Sunday, December 18, 2016

Affair City

Season 21, Episode 29
First aired 13 December 2016

Hiya! Where have you been? I’ve missed you!

As you may or may not have noticed, there’s been a long gap since our last Ros na Recap, caused first by more eye surgery, then broken subtitles, then yet another eye surgery, and then a two-week trip to Dublin and London. But now I’m back, just in the nick of time, because things went MAD this week and we must discuss!

We begin at Vince and Caitríona’s love nest, which is becoming this season’s house of horrors. She enters the empty sitting room looking vaguely stricken, but then smiles to herself when she sees that Vince has left her a note on the counter along with her crazy tape recorder thing, which resembles no device I’ve ever seen before and appears to be from the Lieutenant Uhura Collection. The note instructs her to listen to herself, which shows that Vince is very cross indeed since no one should ever be forced to listen to Caitríona, ever, and her smile turns into diarrhea-face when she hits play and discovers it’s a recording of her and Colm being all flirtatious and double-entendre-y and sexalicious. Oops!

Mack wakes up and finds he’s slept fully-dressed in a hardback chair in what appears to be a doctor’s waiting room, but then we realize it’s the bachelor pad, or wherever Dee lives, or Burger King, or somewhere. He finds a card congratulating him and Dee on their upcoming nuptials, which is a good time for me to point out that in the several weeks since our last recap, this storyline has moved forward tremendously, in the sense that … err … umm…well, we’re pretty much exactly where we were before, except Katy has a bump now and Mack punched someone. Anyway, the card wishes Mack and Dee great fertility, and after a moment’s delay in which he tries to remember which of the sisters he’s knocked up, he looks dismayed.

Colm ambushes Caitríona upon her arrival at Gaudi, meeting her at the door with promises of a hilarious prison anecdote for the book, but she’s in full ice queen mode and tells him they don’t need to meet in person anymore, so he can just email it to her, along with any nude selfies he might have lying around. You may recall that the forward motion we’ve had in this storyline since our last recap is that Colm took his shirt off. He immediately guesses that Vince has a hand in this sexiness ceasefire, but she assures him that no, she already has enough information for her book, and anything she doesn’t have, she can just make up. He leans in to kiss her as he leaves, but she takes evasive maneuvers and he misses, which would’ve been a great time for Pádraig to appear and be the accidental recipient of the kiss, because my goal for this season is for Pádraig to finally get some action, for eff’s sake.

Dee enters the kitchen and tells Mack that Awful Turlough has decided not to press charges after last night’s altercation in the pub, and she acts frosty and aggrieved, so Mack takes this opportunity to break up with her. Since she can’t ask for a ten-minute recess to go look up some case law on Wikipedia that will demonstrate that breaking up with her is unconstitutional, she goes into bug-eyed goldfish mode, and he explains that she deserves a better life than a sexy, stubbly roughneck like him could ever give her before fleeing the scene. Well, not having Mack there is going to totally throw off the wedding seating chart that Dee and Geena Kennedy have been slaving over.

At the café, Berni is complaining to Laoise that the new alarm system Sleazy Tommy installed at her place is malfunctioning and kept her awake all night. Laoise seems torn between listening to this thrilling tale of woe and slapping Berni across the face just for the hell of it, but settles for telling her to call Tommy and make him come fix it. It seems this wild idea hadn’t occurred to Berni, and if she keeps being this dense, this will-they-won’t-they storyline in which Tommy eventually steals her life savings and possibly her identity is going to take forever.

Across the room, Gráinne is listening to Bobbi-Lee’s latest demo through her earbuds and screams that it’s “Iontach!” I’m going to have to add that to my Ros na Rún drinking game: every time Gráinne says “iontach!”, DRINK. Anyway, Bobbi-Lee is unsurprised, since she knows that everything she does is quite iontach, but she frets that she’ll never be able to go onstage again after the lip-syncing fiasco at the pub the other week, which of course no one could have ever predicted might possibly go wrong in any way. Gráinne relates the story of how, if she hadn’t followed her heart, she’d still be sitting in a miserable bedsit in London crying over her Oyster card rather than sitting in this café being all unemployed and engaged to David and whatnot. Bobbi-Lee is all “Follow your heart, hmm?”, and I’m really hoping she misinterprets Gráinne’s story to mean she should go put the moves on David.

Back at Gaudi, Dee is telling her dad and sister about how Mack broke up with her, which has totally thrown a wrench into her wedding planning. John Joe is confused, and Katy, who you may recall has been intermittently trying to break them up for months now, feels bad, presumably because she wanted to be the one to split them up, and also bored, because this story is only indirectly about her. Dee suddenly realizes this must all be about how she wants to wait years to have a baby whereas Mack wants to have one approximately 4 months from now. Katy is all “there, there” and vaguely comforting, while also looking like she would really rather be somewhere else right now, such as at Cape Canaveral watching Dee being launched into space by NASA.

Bobbi-Lee and her new manager Gráinne arrive at the pub for some abuse from Tadhg, which Bobbi-Lee doesn’t even try to stand up to, because she recognizes that she deserves it and also because she’s lost her hearing at the frequency of Tadhg’s insults after all these years. Frances, who got “heads” on her morning personality coin-flip and is therefore being kind and charitable today, tells her she should bring her guitar and do an informal gig tonight to get her confidence back. Bobbi-Lee protests nervously, but Gráinne tells her she’s got to get back up on the horse at some point, and that horse’s name is Vince. This brightens her up a bit, because she and Vince do play well together, and also she hasn’t tried to put her parts on his for a while and is getting out of practice.

Outside, John Joe hassles Mack for a while about Dee, and then we cut to the café, where Berni is on the phone with Tommy, flirting and pursing her lips and batting her eyelashes into the phone and so on. Bobbi-Lee walks in on the tail end of this spectacle, and after Berni hangs up, does a really rather excellent impression of Flirty Berni. Well, Berni crossed with Mae West. We can tell Berni is enjoying this, because rather than hurling abuse at Bobbi-Lee or bursting into tears and running out of the room, she’s giggly, and it’s nice to see her being about 40% less of a pill than she usually is.

Across the café, Caitríona gets a visit from Vince, whose hair is evolving from Farah Fawcett to Captain Caveman. (Really, Paul McCloskey is a very attractive man, but it’s time for a hair intervention.) He asks her if she listened to her brazen hussiness on tape, and she lies and says she didn’t see anything wrong with it, and furthermore, he should mind his own business. He presses her on it, and she insists that she didn’t do anything wrong, and if anyone here can remember a time Caitríona ever thought anything she did was wrong, write it on a postcard and send it to Ros na Recaps, USA. She starts lecturing him on journalistic practice and ethics, but thank God, Bobbi-Lee saves us all from having to listen to it by interrupting to ask Vince if he’ll come sing with her tonight. He exclaims that it would be an honor, in the sense that “would be an honor” means “would intensely annoy Caitríona.”

Katy arrives at the bachelor pad to argue with Mack, and while I enjoy both of them, we’ve been down this path a time or 200, and you can imagine how it goes. She’s bratty and snotty, and he’s defiant and confused, though it does get momentarily entertaining again when she starts listing which of them would be killed by whom were this secret to get out. Mack’s argument is that keeping secrets is hard, and I do enjoy the scenes in which the role of Mack is temporarily played by Joey from Friends. She confuses him with her complicated logic, and then he asks “What’s the matter with me?”, but because this is only a half-hour show, we sadly don’t have time to delve into this question. Instead she tells him that he’s not going to have a relationship with this baby, and that he can’t end things with Dee over something that’s not real. He admits he’s crazy about Dee, so she tells him that he’s got to stop trying to destroy everything and get it together.

After the break, Caitríona corners Vince in the shop to continue their passive-aggressive discussion from earlier. She flips the sign on the door from “OSCAILTE” to “DÚNTA”, and it was very handy that I know these words on our recent trip to Ireland, because 15 of the 16 immigration/passport control windows at the Dublin airport said “DÚNTA” on them. She doesn’t know what else he wants from her, given that she’s cut all ties with Colm, and doesn’t understand why he so ridiculously thinks anything’s been going on between them anyway. Well, he did come home late at night to find Colm shirtless in your kitchen with his jewelry down your sofa cushions, which is only halfway a euphemism. She reminds him of all the times he cheated on the previous women in his life, and he counters that he’s never been unfaithful to her, but reminds her that she did sleep with his son, so she better pump her brakes. If I ever knew that, I’d forgotten it, so: Oh, snap! She storms out, presumably in search of Colm’s comforting and non-judgmental pecs and abs.

Tommy has arrived to rewire Berni’s alarm, which is also only halfway a euphemism. He admits that he left a loose wire so he’d have an excuse to come back, and she’s titillated, but is also going to leave him a bad review on Yelp. He asks her out, and she’s flirty, and while what this storyline really needs is a good dose of interference from Bobbi-Lee, we will soon see that she is busy interfering elsewhere.

David and Gráinne discover graffiti in the street, and nearby we TOTALLY COINCIDENTALLY I’M SURE find that Pól has returned to give a bunch of attitude to his dear friend Rónán. There is arguing and posturing and angry squinting, and eventually Pól throws a tin can at Rónán and tells him that he better not tell anyone Pól is back, or he’ll be sorry. We’ll ignore the fact that we began this scene with David and Gráinne and then panned the camera over, like, 6 feet to where Pól was standing. It’s like when Jason and Katy were running down the street screaming at each other about whether she was going to have an abortion while simultaneously congratulating themselves on keeping her pregnancy a secret.

At the pub, Bobbi-Lee’s performance seems to be going swimmingly, by which I mean she has not pulled another Milli Vanilli, and she dedicates the next song to the one man who never lost his faith in her: Tadhg. No, wait, I mean Vince Honey. She invites him to join her, and they sound lovely together, and Tadhg is pulling faces in the background, and then Caitríona shows up to disapprove of, well, everything. She swats away Laoise, who’s buzzing around trying to talk to her about Colm, and then shoots daggers at Vince and storms out.

Dee has returned to the bachelor pad to collect all her things, and it’s hilarious, because it’s very much “I bought this tea bag!” and “I paid for half of this TVNow magazine!” I mean, she’s literally putting a jar of jam in her purse. He apologizes for the little “wobble” he had this morning, which goes over with her about as well as you’d imagine, and then she tells him that if all he cares about is babies, he should go find some other woman to make them with. If only there were someone nearby with a fertility problem that could be solved by a good Macking! He tells her he’d have to be a complete idiot to let her go, and there’s a pause and the sound of crickets chirping in the background before she storms out.

It’s nighttime, and Caitríona has arranged to meet Colm on the street. She apologizes to him for being so short with him earlier, and he’s like, “Well, it did hurt my feelings, but I might also still murder you, so fair play.” She’s flirtatious and giggly, and he says he’ll forgive her if she buys him a drink, so they head into the restaurant together, where the soup of the day is Cream of Cheating.

Post-gig at the pub, Bobbi-Lee has bought Vince a pint, but he’s on his way out the door. It seems he’s got to go home and relieve the babysitter because Caitríona didn’t show up, mysteriously. Bobbi-Lee puts a bottle of booze in her bag (a move she’s clearly familiar with) and starts to head home for an evening of drinking and trying to ignore Berni, but Vince suggests she and her bottle instead come home with him for a nightcap.

Out in the street, Mack begs Dee for one more chance, and she agrees, but tells him that if this happens one more time, et cetera et cetera. He promises he’ll never hurt her again, which hopefully doesn’t exclude the possibility of punching that jerk Turlough again, because that guy totally deserves it.

On the infamous sofa at Vince and Caitríona’s, Bobbi-Lee and her legs are sharing a bottle with Vince and his hair. She calls him her hero, having saved her in various ways, and he’s humble and brushes her compliments aside. She will not be denied, however, and they start making out, but of course Maeve chooses this moment to call for her mommy from the bedroom because she’s had a bad dream or just discovered Zayn quit One Direction or something. How old is she, anyway? Isn’t she old enough not to be calling for mommy from the other room? On his way to tell her to knock it off and go to sleep, Vince hustles Bobbi-Lee out the door, but not before she arranges for the two of them to have a sexy drink tomorrow, and looks very pleased with herself.

Caitríona and Colm stagger out the front door of Gaudi into the erotic night air, and she’s doing a lot of OTT laughing about how hilarious he is, which is a side of him that he only shows off-camera, apparently. They kiss, and within half a millisecond he’s got her pressed up against the wall and they’re eating each other’s faces off, which is the perfect time for Bobbi-Lee to appear and do a genius double-take at the spectacle she’s witnessing. As she hides in the shadows she’s first shocked, and then grins to herself as she realizes all the ways she’ll be able to use this in her favor. And I feel like Vince is really getting the better end of this deal than Caitríona, because while being in a relationship with Bobbi-Lee will probably get you killed accidentally, being in a relationship with Colm will probably get you killed on purpose, which is worse.

NEXT TIME: There’s going to be a party at An Teaghlach, so Tadhg meets with Evil Politician Lady Whose Name I Can’t Remember to ask her to have her mystery hooligan find a way to make it memorable. Ooh, I hope TG4 has some money in the explosives budget!

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