Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Otherwise Engaged

Season 21, Episode 12
First aired 13 October 2016

We open with more of David vs Pól with Rónán in the middle, which: ugh. We are outside the button factory or wherever Micheál works, where Pól is lounging on a bag of fertilizer while Rónán is lugging things around as part of some type of work-like arrangement. I don’t even know. David angrily tells Pól to scram and leave Rónán alone, but Pól is of course defiant and smirky, and you just want to smack him. He tells David that he and Rónán have been thinking about how the Gardaí knew where to find them and have concluded that David must’ve grassed them up, but given that Rónán has an expression on his face that suggests if you could see inside his head there’d be a cartoon pig dancing and playing an accordion, I suspect Pól is doing most of the thinking. David denies these allegations, and now Rónán is being defiant and awful, too, and even David seems tired of this storyline.

At the pub, Frances and Peatsai are discussing the play, about which she is excited and optimistic, and he is creepy and lecherous. He puts on a show for Tadhg of complimenting and cozying up to Frances and saying things to her that are semi-gross, and then smirks at him, and you can tell by the expression on Tadhg’s face that he is clearly imagining various ways to liquefy Peatsai.

Rónán is strolling through town chatting with David, whom you will recall he hated with a  burning passion the last time we saw him, but whatever. Rónán is complaining that he’s likely to be prosecuted for having swallowed 85 kilos of grade-A Colombian cocaine in balloons, but David tells him to stay positive, and suddenly they are at John Joe’s garage, which I had forgotten was a thing. There’s an old car with the hood up and the engine in various stages of “on fire,” and David reveals that he’s giving it to Rónán as a gift. Rónán will have to help John Joe get it running and, like, non-exploding again, and he’ll have to pay for the tax and insurance, but otherwise, David is paying for it, which is clearly an outlay of tens of euros. Rónán is delighted, I guess, but of course David tells him there’s a catch, which is that he has to stay away from Pól.

At the café, Tadhg tells Berni he’s heard there’s a movement afoot to cancel the play, because he knows that if you want to start a rumor, Berni is a more efficient broadcaster than RTÉ and the BBC combined. He explains that there’s talk of a boycott on the basis that the play is “gloomy” and would therefore be upsetting to recently widowed Máire. Berni stupidly exclaims that she’d never thought of it that way, and seems aghast that they’ve all been so insensitive. Just then Mo walks in to order a coffee and Berni tells her about the Máire-based boycott, and we’re hopeful that Mo will correctly identify that this is a bunch of crap, but it seems Berni is a powerful transmitter of stupidity because Mo agrees that they’ve all been terribly insensitive. You’ve got to hand it to Tadhg, he knows his audience.

Máire is reassembling the plug of the jacked-up electric kettle from last episode, musing to herself that Peadar would be laughing if he could see her now. We have to watch through our fingers as she plugs it in because we’re afraid we’re about to see one of those cartoon electrocution scenes with lightning shooting out of her and her skeleton blinking in and out of view, but fortunately for everyone, she seems to have fixed it, and it begins kettling. She’s momentarily triumphant, but then is immediately sad again, and when she notices that the sugar bowl is empty, she narrates for our benefit that she’ll have to get Evan to go to the shop for more—no, wait, she’ll go herself! She might even run into someone to have a lovely cup of tea with! Fingers crossed!

There’s a lengthy scene with Pól and Rónán, which is mostly slow brow-furrowing and sneering. Rónán stupidly tells Pól that he has to choose between their friendship and a twelfth-hand burning car and has chosen the car, obviously, which Pól does not seem to appreciate. Kids!

At the shop, John Joe is marveling at the meat Mack has got in his basket (heh), and Mack explains that he’s making Dee a special steak dinner tonight to celebrate a big new contract he just signed to give tours to Japanese tourists as we heard about a while ago. Bobbi-Lee arrives and begins feeling their biceps and praising their muscular groins and whatnot, but it’s different from her normal hello in that this time it’s followed by her asking them to be stagehands for the play rather than tying a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue. They tell her about the boycott, and it’s the first she’s heard of it, because it wasn’t covered on either of her two news sources, namely The Real Housewives of Nashville and the show where they pick the lottery numbers.

And now, this. Pól is going through David’s parked car and finds a diamond ring in the glove compartment (?), so of course he takes it, but Máire walks up just then and sees everything. He yells at her to keep her mouth shut and calls her an old hag, as if he’s channeling Tadhg. David appears and immediately knows Pól has taken his ring (??), and he slams him against the car and there is wrestling, and he asks Máire if she saw anything, and Pól yells that she didn’t see anything and according to the closed captions tells everybody to “feck off,” which I’m pretty sure is the first time I’ve seen the word “feck” on this show. Scandal! Pól shoots her what I guess is supposed to be a menacing look, and she is traumatized, and apologizes to David and wanders off in a tizzy. There’s more wrestling and yelling, and David shouts for someone to call the Gardaí.

Back in the fun storyline, we’re at the pub, and Peatsai is accusing Bobbi-Lee of starting the rumors about the boycott, noting that she’s already tried to sabotage the play by mixing up the pages of Frances’ script. She is indignant, as she always is when she gets caught, and tells him to go to hell before storming off in a cloud of hairspray and steel guitars. Tadhg materializes and gloats about the boycott, which Peatsai immediately realizes was started not by famous floozy Bobbi-Lee but by famous Fuhrer Tadhg, and they shoot daggers at each other.

Mack is exiting the shop when he comes upon David and Pól still struggling against the hood of the car, which we get the impression has been going on for some time, possibly with a 30-minute break for lunch. Pól breaks free and runs straight into Mack’s arms, which suggests that “rugby player” would not be a great career ambition for him. During the tussle Pól slips the ring box into Mack’s pocket, and then pleads to the assembled crowd and just-arrived Gardaí that he’s being set up. David tells O’Shea that Pól stole his ring, so she has a hunky cop frisk him. Of course Officer Square-Jawed doesn’t find anything, and David puts on his confused Barney Rubble face, which we see a lot this episode.

After the break, we’re at Gaudi, where Pádraig brightly offers Dee a free coffee since it’s her birthday. She’s confused because it is not in fact her birthday, and Pádraig realizes he’s just put his foot in it up to the knee, which is a very useful talent in some circles, but not this one. He tries to change the subject by asking Mo about some nonsense he makes up, but she gleefully throws him under the bus by telling him she has no idea what he’s talking about, and eventually he cracks under the pressure of Dee’s irresistible lawyer skills, i.e., asking him, “Why did you think it’s my birthday?” He tells her that Mack was in earlier picking up a bottle of champagne and a cake, and frets that he’s ruined a surprise, but Dee is busy panicking about having forgotten their anniversary or something and flees.

Out in the street, Mack finds the ring in his pocket and looks confused and stubbly. Mo walks past and we follow her to the bookies’, where she runs into someone she knows named Jennifer, who is like an ice cube in a blonde wig. She informs Mo that she’s there doing a spot check for the mysterious new boss, and that Mo better have a yearly report of the accounts on her desk by 5:00 tomorrow. Oh, dear. We’ve been wanting Mo to have a juicy storyline, but I don’t feel confident that Awful Jennifer will lead her someplace we want her to go.

Everyone is in an uproar at the pub over the play and the boycott and so on. Bobbi-Lee yells at Berni that the show must go on, and Berni yells back that Máire has already been through so much, and then indignantly shouts “Gabh mo leithscéal?!? at her, which is my absolute favorite Berni move. (Caitríona is also good at this, and the two of them shouting “Gabh mo leithscéal?!? in offended disbelief forms the backbone of my Ros na Rún drinking game.) Bobbi-Lee and Frances think they should carry on with the play, and everyone else seems to think they should cancel it and do a different play to avoid upsetting Máire, and this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard, because if Máire decides it doesn’t seem like a play she would like to see right now, she can always NOT GO. It’s not like they’re forcing their way into her house and performing it in her living room. I haven’t seen anyone boycotting necks to avoid giving Bobbi-Lee PTSD about getting strangled half to death. Just as the angry mob is about to burn Bobbi-Lee and Frances at the stake, Peatsai jumps into the fray and suggests they do the play, but charge an admission fee and do a raffle and give the proceeds to Máire to do something in memory of Peadar. Berni, who is clearly the self-appointed head of the angry mob, declares that her faction would be satisfied with this, like in a sci-fi movie when an alien overlord announces that his people are not going to enslave humanity and then destroy the earth after all. Frances congratulates Peatsai on his wonderful idea and proclaims that the show will go on. Everyone is delighted except Tadhg, who chooses this moment to remember that Peatsai told him earlier that he’d match out of his own pocket whatever amount of money is raised! Of course this is news to Peatsai, who then remembers that Tadhg, who is a venomous snake by the way, volunteered to be the stagehand! Poorly done, Peatsai: you should’ve gone for free food and booze. Sadly, this fun game of one-upmanship comes to an end before Tadhg remembers that Peatsai was going to run over Pól with his car repeatedly.

Speaking of Pól, there is more arguing in the street about him, with David pleading with O’Shea to do something, and eventually she storms off in disgust and wonders why she doesn’t put in for a transfer to a different town. As she’s departing, David gets a call from Mack telling him he’s found the ring, which makes O’Shea even more pooed at David, and Rónán shouts that he’s in love with Pól and so David can shove his car up his arse before storming away. The part about being in love with Pól was implied.

Pól runs into Máire as she’s leaving the B&B and behaves threateningly, and although he’s approximately as menacing as a baby chick, she’s is in a delicate state and is therefore terrified. She flees back into the house and locks the door behind her, but not before he sneers that he knows where she lives now, and that he’ll be back. Nick Cotton, he isn’t. Or even Dot Cotton, really.

Peatsai is bossing stagehand Tadhg around at the community center, and there are Three Stooges-style antics, and then we cut to the bachelor pad, where Dee has arrived for her special birthday anniversary Rosh Hashanah Thursday dinner with Mack. She exclaims “Happy Anniversary!” and hands him a gift, and he’s confused, because he may not know much, but he knows it’s not their anniversary. She asks him what’s the occasion then, and he tells her she’ll just have to wait to find out, and then dashes to the shop to buy sweet potatoes. Knowing that shop, they’ll be on the aisle with the shampoo and the inflatable kiddie pools. She sits down to await his return, and of course immediately finds the ring box on the floor, and when she opens it and sees a diamond ring inside, she beams excitedly. She tries it on, and is delighted, but because this is TV, she can’t get it off her finger, so there is panic.

At the pub, O’Shea informs David that Rónán says that he was with Pól the entire night David was attacked. He denies it furiously, and she coolly tells him that since he first lied about Andy being the attacker, and now this, plus all the Gardaí time he’s wasted with his nonsense, he should be grateful they’re not pressing charges against him and might furthermore also consider effing himself. It’s nice seeing O’Shea grim and annoyed rather than just plain grim.

Pól has gone to what I first thought was Suzanne’s Holiday House of Horrors, but it turns out to be the cottage of that crazy hermit whose barn Eimear almost died in that time. He tells Crazy Hermit that his name is Seán and that he’s looking for work, and I don’t know or care where this is going, but hopefully it will involve Pól making a trip to that barn.

Dee is desperately trying to get the ring off her finger by applying various dishwashing liquids and lards when Mack arrives home apologizing for being late, explaining that the traffic was horrible. What the hell shop did he go to? The geography of this place is bewildering. Anyway, there is light comedy in which she tries to keep him from seeing the ring on her finger by hiding it behind her back, putting tiny glasses with a false nose and moustache on her hand like Señor Wences, et cetera, but eventually she can’t control herself any longer and yells that yes, she’ll marry him! She happily explains that she found the ring and tried it on and now can’t get it off, and she can’t believe this is happening, and of course, neither can he. Mack lifts her up in the air and twirls her around and exclaims that they’re getting married, and given that this is the first time all episode he hasn’t looked confused, we wonder if he thinks this was his plan all along and that it had just slipped his mind. Oh, Mack.

Next time: Dramatic piano music accompanies a grim argument between Katy and Jason, in which he says she’s trying his best to support her, and that they’re having a baby together whether she likes it or not. Yeah, we’ll see about that.


  1. Hello, first I would like to command you on the job well done on this blog, great effort. Secondly I would like to ask if you know of a place I could get my hands on the first 4 episodes of season 21? I was going to catch up with this series and I completely forgot the air date and now TG4 website deleted the first 4 episodes from there :( I only have the English subtitles but it would be better to watch the videos. If you know some place I could get them please let me know, I wish people cap this series. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for your kind words! Sorry, I don't have access to or know a place where you might be able to find the earlier episodes from this season. As far as I know, once they're gone, they're gone. You might try contacting TG4 directly. Good luck!


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