “Boo!”, and it’s all absolutely thrilling. And giving him a little fright also doesn’t really seem like an appropriate revenge for his stealing significant amounts of money from Tadgh. Anyway, whatever. It’s too bad Katy is busy in her own storyline because otherwise she could’ve put a stop to all this silliness with one of her withering eye rolls.

Meanwhile, in the storyline you care about, Jason has snuck into Gaudi shiftily, trying to avoid Katy, but she appears, and you can tell that for a brief moment he considers pretending to be Jason’s long-lost identical twin brother just to avoid having any interaction with her. She wants to discuss what happened, but he tells her there’s nothing to talk about. She is overdoing it a bit, calling herself disgusting and giving doe eyes, and Jason tells her that if they’re going to keep living together, she’s going to have to accept the fact that nothing can ever happen between them. They both look stricken, but in different ways. This week we’re seeing Jason’s Constipation Face almost as much as we saw Evan’s Diarrhea Face two weeks ago.

There is more Tadgh nonsense, and then we see Katy chasing Jason out into the street. If he wants to avoid her, he really needs to think of some places to hang out other than a) her workplace and b) the street in front of her workplace. She wants to talk, but he says he’s too old for her, and besides, he’s still mourning his (estranged) wife. There is talk of Katy moving out, and then she tells him he’ll have to find somebody else to play chef today because she’s taking the day off.

At the café, Micheál and O’Shea, whom we may be calling “Immy” or possibly “Foxxxy O” by the end of this episode, are discussing what a good time they had scaring Réailitín straight at the station today. It would really be the best moment ever in this show if we saw Réailitín driving by in a stolen police car through the window while they’re having this conversation. David stops by to meddle and give them creepy “oo-er missus” eyebrow raises.

Jason is at the counter talking to Tadgh on the phone, because now he has gotten roped into the prank as well, and then talk turns to Katy for some reason, and so David comes over to meddle in that, too. Meanwhile, back at the flat, Katy is packing her things. She opens a kitchen drawer and finds a gift, and the note tells her it was Jason’s birthday present for her. It’s the earrings she was admiring in a magazine ad a few episodes ago, so she looks all starry-eyed, partly because she has feelings for Jason and partly because she is imagining going to Dee’s office and rubbing her awesome new earrings in Dee’s smug face.

After the break, there is more of the snowballing ghost prank, which has now absorbed Vince as it’s rolled boringly down the hill. In the street, O’Shea asks Mack how the preparations for the trial are going, and he tells her things are on schedule, though Ailbhe is getting nervous. O’Shea assures him that as long as Ailbhe has his support, things will be fine. Mack tells her that Caitríona is even helping out by taking Ailbhe shopping to buy something non-prostitute-y to wear to court. Well, now we know what Caitríona’s next book will be about. Mack wanders off just as David arrives to meddle some more, producing a pair of theatre tickets he claims he just bought and then immediately realized he can’t use. Wouldn’t O’Shea like to go with Micheál, given that they’re practically boinking in the street? O’Shea is annoyed, and tells David to mind his own business.

At the pub, Mo is now also involved in the ghost story, and it’s sad because she’s really too good to get mixed up in this nonsense. So we cut back to Jason’s flat, where he sees that Katy has found the earrings, and he snots, “Were you going through my stuff?” Uhh, they were in a drawer in the kitchen, jerk. It’s not like she was digging through your bedroom stash of porno mags and herpes medicine. She asks him leading questions, trying to get him to admit that he bought the earrings because he has feelings for her, but he won’t take the bait, and then there’s a great shot of him standing still, staring straight ahead, with unfocused eyes and gritted teeth. Every man recognizes this exact expression from when the doctor says, “Turn your head and cough.” Katy is annoyed, and storms off, again.

At the pub, there is nonsense, and then we see that David and Micheál have gone to the play together, and Tadgh makes jokes about them being a couple, and David naively and cluelessly says a bunch of cheap gay double entendres, and Micheál tells him to shut up because he’s just digging them deeper. It’s a little gross, but also, if anybody’s going to get some gay action on this show, shouldn’t it be Padraig rather than David and Micheál? Can they fly Iolo from Pobol y Cwm over to get horizontal with Padraig?

Back at the flat, Katy asks Jason to say goodbye to Cuán for her, because she doesn’t want to wake him. She sadly tells Jason she’s loved living with them, and that she’ll be back to work in a couple of days. There’s a long shot of Jason looking sad and alone in the kitchen as she leaves. There’s a silly scene with John Joe, and then Jason is chasing Katy down the street. He tells her she’s right, he does have feelings for her, but he didn’t want to start anything because he was afraid of hurting her. She tells him he hurt her anyway, and he apologizes, and asks her to come home. They kiss, and he helps her carry her bags back to their place. Awww.

Next:  It’s the trial of creepy Muiris! Dee is cross-examining Mack, who says he knows Famous Prostitute Ailbhe “as well as you could know anyone.” Oh, Mack.

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