Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dee's Hen Night: A Geena Kennedy Production Starring Geena Kennedy

Season 21, Episode 32
First aired 22 December 2016

It’s morning in Ros na Rún, and Vince is kissing Caitríona’s ass, figuratively and not literally, thankfully. As she emerges from the bedroom, he offers her breakfast on a tray, including a rose in a vase and his nuts on a platter, but she completely ignores him and breezes past him out the door. This is why you should be with Bobbi-Lee instead, Vince: she might throw the breakfast on the floor and then hit you over the head with the tray, but at least she wouldn’t ignore you.

Chez Daly, Katy suddenly looks much more pregnant than the last time we saw her, so I’m making my prediction now that she will have surprise octuplets, hopefully delivered by Mack in the back of his hackney. Proud papa John Joe is beaming over the fact that she’s made Dee’s favorite childhood bread as a surprise for the hen night, but the warm feelings immediately evaporate when Dee, Noreen, and famous wagon Geena Kennedy arrive, having clearly had a trying morning of searching the village for eggs benedict for Geena and failing. Perhaps the Red Cross can arrange an airlift. Geena makes a big production out of bravely soldiering on, and also sucking all the oxygen out of the room, until Dee realizes Katy is producing a series of novelty pink cowgirl hats and other festive crap for the hen night. She’s horrified until Katy announces she’s just joking, and Geena sneers as if Katy has just done a big poo on the floor. John Joe takes this opportunity to flee the scene, blanking a just-arrived Mack on his way out the door. Mack notes sadly that John Joe is still angry with him, but fortunately before we can recap that series of unfortunate events yet again, Geena takes center stage and makes everything about herself, insulting everyone along the way. Mack corrals them out the door as it seems he’s here to drive them to a spa day, or possibly to be spayed. Which of these he takes him to will depend on whether or not he knows what a spa is.

John Joe arrives at the community center for a meeting with Tadhg about renovating An Teaghlach. Apparently John Joe is a builder or something in addition to owning an organic petrol station or whatever. Tadhg makes a point of having this conversation loudly right in front of Celine Dion, and just to make sure he’s irritating her sufficiently, he interrupts her to borrow a pen. She tells him he’s wasting his time making an offer since she’s already bought the place, but of course Tadhg’s philosophy is that there’s no such thing as a waste of time as long as you’re annoying someone. 

At Gaudi, Katy is frantically getting rid of all the pink and white cheapo party tat she’s bought for the hen night because Dee won’t like it, i.e., Geena will inform Dee that she doesn’t like it. Pádraig and Gráinne, who are here to assist, realize it’s going to be a long day, and we hope they’ve already started secretly drinking in the toilets. Noreen arrives to remind Katy that she’s supposed to be off having a scan today, and when Katy protests that she’s got too much to do, Noreen basically kidnaps her, much to Pádraig and Gráinne’s relief, I’m sure.

A boring discussion of the possible renovations at An Teaghlach ends, and after John Joe and Frances wander away, Celine Dion comes over to hiss at Tadhg that she’s put too much work into this nefarious scheme for him to come along and spoil it now. Just then her phone rings, and we see that it’s a call from Pól, and you’d think that since she’s smart enough to call herself Caroline for arson purposes, she’d be smart enough to call Pól something else for caller ID purposes. What’s the Irish for “Teen Douchebag?” Tadhg muses that the Gardaí would be very interested in seeing all these messages she’s been exchanging with the lad who blew up An Teaghlach, and she squirms uncomfortably, even more so than people usually do when Tadhg is around.

At the café, Gráinne is trying to convince Berni to trade Katy’s reject pink napkins for some classy Geena-approved white ones, but before we can see how this excitement turns out, Caitríona and Vince show up and have a big passive-aggressive fight at the counter, making everyone uncomfortable. The fight snowballs to include Berni, who’s defending her intermittent-friend Bobbi-Lee from accusations of hussidom and jezebellery, and Gráinne’s increasingly animated expressions as the story gets more and more lurid are rather priceless. Caitríona, Vince, and Berni are basically shouting at each other at this point, and finally Gráinne can’t take it anymore and interrupts them with some of her patented hippie nonsense: she hands them paper ornaments for the wishing tree, which she is carrying around with her for some reason, and tells them that if they truly care about each other, they’ll meet each other there tonight at 8:00. So she’s trying to Sleepless in Seattle them, even though we all know that interpersonal relations involving Caitríona are inevitably much more like Jaws. Caitríona, having set up permanent basecamp on the moral high ground, stomps off in a huff, with Vince following her like a puppy with Stockholm syndrome, and Gráinne admits to Berni that she saw this in a film one time. I think it was called The Day Caitríona Murdered Vince Under The Wishing Tree.

Geena shows up at Gaudi, informing Jason that she was supposed to have still been at the spa with Dee, but she left early, ostensibly to see if Katy needed help, but really to meddle and stir up trouble. Presumably also because the spas in Ros na Rún are dead common and not up to the standards of the fancy spas she goes to in Ballywagon or wherever the hell she lives. She sneers at the low-class rubbish Katy has thrown together, and it’s clear that Geena thinks Katy is an Everything’s €1 shop, whereas she herself is more of an Everything’s €1.50 kind of girl. She bizarrely feels Jason’s bicep, which just leaves him and us confused, so he tells her that Katy’s got everything under control and dismisses her to take her bad attitude elsewhere. She should pop in to visit Caitríona—the two of them seem like two peas in a terrible, terrible pod.

Speaking of Caitríona, she’s at her place rejecting a call from Colm in favor of an angry encounter with a scone, and then we cut back to Gaudi, where a giant multi-table feast has magically appeared, and it does look lovely, so shove that in your whinehole, Geena. Katy is delighted by the work Gráinne and Pádraig have done in her absence, and I must take a moment to swoon over Pádraig’s gorgeous blue plaid shirt, which is very fetching indeed, and something he should wear more often. When Jason arrives, Katy takes him aside and shows him the photos from the scan, but evidently it’s boring, because we cut away immediately.

Back at her place, Caitríona is glumly drinking wine alone under the Christmas tree. Well, in front of the Christmas tree, really, though I do like the mental picture of her lying on the floor under a Christmas tree guzzling wine straight out of the bottle. She rejects another call from Colm and blows annoyed air through her pursed lips, stopping to glare at Vince’s guitar, and it seems we may be having a reenactment of the cover of London Calling before this episode is over.

After the break, Katy is fretting because Dee is missing in action, and her mood does not improve when Geena bloody Kennedy swans in with a crate of champagne. Meanwhile, over at the pub, the world’s saddest stag night has broken out, with David, Mack, Micheál, and Jason sullenly sitting around a table arguing and telling each other to shut up. Oh, I do love a wedding! Mack worries that John Joe’s absence is yet more evidence that he hasn’t forgiven Mack for that whole “calling off the wedding and breaking up with Dee” misunderstanding. Oh, that old thing? John Joe arrives in a foul mood, having just gotten off the phone with his two sons, neither of whom is bothering to come to the wedding. I suppose they figure they’ll just watch it on TV, or watch people watching it on Gogglebox. Mack points out that Dee will be upset since Cillian was supposed to be one of the groomsmen, so John Joe bitterly points out that Dee is used to being upset these days, Mack.

Back at the hen night, Geena is going around undoing and replacing everything Katy has done, but just before Katy can yank her to the floor by a fistful of hair and begin kicking her, Dee and Noreen arrive. A beaming Dee exclaims that everything is incredible, so of course Geena shoves everyone out of the way and takes credit for it. Someone tries to give Dee a glass of Katy’s prosecco, but Geena snatches it out of her hand and orders Katy to go get her a glass of the champagne she brought, which is much nicer. I believe it’s a lovely Château Bitch 1996. Geena hijacks Dee, and Katy fumes to Pádraig that she’s going to kill her, and we see in his eyes that Pádraig has perfected the gay art of pretending to dislike drama but actually thriving on it. “Oh, no, ladies, stop fighting! Wait, let me stand on this chair so I can get a better view.”

Caitríona’s on the phone asking someone to keep Maeve overnight while she packs a bag on the sofa so she can go away for a bit “to sort out her head.” She’s going to need a bigger bag. On her way out the door she grabs her purse and puts on a lovely yet ridiculous cloche hat, because of course Caitríona can’t wear a normal human hat. I mean, it’s total Downton Abbey, and in fact I’m pretty sure I saw Lady Mary slapping one just like it off Lady Edith’s head once. She gives a long, wistful look back at the apartment before swallowing hard and leaving. It would be the best episode ever if she threw one of Pól’s Molotov cocktails through the doorway on her way out, wouldn’t it? It’s really a shame I am not one of the writers of this show.

Back at Gaudi, Geena proclaims that this party is total dullsville, so she’s going to liven things up with the world premiere of a PowerPoint presentation she’s created using photos of herself growing up, a few of which Dee hasn’t even been entirely cropped out of. Brilliantly, Noreen jumps up and elbows her out of the way, then grabs Katy’s photo collage, which Geena snots is semi-cute even though most of the pictures are blurry. Dee then springs up and orders Geena to sit the hell down because she’s said enough, and also is the world’s most awful person. Pádraig announces it’s cocktail time, and that he’s made a special one for Geena, which Katy whispers to Dee will be the end of Geena for this evening. It’s an early Christmas gift to us all! Dee tells Katy she’s tired of Geena trying to hijack the evening and take credit for it all when Katy’s the one who did all the work and made it so perfect. Well, really I think it’s Pádraig and Gráinne who did all the work, but let’s not get bogged down with details. (There’s a joke about the recent spate of secret agents working for “some bitch with a weird accent” in there somewhere, but I’m not going there because I love Katy.) Dee hugs her and tells her she’s the best sister in the world, which is so true. I mean, Katy even slept with Dee’s fiancé to make sure the sex would be all right!

Back at the pub, John Joe is complaining about how terrible Tadhg is, and Mack, who just won’t let this go, reminds John Joe that he’s still mad at him, too. Yes, when you want to make up with someone who’s angry with you, the best strategy is to keep reminding him how mad he is. Tadhg interrupts this scene of family harmony to present the group with the last bottle of Séamus Mhicil Tom’s poitín, which he thinks they should drink in honor of this special occasion. Mack protests that he doesn’t want him to waste on the final bottle on him, and Tadhg points out that he doesn’t give a toss about stupid Mack and his stupid wedding, but instead is celebrating his soon-to-be-born grandchild, and produces a photo from the scan. It’s one of those terrifying sepia-toned 3-D close-ups that are so popular these days and make the baby look like a wad of beef jerky. Everyone smiles except Mack, who looks sick, and looks even sicker when Jason points out that the baby is going to be just like his “Uncle Mack.” Snerk.

Caitríona and her hat are sadly rolling her luggage down the street, as if she’s waiting to catch the next steamship to Ellis Island. She is so ridiculous. She watches Máire put an ornament on the wishing tree and wander off, and of course since this is her business somehow, she goes to read it and sees that it’s to Peadar, of course, telling him that she’ll love him forever. Just then Vince appears with an ornament for the tree that says “Caitríona, I love you.” She apologizes that she hasn’t written anything, but if she did, it would also say “Caitríona, I love you.” It’s what they have in common! She tells him she’s still very angry with him, and he points out that while his kiss with Bobbi-Lee only lasted a few seconds, he’s been worried he was losing Caitríona to Colm for weeks. She sighs that they’ve really made a mess of things, but he tells her it’s not too late to fix them, if that’s what she wants. She agrees to go back home with him, and their romantic walk down the street in each others’ arms is made slightly less romantic by the clatter of her roller-bag on the pavement, which makes it sound like she’s pushing a trolley with a dodgy wheel through Lidl.

Back at the pub, the lads are toasting with the last of Séamus Mhicil Tom’s poitín and lamenting the fact that no one is making it anymore, apart from Áine and possibly Réailitín. Meanwhile, John Joe still hates Mack, until Mack asks him to take Cillian’s place among the groomsmen, at which point he joyously remembers that Mack has always been his best friend and is practically a brother or possibly son to him, and that he can’t think of a better man for Dee. Well, now we know what John Joe’s price is. He tells Mack he can’t help the protective daddy act because Dee will always be his little girl, and that Mack will understand when he finally has children of his own, WHENEVER THAT MIGHT BE.

Geena is unconscious and possibly dead on the table at the hen night, which has given everyone else the opportunity to have fun. Katy and Dee are reminiscing about their childhood, with Dee admitting she bogged off to the Kennedys’ as much as possible to escape the fighting and terribleness Chez Daly. Some things never change. She tells Katy it’s no wonder they all hated her, which is of course fishing for a compliment, and Katy is basically like, “Well, we didn’t really hate you any more than we hated each other.” Dee still regrets spending so much time at the Kennedys’, and particularly abandoning her little sister, and brightly tells Katy that she’d like to make up for it by the two of them being total BFFs who love each other and do everything together and are completely honest with each other and don’t have sex with each others’ fiancés, like, at all. Well, you should’ve thought of that before Katy slept with Mack, Dee.

Speaking of our favorite big sexy dummy, Mack has carried an unconscious John Joe home and deposited him on the couch, and covers him incredibly ineptly with a throw, because apparently no one has ever shown him how blankets work. He picks up the beef-jerky scan of the baby, sighs, and sits down in a chair, where he starts talking to the photo, and wonders out loud if he’ll ever know if he’s the baby’s father. Of course someone has to be standing in the doorway to hear this, and it turns out it’s Noreen, who makes an inscrutable face which I’m interpreting to mean she feels a bit sorry for poor dumb Mack, but is also going to arrange for his immediate death.

NEXT TIME: Remember that big contract we heard about months ago to cater all the functions of the local chapter of the Association of Bus Drivers, Bodhrán Repairmen & Topless Stepdancers? Me neither, but Berni is in a snit about it because it seems bloody Máire and friggin’ Pádraig are trying to steal it out from under her! Bobbi-Lee, of course, doesn’t give a shit whether Berni gets the contract, doesn’t get the contract, or spontaneously combusts until she finds out there’s money in it, at which point she hates Pádraig and Máire, and thinks Berni should fight fire with fire by finding out exactly how much money we’re talking about and how soon it could be deposited in Bobbi-Lee’s bank account.

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