Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Kids Aren't Alright, or, Teenage Pricks

Season 21, Episode 11
First aired 11 October 2016

We begin this somewhat slow episode at the B&B, where Laoise is sadly polishing Peadar’s watch. Berni arrives and they marvel that it still keeps perfect time an entire month after his death. I guess Peadar had a reputation for buying tat that we didn’t know about. Laoise is obviously very attached to it as a memento of her late father, so Berni naturally snatches it out of her hands and says she’s been meaning to give it to Evan. Well, at least she’s clueless and self-absorbed about it rather than malicious, but this does not bring Laoise comfort for some reason. Cousin Sally or whoever she is arrives so she and Berni can work together to exclude Laoise more efficiently, and they disappear upstairs to go comfort Máire, leaving poor Laoise there with lots of quiet solitude to reflect on what an outcast she is.

Tadhg interrupts Mo and David’s lunch at Gaudi to ask him every li’l thing about Andy’s attack, including how he found David and whether he seemed to be, you know, dead. David is evasive and Mo tells Tadhg to buzz off, which he eventually does, after David admits he didn’t see Andy’s face but magically knew it was him, which causes Mo to raise an eyebrow or two. Micheál drops by to tell David that Pól, the exhausting hooligan we’ve been trying to ignore for the past few weeks, can work a few hours at the dry cleaners or whatever kind of business Micheál owns, and Mo thinks this is a terrible idea, what with everyone in the village wanting to push Pól off a series of cliffs or possibly in front of a caravan of buses.

Chez Odd Couple, Bobbi-Lee is meditating while sitting cross-legged on the coffee table, as one does, but eventually her mantra-chanting and chakra-bleaching are interrupted by a high-pitched, annoying sound, which turns out to be Berni’s voice. Berni scolds her for leaving the door open and also existing, and Bobbi-Lee complains that Berni interrupted her visualization exercises, which presumably involve her visualizing Berni bursting into flames. They argue for a bit, and Berni rolls her eyes so far up in her head she can see her brain as Bobbi-Lee shoots daggers at her. I’m glad things are back to normal with them after last week, because when they’re being nice to each other I feel very unnerved, as if an asteroid is about to crash into the earth or something.

Over at the ice-cream shop or wherever Micheál works, Laoise has handed in her resignation as chief strategic officer of the polytunnel, which reminds me how disappointed I was when I realized the polytunnel was not a futuristic underground research facility of some kind, like the CERN supercollider. Anyway, she tells him that it’s too painful for her to keep working there because it reminds her too much of Peadar, and that she’s very sad and lonely in general, which Micheál correctly interprets to mean that Berni is being a cow. Laoise denies it, which he sees right through, because he has met Berni. She says there’s nothing left for her in Ros na Rún now that Peadar is gone, but he suggests she not make any decisions until she goes to mass today. I am very distracted by a box of vine weevil poison on the shelf behind them during this conversation, because I didn’t even realize vine weevils were a thing, and now they’re ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT.

Play rehearsals have begun at the community center, but Frances is a no-show, causing the hula girls on Peatsai’s Hawaiian shirt to look very cross indeed. Bobbi-Lee brightly suggests that maybe Frances isn’t coming today because of that whole thing with Áine falling down a well or whatever, so they should probably fire her and recast someone in her place, such as Bobbi-Lee. Seems reasonable to me. Peatsai, who is starting to realize that trying to mount a serious production with these people may not have been his best idea, snaps that Bobbi-Lee can read in Frances’ place for now. Incidentally, I suggest the costume department fire his stern Alpine fedora and recast it with a hat that better complements the rest of his outfit, such as a helmet made from half a coconut shell. Bobbi-Lee starts with the bit about being buried in the pound plot, which seems to be the only line in this play, but then Frances rushes in apologizing for being late. Peatsai tells Bobbi-Lee her services are no longer needed, i.e., go sit down out of the way and be quiet. As she sits down, she eyes Frances’ script lying on the table and smirks, and we know it’s surely because she is going to do something helpful and not that she is totally going to flush it down the toilet or feed it to a goat.

At the bachelor pad, where half the characters on the show seem to live now, Pádraig is flitting around the kitchen and fussing because the fridge is disgusting and the place is a pigsty. Mo volunteers to clean the fridge for some reason, and then spends the rest of this scene scrubbing it out. As a side note, I have been assured by a confidential but reliable source who may or may not be (but mostly is) Marie Breathnach herself that during this scene she was actually cleaning an actual fridge, and that it was not done using a stunt double or CGI. Now that’s what I call method acting. She pulls out a variety of furry and partially-sentient foods and takes this opportunity to tell David that he can’t save everyone, and that he should focus his efforts on people who want to be helped, not hopeless cases like Pól and Andy. He protests feebly that Pól is nothing like Andy, and we are all skeptical, even David, because we know that Mo is the only one on this show who demonstrates good sense more than 50% of the time.

Back at the community center, Frances is screwing up the rehearsal because SOMEHOW the pages of her script have gotten out of order. Bobbi-Lee offers to her let her borrow her non-effed-up script, because Bobbi-Lee is a consummate professional whereas Frances is an amateur and probably also a tax-evader and identity thief. Peatsai instructs them to take five so Frances can get her act together, and as Bobbi-Lee smirks at the chaos she’s left in her wake, he and his ponytail give her a disapproving look, because he knows shenanigans when he sees them. It will be exciting to see whether Bobbi-Lee tries to Gaslight Frances or All About Eve her.

Máire and family, minus Laoise, arrive at the pub after the one-month-after-Peadar’s-death mass, which probably has a name, but I don’t know what it is because I was raised theoretically Baptist and none of that stuck, either. She offers to buy drinks, but then realizes she hasn’t got her purse, so she goes home to get it and seems discombobulated, I mean more than usual. Berni, Evan, and Micheál note how upset she is, and Micheál offers that she was “very fond of Peadar.” Aww, that’s sweet. There is discussion of Laoise’s absence, and Micheál notes that she seemed upset this morning when she stopped by the vineyard where he works, and tells Berni she was saying something about a watch, which I don’t recall being part of the conversation, but who knows? Berni’s all, “Oh yeah, I snatched that out of her sad, sad hands and left with it, but I didn’t realize she was sad about it.” She explains that she thought Evan would like it, which he immediately clarifies he does not, and that she should give it to Laoise unless it’s, you know, an Apple Watch or a Pokémon or whatever the kids are into these days. Berni protests that Evan should have it whether he wants it or not because he’s Peadar’s grandson and had a close relationship with Peadar his whole life, and of course Evan is all, “Do you even listen to the things you say?”, and she looks stricken.

Out in the street, Pól and Rónán are being jackass teenagers and throwing trash on the ground and lowering property values. David shows up with his angry face on, and Pól is smirky and defiant, and Rónán is smirky and confused, and there is yelling, and Rónán goes back and forth between them like a dog that’s being offered treats from two different directions. Pól grabs a broken bottle and shoves it in David’s face and it’s hilarious, though less hilarious than it was in last week’s previews when we saw it immediately following David yelling that Pól is nothing like Andy and then a smash cut.

After the break, Pól throws the broken bottle on the ground, and David commands him to leave Ros na Rún. Now, I can’t stand Pól, and would love nothing more than for him to leave town immediately, but I can’t help but wonder who the eff David thinks he is, trying to ban people from the village. It’s not like he’s anyone with any authority, such as Tadhg or Áine. They all stare at each other for a while, and then Pól wanders away, and I am completely over all this.

The priest whose name I can’t remember arrives at the B&B to visit Máire, and there is discussion of how much she misses Peadar, and praying, and crying, and it’s very sad, but no fun to recap. So let’s head over to the shop, where Berni is apologizing to Laoise for hurting her feelings, but Laoise is annoyed and having none of it until Berni hands her Peadar’s famous watch. They swap stories about Peadar, and Berni assures Laoise that she’s not alone, and is part of the family. Laoise is touched, and appreciative, but may change her mind when she discovers this means Berni will be all up in her business all the time.

At the bachelor pad, a very angry O’Shea is shouting at David, who’s confessed that he made up the whole Andy thing to protect Pól. She points out that half the village is terrified because of his lie, and then drags him down to the station to change his statement, possibly with the aid of some light waterboarding.

There’s a nice scene between Evan and Máire in which they discuss how much they miss Peadar, and what a pain in the ass Tadhg is, and something about Laoise’s lovely tomatoes, which I hope to God is not a euphemism.

In the pub, David admits to the assembled barflies that he made up the thing about Pól, and everyone is angry, particularly Caitríona, who really goes ballistic, because David made her waste her time worrying about getting murdered by Andy when she could’ve used that time to worry about getting murdered and dismembered by Colm. She lectures him on the importance of honesty, which is a little rich coming from her, and then Pádraig, who needs to make this about himself because he hasn’t had a storyline of his own in a while, complains that he made a fool out of himself by going to the Gardaí about it. Yes, not to mention the fact that he wasted valuable time the local Gardaí could’ve spent not arresting Pól for his various assaults and destructions of property. Berni posits that it was probably Pól who broke into her flat, too, and tells David she’s going to send him the bill for replacing the lock, and also for all those magazines she had to pick up off the floor. Everybody storms off after shooting him a bunch of nasties, and he looks rejected, or possibly dejected. Some kind of jected. Mo comes over and offers to buy him a drink because she’s kind and figures he’s had enough people laying into him for one day. I just hope all this drama won’t interfere with his practicing for his upcoming appearance on Ireland’s Got Karate.

At the B&B, Máire’s electric kettle is broken, and she tells the photo of Peadar she’s been talking to that he kept promising to fix it but never did. We then head outside, where David and Mo are discussing how pleased they are that Rónán is back on the straight and narrow, and I’m not sure what makes them think that, unless it’s the fact that he hasn’t tried to attack anyone with a broken bottle today, THAT THEY KNOW OF. David frets that Pól has a long road ahead of him, what with his being a complete asshole and all, and Mo can’t believe that David still feels sorry for Pól after all he’s done. David insists he’s given up on Pól, but is just glad that he doesn’t have a hold over Rónán anymore, which is the cue for the Gardaí to wrestle Pól and Rónán out a nearby door in handcuffs and shove them into the back of their car. Rónán is silent and lumbering, but Pól is screaming and carrying on that he hasn’t done anything, so O’Shea tells him to cram a ham in it so she can go tell David and Mo that the twin tearaways were found with drugs! Oh, I hope it’s LSD. You never see LSD on TV anymore.

Next time: David insists to O'Shea that the Gardaí need to do something about Pól, but she points out that given that David is a lying liar who lies, he should be grateful she's not arresting him! It appears to be a serious standoff and I can't wait to see which of them pulls a broken bottle on the other first.

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