Friday, December 23, 2016

Sleazy Come, Sleazy Go

Season 21, Episode 31
First aired 20 December 2016

We begin with David and Gráinne watching the cleanup operations at An Teaghlach, by which I mean some guy sweeping the pavement in front of An Teaghlach. She sadly notes that it is not at all iontach, unlike everything else she has ever seen, heard, or imagined, and instead its aura is shaped like a frowny face. David tells her Pól still claims to have been working with Tadhg and someone named Caroline, a.k.a., Muireann, a.k.a., “some bitch with a weird accent.” I, however, will continue to believe she is actually Celine Dion until I see proof to the contrary. Anyway, Gráinne reasons that Tadhg would never team up with Pól after that unfortunate incident where Pól and Áine pulled knives on each other, but David is only semi-listening, instead worrying that Pól will get a long sentence. Gráinne, ever the voice of, err, reason, thinks that a long sentence would be totally iontach, and, in fact, the longer, the iontach-er.

Down the street, Berni is giggling to Bobbi-Lee about how well things are going with Sleazy Tommy, who tried to get into her pants last night, but she kept them locked. She winks, however, that things could go differently tomorrow night, especially if she wears the easy-access tear-away vinyl stripper pants she bought at the Chippendales’ garage sale. Bobbi-Lee, whose paying-attention skills are questionable at the best of times, is completely not listening, and is instead looking longingly at Vince, who’s chatting with someone down the street. Berni tells her she’s got to get over him because he’s nothing but a rogue, and refuses to back down even after Bobbi-Lee presents into evidence that one time he kissed her sexily and Vincily. To get Bobbi-Lee’s mind off this bizarre love triangle, Berni suggests the two of them go out to dinner, presumably so she can brag some more about how yummy and not at all skeevy Tommy is. She and her lovely purple coat get into her car and drive away, which is Bobbi-Lee’s cue to get out her phone and call Vince, and then watch sadly as he looks at his phone, sees it’s her, and rejects the call. That rogue! Also, possibly, blackguard. I’m never sure where the line is between those two.

At Gaudi, a pretty young blonde sashays up to the bar and orders champagne, which of course they don’t have, because Gaudi is more of a Tesco-brand sparkling vinegar kind of establishment. Across the room, Jason and Mack, today playing the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, wonder who this high-maintenance little madam is, especially once we learn that she speaks primarily in hashtags, which is shorthand these days for “terrible human being.” Just then John Joe enters the restaurant, slams on brakes when he spots #hashtag, and makes a U-turn for the door, and we find out that it is famous wagon Geena Kennedy, whom we’ve been hearing about for weeks! I’d really been hoping she’d be played by RuPaul, but I suppose that was too much to aspire to, especially after the show spent its entire celebrity budget for the year on that Francis Brennan guy. Geena greets John Joe brightly yet smugly, and he unenthusiastically returns the greeting through gritted teeth, and it seems this is one of those “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” moments.

At the shop, Vince is toting around giant boxes of cereal or nappies or something when Bobbi-Lee pops in to make him squirm, and also to buy a tube of rhinestone polish. He nervously claims he’s been meaning to call her, but, uhh, his phone broke. His excuse-making skills really suffer in comparison to Mack, who would’ve concocted a surreal, Dali-esque fairytale involving a dragon eating his phone and then flying away on a pink cloud. Bobbi-Lee informs him that this is a load of shite with a side order of old bollocks, so then he starts making excuses about having too much to drink that night. Just then Caitríona wafts in and orders him to go get his coat, and while he’s gone, she snottily explains to Bobbi-Lee that she and Vince Darling are going to Gaudi tonight for a romantic dinner, and then for good measure really rubs it in her face, all smirky and “I love my present lifestyle! I’m constantly getting sexed up like you wouldn’t believe! Well, have fun with your Sad Singleton frozen dinner for one!” She struts away with Vince in tow, and the look on Bobbi-Lee’s face tells us that very soon Caitríona is going to regret, you know, existing.

Back at Gaudi, David is congratulating Mo on the heroic Pól-ectomy she performed the other night in the pub, and she offers that she’ll gladly do it again should he show his face around here again. Hee. There’s talk of Pól’s allegations against Tadhg, and Mo admits that sure, Tadhg is an arsehole, but even he wouldn’t have An Teaghlach torched with his wife and daughter inside. Detective David is unsure, and his suspicions are heightened when Jason appears and conveniently explains that Áine and Frances wouldn’t have even been at the party if he hadn’t run into them on his way there and invited them to join him. We see a light bulb start to flicker on over David’s head, but it’s one of those new energy-efficient ones that take a while to actually start putting out light, so we will revisit this later.

Chez Daly, Katy is proudly showing Noreen a photo collage she’s been making for Dee’s hen night representing great moments in Daly sister history, i.e., photos of the two of them at various ages taking turns choking each other Homer-and-Bart-Simpson-style. “Oh, look, it’s the time Katy pulled out a clump of Dee’s hair at the Eiffel Tower!” Noreen muses that weddings didn’t involve all this fuss and muss back in her day; back then, you just crimped your hair and conga-ed down the aisle to “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” before the guy who’d knocked you up could do a runner. The two of them share a giggle about how shotgun weddings run in the family, as mothers and daughters have been doing for centuries, and then John Joe arrives with a look of desperate terror in his eyes, because Geena is with him. Noreen is delighted to see her, but Katy gives a look like she’s just been presented with a life-sized Donald Trump made of poo.

Bobbi-Lee arrives home in a snit, attacking the kitchen with her purse and so on, and it seems she’s going to do a much better job of ransacking the flat than she did that time Tadhg paid her to do it. Before she can completely Hulk out and rip out the countertops with her bare hands, Sleazy Tommy stops by to rub himself up against Berni or similar, and is thrilled when he discovers he’s in the presence of world-famous country singer and semi-floozy Bobbi-Lee. It seems he’s the president of her fan club and so on, and coincidentally, this year’s theme is “Let’s Hit on Bobbi-Lee in 2016.” But first, he serenades her with a medley of her greatest hits, including “Stealin’ From the Till,” “I Won’t Be In Today (‘Cause I Got Lady Problems),” and “Stop, Honey, You’re Choking Me.” She is unnerved by his yuckiness, as anyone but Berni would be, and then she bursts into tears, ostensibly because she’s got Vince on her mind, but at a deeper level, because this is what her life has come to. Tommy tries to comfort her, which consists of sniffing her hair and then trying to make out with her, so she throws him out as he begs her not to tell Berni.

Behind the bar, Frances shows Tadhg a cell phone she found in the pub last night, and he helpfully notes that if whoever lost it wants it back, they can come get it, and he can shove it up their arse for wasting his valuable time. You know, the usual. She tries to ask him about this “Caroline” person Pól was ranting about working with last night, but he explains that Pól is a lying liar who lies and shoos her away just as DI David arrives to continue his investigation. Tadhg asks him whether An Teaghlach suffered a lot of damage, specifically the kind that would cost money to repair if someone named Tadhg were to, say, buy it and turn it into a hotel or something, but David is more interested in discussing Pól’s accusations in a heavy-handed entrapment-y kind of way. Clearly he’s learned a lot during all that time he’s been spending harrassing O’Shea down at the station. Tadhg insists that he would never have a building burned down with his wife and daughter inside, and David is all “J’accuse! You didn’t know they were going to be there! Jason said so!” It’s very much like that part at the end of every Murder, She Wrote (also Scooby-Doo) where Angela Lansbury (or Velma) confronts the criminal with what actually happened and then he/she is always like, “Yeah, you got me! Can I go to prison now?” Except, in this case, because it’s Tadhg, the confession will probably be replaced by throwing acid in David’s face and running away.

After the break, Bobbi-Lee is telling Berni about how Sleazy Tommy tried to put his various parts on hers, and shockingly, Berni believes her and starts ranting about what a scoundrel Tommy is rather than accusing Bobbi-Lee of being a lying jealous hussy who can’t stand to see anyone happy and also whorishly leaves dirty dishes in the sink. It must be terribly confusing living with Berni, because you never know which side of her you’re going to get. There is discussion of how all men are the same, and Bobbi-Lee proclaims that she’s not going to take it any more, and it’s time she and Berni teach Sleazy Tommy and Intermittently Sleazy Vince a lesson!

Back at the pub, David is continuing to question Tadhg, who’s starting to twist in the wind a bit, so Frances steps in and tells David to knock it off with the nonsense, because Tadhg knew that she and Áine were going to be there, so NYAAH! David’s bravado collapses faster than Pól getting hit over the head by Mo, and he starts apologizing, but Tadhg tells him to go to hell and to shove a razor blade up his whatnot and the usual, and then Frances throws him out. It’s nice that Tadhg lets Frances be the one to throw somebody out for a change—it must be her birthday or something. After David slinks away, Frances quietly tells Tadhg she doesn’t like all these questions, and he points out that he actually didn’t know she and Áine were going to the party, which of course she knew. She tells him she was lying to cover for him, because she knows he wouldn’t burn down a building, right? RIGHT?!? He weakly agrees, and she semi-believes him, but then shuts him down when he starts telling her that they should buy An Teaghlach because they could get it for a good price.

Over at Berni’s, she and Bobbi-Lee have launched stage one of Teach All Men A Lesson. Bobbi-Lee welcomes Tommy, apologizing profusely for treating him so rudely earlier, and offers him a lovely drink, but not before sexily tying a cocktail umbrella in a knot with her tongue. She points out that it’s been a long time since she’s been with a man, and that she often gets lonely, especially when Berni is gone for the day and totally not coming back for ages, such as right now. Tommy is leering and disgusting, and uses some of the same ridiculous heifer-based pickup lines he used last week on Berni, so Bobbi-Lee swoons over how hot it’s getting and suggests he join her on the sofa for some heavy petting and light heatstroke. He tries to kiss her, but she resists the urge to throw up and instead tells him to wait there while she changes into something more comfortable and that won’t show bloodstains so badly. The best part of all this is that in the background she’s got some kind of crazy Wild West “riding into the sunset” music playing, all whistling cowboys and spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle, and it’s all completely hilarious.

And speaking of hilarity, a new Ice Age has settled over the Daly household, where Katy, Noreen, and famous wagon Geena Kennedy struggle to make awkward conversation and pray for Dee to arrive. Well, Geena struggles to make conversation while Katy twirls her hair in super-bored fashion and looks at her like she’s a pile of dog vomit. Geena says, “So, Katy, I hear you’re organizing the hen night,” and Katy brilliantly doesn’t bother responding, instead languidly rolling her eyes in Geena’s direction and making it clear that she is not even going to waste her time or energy telling Geena to go fuck herself. Now, Brídín Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh is a terrific actress who can handle whatever the writers throw at her, but this is the Katy I fell in love with and have missed lately, because I’ve never seen an actor who’s better at playing bored, annoyed, and vaguely hostile. Geena asks who’s doing the catering, and Katy is like, “Duh: me, bitch!”, to which Geena basically replies, “That’s cute, but wouldn’t it be better to leave it to a professional?” Sadly, just before Katy can fly across the room and punch Geena in the windpipe, John Joe appears with the tea tray, and Noreen is mortified because he’s brought Lady Geena milk IN A PLASTIC JUG rather than in their Waterford crystal cream fountain. She hustles him back into the kitchen to do a milk switcheroo and also to beat him senseless, and the parental absence allows Geena and Katy to shift their mutual hatred into a higher gear. Geena volunteers that she’s just gotten a promotion to Nonsense Manager at her company, “#GoingToTheTop,” and Katy snots that it’s more like #ExecutiveDirectorOfBeingTheOwner’sDaughter. Geena hisses that she plays a pivotal role in her father’s very important business empire, and Katy’s like, “Oh, is that what you’re calling the fish factory these days?”, and it’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for ever since we were first threatened with Geena Kennedy ages ago. Geena tells Katy it’s going to be hard for her to find a man being knocked up AND a total bitch, so Katy replies that she’s with the baby’s father actually, and he’s the owner of the restaurant where she works, so of course Geena is all “#SleepingWithTheBoss,” and thereby wins this set.

Meanwhile, Tommy is making himself comfortable by taking off his shoes and oiling his pistons or whatever, and Bobbi-Lee coos seductively from the other room that he should close his eyes and wait for a big surprise. We of course assume she’s going to come hit him in the head with an axe, but even worse for him, Berni shows up and slaps him around the earhole, and they both start yelling at him and throw him out. (As a pedantic Irish learner, I’m almost positive Bobbi-Lee does an initial consonant mutation on “playboy,” addressing him as phlaiboy, which, if I’m hearing correctly, gives me delighted grammatical chills.) Berni and Bobbi-Lee laugh and high-five each other, and while it usually makes me nervous when the two of them are on the same side of anything, this was amazing, though I expect they will now have a big fight over which of them has to clean up the trail of ooze Tommy left on his way out the door.

Out in the street, Frances chases Tadhg down and asks him if he’s on his way to make an offer on the burnt-out building, and after some light lying, he admits that he is, but only because it would be foolish not to. Frances tells him to let it go, and besides, there’s already been an offer on the place by someone who’s going to turn it into a boutique hotel, and he’ll never guess who it is! Ooh, I hope it’s Áine!

Back at their flat, Thelma and Louise are congratulating themselves on destroying Sleazy Tommy, and Bobbi-Lee brightly notes that now it’s time to go do the same to Vince. Berni’s got cold feet, though, and tries to talk her out of it, warning her that what she’s got planned for Vince is just too malicious, especially given that it would be in front of the entire village. I keep waiting for us to cut to Vince hanging from a harness with a ball-gag in his mouth like Dabney Coleman in 9 to 5. Bobbi-Lee says she’ll just go do it herself if she has to, and in a desperate and stupid last-ditch effort to stop her, Berni pleads that this will do nothing but cause trouble, as if that’s going to do anything other than make Bobbi-Lee more enthusiastic.

At the community center, Tadhg confronts Celine Dion about her surprise plans to buy An Teaghlach and turn it into a hotel, even though we all assumed that’s what she was planning to do all along. He calls her a hag and shakes his fist in her face, like at every parent-teacher night at Áine’s school, but she could not give less of a shit, even when Frances notes what a huge coincidence it was that the place burned down just in time for Celine Dion to put an offer on it. Celine clarifies that in fact her offer has been accepted, and flies off on her broom to see her solicitor about it, leaving Frances and Tadhg sputtering in her wake.

Over at the restaurant, Caitríona (who looks amazing) and Vince are ordering dessert, and giving each other goo-goo eyes, and about five minutes from going in the bathroom and doing it. She tells him what an amazing man he is for forgiving her after her little misstep with Colm, and he shrugs it off by saying we all make mistakes sometime. And speaking of mistakes, right on cue Bobbi-Lee walks in with her guitar, and I do love it when the show has her enter a scene just after someone has mentioned embarrassment, poor decision-making, or the apocalypse. Caitríona fumes that the last thing she wants is to listen to Bobbi-Lee’s noise all evening, especially since she’s sure she’s still got the hots for Vince. Berni has planted herself at the bar by now, and she starts giving Vince wild-eyed “get out of here!” hand signals and throat-slashing gestures behind Caitríona’s back. Berni is such a priggish drudge most of the time that I forget how funny Fionnuala Ní Fhlatharta is when she’s given the chance. Vince suddenly remembers that he has projectile malaria and needs to leave, but to his dismay, Caitríona proclaims that she’s not going to let Bobbi-Lee ruin their night, and she is unanimous in that. Pádraig introduces Bobbi-Lee as tonight’s special musical guest, disappointing those guests who had misread the sign and were expecting Betty Boo, and she introduces her first song as one she wrote about a man who turned out to be a slug and a slimeball, which gives Vince instant diarrhea-face.

At the pub, Tadhg discovers the lost cell phone that’s fallen into his hands belongs to Pól, and then sees there’s a text from “Caroline,” a.k.a. “Muireann,” a.k.a. Celine Dion, which seems as if it might be important, but the subtitles don’t bother translating it for us, so I’m going to assume it’s a promotional code for 50 cents off at Subway. He smiles as he reads the text, and then grins to Frances that now he’s got Celine Dion right where he wants her.

Back at the Grand Ole Opry, Bobbi-Lee is finishing up the Vince song, and I have no idea what it’s about, but I’m very curious to know what she found to rhyme with “Vince totally kissed me on the sofa while Caitríona was out” in Irish. She tells the diners that it’s difficult to perform that song because she wrote it about someone she thought was very special to her, and Caitríona asks Vince, “She’s talking about you, isn’t she?”, which he denies and then not-at-all-suspiciously jumps up from the table and heads for the door. He and Caitríona freeze in shock and stupidity, however, as Bobbi-Lee continues that he’s a musician who helped her with her songs, and that they kissed, IN HIS APARTMENT, and I don’t know why I find that last bit so hilarious, but I do. She explains that she thought he was a new start for her, but that wasn’t the case. Caitríona is in shock, and narrates that now she knows why he was so forgiving of her dalliance with Colm, and he tries to explain that he was drunk, which gives her an excuse to throw a drink in his face and storm out. Bobbi-Lee grins triumphantly, and Vince really needs to learn to stay away from the town blondes, because if he thinks Caitríona and Bobbi-Lee are trouble, wait till he gets tangled up with Geena Kennedy.

NEXT TIME: Strange “Peter and the Wolf”/carousel-type music accompanies a montage of Geena being terrible in various ways in various locations, such as throwing a cell phone at a baby at the top of Mount Everest, and then Katy hisses to Pádraig that she’s going to kill her. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” indeed!

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