Tuesday, January 31, 2017

With a Little Kelp from My Friends

Season 21, Episode 42
First aired 26 January 2017

We open in the pub, where Peatsaí and Mack have transformed into Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show and are heckling Tadhg over last episode’s holy chalice shenanigans. Peatsaí tells him it’s a shame he had to “leave early” last night, because there was plenty on offer, such as food and drink and Sally’s various goods and services. That last part is implied. Áine, who is sitting further down the bar in a surly manner, hands Tadhg a note from her teacher requesting the presence of one of her parents at a meeting concerning her recent bad behavior. She goes into full brat mode when he asks her what it’s about, and when he assures her he’ll go down to the school and sort it out, she snaps that she doesn’t want him anywhere near her school, because he ruins everything. She storms off, and Mack talks some smack about Tadhg’s parenting, which of course Tadhg shuts down immediately by asking him what he knows about parenting. Tadhg 1, Mack 0.

At the bachelor pad, David and Gráinne hide some suspicious-looking bottles when Pádraig arrives. I hope their new money-making venture is providing clean urine samples to drug-using job applicants. Pádraig is in a tizzy—I mean even more so than usual—and will be hanging out in it for the next 30 minutes, so brace yourself. It seems the final preparations are underway for today’s local entrepreneur talent contest and there’s a lot to do, much of which involves the satin ribbons a bug-eyed Pádraig is waving around. He panics a bit more when David announces he’s got elsewhere to be, but Gráinne assures him that she’s got everything under control. It’s the calming effects of all the seaweed she’s been smoking, I expect.

Berni is moving furniture around at the café, and it’s worth going back and checking out online because it may be your only opportunity this year to see Bobbi-Lee doing some actual work. She’s complaining to the assembled crowd, i.e., Berni and Micheál, that if her CDs had arrived she could’ve set up a table and made a killing, which causes Berni to purse her lips and roll her eyes, and Micheál to point out to her that this is a contest, not a flea market. Snerk. Mack shows up and asks Berni if she’s got that €25,000 she offered him last episode yet, as if he expected her to pop down to the cash machine and withdraw it on her way in this morning. She tells him to keep his britches on because it’s going to take time and involve her solicitor. If only Mack had a law professional in his life who could explain to him how these things work! And speaking of Ireland’s Frostiest Lawyer, Dee arrives just in time for Máire to ask her a thousand questions about how the baby is doing, and how nice it must be to be an aunt, and how lucky it is that her husband didn’t sleep with her sister or anything, and how they’ll have a baby soon enough. Dee’s eyes get bigger and bigger and eventually she wanders away without saying a word, which I’m not sure Máire even notices, because she’s quite capable of carrying on both sides of a conversation herself.

Out in the street, a bubbly Bobbi-Lee runs into David, who’s in a stinky mood, but carrying a bouquet of flowers. Bubbly-Lee assumes the bláthanna are for future contest winner Gráinne, but David just whinges about how tired he is of all this kelp and barnacle nonsense and stomps off.

A bit further down the road, Mack and Jason are having a calm, civil, only moderately awkward conversation about how Katy and the baby are doing. Evidently they’ve decided to try to get along again, which will make life easier considering they live in a town of 15 people. Jason announces they’ve done a DNA test on the baby that proves he’s the father, and after a brief pause, Mack congratulates him, and Jason heads off to the hospital, leaving the alleged first runner-up in the Mr Katy’s Babydaddy 2017 Contest standing alone looking pensive and handsome. Also stubbly.

Bobbi-Lee and her new BFF Áine are hanging out at the bar discussing boys and nail polish and world politics, as one does with a child age 8-15, when Tadhg returns home with a new football and presents it to Áine. She informs him he is a stupid poo-poo head and storms off, which, growing up in Ros na Rún, she’s learned is the only way to leave a scene. Surprisingly, Bobbi-Lee tries to be sympathetic, which combined with the helpful manual labor she was doing earlier today suggests she has suffered a head injury, but Tadhg responds by telling her what a bad mother she was to her dead daughter and then stomps off. She doesn’t take the bait—who is this woman and what has she done with Bobbi-Lee?—but Mo, who is nearby doing actual work, seems to have an idea. OK, the fact that Mo is working while Bobbi-Lee sits around doing nothing makes me feel better.

At the hospital, Noreen and John Joe give Katy some baby outfit of hers they excavated from somewhere, which is very tender and sentimental, especially since it’s the outfit baby Katy was wearing the first time Dee pushed her down the stairs. There is discussion of what a bratty baby Katy was, which comes as a surprise to absolutely no one, and of what a clueless father John Joe was, which is also not exactly breaking news.

At the pub, David gives Laoise the soon-to-be-infamous bouquet of flowers as a thank-you gift for hiring Gráinne at Polytunnel, Inc. He’s extremely grateful because he hopes the new job means Gráinne will knock it off with the seaweed nonsense, which he is really sick of. At a nearby table, Mack tells Dee about the DNA test results, and she blinks so much her eyelashes practically blow him off his stool. She guesses this is good news, and she conveys her relief by starting a fight with him about what he would’ve done if the results had gone the other way. Oh, FFS, Dee.

Back at the hospital, Jason arrives with a teddy for the baby from Cuán, and I am surprised Katy doesn’t fly into a rage at him because she knows Cuán has neither cash nor credit card. Noreen and John Joe are still there, and they discuss possible baby names for a while, none of which Katy likes, because she’s in that kind of mood today this lifetime. As further evidence of this, when Jason tells her about the DNA test results, she is visibly disappointed, even as her parents celebrate the good news. It’s really a banner day for the Daly sisters.

The Apprentice: Galway is in full swing at the café, and we can tell it’s a big deal because there are a bunch of extras we have never seen standing around with clipboards. It would be brilliant if there were also one of Mack and Peatsaí’s busloads of Japanese tourists standing around looking confused because this does not look like the Guinness factory in the brochure at all. Micheál, who is apparently in charge of this affair for some reason, gets the crowd’s attention and announces that the three finalists are Gráinne and two people we do not care about. Pádraig, whose life is a shallow, meaningless husk and is therefore compelled to make these proceedings about himself, starts asking Gráinne why David isn’t there, but she seems unconcerned, because, frankly, any time apart probably comes as a relief to both of them.

Back at the hospital, disgruntled Katy is still ambivalent about Jason’s announcement that he is her babydaddy, by which I mean she is visibly disappointed and annoyed. She is also annoyed that nobody asked her permission to do a DNA test. The logical response is, “Well, we would’ve, but you were busy being in a coma or whatever, SELFISH,” but instead Jason hems and haws and eventually tells her that there was no DNA test, which is surprising to no one, especially since we all know from last season that every DNA test in Ros na Rún says Evan is the father anyway.

After the break, John Joe tells Mack he really dodged a bullet with this whole not-baby thing. Mack agrees, and tells him he hopes they can be friends again, but John Joe says the two of them won’t be OK until he sees Dee being happy. So, basically, they will never be OK.

Meanwhile, Katy and Jason are still arguing about the fake DNA test. She asks him what’s going to happen when Mack finds out there was no test, and Jason tells her he won’t find out unless she tells him, which we all know she is going to do the first time she’s cross with Jason about something, which knowing Katy will be approximately 2.4 seconds from now. Clearly this whole situation is taking a toll on Jason, because he just seems sluggish and exhausted rather than flying in her face yelling “I notice you were very disappointed when you thought Mack wasn’t the father and WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?” like any normal person. She starts banging on about how Jason has no conscience, as if she is one to be lecturing anyone on this topic, and she and Dee really do seem to be in a competition this episode to see who can be more obnoxious.

Back in the final round of Ireland’s Got Seaweed, Gráinne is carrying on about the mystical healing powers of kelp harvested by mermaids during a full moon, and actually starts reciting a poem one is supposed to chant before eating it or sniffing it or whatever one does with it. Mercifully, Micheál interrupts her to thank her for whatever that was, and to ask her to please stop and never do it again. The judges flee, and Pádraig congratulates her on the thing she just did, and has to elbow Bobbi-Lee to stop her from going all Simon Cowell on this whole situation.

At the pub, Mo has some quality barmaid-child bonding time with Áine, which involves a cupcake entrapment situation meant to trick Áine into realizing that everybody does bad things sometimes, even Tadhg. Áine seems satisfied with this charade, because kids are dumb and easily tricked. Another option would’ve been to watch Áine eat the cupcakes and then tell her they were poison and that she only gets the antidote if she knocks it off and stops arguing with everybody. It’s really a shame I do not have any children.

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, I guess: the winner of the contest is Gráinne! Well, that’s a relief, because otherwise this entire storyline would’ve been completely pointless. There is congratulating, and Bobbi-Lee tells her David must’ve known something, because she saw him carrying flowers around earlier. Gráinne says she hasn’t seen any flowers and then wanders away, leaving worried Pádraig to ask Bobbi-Lee if she’s sure she saw David with flowers earlier. Of course she’s like, “Which do you think I don’t recognize when I see them: David or flowers? FOOL.” Pádraig, who is in full Miss Marple mode now, announces he knows David is up to something. You know, because the only two reasons anyone would buy flowers are 1) to congratulate someone on winning first place in a seaweed contest and 2) because they are having an affair.

At the pub, Tadhg is yelling at Mo for filling little Áine’s head with nonsense, because it seems the message she took from Mo’s little trick was that it’s OK to steal crisps out of the storeroom. Now that’s the Áine we know and love. They argue for a while, and eventually Áine appears and tells Tadhg she forgives him for being a wretched embarrassment to humanity, but that she really wants him to apologize to Máire. He agrees, and she and Mo exchange knowing smiles, and it’s worth noting that Mo is wearing a gorgeous black-and-red ensemble that makes her look like a Spanish lady, in the best sense of the word. She just needs a fan and, like, a bullfight going on behind her.

David shows up at the café and is immediately confronted by Pádraig, who starts grilling him on his whereabouts and being completely ridiculous and obnoxious. We love Pádraig, but he clearly does not have a life, and needs to get one immediately. He interprets David’s annoyed answers to mean that he and Gráinne are in an open relationship, which he looks disgusted by, because he is opposed to all forms of non-heteronormativity. He is doing some serious Dot Cotton finger-wagging and tut-tutting about how disgusting this all is, which is really not a good color on him, and eventually the misunderstanding is cleared up when David and Gráinne tell him David has actually been off making poitín. They are convinced they’re going to make a fortune off of it, and seem a bit like they have been testing the stock all morning, but Pádraig seems satisfied by this explanation, at least until the next time he is bored and needs to do some meddling.

Máire drops by the pub to be passive-aggressive to Tadhg for a while, and Áine nags him to apologize for the whole stolen chalice thing. He tries to distract everyone with the smoke and mirrors of free coffee, because he’s really pushing the boat out here, but Áine knows a giant cloud of bullshit when she sees it, and forces him to actually say he’s sorry.

At their place, Dee is still giving Mack the silent treatment, and he finally can’t take it anymore and tells her to stop sitting around like a zombie and get it together. They fight for about 27 minutes, and eventually things seem to thaw a bit when she agrees to let him order her some Chinese takeaway, although it may just be so she can stab him with the chopsticks.

Back at the hospital, Katy has taken a turn for the worse, but only because Berni and Pádraig have stopped by to visit. The pair of them do their comedy routine for a while, and then the conversation turns to the subject of godparents. Katy and Jason evasively say they haven’t thought about it yet, so Berni takes it upon herself to make that decision for them, proclaiming that Dee and Mack shall be the godparents and the baby’s name shall be Berni Óg. Katy and Jason smile and are like, “Well, it’s been lovely seeing you, but please sling your hook now,” which is of course the logical response to a visit from Berni.

At the newlyweds’ house of horrors, Mack is sleeping on the couch, and Dee comes in to look ambiguously at him for a while before going back to bed. I’m telling you, if Mack left Dee and hooked up with Pádraig, that would solve several of our storytelling dilemmas. Show, please make a note of it.

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