Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Night Of The Living Andy

Season 21, Episode 9
First aired 4 October 2016

We open in the kitchen at Ros na Rún’s swingingest bachelor pad, where Pádraig and Mo are playing doctor with David, but not like that, you pervs. Mo presses him on what happened, but he refuses to admit that he fought the Pól and the Pól won and instead storms out. Pádraig and Mo can’t imagine who would do such a thing to a delightful imp like David, because they can’t even recall him ever falling out with anyone … except with one person! Recently! Which you may have forgotten about!

At the pub, Dee is sweetly pointing out to Katy that she’s got much better things to do than sit around listening to her whine about her stupid problems, but assures her that she won’t spill the beans about this shock pregnancy tempest-in-a-teapot nonsense Katy won’t let go of. Katy splits when Mack arrives, and Dee reminds him that he’s supposed to pick her up at the gym or somewhere later today. It’s a logistically dense sub-sub-sub-plot without much payoff, so I’m going to skip over it as we cut to the bar, where Tadhg is half-heartedly attempting to throw Caitríona out for taking up valuable barstool space and basically being annoying. She snots that he’s just in a mood because Bobbi-Lee told her about Andy, and he of course tells her to ignore Bobbi-Lee because she’s a stupid lying floozy and so on. There must be at least five people in the human resources department at the pub working ‘round the clock on employee grievances. Anyway, he tells her to sling her hook and get back to painting nails where she belongs. If there’s anyone I enjoy watching Tadhg hurl abuse at, it’s Caitríona, but for no apparent reason she gets insulted and stomps out in a huff. Wimmen, amiright?!? Frances, whose concerned face really gets a workout in this episode, worries that Caitríona’s not going to give up till she finds out the truth, but Tadhg doesn’t care because Caitríona is just a harmless pest.

And speaking of said pest, she’s accosted in the street by creepy Colm, who is also a pest, but in a different, possibly felonious way. It seems he’s just out of jail on bail, and Caitríona tells him she’d tried to get an update from O’Shea but was told to mind her own business. The townsfolk should get T-shirts printed that say “Mind your own business, Caitríona” to save themselves time. He thanks her for helping to free him, and she says she was just doing her job, i.e., tireless Amnesty International-style justice crusader and future Nobel Peace Prize winner. Also manicurist. He starts creepily trying to take her out for a meal to thank her, and after a feeble, half-hearted protest involving the cash and carry, she agrees to have lunch with him. She sends him ahead to grab a table, preferably in the non-dismembering section, while she stops to argue with Frances in the street.

Now, in the comedy portion of the episode, Berni is folding laundry in her frumpiest oversized sweatshirt and ponytail when Bobbi-Lee appears, dressed like a drag queen called Dolly Tartan or maybe Tammy Why-not. She's on her way to the audition and asks Berni if her hair, which is clearly bigger than EU regulations allow, is too much. Berni is so overwhelmed by the too-muchness that she’s stunned into silence, giving Bobbi-Lee time to explain that she wants to look elegant, but not too elegant, which she demonstrates by smushing her breasts threateningly in Berni’s direction, as she says she’s going to do to Uncle Pest at the audition. Well, that’s one way of getting rid of him.

It seems that today Berni spun “kindly godmother” on the Three-Faces-Of-Berni Wheel, though, so she tries to talk Bobbi-Lee into toning it down by asking if she got around to reading that copy of the play she’s auditioning for. Of course Bobbi-Lee’s answer to this is an “ugh, books!” stinky face, which is her way of saying “No, but I assume it’s the Irish translation of Kinky Boots and I am dressed accordingly.” After a bit of back and forth, Bobbi-Lee tells St Berni to cram a can of Aqua Net in it and flits off.

Back in the street, Frances is spinning an elaborate story to Caitríona about how everybody thought Andy was dead, so they took Áine home, and when they got back, the tomb was empty! I mean, he had wandered away or something or nothing! She explains that she’s let Áine believe that Andy is dead because otherwise she’ll be scared that he’ll come back, and they told Bobbi-Lee the same thing because, well, Bobbi-Lee. The story becomes more and more complicated, eventually involving parallel universes and dimensional portals, and finally DI Caitríona tells Frances that she seems way too invested in making sure she believes this cockamamie story before smirking and walking off smugly.

Bobbi-Lee and her breasts arrive at the community center, where first they are ogled by John Joe, and then they see that they’ve stumbled into Laoise’s audition. She’s dressed down for the occasion, in an outfit she appears to have pulled from the bottom of the clothes hamper, which Bobbi-Lee of course tut-tuts about. After Laoise finishes her dramatic reading, Uncle Pest, who as usual seems to have just arrived in from Honolulu, springs up and praises her, and she explains that since she’s performed in a production of this play before, she’ll have no trouble learning her lines. Bobbi-Lee interjects that she won’t have trouble learning the lines either, because she’s a singer, and is awesome, so nyeahhh! Uncle Pest and Laoise gawk at her, because it’s as if Carmen Miranda has arrived to audition for the role of Dying Sister Number Three in a Chekhov play.

Outside An Teaghlach, Rónán runs into David, who insists he is TOTALLY FINE and then goes inside to see if he can, you know, get his face to stop bleeding. Pól springs out of the alley he has been lurking in, apparently waiting for just this moment, and then brags to Rónán that he’s the one who went ape on David, because David is a doofus. Well, that seems like a defense that would hold up in court. It’s his job to make sure David doesn’t go to the police, Pól informs Rónán what I assume is supposed to be menacingly, and there is brow-furrowing all around.

Meanwhile, off-off-off-off-Broadway, Bobbi-Lee is delivering her lines not just to the back row, but to the back row of the diner across the street from the theatre. There’s a lot of pointing, and acting out the words, and squatting and jumping around, and it’s hilarious, as if she’s auditioning to be one of Tina Turner’s backup dancers. Eventually Uncle Pest mercy-kills the proceedings and walks her to the nonexistent door, all “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” and then turns to Laoise, who has been snickering this entire time, and asks her to stay. It’s clear that he’s casting Laoise in the role of In The Play, and Bobbi-Lee in the role of Must Remain 500 Meters From The Theatre, but our favorite country starlet doesn’t get it, and just then Tadhg arrives and drags her out by the arm, telling her he’s got a job for her. Talk about out of the Hawaiian frying pan and into the angry, angry fire.

O’Shea stops by the café to question David about the attack, telling him that Sherlock Pádraig has told her he believes the attacker is Andy, and asking him to come to the station and make a statement. Before he can confirm or deny this ridiculousness, they are interrupted simultaneously by a phone call from Berni asking O’Shea to come over ASAP and a visit from Rónán, who needs help with his algebra homework. No, wait, there’s a problem at An Teaghlach, yawn. They go separate ways, and you will not be surprised to know that O’Shea is the one who gets to go to the more entertaining storyline.

And speaking of, here she is now, arriving at Berni’s flat, which it takes us a minute to realize is not just a mess, but has apparently been broken into and lightly ransacked. There are no signs of a forced entry, and since Berni spent the night with Evan in Galway, and Bobbi-Lee is another person who is on this show, that leaves only one possible culprit: Andy!

After the break, during which we learn there’s now a TG4 app we can use to watch documentaries about trees, we return to the café, where Rónán is telling David that Pól has expressed a lot of interest in going to prison lately because it’s very cushy there, and also because he is stupid. O’Shea arrives just then to resume questioning David about how Andy attacked him, and because they don’t want awful Pól to go to jail for some reason, he lies and agrees that it was indeed Andy as Rónán’s eyebrows go up and down in the background.

Back at the flat, Berni is cleaning up the mess while Bobbi-Lee stands around, so it’s business as usual. Bobbi-Lee apologizes for getting them into this pickle by inviting Andy back into their lives, and Berni, still feeling unusually charitable, says they were all manipulated by Andy, and that Bobbi-Lee should think about happier things, such as the play she’s going to star in. Bobbi-Lee tells her the audition didn’t go so well, which is like giving your trip on the Hindenburg three stars on TripAdvisor, so Berni changes gears and tells her she should stop faffing about with acting and go back to singing, because that’s what she’s good at. Of course, this causes her to break down in tears, and she confesses that Andy destroyed her voice when he choked her.

We cut to Caitríona and Colm, who are evidently just now ending the world’s longest lunch. She’s drunk on champagne and giggly, and he says creepy things about how he’d buy her champagne every day if she’d let him. He leaves out the part where she’d be drinking it while being held captive in his underground cult bunker, but it’s implied. Her giggling stops when he gets up in her face and says that he wants more than a lovely lunch with her, such as going steady or wearing her skin as a coat, so she says a quick goodbye and darts away home, or possibly to New Zealand.

Back at the flat, Bobbi-Lee is on the sofa sadly strumming her guitar, and you can tell she’s a pro because she’s able to do it without getting her extremely long sleeve fringe caught in the strings. Berni sits down with an elaborate multilayer coffee creation, and asks Bobbi-Lee what the doctor said the last time she examined her. I guess she’s not seeing Sexy Dr Tiarnán anymore due to the extremely sexy sexual tension between them, but I hope this female doctor isn’t the sketchy doctor who diagnosed Andy’s African Hydraulic Fever last season and whom I immediately identified as a fraud due to her suspicious hairdo and glasses. It seems injuries such as Bobbi-Lee’s can heal under some circumstances, but if the damage is too severe, dot dot dot. Berni realizes that this is why Bobbi-Lee refused to sing at Peadar’s funeral, and DAMN YOU, ANDY for depriving us of what I’m sure would’ve been a lovely funereal version of “9 to 5” or “Take This Job And Shove It.” Berni asks if there’s anything that can be done, and Bobbi-Lee reveals that there is a highly experimental surgery that may or may not work, and which she doesn’t have the money for anyway, and it’s a good thing we know that Bobbi-Lee is ultimately a good person because otherwise this sounds a lot like that futuristic space-hospital in Las Vegas Andy made up. She asks who she is if she can’t sing anymore, and because Berni stops and thinks about who she would be if she couldn’t meddle and judge anymore, she jumps up and puts into action a plan to get Bobbi-Lee out of her living room and onto the stage where she belongs.

At the pub, O’Shea is telling Tadhg and Frances about the break-in at Berni’s, and though she makes a production out of not being to tell them who the suspect is, she immediately tells them it’s Andy. Tadhg and Frances are all, “Hmm, that’s…very…interesting.” Just as O’Shea is telling them how Andy is more vengeful and powerful now than he ever was when he was alive (cf. New Testament), Áine sneaks behind the bar to steal some fizzy drinks and possibly the till, and of course she hears all this and is stricken, because she really does not have time in her schedule for another kidnapping right now. As Áine sneaks back upstairs, Tadhg tells O’Shea that she should tell Caitríona about Andy’s return, and then he and Frances smirk about how brilliant he is. I have to admit, he’s being very clever this episode.

Bobbi-Lee interrupts Uncle Pest’s dinner at Gaudi to demand a second audition, and she’s wisely dressed down for the occasion this time, choosing a daytime cowgirl look rather than an evening one. He protests that all the parts are gone and that he’s busy eating his dinner, which given what we can see of it does not look like something anyone would complain about not having to eat, but she steamrolls over his objections and launches into a scene. She’s very good, having chosen to play it as a non-deranged human being this time, and he is enraptured, which I am pretty sure is a word.

There’s a scene we will skim over in which it turns out that Mack forgot to pick Dee up from her piano lesson or whatever, and she’s cross, and he’s apologetic, and when he explains that he stood her up because he was busy doing a peat-related errand for poor Máire that poorer Peadar used to do, Dee forgives him because she’s lucky to have the sweetest, thoughtful-est, stubbliest man in the village.

At Caitríona’s lair, she’s fretting to O’Shea that if zombie Andy finds out she’s the one who reopened the Creepy Colm case, she’ll be this season’s Suzanne, which is a terrible fate in many ways. O’Shea comfortingly reassures her that she’s not sure whether Andy knows about Caitríona’s meddling or not, but that yes, he will probably murder her, but, you know, fingers crossed!

At the pub, Berni is congratulating Bobbi-Lee on her amazingly successful audition, and just then we hear Frances making a sound that’s uncomfortably reminiscent of the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally. She’s giving Uncle Pest a big hug because it seems he’s cast her as the lead in the play. Bobbi-Lee is confused, so he informs her that he’s given her a great part, too: Nora Sheáinín! Bobbi-Lee makes another stinky face, which seems to suggest, “Ugh, she sounds like the mousy step-sister or village cow-milker!”, but Frances and Berni assure her it’s a good part. Hopefully “Sheáinín” is Irish for “Wears Animal Prints.” Frances is under the illusion that Áine will be enthralled by all this, and goes upstairs to give her the good news, so Tadhg takes this opportunity to berate Bobbi-Lee over what a crappy job she did on the fake break-in he sent her to do. She’s upset and feels terrible because she hates to lie, but he reminds her that she has an MA in Lying from UCD, and she can’t really argue with that. He reminds her that if she hadn’t fallen in bed love with Andy in the first place, none of them would be in this mess, and when he asks her if Berni believes Andy is the culprit, she says yes.

Frances has arrived upstairs to give Áine the exciting news about the new curtains or whatever, but it seems Áine has vanished! She rushes downstairs to tell Tadhg the news, which in this case actually is exciting, and she should take a minute to think about the difference. She yells to the assembled alcoholics that little Áine is missing, and all I can think is that this better be more exciting than that time Réailitín disappeared and then came back before we even remembered who the hell she was.

Next time: It’s a patented Ros na Rún search party! And O’Shea needs to have a somber word in private with Frances. Hopefully that word is not “dental records.”

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