Sunday, January 8, 2017
Flirting, Semi-Flirting, and Standing Around in Close, Confusing Proximity
Season 21, Episode 36
First aired 5 January 2017
We begin with Tadhg accosting David and Mo in the street, sneering that David won’t need the keys to the “children’s prison” (hee!) much longer because soon Tadhg’s name will be over the door. He facetiously wishes them a nice day and disappears into the pub, and Mo gripes that Tadhg is “nothing but a dirty snake,” as if this is news to anyone. David cryptically tells her that after the bidding, he’ll be the one smiling, not Tadhg. I don’t have a lot of faith in this given David’s track record in trying to outwit Tadhg, but it’s nice to see him making a threat that doesn’t involve karate for a change.
Things are awkward at Jason’s, where Katy offers him a cup of coffee, which causes him to remember that he’s late for a very important appointment at anywhere Katy is not. She stops him on his way out and asks if he’d like risotto for dinner, and he completely unenthusiastically agrees, because risotto is a food of the sort one might eat for dinner, according to his files. It’s clearly been a fun few days at Katy and Jason’s.
In the café, Berni is taking down the Christmas tat while Bobbi-Lee looks at photos of herself on her laptop. Unlike all the other times she's sat around looking at photos of herself while Berni worked, however, this time she's trying to choose one for the cover of her new album, which she will preemptively call Bobbi-Lee’s Greatest Hits Volume 1, because they will all be hits, obvs. Berni is only about 6% interested in this, so after Bobbi-Lee frets and waffles about it, Berni tells her to go get some new pictures taken if she doesn’t like these. Bobbi-Lee replies that she doesn’t have the money, which causes Berni to momentarily freak out because she thinks she’s already spent the €3000 she just gave her on magic beans and magic hair extensions until it’s clarified that the 3 grand is for the CD, but doesn’t include the price of the photos. She should just find somebody who has a phone with a camera on it, such as anyone.
Tadhg materializes at the counter because he has run out of people to insult over at the pub, and when Bobbi-Lee notes that she could afford new photos if he’d give her her job back, he presents a comprehensive financial plan with graphs and charts demonstrating that rehiring her would not be economically feasible at this point in time, and also Celtic Tiger. No, wait, I mean he tells her to go whistle. There is discussion of a contest of some kind Micheál is organizing, which if we ever heard about before we had all forgotten. Bobbi-Lee suggests that if it brings tourists to the area, they could all buy copies of her CD as souvenirs. Yes, like how when people go to Disney World, their souvenir of choice is a self-produced CD some local musician is selling out in the parking lot. Tadhg points out that the photo she's got up on her screen is terrible, which is an exaggeration, because it's perfectly fine in a boring way, with a dash of “possessed.” Also I am unclear how they are going to “bring tourists to the area” by putting promotional posters up in the pub and café, but let’s not get bogged down in details.
Chez Daly, John Joe gets off the phone with Úna and tells Noreen he’s had to post her phone charger to her because she left it in the hotel and is in a panic about it. Úna seems like the kind of person who would probably own more than one charger, and also would know where to buy another one (i.e., anywhere), so if she’s actually in a panic over this, she should consider medication. Noreen is either passive-aggressive or meddling—it’s hard to tell with her—and there’s discussion of why Úna doesn’t have a man, which I’m hoping will turn out to be because she’s a shock lesbian. This turns into a conversation about the fact that Noreen is staying with John Joe while Ferdia is away for a few days, because she hates staying up in that house all by herself. He tells her she’s welcome to stay as long as she wants, and after he leaves she gives a look that suggests that whatever is going on here, she doesn’t have any ulterior motives whatsoever, that’s for sure.
Speaking of people with no ulterior motives, Adam arrives at the B&B to see Fia, and as always he is vaguely sleazy, but in a way you can’t quite put your finger on. Also, I do not recommend putting your finger on Adam unless you ask his permission first, because that would be an invasion of his personal space. It seems he’s in town to visit his mother, although it’s possible he’s gotten the words “visit” and “rob” confused, and decided to stop in and “visit” Fia while he’s here. There is flirting, or something, and then she gives him a pair of tickets to a gig she can’t go to because her babysitter fell through. He suggests he start working Máire over for childcare, and just then Máire herself arrives and freezes dead in her tracks when she sees him, because they have A History, which involves his being trouble and her disapproving of it. Fia seems not to know any of this, since I suppose it happened while she was off in Australia, so when Adam leaves and Máire starts badmouthing him, she is confused and annoyed. Fia is an awesome judge of character, remember. Hopefully her next baby will be called Adam Óg, or alternatively, Adam Ant.
Tadhg has finished boxing up the Christmas decorations at the pub, and is all “good riddance” and “eff Christmas” and so on. Ho ho ho. Bobbi-Lee is hanging around and offers to take the box upstairs, to demonstrate that she has arms and would therefore be a valuable employee, but Tadhg tells her to get out of his way and shoves past her. I love how every scene between Tadhg and Bobbi-Lee turns into the middle, fight-y bit of “Fairytale of New York.” Vince arrives and asks Bobbi-Lee to bring him a cup of a coffee, which she informs him he can shove up his backside, and when he asks doesn’t she work there, she replies with an icy “Níl.” One of my very favorite Bobbi-Lee-isms is when she’s already in a mood and someone asks her a question she thinks is insulting, and she responds by giving them a long withering glare and eventually says, “Níl.”
Mo arrives and, after a brief skirmish among her, Tadhg, and Bobbi-Lee over the difficulty of finding quality staff these days, Peatsaí, who’s been fermenting at the bar all this time, croaks in her ear that they’ll be bidding in Gaudi later, if she can get away for a few minutes. Meanwhile, Vince extends an olive branch to Bobbi-Lee, which she suggests is another item he could shove up his backside. Tadhg tells him that he’s buying An Teaghlach and turning it into a hostel, and there’s a hilarious scene with all of them bickering and slinging insults at each other, which would be completely boring to read a recap of, but trust me, it’s great. Along the way, Vince mentions apropos of nothing that he’s an excellent portrait photographer, and you can actually hear the “ding!” sound of a light bulb switching on in Bobbi-Lee’s head, so she slinks over to him and apologizes for being short with him earlier, and in fact has just remembered that she would like to be friends with him again.
Fia is sitting at the kitchen table glumly eating a dry old piece of toast, which is the official food of the B&B, while she and Máire ignore each other. Fia finally cracks first and asks Máire what’s wrong with Adam, and after Máire acts like a stroppy teenager for a while longer, she eventually tells Fia that Adam is only being nice to her to make a fool out of her. Have a little faith in your granddaughter, Máire: Fia is perfectly capable of doing that on her own. Máire says a bunch of vague things about how Adam is a scoundrel Fia should stay away from, and it’s completely stupid, because you get the impression that if she actually told Fia any of the specific things Adam has done (e.g., stuffing Niamh full of cocaine and sending her through customs at the Bangkok airport or whatever that storyline was last year), she would actually listen and probably stay away from him. But she doesn’t, so Fia assumes she’s just being a tut-tutting old biddy, and stomps off.
At the café, John Joe gets off the phone with Mack. Katy asks what he wanted, and John Joe brightly replies that he was just asking about the weather back home, as one does on one’s honeymoon. Katy asks some probing questions, such as whether Mack mentioned the wedding or that time he and Katy had sex on the floor and she got pregnant, but it seems all Mack had to report was that he and Dee are having a lovely time on their honeymoon. Katy sulks that it’s fine for some to be off swanning around in Bray or wherever they’ve gone while some others have to stay here and work, because begrudging people who have just gotten married a honeymoon is a lovely color on anyone. John Joe suggests that a holiday might do Katy some good, or at least give everyone a break by making her go away for a while, and that she and Jason could even go up to Donegal and stay at Ferdia’s since he’s away for a few days. Katy replies that Ferdia is not away, and is in fact sitting in his home WATCHING TELEVISION, which she says with dripping disdain as if it’s an entirely unreasonable thing to do and is also somehow an act of aggression against her personally. John Joe looks puzzled, I mean even more so than usual.
Vince is at his place taking photographs of Bobbi-Lee, who is sprawled across his sofa with her guitar and her sexiness dial turned up to 11. Imagine Sandy at the end of Grease, only played by Dolly Parton instead of Olivia Newton-John, and you’re about halfway there.
Over at Gaudi, Máire is lamenting to David what an out-of-control mess Fia is, and that the Yoof of Today are, as a rule, terrible. If you think Fia’s bad, Máire, wait until Áine is a teenager. She’s going to rule this town like a cross between Eva Perón and Kim Jong Il. David tells her about this new thing called reverse psychology, which it takes him a while to explain to her, and he also notes that stupid kids like Fia respond well to praise. Gráinne and Bloody Peatsaí arrive and take David away, because he is needed elsewhere, and as they leave, it’s clear that Máire has a lot to think about. This is a complicated case that perhaps calls for backup from Aunt Sally.
At the pub, Tadhg gets a phone call from his lawyer, and is annoyed to hear that someone has made a counterbid on An Teaghlach, which makes him frown, but makes Mo smile. We cut away to the break, and then return to the same scene, which is unusual and disconcerting. It seems the bidding war is on!
Back at the Dalys’, John Joe and Noreen are flirting, and he keeps trying to make her admit that she lied about Ferdia being away so she’d have an excuse to stay. She never does, exactly, and then they lean in to kiss, but then Katy shows up and spoils everything, which is her raison d'être these days. John Joe tells her that they were just talking about Dee, which makes Katy roll her eyes because Dee is gross, and how it seems the honeymooners are having a nice time, which makes Katy gag and barf because Mack and Dee are pukey, as is anyone having a nice time. They leave to go search for Katy’s missing charger, because there is a rash of those today, and I blame Pól.
On Vince’s laptop, we see a shot of Bobbi-Lee and her guitar on the sofa, and he thinks it’s fine, but she poo-poos it because her eyes are half closed and her hair isn’t sexy enough. I would volunteer that the bigger problem is that the clutter in the background and the sadness of being in some random apartment makes it look like Amateur City, Albania. Anyway, she tells him that sex sells, and therefore she prefers a different shot, in which she is sort of crouching behind the guitar as if she’s going to make love to it and then devour it, like a black widow. He tries to leave, but she stops him because they’ve got more photos to take, and they need to be, and I am quoting her here, “raunchier.” She’s got a point—I mean, think of all those album covers where Patsy Cline is sprawled across the hood of a sports car in a wet gingham T-shirt.
Fia is hanging out in the pub scouring the newspaper for new apartments, and possibly new grandmothers, when Máire arrives to apologize for being so harsh earlier. It’s just that Fia, Liam Óg, and Evan are all the family she’s got left anymore. Take that, Laoise and Berni! Fia is sympathetic to Máire's plight, and her extreme oldness, but tells her she’s got to be allowed to make her own decisions, so Máire says she trusts her and she can go see the Bay City Rollers with Adam if she wants to. Fia is thrilled, and declares that Máire will really like Adam once she spends some time with him. Yes, it’s called Stockholm syndrome.
Vince and Bobbi-Lee email a bunch of sexy photos to her record label and then she tells him she was just using him for revenge and so on, which he halfway suspected, but he went along with it because he didn’t have anything better to do. Maeve is minding the shop, presumably. There is back-and-forthing, and eventually he apologizes for hurting her feelings, and confesses that he misses spending time with her, because she’s fun and a free spirit and an exceptional singer. She should tell him to slow down so she can write all this down and put it in her press kit. She agrees to call a truce on the condition that he make doubles of all these prints, and they shake on it.
Back in the dim, romantic lighting of the B&B, Fia and Adam are semi-flirting, which there has been a lot of in this episode. Well, I’m a little unclear on what exactly Adam is doing, but then he’s reminded that Fia’s father left her some money, and at that exact moment he remembers that she’s TOTALLY his type. Have we heard about this money before? Anyway, now he’s suddenly standing much closer to her than he was before, and she leans in and they kiss, tentatively at first, and then face-eatingly.
At the pub, Vince sends over a round of drinks to Bobbi-Lee and Berni, which makes Berni suspicious, so Bobbi-Lee tells her all about the encounter earlier when he begged for her forgiveness and said nice things about her and other nonsense. It actually all seemed quite genuine to me, but Bobbi-Lee reports it as utter crap, and Berni agrees, because in her eyes anything nice anyone says about Bobbi-Lee is automatically utter crap. Bobbi-Lee concludes sinisterly that now Vince will believe anything she tells him, and he smiles at them from the bar, like someone who is smiling and in a lovely mood because he doesn’t know he’s about to be hit by a blonde bus.
Along the way there have been a bunch of scenes involving David & Co. running up the price of An Teaghlach on Tadhg with fake bids while Mo dashes back and forth between the pub and Gaudi acting as a spy working for David, which I have skipped over to save us all time. The result is that Tadhg now triumphantly announces to Mo and Peatsaí that it’s all over and An Teaghlach finally belongs to him, so now he can move forward with his plan to make it a hostel for Germans and Yanks. Apparently the Spaniards we were promised last episode have been replaced because they got Bobbi-Lee too excited. Peatsaí, who can’t leave well enough alone, has to make sure Tadhg knows that he and Mo forced him to pay €5000 more than he had to with their scheming and then wanders away. Under his breath, Tadhg vows revenge on that “little witch” Mo, and then grabs a passing Bobbi-Lee and tells her to be there at 10:00 tomorrow if she wants her job back. Well, I’m sure this is going to go well for Mo. She better bring extra hurleys to work tomorrow just in case.
NEXT TIME: Dee and Mack return from their honeymoon, which means it’s time for her to really start making his life miserable by asking him for all the gory details about his tryst with Katy! Hopefully she can use her lawyering skills to combine her cases against Mack, Katy, and the floor where they did it into one big lawsuit, because that will save everyone time.