Thursday, February 23, 2017

Semi-Recap: Guessing What's Happening Without The English Subtitles

NOTE: I've said a few times that I should try recapping an episode without benefit of the English subtitles to see how close I am to what's actually happening. Since this week's episode went out without CC, I decided to give it a try, so here's a semi-recap of the 21 February episode based solely on what's happening onscreen and my extensive knowledge of these characters and what makes them tick. (An actual recap of this episode is forthcoming.)

We open at Micheál’s, where he and Frances are arguing about who should mentor Gráinne: Berni or Caitríona. He thinks Berni, because it will give her something to do and keep her out of everybody’s business for a while. Frances, on the other hand, thinks Caitríona should get the job, because she’s certain Gráinne will run out of patience with her within the first ten minutes and strangle her with seaweed. Either way, they agree, they will be doing a service to humanity. Frances leaves, remembering that she left Áine home alone playing with her new flamethrower, and Micheál gets back to digging through a box of old stuff, because he is convinced that out-of-control teenager Réailtín has hidden cocaine somewhere in the house and he’s determined to find it.

And speaking of out-of-control teens, Terrible Sorcha has inflicted herself upon the café and is threatening to sue over a strand of hair she found in her plate of slop. She’s spent almost all the money she made on her recent slip-and-fall case at Burger King, so this will provide her some much-needed income. Unfortunately for her, Berni is broke, which causes Sorcha to choke with surprise, and also hair. She toddles off to the hospital in search of oxycodone, and when Frances arrives, Berni attacks her with a three-ring binder she’s very excited about. It seems that in the distant Faeroe or Hawaiian Islands where Berni is from, binders only have two rings, so this new development is almost more excitement than she can stand. Frances tells her she really needs to get some other hobbies, such as seeing how many hula hoops she can stuff in her mouth, but Berni tut-tuts that she can’t, because she sold her hula hoop to pay for Bobbi-Lee’s banjo lessons, which she never even went to because they were at the same time as her favorite TV show, the one where they pick the lottery numbers.

Tadhg stops by Gaudi to harass Vince and Caitríona, who are annoyed because they keep waking up and finding Colm in their bed. Well, Caitríona is annoyed, but Vince is intrigued, because, you know, you only live once, and also he saw Colm without his shirt that one time. Caitríona leaves just as Frances arrives, and they exchange their usual pleasantries, by which I mean they smile and tell each other to go frig themselves. She sits down with Tadhg to tell him that Áine is crying because her flamethrower broke when she hit O’Shea with it, but he assures her that when the wine shop opens, they’ll be able to buy Áine all the military-grade weapons her little heart desires.

Back at the café, Colm gets a booty call from Chipper Chick, which is “Vince” as pronounced with a Donegal accent. At a nearby table, Máire is trying to comfort Micheál. It seems Réailtín is very upset with him because this morning at breakfast he thought the members of One Direction were Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Alan Titchmarsh. She reassures him that you just can’t reason with teenage girls, and in fact just yesterday, Fia drove Máire’s car into a lake because Máire wouldn’t let her have Adam in her room with the door closed. By “lake” I mean “dry cleaners.”

David and Gráinne are setting up a table in the community center to give out free samples of their new business venture, Áille na Autopsy. Frances tells them they can’t use the table today, because Fidelma has reserved it for the county ironing competition. The winner gets to go iron at Enya’s house! Gráinne is annoyed, but agrees that she’ll wait to demonstrate the autopsying until tomorrow if Frances promises to burn Fidelma with the iron, which is no problem, because Frances was going to do that anyway.

Back at the café, Micheál and Máire are still complaining about their wild teenagers. He is beside himself because Réailtín has this new thing where she eclipses her initial consonants when she is supposed to lenite them, and vice versa, and he knows she’s just doing it to annoy him, or possibly because of her recent untreated concussion. Máire tells him that’s nothing: just last week, Fia unscrewed the top of the salt shaker, ruining Sally’s eggs, and also burned down a library. They agree that television is to blame for all this, mostly Mel and Sue.

At the community center, Caitríona and Berni are having a contest to see who can purse their lips the hardest. Frances, ever the peacemaker, tries to tell them they BOTH have very scary lips, but they will not be deterred, and keep sucking until everyone’s ears pop and tiles start falling from the ceiling. Gráinne arrives, or rather is sucked through the door by the rapidly dropping air pressure, and Berni shows everyone her three-ring binder, the pages of which she has filled with seaweed-related business tips and also drawings of what she imagines the various men of the village look like naked.

In Tenerife, David and some kid we have never seen before have stolen a canoe from a museum and are trying to figure out how to fit it into the back of their car. Unfortunately the canoe is 28 feet long and the car is only 10 feet long, but David is sure there’s a button you can press underneath that will make it fold in half, like those collapsible baby strollers. The kid, whom we will call James Dean Jr., feels this entire storyline is a sinking ship, so to speak, and decides the only way to ensure he will be around for a multi-episode arc is to drink an entire bottle of poitín while David isn’t looking.

At the café, Frances asks Laoise if she’d be willing to mentor Gráinne, who has taken out restraining orders against Berni and Caitríona prohibiting them from being in the same galaxy she is in. Laoise protests that she can’t help Gráinne because she’s pretty sure seaweed won’t grow well in the polytunnel, and besides, right now it’s full of Adam and Fia’s regular weed.

Over at the pub, Mo is asking David and Colm why they don’t have jobs and can hang around there all the time, a question we’ve all been wondering ourselves for a while now. Colm explains that he’s too busy shagging his way around Ireland, and leers at her grossly, while David says he’s supposed to be minding the teens over at the youth home, but they locked him out and also identity-thefted him. Just then Colm gets another booty call, but Mo answers his phone and tells whoever’s on the other end that Colm can’t come to the phone because he’s busy having explosive herpes right now.

The latest stop on Frances’ tour of town is the B&B, where she’s asking Fia if she’ll be Gráinne’s mentor. Everyone knows that Fia has the most successful business in town, by which I mean she receives student benefits year after year despite the fact that we’ve never seen her reading, studying, or doing any work whatsoever. She’s flattered, but it seems the only way she’s able to pull this off is that she’s got naked photos of the entire Department of Education & Skills, and she’s not sure this is applicable to Gráinne’s situation. Before Frances leaves, Fia asks if anyone’s going to be at home at the pub at approximately 3am, because she wants to leave a baby on their doorstep without any hassle or back-and-forth about it.

David has returned to the seashore because of reports the ice cream man has been spotted there, but unfortunately, all he finds is that dumb kid from earlier, who is unconscious or dead. It seems that not only has he consumed an entire bottle of poitín, but someone has stolen the little ship out of the ship in the bottle he’s spent the last five years building!

After the break, Frances and Micheál have been listening in fascinated horror as Pádraig tells a tragic, sordid story about a bunch of awful women he knows, but eventually realize he has actually just recapped the entire last season of The Real Housewives of New York. He leaves, and Micheál and Frances seem to be suffering severe abdominal pains, probably from all that hair they ate at the café this morning. Micheál doesn’t understand why he keeps eating there given that the only thing worse than the food is the service. Frances agrees, but notes sadly that the only other place in town to eat is Gaudi, and that it’s hard enough to keep the food there down without having to watch Katy and Jason’s high-school drama while you’re eating it. Once again they lament living in the only town in Europe without a Subway.

David arrives at the community center, where Fidelma is looking very severe in her bank teller’s outfit and angry hairdo. She’s reviewed his paperwork, and she’s afraid she just can’t approve his application for a loan. He’s sad, because he knew this was a possibility, but he hoped that his recent work getting rid of Pól, Rónán, and now James Dean Jr. might work in his favor. Fidelma assures him that he’s provided a great service to the community and world, but she just can’t approve his loan, mostly because on the application where it said “Income,” he wrote, “Yes, please.”

Sorcha follows Frances into the café and asks her if she knows what time Áine will be home from school, because she’s going clubbing in Dublin tonight and wants to buy a knife, just in case. Frances tells her that Áine is grounded and will not be selling any weapons today, because she didn’t finish her porridge this morning, and also held three teachers hostage at lunchtime. Sorcha is sad, but to cheer herself up, she demonstrates the animal sounds she’s going to use as her audition for Ireland’s Got Talent. Frances just looks confused, because she knows the horse does not in fact say “ka-ching!,” and realizes then what a stupid, stupid girl Sorcha is.

Across town, Réailtín comes home and asks Micheál why they live in one of those pretend rooms on the top floor at IKEA. He says he’s not sure, but that this does explain why no matter what he makes for dinner, it always comes with a side of lingonberries. It’s possible they’re saying “Mikey” rather than “IKEA,” but based on their furniture, it could go either way.

David is drinking from the poitín cooler at the community center when a happy Mack and Dee appear. They explain that they’ve just finished today’s marriage counseling session and feel that they’ve had a real breakthrough, by which they mean that Dee broke through the glass coffee table with Mack’s head. They leave, and Fidelma arrives with more bad news for David: he’s lost his job. More specifically, she’s discovered that the place he’s been going every day to supervise the grouchy teens is actually an Abercrombie & Fitch. The staff there, who are all from Poland and therefore don’t understand a word of Irish, kept wondering who this old man was who came in every day to point at things and practice his karate, but they assumed it was some EU jobs-for-seniors program and didn’t ask any questions. David can’t believe this is happening, though it does explain why the music there was always so loud.

Frances, Caitríona, Berni, Gráinne, and Sorcha are gathered around a table at the café arguing over who has to be Sporty in their Spice Girls tribute act. Sorcha’s trademark aggressive topknot makes her the logical choice, but she is too young to know who the Spice Girls are, and is more interested in finding out if anyone has any glue she can sniff. Caitríona assures her that she loves sniffing glue as much as anyone, if not more, but that they’ll need to do more than just sit around sniffing glue to make this business a success.

Back at IKEA, Réailtín is doing her homework, which tonight consists of writing an essay on why Napoleon is the most important figure of the Vietnam War. Réailtín is really an appalling student. Micheál asks if she’d like to go to Gaudi for dinner, because their lasagna is excellent, and contains 50 percent less hair than the lasagna at Berni’s. She likes this idea, especially when he tells her that Katy and Jason both have the night off because, as she tells him, having to look at them makes her very sad at an existential level. He assures her that that’s how everyone feels about Katy and Jason, which makes her feel better, and she goes to get her coat and cigs.

Vince comes out of the toilets at the pub and tells Tadhg he’s just discovered that “M-N-A” evidently spells “women,” which is what all that screaming a few minutes ago was about. Tadhg gives him a wad of cash to bribe the women not to call the Gardaí, but he’s annoyed because that depletes the entire month’s “keep the female customers from suing” budget and it’s only the 21st of the month. Bobbi-Lee puts in an appearance, which is appropriate, because she’s the reason the pub has a “keep the male customers from suing” budget. She tells Tadhg this reminds her of the time she was playing Madison Square Garden with Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson as her opening acts, so he tells her he’s going to go slaughter a wild boar in the men’s room just so she’ll have to go clean it up.

David is sitting at his kitchen table looking semi-comatose when Gráinne arrives home from a hard day of killing Caitríona. He tries to make her feel better by pointing out that at least she won’t have to kill Caitríona again tomorrow, but Gráinne is inconsolable, because it turns out Caitríona is like the Hydra from Greek myth: if you kill one of her, two more spring up. He tells her that perhaps tomorrow they could lure all the Caitríonas into the polytunnel at once and then blow it up, ending the threat forever. She loves this idea, and runs into his arms, delighted, but he looks stricken, because he knows the only ones in town who are any good at arson are Áine and Eoin, one of whom is grounded and the other seems to be on Fair City right now. Does ANYONE else in town know the secret of fire??  

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