Saturday, May 14, 2016

David v Everyone

Season 20, Episode 75
First aired 12 May 2016

This episode’s conflict is set up immediately, as David sees Berni helping Andy down the street and into a car. I sense a karate-ing in Andy’s future, because David does not look happy. His angry face looks a lot like his confused face, except his eyebrows are at a slightly more severe angle.

Frances runs into Pádraig in the shop and schedules another driving lesson with him, and then mentions that she’s surprised he’s not in the restaurant given that Francis Brennan is over there. Really, Frances? You start out talking about driving lessons and then bring up the TV star? I think that’s what’s called “burying the lead.”

And now: Francis Brennan! Whom I had never heard of, and assumed was someone the show had made up! But then I did some Googling and discovered that he is, in fact, only semi-fictitious, and that having him in one’s restaurant would be a cause for some excitement, because it turns out that “Francis Brennan” is Irish for “Gordon Ramsay.” Except with less screaming and punching, I would guess. Anyway, he’s at Gaudi, using his limited Irish to read the menu, when Bobbi-Lee, whose fame radar (fadar?) has been going off al morning, affixes herself to his arm, at least until Pádraig arrives and literally shoves her out of the way. Jason appears, too, and they’re all speaking English, and it’s complete cognitive dissonance for me, because while I of course intellectually know they all speak English, it still feels completely magical, and like a big secret has been revealed. It’s as if Peadar suddenly entered a scene on roller skates juggling flaming knives. I am completely aware this is my own ridiculousness, by the way, so please don’t send angry emails in Irish, because unless they are about colors and types of shops, I won’t understand them anyway.

David arrives, and sits Bobbi-Lee down so he can break the shocking news that Andy is back in town. He says it very slowly and deliberately, and she does her best impression of surprise, but because the dial on Bobbi-Lee’s emotional meter only goes from 10 to 12, her attempt to turn it to 6 comes across as completely unbelievable. He realizes she already knew, and I always enjoy it when a good actor plays a character being a bad actor, and this is comedy gold, or because it is Bobbi-Lee, comedy rhinestones and fringe.

There is a storyline involving the cleaners at the community center being on strike, and I am going to gloss over it until we have to care about it later.

David is alarmed that Bobbi-Lee isn’t sufficiently upset about Andy’s return, and she tells him to stop being overprotective of her. He tells her that Andy once recorded young girls at An Teaghlach using hidden cameras and then sold the photos online, which she doesn’t seem to know about, and I love how every episode we find out about, or are reminded of, one more slimy piece of the grotesque mosaic that is Andy’s life. Next episode Mo will remind us that Andy broke up the Beatles. Anyway, to make the story even worse, David apparently got blamed for the whole hidden camera thing, so now we understand better why he cares so much about this storyline. She tells him that Andy is terminally ill and can barely walk, and David warns her that it’s a scam, and that she needs to wake up and smell the slime before it’s too late.

At the café, Berni, whose fringe is working overtime this episode, is explaining to Peadar that Andy is back, and that he’s dying of African Hyrdraulic Fever. Peadar worries that Máire will have a heart attack if she finds out he’s back, and I don’t know what he did to her, but given how many times we’ve heard about it, it must’ve been bad. They start scheming about how to keep Máire from seeing him, but given her uncanny ability to sniff out gossip, scandal, and luridness, they should know it’s a hopeless cause. Just then she arrives at the counter, and Peadar informs her that they’re, uhh, going on a surprise trip to, errr, Knock! I would’ve suggested Disneyland, but I suppose that for Máire, Knock is Disneyland. She’s thrilled, and you can see her start making a list of things in her head she’s going to take with her to be blessed, starting with Fia’s wardrobe, which would probably be considered more of an exorcism. Peadar tells Berni they’ll be back in a few days, and gives her a look that says there better not be anyone named Andy around when they get back.

The manure is getting deep back at Gaudi, where Pádraig is assuring Francis Brennan that chef Katy catches the fish fresh in the Atlantic every morning and brings them to the restaurant on her bicycle, unless it is a kind of fish that lives in the Pacific, in which case she has to pedal extra-hard. Jason whisks him away, because of course all the food at Gaudi is extruded from a hose in compressed logs, and he knows that Francis Brennan is never going to believe the steaming load Pádraig is serving up. Pádraig tells him that daily fresh fish is what the punters want these days and that they’ll be willing to pay for it, and gives him the “trust me, I know what I’m doing!” speech, which never goes well, especially with a professional sad sack like Pádraig.

Out in the street, David happens upon Peadar, who’s loading luggage into the car, and they discuss the fact that Andy totally sucks. David finds out he’s staying at Berni’s, which makes him even more upset, so he asks Peadar for the key to her apartment. I’m guessing he’s not going over there to water the plants. Peadar refuses, and warns David not to get involved, but just then Máire bobbles out with a statue of the Virgin Mary in her arms, and warns Peadar to place it in the car carefully so they can bless it at Knock. They could always put the statue in the baby seat and strap Liam Óg to the roof. David tells Máire he needs the key to Berni’s because there’s a rat in there, which causes her to run and get it for him in a flurry of panic and high-speed crossing herself.

Back at the restaurant, Gordon Ramsay’s father is breaking the news to Pádraig that he appreciates Gaudi’s ambition, but that it’s a condemned, burning McDonald’s in a Burger King world. Jason seems unsurprised, but Pádraig is crestfallen, especially when Francis adds that Gaudi isn’t a contender for the show this year. (I can be on a first-name basis with someone as important as Francis Brennan because I don’t know who he is.) He leaves them with the parting shot that the fish was overcooked, KATY, and poor Pádraig tries to hide his disappointment and despair with bitchy annoyance, which is a classic coping mechanism young gays learn at homosexual camp.

Andy is explaining to Bobbi-Lee that he was over at An Teaghlach a lot, helping elderly orphans across the street and such, but that he didn’t know anything about the internet photo thing until the hidden cameras were found, and then says it was probably David’s doing anyway, since he’s a big perv. She reminds him that if it was such a bad place he shouldn’t have left Lee there, but then he implies that he only became a child abandoner after she became one, so he’s really the victim here. Bobbi-Lee has to leave for work, because she apparently forgot to have her monthlies again today, and as she leaves, Andy continues to play a whole deck of martyr cards. He really is a pro.

Pádraig stops by the community center to tell Frances he doesn’t feel like driving lessons today, and in the process slips and falls on the wet floor. Well, he walks off-camera, there is a slipping sound effect, and then we cut to him lying neatly on the floor in a position that no one who’s fallen down has ever landed in. As he groans in pain, Frances looks nervous, because she really wasn’t planning on having to bury a body today.

Andy is snooping through Berni’s mail when he hears the door, and it’s David, come to glare at him like an angry, angry Barney Rubble. Andy tells him he’d get up, but is busy having a fatal disease right now, and David is all, “We’ll see about that!”

After the break, during which a woman is 150% more likely to quit smoking because she sprayed bleach in her face or something, Frances is on the phone with the doctor while Pádraig, who is lying in a different position now, is shouting that he saw his life flash before his eyes and he swallowed three of his ribs and so on. Frances seems semi-concerned about her semi-friend, but also about the fact that he’s probably going to sue the community center, because we gays are a litigious people.

Back at Berni’s, David is asking Andy what kind of scam he’s running this time, to which Andy replies, “Dying,” but David doesn’t believe him. Well, let’s call Lying New Doctor over here for her professional opinion. David grabs him by the shirt and starts shaking him, and Andy reaches for a pair of scissors that Berni keeps on the nearby Potential Murder Weapons Table. Just before a massive scissoring breaks out, Berni arrives and yells at David to stop. He can’t believe Berni is falling for this, and meanwhile Andy is gasping and threatening to faint and performing all the other dramatic soap-opera symptoms he’s seen over the years. David storms out in disgust, and Andy acts as if his life has just flashed before his eyes, too. I bet his was a lot more interesting than Pádraig’s.

Peadar is trying to rush Máire out the door so they can avoid rush hour traffic in Belclare, but then they remember that Fia is a thing that exists, and that they can’t possibly leave her home alone, like in that movie, The Goonies. Also, she’d probably just leave Liam Óg in a basket on someone’s doorstep, because it’s her default. I vote for Caitríona and Vince. Unfortunately Fia isn’t coming home from the makeup shop until this evening, so they’ll just have to hide in the house and wait for her. Well, that will give Máire extra time to load the linens and appliances into the car to be blessed.

David is at Gaudi sulking when Gráinne drops by, all abuzz about London and its wow factor. Did you know they have a queen there now?!? She wants to hear every little thing that he’s been up to while she’s been away, starting with whether or not he slept with Bobbi-Lee. He tries to change the subject, but she assures him that she’s not judging him, because we all do embarrassing things sometimes, and I like the fact that Gráinne has declared Bobbi-Lee a UNESCO World Embarrassment Site. She tells him that Bobbi-Lee isn’t good enough for him, and that in fact she herself had feelings for him briefly once, but not anymore because LONDON. About this time Frances and John Joe carry Pádraig in, because of course it makes much more sense to take him to work than to take him home, and he is a mess. Gráinne offers assistance, because she is a nurse, apparently, and when he tells her he fell in the community center, she’s basically like, “Well, at least you can sue them.” She’s multitalented, because as a litigious nurse, she’s an ambulance chaser who can also ride in the ambulance.

There’s a scene in which Berni helps Andy take his pills, and it seems like she’s actually starting to feel something other than annoyance about the fact that her brother is dying. Then we see that David has relocated his sulking from Gaudi to the pub, presumably to get away from Pádraig’s moaning and whining. When Bobbi-Lee arrives, he once again begs her to be careful with Andy, but she barely looks up and continues polishing the coasters and chucking the glasses in the bin. He reminds her that Andy abused her and forced her to abandon her daughter, and mentions that he was in the apartment with him earlier, which causes her to conclude that this whole thing is about the fact that David is obsessed with her. Well, I would say only partially about that.

Over at Gaudi, Gráinne is once again talking to Mo about David, whom she’s totally not still into because CROYDON: WOW!, but still, she doesn’t think he’s happy. She then makes a prediction that Mo’s dream guy is on his way, and he better hurry up, because we don’t have many episodes left before summer break.

Pádraig is talking to Micheál at the café, and seems in a much better mood now, so my guess is the painkillers have kicked in. The doctor has told him he’ll have to a miss a week of work, and while the thought of extra time at home to catch up on Fair City appeals to him, he’ll really miss the paycheck. He asks Micheál if the community center might be able to help him out financially, wink wink, but Micheál uncomfortably replies that they’ve already spent their lawsuit budget for the year, probably on that time Tadhg shoved all those children into that hearse. He hopes Pádraig won’t be blaming the community center since it was an accident, and was also his own fault, and also slán. As Micheál leaves John Joe enters, and Pádraig asks him for Dee’s number, because he needs a good solicitor. Well, Pádraig, I suggest you engage in a little human trafficking if you want her to take your case seriously.

Máire is at the pub taking orders from the locals for things that need to be blessed when Pádraig reminds her that they need to hurry up and go, because he’s left Fia and Liam Óg in the car and forgot to crack a window. David appears, now with additional bees in his bonnet, and confronts Peadar over the fact that he’s selfishly bogging off to glamorous Knock and leaving the rest of Ros na Rún helpless against Andy’s dangerous onslaught. Apparently Peadar is Batman now. David decides now is as good a time as any to make a huge scene, so he starts shouting about how Andy is back. Everyone hears, including Máire, who is disheartened because she didn’t even think to put on her fainting shoes before she left the house this morning.

Next time: Berni wants Bobbi-Lee to stop hanging around the house and go work at the café, with hilarious results apparently, because there is random circus-meets-the-dancing-hippos-from-Fantasia music playing in the background.

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious!
    I came across your blog for the first time today (via twitter - don't remember how I landed on your twitter page) but I will be visiting it often in the future!


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