Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's My Party, and I'll Tadhg If I Want To

Season 20, Episode 70
First aired 26 April 2016

The preparations for Áine’s party are in full swing, and Tadhg is busily deciding where the bacon and cabbage will be placed, since those are the favorite party foods of every child. Instead of cake, there will be whole onions dipped in gin. Áine is setting place cards and gives Réailtín the spot of honor, causing Frances to worry whether Micheál will let her come or not. Tadhg says there will be so many kids Áine won’t even notice whether or not Réailtín is there, and we can tell Tadhg has never had a friend, because THAT IS NOT HOW BEST FRIENDS WORK.

Sulky Suzanne shows up at the pub in a slow-motion zombie fugue, which actually makes her more bearable than usual. She’s here to ask Bobbi-Lee for a favor, which is understandable, because she and Andy have built up so much good karma with her lately that Bobbi-Lee really owes them one. Do you listen to the nonsense you say, Suzanne?

Tadhg has stopped by Micheál’s work to try to make peace, or what passes for peace in Tadhg’s world, for the children’s sakes. He tells Micheál that Áine’s having a party today and they’d hate for Réailtín to be excluded, and Micheál says knowingly that he’s sure she won’t be, which is our first clue that Áine’s A-list gala is not going to make the cover of Hello! magazine.

Suzanne is moping that she wants to leave their holiday chalet for warmer, drier climes, and to get back to work, because she’s got events to organize, such as the “And Your Little Dog, Too!” Festival. Bobbi-Lee impatiently asks what this has to do with her, and Suzanne tells her that Andy won’t agree to leave until Bobbi-Lee forgives him. It seems he feels awful for everything he’s done to her, particularly for bringing Suzanne back into her life, we assume. Bobbi-Lee is reluctant, and Suzanne helpfully points out that she doesn’t have to mean it, she just has to say it.

Sunny Pádraig and mopey David are in line at the post office, because apparently they are the two people left in the world who mail things. Pádraig is sending off his application to get Gaudi on the new TV show we forgot about two weeks ago, but David is only semi-listening because he’s still depressed about how badly things went with Bobbi-Lee at his birthday party. He says he’s really learned his lesson with her this time, which means in about fifteen minutes he will be sending her his ear in a box.

At their place, Mack has dragged Mo out of bed, backwards through a hedge, and into the kitchen, where Dee is waiting for her. He wants them to kiss and make up, but instead there is hilarious rolling-up of sleeves and angry glaring, and I swear I have seen this exact scene on RuPaul’s Drag Race right before two drag queens rip off their wigs and earrings and start punching each other. My money is on Mo. Mack lies and tells Mo the deeds are delayed because of probate, which she buys, although she’s annoyed that it took him so long to tell her. Dee has no patience for any of this, and doesn’t appreciate Mo’s attitude, so she snots about the huge drama Mo is making over spending a couple thousand euros on a house she got for free. She calls Mo an ingrate, so Mo flips out and says Mack can take the house and shove it, which will be much more comfortable for him given it doesn’t have a foundation. She storms off, and Dee storms off, and Mack is left confused in the middle, as usual.

At the Holiday House of Horror, Andy walks in on Suzanne, who is packing her cauldrons and potions. I find that when traveling, packing cubes really help me organize my evil spirits. She tells him they can leave soon for Limerick, because she spoke to Bobbi-Lee and she was “more than happy” to forgive Andy, but he is skeptical and wants to hear it straight from the cowgirl’s mouth. You overplayed your hand there with the “more than happy” nonsense, Suzanne. “Grudgingly” would’ve been believable, but you got greedy. She guesses that there’s more to this than mere forgiveness and that Andy still has feelings for Bobbi-Lee, which he doesn’t deny, and as much as Suzanne the character annoys me, the actress actually makes me feel sorry for her in this moment, because she’s all welling eyes and trembling mouth.

At the pub, Frances and Tadhg have been fielding last-minute cancellation calls from all the parents, and it’s clear that they’re all boycotting Áine’s party. She sits at the head of the table looking very small and sad, and there are balloons and party hats but no children to fight over them or choke on them, and it is very pitiful indeed. Áine sadly mopes that she knew nobody was going to come because she doesn’t have any friends anymore. Just before they all jump out the window in despair, there’s a noise at the door, and Áine brightly assumes it’s Réailtín, but no, it’s just Jason, who at this point is of course even worse than nothing. (Sorry, Jason.) Tadhg says the four of them can have a party, which is just the kind of thing a parent would say in this situation to try to help, but it’s odd to hear it coming out of Tadhg’s mouth. One would imagine he’d be threatening the parents or at least ranting about how ugly the various children are. He slaps a party hat on Jason, who tries to look festive, but Áine shouts that she doesn’t have any friends anymore because of Tadhg, and that she hates him, and she storms out of the room.

After the break, Mack runs into Mo, who’s been avoiding him all morning. It seems she’s stopped work on the house, and she fumes that she never should’ve taken it in the first place. Tensions thaw as there’s back and forthing about who owes whom what, and who feels guilty about what, and who is the dreamiest One Direction-er, etc. Mo proclaims that she doesn’t want to “fall out over land, like thousands of other families,” which sounds like she’s reading from the script of a History Channel documentary, but the sentiment is nice, anyway.

Back at the pub, Tadhg is finally doing the ranting and roaring we were deprived of in his previous scene, so all’s right with the world. Frances tells him it’s all his fault because of the drama with the football team, which is mostly true, but he declares Micheál is the one to blame, which is probably only semi-true. Let’s not forget about witchy-poo Annette! Anyway, he announces that he’s going to go make Micheál sorry he was ever born and so on, and Frances tells him two wrongs don’t make a right, which may be true, but in Tadhg’s world, running over Micheál with your car makes something close enough to right.

At the café, Dee is berating Mack over what a spoiled ingrate Mo is, and let’s remember that Dee knows an ungrateful brat when she sees one. He chooses this moment to tell Dee the story of how his sister gave Mo up for adoption when she was born, and how things got so bad Mo ended up in An Teaghlach, and that Mack didn’t get to know her till she was an adult. He notes that even though she didn’t know him till she was grown, she’d still do anything for him, including spending thousands on his operation. Dee is practically in tears at this Dickensian tale of woe, particularly the part where teenaged Mo almost died of the plague after working 20 straight hours in a sweatshop on Christmas, and you can tell she’s really regretting putting all those laxatives in Mo’s coffee ten minutes ago.

At the bar, Bobbi-Lee and Jason are discussing Áine’s disastrous party, and how the kids at school are picking on her. Of course Pádraig overhears this, and he knows first-hand how cruel kids can be, as one would imagine, so he heads upstairs to talk to her. I’m sure Tadhg will love that.

Oh, but fortunately for Pádraig, Tadhg is away at the petrol station/hardware store/garden center/sushi bar where Michael works. They argue over who’s a bad parent, and who’s spreading rumors about whom, and finally Tadhg shoves him up against a wall, and it’s really mature, commendable behavior all around.

Mo returns home to find Dee there, so she proceeds to try to throw her out by making dismissive “shoo-shoo” gestures, and it looks like it’s about to be on and poppin’ at last. Sadly, Mack chooses this moment to appear and break them up, but happily, he is clad only in a towel, so for a certain segment of the viewership, that helps make up for the fistfight he’s deprived us of. Dee spits that she’s spent the entire day researching ways to solve their problem, but since Mo doesn’t want her there, she’ll take her miracle solution and go home. It seems she’s discovered that Mo can get the loan if they put the house in her name, but put “the other piece of land” in Mack’s name, and I’m not sure we knew anything about another piece of land, but whatever. This way, Mo gets her house, and if Mack wants to build a place for himself later, he’s got a plot. Hooray, I guess! With some cajoling, Mack gets Mo to grudgingly apologize to Dee, and finally the two women have a bonding moment by talking about what a pain Mack is.

Pádraig is telling Áine the sad story of his “friend” who got picked on as a child, which Áine of course sees right through, but he is sympathetic enough that she confesses to him that her friends wrote “Weirdo” on her bag, which is why she was scribbling it out the other day. She asks Pádraig to continue the story of how he got bullied, and then says she hopes that he hit the bullies, because Ultimate Fighter Áine is HARDCORE. He tells her that he ignored them instead, and that she should do the same. Áine is pretty sure she’s never seen an “Ignore” option on Grand Theft Auto or Street Fighter 6, so this seems doubtful to her, but she’ll give it a try. Tadhg has been listening at the door, and finally comes in and “encourages” Pádraig to leave to he can talk to his daughter. He asks her why she didn’t tell him sooner that the kids were picking on her, and she says it was because she didn’t want to stir up any more trouble. She tells him she knows he can’t fix everything, and gives him a comforting hug on her way out the door, which makes him feel even worse.

Andy flags Bobbi-Lee down in the street right outside the pub, and she yells that he shouldn’t be there because someone might see him. Fortunately, though, he is wearing a hat, and is therefore unrecognizable. It’s a variation on the Superman/Clark Kent theory of disguise. He sadly tells her that he and Suzanne had a big argument, and she left, so Bobbi-Lee leads him to her car so they can continue the conversation in private, and probably also listen to her latest demo.

Frances finds Tadhg in the kitchen sadly drinking alone and picking through the debris of the bombed-out post-apocalyptic wasteland that was Áine’s party, and it’s just like the end of the video for “99 Luftballons.” If you are of a certain age, you know exactly what I’m talking about. He’s feeling sorry for himself because when he tries to help his daughter he just makes things worse. Frances angrily says this has gone on long enough, and that she’s going to fix things by calling the parents and the school, but Tadhg shuts her down, and says the stupid parents are stupid and they’ve all made up their stupid minds about him, and it’s all Micheál’s fault.

In her car, Andy confesses that Suzanne left because he told her that he still has Special Feelings for Bobbi-Lee, and will until the day he dies. Which could be today, if Berni walks by and finds him sitting in Bobbi-Lee’s car. Bobbi-Lee tells him that nothing has changed between them, but that she semi-forgives him, but also never wants to see him again.  He tells her he’ll leave and never come back if she does him one favor: he wants to meet his grandson Cuán. Well, whatever you do, don’t bring him a dummy.

Next time: Bobbi-Lee tells Berni that Andy’s been released from prison, and Berni looks like her head is going to turn green and start spinning around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. So, a typical Thursday in Ros na Rún.

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