Saturday, April 16, 2016
Two Dummies Walk into a Bar...
Season 20, Episode 67
First aired 14 April 2016
Our episode begins with the same creepy minor-key piano banging last episode ended with, and the first minute feels a bit like we’ve wandered into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Suzanne, who is with Andy at their holiday home, keeps trying to call Bobbi-Lee, who refuses to answer the phone because she’s busy looking out the window trying to figure out where that music is coming from. A tricksy radio-DJ cut leads us over to Jason’s house, where he’s snooping through Katy’s purse (?) and finds a letter from the fertility clinic telling her she has an appointment today at noon. Is that how people in Ireland are informed about their medical appointments? They get a letter? Anyway, Katy appears about this time asking him if he wants her to pick up Cuán from school, so he crams the letter back into her purse and acts innocent, and then like a cranky baby, so she leaves, clearly wondering what bug flew up his butt.
At the café, Micheál is blathering on to Berni and Evan about Tadhg and Annette and the ongoing football saga. Because children’s sports are not interesting even if it’s your own children playing, Berni is yawning and rolling her eyes and Evan is semi-comatose. Micheál eventually notices she’s not paying attention and calls her on it, and she’s like, “Yes, yes, it’s terrible that Réailtín fell in a volcano or whatever. Well, slán!” He leaves in a huff, and Berni sadly tells Evan she thought Micheál would’ve remembered that today is the one-year anniversary of Cathal’s death. They exchange greeting-card platitudes, which David overhears, and he puts on his scheme-concocting face and then brightly tells them he’s been looking for them.
Suzanne has shown up at Bobbi-Lee’s, so Bobbi-Lee immediately lays into her, but she stands her ground and says she’s not leaving till she’s said her piece. Throw a drink in her face, Bobbi-Lee!
At Gaudi, Katy is teasing Pádraig over the grey hoodie and workout togs he’s wearing, but it’s actually the best he’s looked in ages. He explains that he’s on his way to the gym so he’ll look good for the TV program he’s going to be on, but she sadly breaks the news to him that it’s too late for him to do anything, especially given what an old saddo he is. He finds her attitude unhelpful, but leaves happy anyway, presumably on a pre-workout endorphin high. Or maybe he’s read the upcoming script and is glad to be getting out before this nonsense starts. Sulky Jason sulks in and asks Katy to take Cuán to the crèche. There is a debate over the relative merits of giving dummies to babies, with Katy arguing that she read an article this week saying they’re bad, and Jason countering that she’s a big poo-poo head. These two have really used up any goodwill we might’ve felt for them.
Back at Bobbi-Lee’s, Suzanne is explaining that if she’d told Bobbi-Lee about Andy from the start, she never would’ve given her the time of day. Bobbi-Lee seems to be looking for something to smash Suzanne over the head with during this scene, which is what we’re all hoping for. Suzanne confesses that she and Andy are a couple now, which makes Bobbi-Lee throw up in her mouth a little, and that Andy just wants a chance to talk to Bobbi-Lee and apologize to her before it’s too late. Yes, Andy has a fatal soap opera condition, in this case Motor Neuron Disease, which is apparently Irish for ALS, and because it’s an absolutely horrific disease that’s no fun at all to snark about, I am henceforth going to say he has African Hydraulic Fever, the robot soap-opera disease from Futurama.
At the café, Terrible Annette is talking to Eoin about an addition she wants built onto her house, or her father’s house, or something. It’s hard to pay attention because we are alarmed to see Eoin, whom we love, getting sucked into Annette’s vortex of awfulness. He says he can start the work next week, and she’s very pleased, which in Annette’s case means she looks like she’s going to mate with him and then eat his head off, like a praying mantis. Run, Eoin, run! He leaves and Micheál shows up, asking Annette if he can have a word. It seems all Annette’s yelling and screaming and pistol-whipping at football yesterday upset poor Réailtín very much, and now she’s afraid of Annette, which is the first sensible thing to come out of Réailtín all year. Rage flashes in Annette’s eyes, but she reins it in and shifts into butter-not-melting-in-mouth mode, apologizing profusely. It’s just that Réailtín is an amazing player, you see, with loads of potential, and Annette is just trying to make her live up to it. Fun fact: “Réailtín” is Irish for “Pele.” You can tell how old I am by the fact that Pele is my soccer reference. The smoke she’s blowing up Micheál’s ass works, and he’s very pleased indeed, although he’s obliged to tell her that if he gets another complaint, he’ll have to remove her as coach, and at the thought of this, her lips disappear.
Suzanne is pleading with Bobbi-Lee to meet with Andy, but she’s not giving in to him, no matter how much African Hydraulic Fever he has. There are a lot of long pauses and meaningful glances in this scene, and as much as I complain about Suzanne as a character, the actress is quite good here. Suzanne reiterates that Andy is dying, but Bobbi-Lee stands firm, so eventually Suzanne leaves. It would’ve been really easy to go overboard with the dramatics in this storyline, but Anna Maria Ní Dhonnacha really is a model of restraint here, and we're reminded that she's not just the funniest comic actor on the show, but that she can also do drama.
And now, some nonsense with David, which Evan manages to make mostly bearable. It seems David is a karate teacher (?) and needs Berni and Evan to write fake evaluations about how great he is so he’ll be reappointed to the Irish Karate Academy, or something. Evan complains that it will take all day, which is clearly David’s plan to keep him and Berni too busy and distracted to be sad about Cathal. Evan starts filling out fake forms complaining about David’s lack of dynamic range and general uselessness, which David objects to, but Evan explains that it’ll look suspicious if they’re all glowing, so perhaps some of the students didn’t think David was very good. Snerk. David is offended, of course, and decides in typical David fashion that the sensible response is to stand up and demonstrate some flying karate moves, and it’s actually pretty amusing, especially when he almost punches Berni in the head.
Katy brings Cuán into Gaudi, where Máire is lying in wait to create some drama, although it actually seems unintentional this time. She’s raving about what a good job Katy does with Cuán considering what a young, young girl she is, which annoys Katy, and John Joe gets involved, and Peadar extricates a confused Máire from the mess, and there is glaring, and Katy really needs a holiday and needs to take Jason with her. Or not. Either way, Katy and Jason need to go away for a bit, for all our sakes.
At the pub, Micheál and Frances get parallel phone calls from the school. It seems a) someone hit Réailtín at school, and b) Áine hit someone at school. It’s all very Thelma versus Louise. When Tadhg hears that Áine punched someone, he’s very excited at the possibility it might’ve been Annette’s daughter, but sadly, no.
Back at Gaudi, Dummygate escalates, with Cuán crying because he wants it, and Katy refusing to give it to him because she heard they can explode in a high-speed impact or whatever. John Joe says Katy had a dummy until she was approximately 16 and it never hurt her, but she’s decided she’s going to assert her dominance and fight Jason over this, even though he doesn’t realize it yet.
Bobbi-Lee arrives at the Holiday House of Horrors and tells Andy she’s giving him five minutes, but no more. I should add that I finally figured out that Andy is Bobbi-Lee’s ex-husband, and while I still don’t know the full array of terrible things he did to her, given that he’s hooked up with Suzanne now, he must be pretty bad. What we really needed last week was a scene in which Bobbi-Lee randomly told someone, Nollaig perhaps, “You know who I really don’t miss? My ex-husband Andy, who is also Berni’s brother, I think!”
After the break, Jason returns to Gaudi, where Cuán is still crying because he wants his dummy. Katy says she left them at the café, and she and Jason start arguing, and Cuán seriously needs a haircut, because he’s starting to look like the woman out of the Thompson Twins.
Andy asks Bobbi-Lee if she’s told Berni about his return, and when she says no, he asks her not to, because he wants to give her the bad news himself. She can always just wait to read about it in Máire’s newsletter. Bobbi-Lee asks him what the doctors say, and he says they’ve run all kinds of tests and are “hopeful,” which is a relative term when you’re dealing with African Hydraulic Fever. He chooses this moment to throw it in Bobbi-Lee’s face that she wasn’t there for Lee when she needed her, which seems unnecessary considering she’s doing him a favor by being there. He tells her Lee cried herself to sleep every night for weeks/months/years when Bobbi-Lee left, and this is officially the worst deathbed apology ever. She angrily explains that she left because she couldn’t spend one more day with Andy, and to her surprise, he agrees with her, admitting it was all her fault. He gets up and hobbles toward her with a crutch, which I don’t recall him using last episode, and she uncomfortably tells him that she and Lee had become very close before she died, which he appreciates. He gives her an envelope with the money she gave Suzanne, and then apologizes for everything. Red-eyed, she sniffles, and then walks out without a word.
At Gaudi, Mo is asking Mack to sign the deeds to the Collapsi-Shack over to her, just to make it official, and he agrees. Another skirmish in the Dummy Wars breaks out just then, with Jason asking Katy how she could do something so unthinkable to a poor innocent baby, and for pete’s sake, Jason, she wouldn’t give him a dummy. It’s not like she threw him down the stairs to make a funny YouTube video. Jason escalates the fight, and an embarrassed Katy suggests they continue the discussion at home where there’s not an entire restaurant full of people watching, but he wants to fight then and there. She explains she was doing what she thought was best, because she cares for Cuán too, but he spits that it’s not her decision to make, and chooses this moment to throw the “you’re not his mother!” grenade at her and storm out the door.
At the community centre, David is still complaining about the way Evan is filling out the fake forms, but Berni has given up on this nonsense and is making herself a cup of coffee. Mo shows up and mentions the anniversary of Cathal’s death. Berni notes she’s the first one to remember, but Mo admits that she only knows because David told her earlier. She explains that David had her print all the phony forms to give Berni and Evan something to do, which sends Berni into a rage over all the time she wasted that she could’ve spent meddling and judging. Mo reminds her that David was only trying to help, though she admits that it was a stupid plan, and we end with David and Evan continuing to squabble about the forms and whether there is an Irish word for “ex-priest karate pain in the arse.”
Katy has followed Jason home, where he is staring moodily out the window, and she’s furious over the scene he caused at Gaudi. She thinks he’s angry because she refused to go on the luxury holiday to someplace without mountains the other day, and he’s a big sulky baby, and he finally tells her he knows about the fertility treatments, and that it seems like an awfully big coincidence that “a woman with her problems” hooked up with a single father. Well, I’m sure she was also drawn to your charming personality, dickweed.
At Berni’s, it’s now all grins and giggles with her and David, and they’re sharing a bottle of wine when Bobbi-Lee stomps in. David announces that he’s got to go, because suddenly it smells like the Grand Ole Opry in there, so he leaves amidst much awkwardness. Berni snots that she wanted David to stay for dinner, and Bobbi-Lee fumes that men need to learn to take no for an answer, and an argument breaks out about which of the two of them the world revolves around. Sorry, Bobbi-Lee, you’ll never beat Berni at this game. Berni points out the Cathal deathiversary, and pouts that no one remembered, and Bobbi-Lee apologizes and explains she’s had a lot on her mind, and there is general misery.
Speaking of misery, let’s check in on Katy and Jason. They’re still arguing, as you would imagine. He doesn’t understand why she wasn’t honest in the first place, so she asks him what he would’ve done if she’d told him up front about her infertility. You can tell he wants to say, “Well, we wouldn’t have used all those condoms, that’s for sure.” They argue for 27 more minutes, and then she leaves in a huff and goes next door to argue with John Joe. She blames him for spilling the beans about the fertility treatments, so the two of them argue for a while, and meanwhile Mack is just standing there like an comfortable coatrack in a giant green parka. She yells at John Joe for a while about how he’s ruined her life, and then collapses in a sobbing heap onto Mack, who looks stricken and then hilariously makes comforting “shh, shh” sounds in the general direction of the top of her head.
Next time: Mack and Eoin are at whatever office deeds live at in Ireland, and it looks like we may be in for a discussion of zoning laws and building permits, which is what we’ve been waiting all year for! Also, given Mack’s confusion, it looks like Eoin is going to have to give another explanation of why buildings do better if they have foundations, which is apparently not a matter of common knowledge as one might have thought, at least in Mack and Mo’s family.