Monday, February 27, 2017

Mentoring: It's Latin for "Cleaning Caitríona's Toilets"

Season 21, Episode 50
First aired 23 February 2017

We open at the shop, where Tadhg is annoying Vince about the upcoming wine business, and accuses him of making the same sulky face Áine makes when she doesn’t get her way. The difference is that afterwards, Áine stabs you. Vince promises that Tadhg will get what’s coming to him, but Tadhg calls him and semi-innocent bystander Micheál “two cowards who’ve never done anything worthwhile.” Why do they keep going to his pub again?

At home, David is dressed to the nines, or at least the sixes, and is trying to decide between two neckties, one of which is boring and the other is ugly. Gráinne emerges from the bedroom, on her way to her first mentoring session with Caitríona, and is all abuzz about it. She’s certainly changed her tune. I predict she will change it again as soon as she finds out what Caitríona has in store for her, and the new tune will be “Fuck You” by CeeLo Green. She assumes David is dressed up because one of the hooligans is in court again, and tells him brightly that soon she too will be able to wear fancy clothes to work when the dough is rolling in. The dough will be wrapped in seaweed, though, so no one will want to touch it.

Vince is at the community center organizing a town meeting to discuss what a jerk Tadhg is. Wouldn’t it be easier to just make this a standing weekly meeting? Micheál thinks it’s pointless, but says he’ll be there, and then runs into Máire and tells her he doesn’t think Réailtín will be asking about Mikey any more. She is delighted, but he tells her he feels guilty about lying to his daughter. She, of course, is in favor of lying to teenagers because they are stupid, and she is also in favor of controlling their thoughts, because nothing good has ever come from thinking.

Gráinne arrives at the salon to be mentored, and Caitríona immediately puts on her coat and heads for the door, saying she’s got to go over to the school because she’s just remembered that Maeve exists. Gráinne may not have the strongest head for business, but she is pretty sure it would be easier to be mentored if Caitríona is actually in the building. Caitríona, however, counters that doing a customer’s nails will be excellent mentoring, as will mucking out the toilets afterwards.

The members of the We Hate Tadhg club have gathered at the community center, and Vince tells them they should all be angry that Tadhg has dropped the hostel idea. They were all promised tourists, he explains, which would’ve created business for Katy’s restaurant, Berni’s café, Mack’s hackney, and whatever the hell these other people do. Think of all the customers Bobbi-Lee could’ve ignored and gotten their orders wrong! Vince is doing his best Norma Rae impression at this point, trying to whip everyone into a frenzy, but Berni speaks for the crowd when she says everyone agrees Tadhg is terrible, but this meeting is boring, and they were promised cake. Vince is exasperated that nobody has any ideas how to force Tadhg to do what they want, although Dee does make the very helpful contribution of looking at her watch and rolling her eyes. There is power in a union!

At the café, Laoise tells Máire that hanging out with her has been real and all, as in “real boring,” but she’s got to go, because she’s promised to look after Réailtín this afternoon. Besides, she says, she and Réailtín have got to discuss their plans for this Drugteen SexZone concert they’re going to together, such as what they’re going to wear and what the signal will be for “I’m shagging one of the guys in the band, so don’t come in right now.” She fumes that she can’t believe Pauline’s family doesn’t want anything to do with Réailtín, and even though Máire explains that they all had a falling out with Micheál, Laoise still thinks they have a duty to be part of her life. This distresses Máire so thoroughly she’s going to have to take the table they’re sitting at to Knock to be blessed later.

At the salon, we get a tight shot of Frances’ feet in a tub of black, slimy seaweed, and it looks absolutely disgusting. There is no way Frances would put any part of her body in this muck if she weren’t tap dancing so furiously trying to repair this mentoring disaster. Caitríona returns from her errands, which apparently included getting her bitch tank refilled, because she is really a complete effing cow the rest of this episode, even by her standards. She asks Gráinne what the hell she thinks she’s doing, and then pulls her aside and hisses that she’s got to get rid of the seaweed right now, because someone might be allergic to it. While this seems like a made-up reason, if it were anybody else I might give them the benefit of the doubt, but because this is Caitríona, I call BS on this. Gráinne says this is rubbish, and compares it to saying they have to start testing apples in case someone is allergic to them. Snerk. Furthermore, Gráinne thinks Caitríona is one to be talking considering “those diet pills” she was selling a few years back, and I have no idea what this is about, but it gives Caitríona diarrhea face, and presumably gave the people who took the pills regular diarrhea. This really slows Caitríona’s roll, so she tells Gráinne to shut up and go organize the shelves. Rather than allergy testing, I suggest Gráinne start testing to see if any of her seaweed is appropriate to use as kindling to burn down Caitríona’s salon.

David leaves his disciplinary hearing and looks stunned and zombielike, I mean even more than usual. He looks like Barney Rubble realizing he’s just eaten some bad shellfish.

At the B&B, Pádraig is complaining about Máire to Fia, because he knows she’s always up for listening to that. Fia is harried, and also grouchy, because she was supposed to go out with Adam tonight, but she hasn’t got anyone to look after Liam Óg. Pádraig says he’d be happy to babysit because he doesn’t have any plans tonight, OF COURSE. Fia, who you will recall we learned last episode is an aspiring fashion designer, is wearing what looks like five different clashing wallpapers ripped from various rooms of Dot Cotton’s haunted house.

Out in the street, Berni is snotty to Tadhg, who replies by listing all the different countries’ wines his new shop will sell, including the famed wine-producing valleys of Scotland and Lithuania. Mmm, viscous. He takes a confusing swipe at a nearby Dee, and then grabs a passing John Joe to tell him his daughter is a wagon, as if this will be news to him. John Joe tells Tadhg the town has held a meeting against him and then leaves, so Tadhg grabs David and tells him he’s got to accept the fact that “the kids’ prison is closed” and stop causing trouble. I do love it when Tadhg calls An Teaghlach the “kids’ prison.” David says he’s got nothing to do with that place anymore and storms off, so now Tadhg grabs Mo and grills her about who organized the meeting, and eventually she tells him it was Vince, just to make him leave her alone. People really need to learn to stop walking in the vicinity of Tadhg.

After the break, during which we learn we can lower our electric bills by 10 percent simply by using 10 percent less electricity, we return to the salon, where Caitríona is standing around doing nothing while Gráinne acts as a skivvy. Gráinne complains that she’s doing all the work while Caitríona sits around writing her book, and Caitríona replies without even looking up that it’s all “part of the process.” I hope the next part of the process includes Gráinne cracking her over the head with a broomstick. Gráinne proposes several things they could be doing that might constitute mentoring, such as website creation and marketing, all of which Caitríona responds to by rolling her eyes and being insulting. Eventually Gráinne hits on the one thing that will get her attention, which is threatening to go work with Berni instead. Caitríona starts bitching about Berni, complaining that she doesn’t know anything about business, and that the only thing on the café’s website is the stupid menu that never changes. I know, it’s that quiche with salad and that mummified BLT. Caitríona finally deigns to give Gráinne some advice, which is that your website should be an eye-catching color. Well, so much for Gráinne’s plan to have dark grey text on a black background. Furthermore, she advises her to always look busy even if you aren’t, which I suppose is the reason Bobbi-Lee’s career has never taken off, because she has never looked like she has anything better to do than stare into space in her life. Having put in a full day of mentoring, i.e., 10 seconds, Caitríona leaves, telling Gráinne she can take inspiration by thinking about how fabulous Caitríona is. She really is a piece of work.

Micheál runs into Máire and is excited to show her the new phone he’s bought Réailtín, and Máire responds in the most logical, natural way, which is to tell him he needs to decide who’s going to take care of Réailtín if he dies. I might’ve asked “iPhone or Android?”, but I suppose hers is good, too. She spits that if he dies, Réailtín will go live with Mikey and his grandparents, and they will fill her head with terrible stories about how Micheál killed her mother. Well, rather than figuring out who’s going to take care of Réailtín in the event of his death, another option would be for him to go murder Mikey and the grandparents, which would solve that problem.

A mob of angry townspeople has descended upon the pub, but instead of torches and pitchforks, they have Caitríona, which is far scarier. Actually I’m not sure four people constitutes a mob, especially since one of them, Colm, appears to have already been sitting there drinking when the other three assembled around him. Anyway, Caitríona announces to Tadhg that they are boycotting the new wine shop, and possibly the pub, which of course they won’t do, but it’s fun to threaten. He tells them to get lost, but then Frances pulls him aside and tells him they’re going to end up with an empty pub if he keeps antagonizing everyone. Actually I’m pretty sure an empty pub is Tadhg’s dream, really, though I suppose he’d get bored with no one to insult. He carries on for a while about how he’s going to beat up Vince, but Frances doesn’t seem particularly concerned because Tadhg is always threatening to beat someone up, including characters he has seen and been annoyed by on TV. 

Back at the B&B, Fia has gotten what I suppose you could call dressed up for her night out with Adam. I’m not sure I understand the physics of the thing she is wearing, but it seems to involve a giant prescription-only sports bra in a crazy print over a black leotard over which she’s layered a fuchsia jacket and skirt. She tells Pádraig that Adam’s mother is away, so she’s going to go over to his place and cook him a romantic dinner and then see where the evening takes them. I predict jail. Just then she gets a text from Adam, who’s calling off their date because he’s invited the lads over to drink beer and watch TV. As if on cue, Liam Óg throws his toys off his highchair and onto the floor with a giant crash, and Fia sadly tells him, “I agree with you,” which seems very much like an ad lib, and if it is, well done to the actress, because it’s really great.

David is sitting alone at the empty community center when Awful Fidelma arrives with a box full of his stuff, which consists of a potted plant and one of those plastic daisies that dance when you play music or similar. She tells him she feels terrible, because if she hadn’t asked him to mind Tomás, he wouldn’t have gotten the sack. David can’t believe they fired him over this, and neither can Fidelma, who tells him that she certainly wasn’t expecting it when she went in there this morning before the meeting and told them they should fire him because he is terrible. He’s shocked and angry that she threw him under the bus, but she says she had to save her own arse somehow. Anyway, she’s glad he’s here so she can give him the box of his belongings in person, because otherwise, and I am not making this up, she was just going to leave it on a table in the community center, I guess in hopes he would wander by and pick it up before someone nicked it or threw it in the bin. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS? He says he can’t believe he trusted and helped Fidelma, so she snots off out the door and he starts looking through the box, which includes a photo of him and Gráinne happily enjoying not being homeless and hungry. Oh, dear.

Vince is in the kitchen doing the washing up when Tadhg drops by to harass him. It’s convenient that Tadhg delivers now. They argue for a while, and Tadhg yuckily plays with Caitríona’s bra that is hanging on a drying rack, and tells Vince she’s got him running around doing her housework like Mary Poppins. Vince objects, but the fact that he’s worn his bright yellow washing-up gloves through this entire scene is not helping his case. Vince tries to stay calm and says the community is on his side, but Tadhg counters that the community will support him, a man with a backbone, rather than Vince, a sissy in rubber gloves. Vince chooses this moment to pull off the gloves and slap them down on the counter, and it looks like the fight is about to be on!

At the café, Sorcha sells a couple of jars of jam to Dee, because she’s the only one on the show who isn’t involved in this mentoring mess in some way. I have trouble imagining Dee eating some random teenager’s homemade jam, but I suppose she can use the jars to throw at Mack. Berni enters and tells her she doesn’t want her flogging her wares at the café, but Sorcha notes that she sold every one of Berni’s dry, dusty scones when she put her jam on them. This all sounds very dirty, but unfortunately it’s not. Berni starts to argue with her some more, but then Caitríona and Gráinne show up, so she switches to loudly praising Sorcha and announcing to no one what an amazing mentorship this is. Sorcha leaves, and Berni tells Caitríona and Gráinne what a wonderful girl she is, and that she’s even put her jam on the café menu! Of course those two have faces like a wet weekend, and then Gráinne hisses to Caitríona that Sorcha is actually getting mentored whereas she’s just being treated like a slave. This seaweed nonsense has been a bunch of old bollocks, but at least it’s led to this mentoring shit-show, which is comedy gold.

We return to the argument between Vince and Tadhg, already in progress. Vince tells Tadhg he’d better show him some respect or he’ll tell the police about Andy. Again, I don’t know how Vince thinks he’s going to report this without incriminating himself, but Tadhg doesn’t point this out and instead chooses to insult Vince with an extremely low blow about how his son killed himself to get away from him and his two daughters moved away from him, too. Before the punching can commence, Vince’s phone rings, so he picks it up and fiddles with it before putting it in his shirt pocket and continues to poke Tadhg about killing Andy. Tadhg basically brags about it and adds that he doesn’t feel guilty about it, but Vince wipes his grin away when he asks him what would happen if Áine found out what kind of man her daddy really is. To be fair, Áine’s first question would probably be whether Tadhg stole Andy’s wallet before disposing of his body, and if so, can she have half the money.

At the café, Gráinne is still moaning to Caitríona that Sorcha is selling lots of her jam, whereas all she’s done is fold towels and buff old-lady toenails. Caitríona is about to tell her to shut up and be grateful when Frances arrives and starts loudly praising Berni and Sorcha. Gráinne is about to tell her what a troll Caitríona is being, but Caitríona interrupts her to announce to everyone that Gráinne is doing such a great job at the salon, she’s happy to pay her. This puts a giant smile on Gráinne’s face, but causes Berni to purse her lips and glare at Caitríona, especially when she starts banging on about how she believes in rewarding people for their hard work, unlike some people. You know Caitríona is being a pill when you find yourself rooting for Berni.

Back at the flat, Tadhg says he stayed and finished the job with Andy, whereas Vince ran like a coward, and then announces that he’s proud of what he did, and has as much regret over killing Andy as he’d have over killing a rat in the kitchen. He brings up his new wine shop again, and Vince smugly tells him he won’t be opening any new shop, and produces his phone from his pocket. It seems he’s been recording this entire conversation, as he demonstrates by playing various parts of Tadhg’s confession. Tadhg looks stricken, and it seems there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Mary Poppins!

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