Monday, January 16, 2017

Smells Like Poitín Spirit

Season 21, Episode 38
First aired 12 January 2017

The TG4 introductory ad thing with a ship being dropped into the water from space, which I never understood, has been replaced by a new one depicting a tractor being swallowed by a sinkhole that opens into a steampunk underground facility of some kind, which I also do not understand. Apparently the network’s slogan is: “TG4: Huh?”

Anyway! We open out in the street, where Mo happens upon Tadhg, who is searching for his missing poitín in all the likely locations, such as under a bush, in a bird’s nest, inside a baby’s pram, etc. They bicker, and then Micheál and Laoise, who apparently travel around together now, stop by to join in for a bit, including a discussion of how they thought Customs was going to shut the pub down. Laoise says she’s glad they didn’t, because even though the pub is terrible, it’s very convenient, ha ha. Well done, Laoise, since business owners always enjoy people insulting their establishments, particularly those with a great sense of humor about themselves like Tadhg. Laurel and Hardy wander away, and Tadhg concludes to Mo that whoever stole his poitín, he hopes they rot in hell. It would be easier if Tadhg just started pointing out people he doesn’t want to rot in hell, which would basically be Áine and possibly Frances.

And speaking of hell, we cut to the B&B, where Adam and Fia are playing with the stolen bottles of poitín. Adam’s putting them in his backpack a few at a time to go out and sell them, or, now that’s he’s seen Pól’s instructional YouTube video, to make Molotov cocktails out of them. Fia is nervous, but also semi-aroused, because she wishes he’d take all of the bottles to keep Máire from finding them, but at the same time she really wants to make out with him.

At Casa de Dee, also known as the Mack Is Still Sleeping On The Sofa Motel, she’s ignoring yet another phone call from her dad. Mack tells her they’re going to have to face her family eventually, and it’d be better to go ahead and get it over with before they all show up unannounced at the front door, but she’s not sure. It seems she’s progressing nicely through the stages of grief, though, having left Passive-Aggressive Town and arrived via the night train to Semi-Comatose Shockville.

In the street, Adam is selling a couple of bottles of poitín to a girl whom the credits think is called Sorcha, and we can tell she’s trouble because she’s smirkily declared herself eligible for a Wagon Discount. Also, because her hair is pulled back in a very tight, very obnoxious topknot. You know it’s bad when Adam is onscreen with someone and he’s not the one you want to smack. Apparently she’s a frequent customer, having bought a bottle from him last night and now returning for two more, so hopefully she and her topknot will get alcohol poisoning before long and we will be done with them.

Down the road, Thelma and Louise are in a mood and bickering with each other: Bobbi-Lee because Tadhg is making her, like, work, and Berni because she’s never figured out how to make Bobbi-Lee work and is therefore jealous. Amusingly, Berni accuses Bobbi-Lee of standing around behind the bar doing nothing, like a mannequin, and Bobbi-Lee replies that it’s OK because the customers come in just to look at her, unlike some other barmaids we could name, Mo. Berni concludes that unless Bobbi-Lee demonstrates that she’s just as good as Mo, she’ll be a skivvy forever, and you can tell she thinks this is going to inspire Bobbi-Lee to work harder, whereas we all know it will inspire Bobbi-Lee to burn down the pub or something. You’d think Berni would understand how to translate from Irish to Bobbi-Lee by now and speak to her accordingly.

Bobbi-Lee heads down the street carrying a big box of something, not really paying attention, and bumps into Topknot, who is also not paying attention. This causes Topknot to drop her backpack and break the bottles of poitín, and then angrily yell that Bobbi-Lee owes her €20 for her “vodka.” Of course Bobbi-Lee, who can recognize any liquor by smell from 50 feet away, immediately identifies it as poitín, which she tells Topknot she can shove up her basic arse. Topknot carries on for a while until Bobbi-Lee finally devastatingly and hilariously swats her down like the annoying fly she is.

At the café, Mack runs into John Joe, who is delighted to see his new son-in-law, but wonders why he hasn’t heard from Dee yet. There is discussion of how females be trippin’ and so on, and which of them is the bigger expert on mná, and eventually John Joe wanders away, leaving Mack alone to privately wet his pants in delayed terror.

Dee, who is home alone waiting for the folks from the Guinness Book of Records to come verify that she is wearing the world’s largest scarf, picks up her phone and nervously calls John Joe. We then cut to the community center, where Pádraig, the new literary critic for the Ros na Rún Times, is eviscerating the latest church bulletin, because the characters are one-dimensional, the religious references are heavy-handed, and there’s not enough sex. He realizes there’s a way to use the Church for fun and profit, however, and dictates an item to Máire for the next leaflet about how they are going to promote their business, whatever it is, by providing free coffee at the next bingo, or funeral, or bingo funeral. Well, I’m happy to see a homosexual persecuting the Church instead of the other way around for a change.

Over at the B&B, Fifty Shades of Grey has broken out, with Peatsaí and Sally trying to seduce each other. They’ve returned from a five-mile walk, and Sally is flirtatious, and Peatsaí wants to eat her pie, by which I mean the apple pie that’s cooling on the table, and if you thought I meant something else, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Dee has arrived Chez Daly for what John Joe thinks is a happy reunion, but she immediately starts attacking him for letting her go ruin her life because he was too busy protecting his precious Katy. Of course he has no idea what she’s talking about, and Noreen walks in, realizes what’s going on, and frantically attempts to distract Dee by doing a funny puppet show or demonstrating the new rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” she’s been working up for the next church talent night. Dee will not be denied, however, and angrily asks John Joe how he could stand up there at the altar and keep quiet knowing what Mack and Katy had done. Uh-oh.

Back at the B&B, Bobbi-Lee has brought Máire the box of whatever she’s been carrying around town, and they bicker a bit about the rat poison incident, which Bobbi-Lee can’t believe Máire didn’t recognize as just a bit of fun. Just then Peatsaí wanders in wearing what appears to be some kind of fencing costume, but turns out to be whatever he was wearing before minus his trousers. Máire is scandalized, of course, and Bobbi-Lee makes things worse by asking her if she’s having a bit of “afternoon delight,” which makes us laugh even though we really do not want to imagine Peatsaí’s skyrocket in flight. Bobbi-Lee leaves them to it, and Máire yells that she’s mortified, so he casually explains that he spilled something on his trousers and Sally threw them in the wash. I suppose we should be grateful the spill didn’t soak through to his underpants. Máire’s tizzy continues, however, and does not improve when she looks at the table and realizes Peatsaí is eating a big slice out of the apple pie she made for the priest. Oh, Peatsaí, have you forgotten about that “Thou shalt not sit around in thy underthings while eating thy clergy’s pie” thing? I think it was said by the Virgin Mary Berry.

Chez Daly, John Joe is roaming around the sitting room yelling at the walls, each of which is a different shade of purple. Apparently Ros na Rún is now filmed at Prince’s house. Noreen says she knew Katy had slept with someone else, but didn’t find out it was Mack until the day of the wedding, which we are fairly sure is not entirely true, and that she decided it was best not to tell John Joe. He fumes that no decent parent would keep this from his or her daughter—suck on that, Noreen—and vows that Mack’s going to be sorry when he gets his hands on him.

Over at the pub, Bobbi-Lee has injured herself bringing down a string of fairy lights she found in the attic, but bravely says she’s going to hang them up to make the place look slightly less depressing. Mo thinks this is a losing battle, but Áine, who’s sitting at the bar eating whatever meal it’s time for, wants to help. She drapes some nearby white lace over her head and proclaims she’s a bride, which leads to a discussion among the assembled barflies about the virtues of marriage. We’ve got Mo, who has not been on a date in the two years I’ve been watching this show; Bobbi-Lee, whose husband has tried to murder half the people in this scene, including her; and Vince, whom we’ll just say has a checkered past, and they’re all giving little Áine advice on marriage. I’ll jump ahead a bit by telling you that eventually Áine announces that perhaps she’ll just marry God, because becoming a nun is the logical response to receiving relationship advice from this bunch.

John Joe tracks Mack down in the street and the pummeling and choking begin! Mack apologizes profusely for making the stupidest decision of his life, but John Joe is somewhat more interested in knocking his teeth out than in listening to his apologies. Dee comes running down the street screaming and tries to pull them apart, ostensibly because John Joe won’t want liquefying Mack on his conscience, but also clearly because she still has feelings for her new husband. I mean feelings other than “rage” and “stabbing repeatedly.”

After the break, Bobbi-Lee is working and being helpful, which leaves Tadhg and Mo in shock because they are not familiar with the kind of thing they are seeing. Tadhg wonders to Mo why Bobbi-Lee is sucking up to him all of a sudden—because in Bobbi-Lee’s world, doing your job semi-competently qualifies as sucking up—and so of course he concludes that she stole the poitín and is now trying to throw him off the scent by confusingly working and being agreeable. Mo is skeptical and reasons, “I know she’s a chancer, but she’s not that stupid.” Snerk. Of course, right at this moment Bobbi-Lee appears and cheerfully offers Tadhg a sandwich she’s made him, which is very confusing indeed because a) she actually made it correctly, out of two slices of bread with something in between, and b) that “something” does not appear to be, say, soup, or a third slice of bread. He sends her on her way, convinced that this is the final, damning piece of evidence he needs, and even Mo looks puzzled, because the only kind of sandwich she’s ever seen Bobbi-Lee serve anyone was a knuckle sandwich.

Back at the B&B, which if Peatsaí and Sally keep carrying on we will start calling the S&M, Máire is frantically making an emergency replacement pie when Peatsaí strolls in, betrousered this time, buíochas le Dia. He offers to help, but Máire thinks he’s done enough for one day already, and then he says several things about the pie that I am not going to repeat here, though I will note that they take on a very different vibe if you imagine he is actually saying them about Sally instead of the pie. Máire tries to throw him out, but first he points out that she needs to be worried about the rumors Bobbi-Lee and her big mouth are going to spread about catching him in Máire’s kitchen in his underpants. Of course this leads to a lot of swooning and head-bobbling and praying to whichever is the patron saint of making Bobbi-Lee shut up. Saint Tammy of Wynette, perhaps.

At Gaudi, Bobbi-Lee complains about her sore shoulder and takes some aspirin as David and Gráinne look on in fascinated horror, because apparently watching someone take an aspirin is the most interesting thing that has happened to them in a while. Gráinne warns her that taking too many of those is bad for one’s stomach, and then David proclaims that “the western world is too dependent on tablets,” because he is an Eastern mystic now. Gráinne points out that in India people rub herbs on their aching muscles, but since Bobbi-Lee does not carry around a jar of cardamom, David suggests that she could always rub some poitín on her shoulder. I suppose poitín is the Irish equivalent of saffron. Bobbi-Lee worries that she’ll stink of drink, but agrees that she remembers seeing very old people such as Berni and Caitríona rub poitín on themselves, so she’ll have to figure out where to find some. Oh, dear.

Back at the pub, Áine is doing her homework with Réailitín, whom I am pretty sure has been recast this season and is now significantly older than she was before. There is discussion of how brilliant they both are, and then they start discussing their futures, with Réailtín explaining that her goals in life are to have a stretch limo, a villa, and a bunch of clothes, whereas Áine’s goal is to go into space. Mo is standing back jotting all this down in her notebook because she’s been looking for life goals lately, too, and these sound pretty good to her. Also, going into space would get her away from Peatsaí.

Bobbi-Lee has tracked down Topknot and starts trying to make nice with her in hopes of finding out who her poitín dealer is. Topknot is surly and resistant at first, until Bobbi-Lee suggests there might be some money in it for her, and then they decide to join forces. There’s no way this is going to end badly.

Dee returns home after an afternoon of walking around and Mack thanks her for pulling John Joe off of him. She explains that she is not totally opposed to the idea of him being beaten up, but that she stopped her dad from doing it because, in spite of everything, she married Mack and she still loves him. He’s clearly surprised, and asks what this means for their marriage, but she says she’s not sure and walks away, leaving him alone and plaid. I mean, sad.

Bobbi-Lee arrives at the pub for a cup of coffee, sits down, and proceeds to pull a bottle of Tadhg’s poitín out of her bag and plop it down on the bar right in front of him. Of course he starts yelling that he knew he was right, and calls her a swine, and can’t believe she would have the audacity to bring it in there. She, of course, has no idea why he’s so upset, and explains that she wasn’t going to drink it, she was just going to rub it on her shoulder. (At the bar, apparently.) He tells her it’s his poitín, and she says she just bought it from “that girl who hangs around here sometimes.” He asks what this so-called girl’s name is, but because Bobbi-Lee has not seen the closing credits yet, she doesn’t know, which of course makes her story sound very suspicious. Tadhg and Mo both tell her to just tell the truth, but she maintains that she is telling the truth, so Tadhg sacks her, throws her out, and tells her to never show her face in there again. Apparently Tadhg and Mo think Bobbi-Lee is very, very stupid if they believe she’d bring a bottle in and plop it down on the bar in front of them if she’d actually stolen it, but then again, she’s not smart enough to point this out to them, so…. And now poor Bobbi-Lee will have to find a job yet again, and unfortunately for her, “astronaut” has just been claimed by Áine.

NEXT TIME: Katy has found out that Dee knows about her and Mack, and is crying on his shoulder about it, so of course Dee walks in and sees him with his arm around her comforting her. Hmm, it looks like Katy may be the next one around here going into space after all.

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