Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day, Now Stop Sexually Harassing Me

Season 21, Episode 47
First aired 14 February 2017

The calendar may say it’s Valentine’s Day, but apparently it’s Opposite Day at Dee and Mack’s, because she’s the one who’s slept on the couch and is now smiling and being helpful, whereas he’s treating her like something he stepped in and can’t get off his shoe. The world’s turned upside-down! She tries a variety of tactics to soften him, such as making him breakfast and performing the Bert & Ernie puppet show that usually makes him squeal and clap with glee, but he is quite adamant that she should go eff herself and he storms out the door.

At the café, Micheál is opening Réailtín’s mail, in this case a valentine, because that’s a surefire way to improve strained relations with one’s teen daughter. Laoise arrives and tells him he’d better stop or Réailtín will never speak to him again, which I’m not sure is the best threat against the parent of a stroppy teenager. He’s sad because he knows she’ll never tell him who sent it, because that’s the kind of thing a girl only discusses with her mother, which she can’t do now that he euthanized her 13 years ago, according to my sources.

Mack is sullenly drinking coffee at Gaudi when Berni stops by to tell him that her new oven is up and running, so she’s reopened the café! Once again speaking for us all, Mack could not possibly be less interested in this, but Berni and her enormous scarf can’t take a hint, as usual. At a nearby table, Colm tells Caitríona that his hearing has been scheduled for next month, and that he is available to help her finish her book, and gives her meaningful glances, possibly. His baseline level of sleaziness is so high that it’s hard to get a reading on what he thinks he’s doing at any given time. Vince comes over and makes nice with him, which is an input Colm’s operating system does not recognize, so he wanders away confused. The important part of this scene is that Vince has FINALLY gotten a haircut, buíochas le dia, so he once again looks like the very handsome and distinguished gentleman we have a mild and intermittent crush on rather than a crazy wild-eyed hermit who has come into town from up in the mountains wearing a Farrah Fawcett wig. Berni whispers to Mack that she can’t believe Vince is going to let Caitríona continue to work with Colm after they kissed, and asks him leadingly, “I wouldn’t be so understanding, would you?” You can hear the gears in Mack’s head grind to life as he tries to remember why this situation seems so familiar to him, as if he’s seen it on TV, or perhaps last episode when Dee made out with her co-worker.

Meanwhile, famous floozy Dee is loitering at the café looking sad. Don’t any of these people ever work? Máire and Laoise stop by to grill her on her sexy Valentine’s Day plans, and she’s evasive and quickly stops bothering to even respond. Of course this doesn’t slow Máire down one bit, because as we established long ago, she is perfectly capable of carrying on both sides of a conversation by herself. Berni returns and tells Dee she just saw Mack over at Gaudi, which causes her to run off lawyerly in search of her semi-husband. Of course Berni leaves out the part where she stirred up trouble with him and then sent Dee into the middle of it, so it’s as if she’s shaken a can of Coke and then handed it to Dee to open.

And now, this. The oddest Ros na Rún scene I’ve ever seen, in which a car chase actually breaks out, accompanied by crazy techno music, as first Mack and then Dee hop into their cars and screech off somewhere. The music is…I don’t even know how to describe it, although it does remind me of the weird bleep-bloop music used by the BBC World News. Fortunately it’s a very brief chase, because the show used up its on-location budget for the month on last week’s trips to the lunar surface and this episode’s upcoming excursion to the shore.

A beaming Bobbi-Lee bursts into the café with a spring in her step and a joy in all the colors of her hair. Berni and Mo both snipe at her, but she ignores them, announcing that she’s just back from Dublin with the solution to the troubles Berni is having with her oven. This makes it sound as if Berni is having fertility issues, but in this case I am talking about an actual oven, or lack thereof. Of course, this being Berni, rather than being touched that Bobbi-Lee gives a damn about her self-created problems, she is instead obnoxious and tells her to look around at all the people eating hot food, because, DUH, she’s obviously already got an oven, idiot. Bobbi-Lee looks simultaneously crestfallen and nauseated, and before storming out, she asks Berni why she didn’t let her know about the oven before she spent all this time worrying about the stupid oven and stupid café and Berni’s stupid face. Berni is confused but intrigued, because she knows this situation is about her, but she’s not sure exactly how.

Mack storms into Turlough’s office, which looks very much like a set that was built to simulate a classroom and has had the chalkboard removed temporarily. Mack tells him to leave Dee alone, and just then she arrives and pleads with him to leave. Turlough snots that Dee kissed him, not the other way around, which causes Mack to flounce angrily out the door and down the school, I mean law office, corridor. Dee tells Turlough that if he doesn’t step down from the case they’ve been working on together, she’ll accuse him of sexual harassment, which is not at all completely unethical and an insult to everyone who has ever been a victim of actual sexual harassment.

Vince has tracked Bobbi-Lee down to an exterior location where a fishing boat is on its side buried in the mud. I don’t know, either. There is discussion of her emigrating, because Ros na Rún is OK-ish, but it’s no Nashville. As someone who lived in Nashville for several years, I can assure her that it does not have any fishing boats buried up to the windows in mud, or Berni, but it does have tornados, and motorists who cut across six lanes of traffic without looking or using their indicators. She sadly tells him she always knew that one day she’d write the song that would launch her career and put her on the road to stardom, and that she finally did, but then she sold the rights to it to buy Berni an oven that she didn’t even need. She says she sold her dream for nothing, and he looks stricken, although part of it seems to be that he desperately needs sunglasses against the glare. It’s a lovely, sad, beautifully done scene, and I do really like it when Vince and Bobbi-Lee are being friends and there are not weird shenanigans going on.

Dee has followed Mack home, and confesses that yes, she kissed Turlough, but only because she was upset and drunk, and only on the mouth. She spits that he of all people should know how that goes, but unlike him, she stopped with a kiss rather than having sex with Turlough and getting him pregnant. She tells Mack he’s the one she loves, and she knows he’s in love with her, and suggests they put this all behind them and start afresh. He grimly tells her that she’s tried to forgive him but she can’t, and she never will, because she’ll always go back to hating him. He kisses her goodbye and walks out the door.

After the break, during which we learn there are many lurid scandals we can read about in a special all-sleaze issue of the Daily Mirror, Vince has told Berni about Bobbi-Lee’s song. She’s very sad, though of course Caitríona is being a total passive-aggressive shit about it. Pádraig arrives and announces that he’s glad to have found someplace where everyone is miserable, because Gaudi is full of nothing but happy couples. Well, the odds are good that there will be misery anyplace Berni, Caitríona, and Pádraig are assembled. Caitríona protests that she and Vince are a happy couple, but Pádraig hilariously says, “You don’t count.” Snerk.

David and Gráinne are cozying up to each other at the pub, and it’s a good thing Tadhg doesn’t serve spaghetti, or they’d be reproducing that scene from Lady & the Tramp. Mo stops by for a chat and Gráinne notes that her seaweed business is on hold, because she hasn’t heard anything about the mentoring thing since she won the competition. Mo asks Tadhg if he can get Frances moving on that, but he protests that he’s too busy with things that aren’t complete nonsense, until she tells him that Gráinne is thinking about going back to poitín, at which point he suddenly remembers he’s got an opening in his schedule. Mo also tells Gráinne that if she really wants to do something as a tribute to Séamus, she could restore his fishing boat, which I suppose may or may not be the one we saw buried in the mud in ruins earlier. I’m not sure how many broken-down boats are lying around town.

Mack is down at the shore skipping stones, and Caitríona joins him, because it turns out she finds it therapeutic, too. She starts whinging about how Vince has swallowed another one of Bobbi-Lee’s sob stories, and how the only thing worse than Bobbi-Lee’s singing is her personality. Heh. They have a discussion of forgiveness, and while it’s a bit thematically heavy-handed, the scenery is nice. I am only about 60 percent talking about Mack.

Back at the pub, Frances tells Gráinne that the cast of Dragons’ Den or whoever can meet her for her mentoring thing tomorrow at noon. We cut quickly to the shop, where Pádraig has tracked down Bobbi-Lee and says he wants to take her for a drink, and she replies that she’s already planned to go out on the tear tonight, and in fact, her taxi is outside. He suggests they go to Tigh Thaidhg instead, but she doesn’t like this idea, because she wants to go someplace, you know, not awful. Pádraig weakly tries to change her mind, and eventually a nearby Caitríona puts us all out of our misery by snotting at Bobbi-Lee that Vince told everyone her sob story and now Berni wants to buy her a drink, so she needs to get her arse over there and stop being a wagon all the time. That last part is implied because Caitríona is saying it.

Colm and John Joe have come to the pub for some abuse, and of course Tadhg is happy to oblige, making fun of the way they talk and of their lack of success with women. He also brings up the fact that he’s going to open a hostel across the road for the second time this episode, as if to remind us that this was a thing we had forgotten about that might come up again soon, such as next episode. Pádraig and Bobbi-Lee arrive, and everyone gives her a round of applause and comes over to hug her and congratulate her, because she’s the only one they know who’s written and sold a song. She and Berni exchange meaningful glances, and Berni raises her glass to her and smiles, and: awwww. It’s very sweet, and now Bobbi-Lee also has some cash in her pocket, which she can spend on something useful that’s also a long-term investment in her future, such as having her name legally changed to Beyoncé-Lee.

Dee is sitting at home in her robe glumly eating an entire tub of something that could be yogurt, ice cream, or butter. I don’t know. Mack bursts in and tells her that he can’t stand for her to work with Turlough ever again, because every time he sees him, he’ll want to punch him in the face. He says that as if Turlough getting punched in the face is a bad thing. Dee tells him that won’t be a problem because she’s made sure she’ll never have to work with Turlough again, and even better, she slapped him across the face last night. Mack rubs her cheek adoringly and says, “Now that’s the girl I fell in love with,” and they look very happy indeed, which we’re sure will last approximately thirty seconds into the next scene they appear in.

Back at the pub, Laoise asks Micheál if Réailtín has told him who sent her the valentine yet, which of course she hasn’t. She tells him it’s just as well, because she tricked Réailtín into telling her, and it turns out the card is from famous boy band DrugTeen SexZone, and that they send them to all the members of their fan club. Berni gets everyone’s attention and announces that Bobbi-Lee is going to sing a few songs, but first she has something to say about herself. Of course. Growing up, she always wanted a sister, someone who’d always look out for her and her best interests, and that she’s happy to say that Bobbi-Lee is that sister. Aww. She’s being a bit generous there, but because we love Bobbi-Lee, and because Berni usually really gets on our nerves, we will say it’s sweet. Everyone applauds, and Bobbi-Lee goes to the mike with her guitar and says she’s going to sing her latest song while she still can, because Jenny Blump owns it now. And OH MY GOD, if “Jenny Blump” isn’t the best, i.e., worst, i.e., best name for a fictitious country singer of all time, I don’t know what is. I mean, it’s almost as good as Lurleen Lumpkin from The Simpsons. She sings for a bit, and of course it’s gorgeous, though I bet the lyrics are a lot more, uhhh, natural in Irish than they are in the English CC translation.

We cut to an extreme close-up of Mack’s sausage, by which I mean a fry-up Mack is preparing for himself and Dee, and not whatever vulgar thing you imagined. Dee enters and they are lovey-dovey and wish each other a happy Valentine’s Day, and this would be a great time for Katy to burst in sobbing that she’s pregnant again.

Back at the law office, school, or hospital, Turlough is feeding paper into the shredder, which I suppose is his therapeutic version of Mack’s throwing stones into the ocean or Caitríona’s throwing stones at Bobbi-Lee. Diane, the rather severe boss, stops by, and he tells her he’ll have to step down from all the cases Dee is on, because there was a misunderstanding: Dee tried to kiss him and he refused, and now she’s making things difficult for him as revenge. Diane tells him she’ll take care of it tomorrow, and he looks very pleased with himself, I mean even more so than usual. And boy, Dee is going to be offended when she discovers someone is making up fake sexual harassment charges to get their own way, OH WAIT.

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