Sunday, April 24, 2016

Absolutely Crabulous

Season 20, Episode 69
First aired 21 April 2016

We open this episode in which everyone is in a foul mood with Áine, the world’s greatest football player artist, who is cheating death by scribbling all over her brand-new sunny pink backpack with a permanent marker. Careful, Áine—if Annette discovers this is a thing, she’ll make herself captain of it. Tadhg catches her in the act and complains that now her stupid mother will have to go buy her another stupid bag because Áine is stupid, and we are reminded that Tadhg can be awfully amusing when he’s not committing one or more felonies. Áine agrees that her backpack is stupid, and says she scribbled on it because she doesn’t like it anymore, so Tadhg hits her with a “Wait till your mother gets home,” and we remember that Áine has two terrifying parents, so it’s no wonder she’s taken to punching her way through life.

Over at the shop, David is buying party balloons in this show’s favorite color, Hideous Puce, when Bobbi-Lee elbows him out of the way to buy some aspirin. Another morning, another hangover. He reminds her that she better get over it ASAP, because she promised she’d help him decorate Gaudi for his birthday party tonight. Fortunately for David, decorating for your own birthday party is not sad AT ALL. Bobbi-Lee has, of course, forgotten all about it because it’s not about her, which is one of the many things we love about her. She’s noncommittal about the whole affair until he makes sad puppy eyes, and finally she promises she’ll come just so he’ll stop making that face.

At the café, Mo is flipping through a super-modern posh expensive kitchen design magazine, which seems awfully ambitious considering her Collapsi-Shack is missing a floor and possibly walls. Mack and Dee arrive in mid-squabble, but then slam on the brakes when they see Mo, whose house is obviously the subject of their argument. Mo asks if Mack has the deeds yet, and he claims that they’ll be here any second, as soon as, uhh, paper is invented. Dee Can’t Even with this nonsense, plus her eyes are about to roll out of her head, so the two of them split, leaving Mo frustrated and wondering if she’ll ever get her million-dollar dream kitchen in her 50-dollar shack.

Cuán, being pushed down the street in his stroller by Auntie Berni, is awakened by the general clamor and commotion that follow Bobbi-Lee everywhere she goes. Berni, of course, uses this as an excuse to have a go at her, and they squabble half-heartedly. Eventually Berni apologizes for calling Bobbi-Lee a bad mother last episode, and an uneasy peace settles over the land. Bobbi-Lee tells her about her new “forget how you ruined the past and focus on how you can doom the future” philosophy, which causes Berni to wander away because it is not about her. Bobbi-Lee opens an envelope that’s arrived for her in the post, and it’s a lovely photo of a young Bobbi-Lee and Andy, who we see were a very attractive couple, holding baby Lee, and on the back, modern-day Andy has written that she can have it, because there aren’t many pics of Lee as a baby. This causes Bobbi-Lee to flip out and call him a bastard, and it’s unclear why exactly she’s so upset, but it’s Bobbi-Lee, with whom cause and effect operate mysteriously.

At Gaudi, Pádraig and Katy are arguing about everything. She’s being particularly flaky, and he’s being particularly pinched, and it’s not a good color on either of them. David is there, and gets caught in the crossfire when Pádraig tells him apropos of nothing that Bobbi-Lee is the village floozy who flirts with everyone, and that she doesn’t care about him. The downside of the Gay Empathy Gene is that it is often accompanied by the Gay Bitchiness Gene. Pádraig finally storms out in a huff, leaving Katy and David all, “What was her problem?”, and we all know what the answer is, but we are too dignified and charitable to say it out loud.

Tadhg is showing Frances Áine’s backpack handiwork. He seems content to shove Áine into a basket and leave her on Máire’s doorstep, but Frances, who has actually been paying attention to Áine, explains that she just hasn’t been the same since she and Réailtín stopped being friends. She picks up the phone to apologize to Micheál in hopes of getting the girls back together, because she is incredibly sick of seeing Áine mope around, but Tadhg snatches the phone from her and informs here that There Will Be Blood, but There Will Not Be Apologizing.

Mack has returned to the café, where Mo seems to have been hanging around all day waiting to show people her decorating magazines. Does she have a job? No, seriously, what does she do? She thrusts the magazines at him, and he scoffs that they are nonsense, and that considering she had to take out a loan to add a foundation, she should knock it off with the luxury door handles and gold toilet paper and holographic cabinets. He asks her when she turned into Caitríona, and, damn, Mack, I get that you are upset, but that is a low blow. He storms off, and Mo is sad, because she hasn’t even shown him the astronaut toilet she’s picked out yet.

Bobbi-Lee stomps up the driveway to Suzanne and Andy’s Holiday House of Horrors, and it looks like she’s walked all the way there, which makes me wonder where it is exactly. It’s their quiet country cottage right behind the shop, apparently. She bangs on the door, and we can tell she’s getting back to her normal feisty self because she’s wielding her cheetah-print handbag like an axe. Andy answers the door and she pushes past him, forgetting that one has to be careful with people who have intermittent African Hydraulic Fever. She rants about what a monster he is for sending her the family photo (?), and balls it up and throws it on the floor. He, of course, has no idea what the hell is going on, but doesn’t seem entirely surprised, because he has met Bobbi-Lee before and knows this is par for the course.

Mack arrives home and starts a fight with Dee, because an outbreak of Grouchy-pox has clearly swept through the village today. Seriously, everybody is being a complete crab. He complains that she’s taking too long with the deeds, and that she needs to start lawyering faster. She tells him if he doesn’t like it, he can go find somebody else, and it’s sweet, because they’re bickering like an old married couple. He apologizes and says the thing with long-lost Uncle Patsy is driving him mental, but Dee, whose lovely hair seems to be spontaneously forming itself into dreadlocks, says it’s unlikely Patsy will ever return to Ireland, and even if he does, she will destroy him in court. If he sues for the house, she’ll convict him of sex trafficking and selling cocaine to babies, because that’s how she operates. Mack worries that Mo will be furious if she finds out he knew about the uncle, and Dee tells him just to lie and say the deed is held up in probate, and goes to get a piece of paper and a pen so she can write down the word “probate” for him.

David and Katy are prepping Gaudi for the party, but there are more streamers around her neck than on the walls, so clearly they are helpless without Pádraig there to boss them around and humiliate them. And speaking of, they’re discussing what David should wear when Pádraig stomps in, so David asks him whether he should wear a tie to the party. Pádraig grumps that he’s not Gok Wan, whom I assumed must be a Jedi of some kind, but it turns out is not. Katy confronts him about what a jerk he’s being, but he blames her for the fact that his life is terrible and storms out. Oh, Pádraig, I think there is plenty of blame to go around for the sorry state of your life, and I move we start with “society.”

At the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Bobbi-Lee has backed Andy into a corner, and is yelling at him for trying to lay a guilt trip on her with the photo. As she continues to scream at him, Andy is wilting as if someone left a cake out in the rain, and even though we hate him, he’s pitiful. She shouts that she’s leaving, and he chooses that moment to faint and fall under the kitchen table, which anyone would do in the face of this onslaught, whether they had African Hydraulic Fever or not.

After the break, David is trying to rush Mo out the door to his birthday party, but she’s dragging her feet and lying in wait for someone new to argue with. And right on cue, Dee arrives, and says she and Mack are skipping the party because he has a headache, and also because it will be terrible. Mo starts yelling at her, and says the only reason the deeds are taking so long is because Dee wants to keep the house for herself. Right, Dee seems like the kind of person who would want to live in a falling-down shack with a mud floor and a roof held up by prayer. Dee storms off as Mo calls her a hussy, because clearly a gold-digging tramp like Dee would decide her fortune lies in Mack, who shares a house with 3-12 people and didn’t have the money to pay for his hernia-ectomy. David, whom we had forgotten was in this scene, tells Mo she’s got the wrong end of the stick, but Mo huffs and shouts and shoves his birthday present at him before storming off, and man, something is really in the water today.

Bobbi-Lee is standing across the room watching Andy try to pull himself up off the floor, and it’s obvious this has been going on for a while. He asks for a hand, but she doesn’t want to come near him, and instead offers to call a doctor. Yes, let’s get sexy Dr Tiarnán over for some of Bobbi-Lee’s patented sensual hijinks! Andy finally manages to get to his feet, barely, but when Bobbi-Lee refuses to give him his crutch, he falls into her arms.

It’s David’s birthday party, and Berni has given him a yellowed old paperback book. Clearly she didn’t tap into too much of her Cathal inheritance, but David barely notices because he’s so distracted by the normally dependable Bobbi-Lee’s absence. Pádraig, meanwhile, is sulking alone on a barstool with a sour look on his face, and Katy stops by to get to the bottom of his nonsense once and for all. He confesses that he’s failed his driving test for the fifth time, and Katy bugs her eyes out in disbelief. Come on, Pádraig, even Mack managed to pass his driver’s test, and he has trouble operating a door. It’s especially painful, he explains, because he has a ten-year reunion coming up next week and he still can’t drive, and we all wonder what it’s supposed to have been ten years since Pádraig did. Katy tries to tell him there are worse things than not being able to drive, and he snots that not for him there aren’t, so she gives up and wanders away, clearly thinking that she could list a dozen things right off the top of her head that are worse about Pádraig’s life than not having a driver’s license.

Áine is at the kitchen table drawing with crayons when her parents enter, and Tadhg compliments her on having learned how to use paper. Hee. Frances ignores him and brightly announces to Áine that they’ve got a surprise for her, which she is puzzled by given that even she knows she’s been a brat lately. It seems they’ve decided to throw a party for her, which she reacts to with the same enthusiasm she’d have if they told her they’d decided to throw a beehive at her. She doesn’t want a party, and is kind of hilarious in this scene. She brightens momentarily when Frances says Réailtín can come, but Tadhg puts a stop to that, saying that all her other friends can come, like Sorcha, “and that other girl with the bandy leg.” Áine is unswayed by this argument, and storms off in a strop, just like everyone else in every scene this episode. There is probably a scene on the cutting-room floor showing Máire punching a nun in the face and storming off.

Back at 1313 Creepy Street, Bobbi-Lee sees that she has a voicemail from David, but she’s too busy being awkward with Andy to reply right now. They’re sitting across the room from each other, but at least he’s upright on the couch now, so that’s progress. She explains that she learned to keep her distance after all the black eyes he gave her, and he says he regrets the way he treated her. He’s shivering, so she gets up and cautiously goes over to him to wrap a blanket around his shoulders, and of course Suzanne enters just then. Bobbi-Lee looks guilty, and Suzanne looks surprised and annoyed, because all of Suzanne’s emotions end with “and annoyed.” Bobbi-Lee reports that Andy fainted, and she heads for the door before Suzanne can cast a spell on her. Eye of newt, festival of bat, that sort of thing. At the doorway, she turns around and sees Suzanne and Andy eating each other’s faces off, and gives a look that says about a thousand things at once.

Tadhg is pounding on an off-camera door and yelling at Áine to get out of her room because she’s been in there long enough. Oh, things are going to be good when she’s a teenager. He heads into the kitchen to grump at Frances about how this is all her fault, but then they agree that it’s actually Micheál’s fault. Can we find a way to blame Fia for all this somehow? Frances reminds Tadhg that they’re the grownups and are going to have to find a way to fix this, and he seems annoyed by this idea, unless fixing it involves pushing Micheál down some stairs, in which case he is in favor of it.

David is thrilled when a sullen Bobbi-Lee arrives at his party, and while he goes to get her a drink, she sits down alone and looks wistfully at happy Katy and Jason, and then at the uncrumpled photo of herself and Andy in happier times, or at least younger times. She smiles, and then stops a passing Katy to tell her how lucky she is to have a fine man like Jason in her life. Katy looks awkward because this is Bobbi-Lee and therefore one never knows where things are going, but Bobbi-Lee assures her that things are fine between them, and that she approves of Katy being the new woman in Jason’s post-Lee life. Katy muses that she never thought she’d end up with Jason, and Bobbi-Lee notes that sometimes the most unexpected person wins your heart. Katy assumes she’s talking about having feelings for David, but Bobbi-Lee quickly denies it and says that these days she’s only interested in casual flings, popping out of giant cakes at Studio 54, that sort of thing. David arrives with a snifter of brandy, which Bobbi-Lee downs in one chug, and then she says she’s not feeling well and has to go. He looks sad, and she looks sad, and this birthday is officially even worse than Katy’s was the other week.

Áine has emerged from her room to watch TV, and Tadhg sits down beside her on the sofa for a nice daddy-daughter scene that is approximately 50% Homer/Lisa Simpson. They have a bonding moment over Mommy’s bad cooking, as fathers and children have done for centuries, and he rather deftly turns it into a discussion of how all the children she’s injured will forgive her if she invites them to her party. Well, as soon as they get out of the hospital. Áine asks if this includes Réailtín, and Tadhg says it does, so she agrees to have the party, which hopefully will turn into a street brawl with brass knuckles and headless Barbies filed into sharp points. It ends with a hug, and he assures her that Daddy will fix everything, but because this is Tadhg, he says it sinisterly and creepily, which makes me think somebody’s gonna get hurt, and I sure hope it’s Annette.

Next time: Mack breaks the news to Mo about the long-lost uncle, and given that she already looks like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards, it seems that perhaps he hasn’t chosen the best moment. Even better, Dee sticks her oar in, and the fur is going to fly! And metaphors will be mixed!

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