Friday, April 1, 2016
Fia-patra, Queen of the Niall
Season 20, Episode 63
First aired 31 March 2016
We start out at the B&B, where Evan, who seems to be a permanent fixture there now, asks Fia if she’s told her mother Niall is the baby’s father yet. Well, we haven’t heard screaming or explosions, so my guess is no. Vanessa appears in the kitchen and asks Fia if the baby likes Vegemite, and Fia says she doesn’t know because you can’t really get it in Ros na Rún, so Vanessa replies that there’s Vegemite as far as the eye can see back in Australia. Suddenly this has turned into a Men At Work song.
At Gaudi, Mo, Micheál, and Pádraig are gossiping about Fia and the baby, so I guess the latest issue of Máire’s newsletter must have come out. The summer swimsuit issue is my favorite! At the bar, Katy is disappointed that they didn’t win last night’s Eurovision Restaurant Contest (stupid Latvians!), but Jason’s just happy that business is good, and that the two of them are cute together. So cute, in fact, that he takes her hand, but then Pádraig shows up to share the gossip, so they let go of each other like hot potatoes. Pádraig, who in addition to the gay empathy gene also has the gay gossip gene, is thrilled by the scandal. Jason is also excited, so perhaps he’s got it as well, only as a recessive trait. Katy, who is suddenly wise beyond her years and a little boring, can only think about how hard this has been on Máire and Peadar, to which Pádraig replies, “I’d say Máire hasn’t put her rosary beads down since the news broke!” Snerk. He also notes that business will be booming today because gossip brings out the punters, and I guess this is one of those cases where I as a lifelong city-dweller don’t understand that there’s a correlation between some teenager getting knocked up and a spike in small-town restaurant business.
Katy tut-tuts that it’s not nice that people are talking about Fia, and while she’s obviously taking this tack because she knows the news about her and Jason is about to hit the fan, she’s also being a little bit of a pill about it. Jason says everyone will have something new to gossip about soon enough, but when a drooling Pádraig asks what, Katy shoots daggers at them both, so Pádraig flees to see if there are any new developments in the breaking news department, such as what Nollaig ate for breakfast or whether Fia is dating Prince Harry. Katy reminds Jason that he’s not allowed to tell anyone about them until she tells her parents, so we hope this is an episode with John Joe and Noreen in it or else we’ll have to wait till next week.
At home, Tadhg is quizzing Áine on Irish history and concludes that she’s a dunce who isn’t learning anything at school. Yes, but she can name all the Kardashians! Frances appears and suggests Áine go outside and practice her football, which excites Áine very much because she had completely forgotten that she suddenly started caring about football last episode. Tadhg thinks practice is a good idea because Áine stinks. Frances interjects with the usual “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s that everyone gets some fresh air and has a good time” nonsense, which Áine disagrees with, because the other teams get chips when they win. Frances chuckles that she bets their coach will buy them chips no matter how they play, but of course Tadhg is all, “I’m not buying these little shits jack! They can win their chips in a knife fight like I did when I was a child!”
At the B&B, Fia admits to her mother that it would be nice to go back to Australia and see all her friends, and Vanessa suggests that she could even take a course there. A pink-haired Fia in a performance of “Beauty School Dropout” comes to mind. There is mother-daughter bonding, but then Evan, who is still there for some reason, grimly notes that it’ll be hard for Fia to avoid the father if she goes back. She gives him a nasty look, which is slightly different from her default look because her tiny lips completely disappear, and then the two of them argue for a bit. Vanessa is more interested by this than we are because unlike us, she hasn’t been watching it for the past three months. She starts to tell Fia that things are different back in Oz since she left—there are so many new characters on Neighbours!—but just then Nollaig starts crying, and because this is Fia, she sits there and waits for someone else to go tend to him, in this case Vanessa. Her departure gives Evan and Fia an opportunity to squabble some more, and Evan says that Niall should go to prison for what he did (is Fia underage? How old is she supposed to be?) but she tells him that he doesn’t know the whole story because she—gasp!—hasn’t been completely honest with him. He looks shocked at this bombshell, and I’m starting to wonder if there’s a gas leak in that kitchen because otherwise there is no reason for him to be surprised by this.
At the café, David is bragging to Mack and John Joe about last night’s dream date with Bobbi-Lee. They of course give him a hard time about it, and there’s a certain amount of “girls are yucky!” combined with “do you think we’ll ever see a boob?”, and I swear I’ve seen this exact conversation among the children on South Park, only with more cursing.
At the shop, Katy is picking up a few giant squashes and courgettes, which are located on the magazine aisle today. She and Jason discuss telling John Joe and Noreen their big news. Her phone rings, and it’s someone named Timmy, who makes her giggle and widen her eyes and walk away to have a private conversation. Jason looks concerned and jealous, and this episode is starting to feel like everyone is back in junior high school. If we have to listen to Berni saying she’ll just die if she doesn’t get her period soon, I’m out.
Back at the B&B, Máire is fretting to Vanessa that the baby is too young to fly all the way to Australia. I don’t know, Máire, I hear the overhead bins on Emirates are very luxurious. They’re calling him Liam Óg this episode, so I guess that’s his name now, until next episode in which Fia decides that now she’s calling him Zayn. Máire tells Vanessa she should wait a few weeks, but Vanessa says she needs to get back to Australia to organize the wedding and start her new life with Niall, though she’s worried about telling Fia. Because Fia usually responds so reasonably to, well, any external stimulus.
Katy has finished giggling on the phone with Timmy, and Jason is all “Who’s this Timmy? ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH HIM?”, but trying to be casual about it. It seems he’s an old friend from home, and she doesn’t even know how he got her number. He did ask her out, but she turned him down, and Jason looks uneasy.
Evan and Fia’s conversation has migrated to the restaurant, where she’s telling him that she had feelings for Niall, but when he didn’t reciprocate, she went nuts. The gay eavesdropping gene goes hand in hand with the gay gossip gene, so Pádraig has been standing there wiping down the same table for eleven minutes, and finally Evan tells him to buzz off. Ooh, Pádraig’s Twitter feed is going to be good tonight! #FiaIsASlag ! Anyway, Vanessa saw how miserable Fia was and thought it was because she didn’t like Niall, so she ended the relationship, and then Fia turned around and seduced him by asking him to help her study for her exams and then getting him drunk. The next morning, he was shattered at what happened, and told her the only reason he agreed to help her was because he was still in love with Vanessa and wanted to win her back. The whole time she’s telling this story, her heavy makeup and tiny quivering mouth make her look like a china doll that throws up when you pull its string. When she finishes her story, Evan says he’s sorry for inviting Vanessa over and making things worse, and that in spite of all his earlier soapboxing about honesty being the best policy, there are some secrets that should stay buried, and this is one of them. It’s a Freaky Friday scenario, though, because now lying liar who lies Fia has decided there have been enough lies, and that she’s going to tell her mother the truth, because Vanessa deserves that much.
At the pub, Frances and Tadhg are arguing over his coaching strategy with the children. She thinks it should be a fun game with exercise and fresh air and good sportsmanship, and he plans to turn them into an elite killing squad by using abuse and terror. So it’s just like David and Bobbi-Lee’s differing views on romance. Frances tells him he just needs to use psychology on the kids, which Tadhg is opposed to, unless throwing rocks at them counts as psychology, in which case he is all for it.
Fia returns to the B&B to talk to Vanessa, so Máire excuses herself to the other room, because those rosary beads aren’t going to count themselves. Fia tells Vanessa she’s got something to tell her, to which Vanessa replies that she’s got something to say, too: she and Niall are back together, and they’re getting married! Fia goes into full vomiting doll mode and looks like she might faint. Someone get her some hairspray so she can breathe!
After the break, Tadhg is stopped in the street by terrible Annette, who you may recall we last saw harassing Caitríona about giving her daughter lice and then posting online that she went to Caitríona’s spa and got molested and toenail fungus, in that order. She’s complaining because her daughter Eva-Mai was “distraught” after training last night, and of course Tadhg is, hilariously, like “Eva-Mai … Eva-Mai … oh, right, the little idiot!” Annette is furiously indignant, because that is her default, and she insists that Eva-Mai is one of the top football players in Ireland and in fact won the World Cup in 2002 and again in 2006, and if Tadhg knows what’s good for him, he better be nice to her. He calls a witch and tells her to get lost, and that he might kick Eva-Mai off the team just to spite her. Annette protests that the club’s motto is that every child gets to play, which is too bad, because Tadhg’s motto is that he might run over Eva-Mai with his hearse. He tells Annette if she acts up at the next match he’ll have her thrown out, and she smugly announces “Wait till the other parents hear about this!” Given how horrible she is, and how all the other parents discovered she’s a big fat liar during Licegate, I’m not sure this is as much of a threat as she thinks it is.
Back at the B&B, Fia asks Vanessa if she’s told Niall about Liam Óg, and she says that she has, and that he’ll be a wonderful grandfather to him. Through her dry heaves, Fia says she doesn’t want Niall to have anything to do with the baby, but Vanessa says that will be difficult considering they’ll all be living together.
At Gaudi, Katy is arguing with Noreen, who it turns out is the one who’s been trying to fix her up with Timmy. Pádraig inserts himself into the conversation and says Katy has to go out with this Timmy, because he sounds totally DREAMY, and that he’ll even do her makeup for her. Because he’s a hairdresser and makeup artist, of course. Katy says there will be no makeover to be had because she’s not going out with Timmy and storms off, but it’s clear that Noreen has other plans.
At the pub, Mack and John Joe notice that David is making lovey-dovey faces at an oblivious Bobbi-Lee and make fun of him, so he tells them to grow up because there’s nothing wrong with wanting a relationship. So of course they call her over to tell her that David wants to marry her, and they’re being dicks, and she tells them David’s the only one of them likely to ever walk down the aisle, because the only person who's a bigger loser than John Joe is Mack. Having torn them both a new one, she tells David she could do worse than marrying him and walks off, which he of course takes to mean they’re practically engaged, and you just know that he’s going to go home and spend all night writing “Mr David Whatever-Bobbi-Lee’s-Last-Name-Is” on his notebook.
Evan is back at the B&B for some reason, and he and Fia are washing the dinner dishes. Peadar comes in to tell them there’s a film on the TV they should all go watch together, hopefully Human Centipede, and Máire laments that it’s so nice having everyone together and how much she’ll miss it when Vanessa & co. go back to Oz. Their grandparents leave, and Fia and Evan discuss what a mess the situation is. Evan still thinks she should keep it a secret, but Fia worries that when Liam Óg gets older, he’ll start asking questions about his father, and probably even look like Niall. Well, a few gallons of makeup will cover that right up.
Áine is trying to help Tadhg learn the children’s names and informs Frances that they’re going to win the championship. When Tadhg doesn’t object on the grounds that the children are a bunch of talentless dummies, and also ugly, Frances says he’s changed his tune, and he explains he’s going to be helpful rather than vindictive just to really shove it in Annette’s face. Well, if there’s anyone we can get behind Tadhg being horrible to, it’s Annette.
At Gaudi, Katy’s fairy godmothers Pádraig and Noreen have shown up with dresses and curling irons to transform her into a princess for her date with Timmy. Pádraig is seriously one magic wand away from transforming a pumpkin into a coach. It seems Noreen has called Timmy and told him to come over, which neither Katy nor Jason is happy about. Pádraig fusses with Katy’s ponytail and little black hat, which always makes her look like she escaped from a sushi bar, as she angrily calls Timmy to tell him that Noreen is out of her damn mind and that there is no date, because she in fact has a boyfriend!
At the B&B, Fia is cuddling Nollaig, who I refuse to call Liam Óg anymore, and apologizing for what a mess she’s made of things.
Back at the restaurant, an emergency call to John Joe has evidently been made, and when he finally shows up, everyone—especially Pádraig, who has naturally assumed that this is his business—scolds him for taking so long. Katy tells the assembled crowd that she’s seeing someone, and it’s Jason! Pádraig and Noreen squeal and jump up and down—Pádraig is one step away from opening his coat and having balloons and streamers fly out—but John Joe looks seriously unhappy.
We’re back at the B&B, and Vanessa comes into the kitchen to tell Fia that the film must be good, because Peadar and Máire are really scared in there. The toys come to life when the humans leave the room, AIEEEE! She tells Fia that she’s called the travel agent and there’s room on her flight back to Australia for Fia and the baby, so they can go back with her in a couple of days. Now, this is where TV shows make me crazy, because people are constantly getting plane tickets for, like, two days from now, as if it’s no sweat. I just looked it up and a one-way ticket from Shannon to Perth two days from now is €1600, unless you don’t want a 23-hour layover at Heathrow and two stops in Abu Dhabi, in which case it’s €3000. But anyway, Vanessa is going to pay €3000 to fly Fia back to Oz in a couple of days, but Fia wonders what’s the rush. Vanessa says her life is back in Perth, and doesn’t understand why Fia was all set to get on the plane until she heard about Niall. Fia lies and says she’s worried about Peadar and Máire, because they’ve gotten used to taking care of a baby 24 hours a day and picking up Fia’s pizza boxes and dirty tights, and they’ll really miss that. Vanessa is basically like, “Fia, I love you, but you need to get your little behind on that plane before I count to three. One … two….” But before she can get to three, Fia announces that she’s come between Vanessa and Niall for the last time, and therefore she’s not going back to Australia!
Next time: Mack and Dee are speaking to each other again! She’s flirty, and he’s hesitant, but at least he doesn’t look like seeing her makes him want to vomit, so: progress!