Saturday, March 25, 2017

Beach, Please!

Season 21, Episode 57
First aired 21 March 2017

We open with Réailtín pulling a sickie so obvious it can be seen from space, though of course Micheál falls for it after looking in and confirming that her throat is indeed red. Apparently he has never seen a throat before and does not realize that’s what color they always are. Every time he turns his back, or indeed blinks, she’s got her phone out of her bathrobe pocket and is furiously messaging someone, as I am told the kids today do, with their Instagrams and their emojis and their illiteracy. Just as she texts that she’ll see whomever at 1:00, Micheál announces that he’s got the day off today from the planetarium or wherever he works, so he can stay home and take care of her in hopes of returning her throat to its normal color, whatever that may be. She doesn’t like this idea, because it’s going to be very difficult for her to get Internet kidnapped with her dad hanging around all day.

Colm stops in the pub to show Mo the pair of tickets he’s gotten to some comedy club in Galway, which as you may know has been named Asian Capital of Comedy 2020. She tells him she’s been to said club and it’s super iontach, which he thinks is a good thing since he’s taking Janice, who is dead sexy and a right ride and so on. Just then he gets a text and looks stricken, by which I mean his eyes narrow slightly, and he dashes off, leaving Mo alone to wish she didn’t live in a town in which the two most eligible bachelors are Colm and Cuán.

Gráinne, who is now giving massages out of her home apparently, sees off another satisfied customer, who we will assume was also unconscious on a stretcher when she came in. Pádraig has been hiding in the bedroom waiting for her to finish, and he is cranky, because this is not the first time he’s played hide-and-seek and no one came to seek him. There is discussion of two identical unlabeled envelopes of cash on the kitchen counter, one of which contains a large amount of money to pay the bills, and the other of which contains a small amount of money to buy a seaweed stand, and which we are sure are not going to get mixed up with wacky results within the next ten seconds. There’s a confusing charade in which Gráinne desperately tries to hide from David the fact that she is working and paying bills. I don’t know, either. Oh, and we get to see Gráinne give Pádraig a massage, which consists of her punching him in the spine and rotating his shoulder blades 180 degrees. Hopefully he still has his neck brace from that time he fell in the community center.

Back at the convalescent home, Réailtín appears from the bedroom in her bathrobe, which she is clearly wearing over top of all her clothes, and announces that what she really needs to recover from her sore throat is something they do not currently have in the house, such as, say, a banana. As dutiful dad Micheál heads off to the shop, she places a further order for some oranges, because she is making a fruit salad, and also some magazines, like Bunking Off Quarterly and Kidnapping Illustrated. He leaves, and of course she immediately takes off her robe to reveal she’s fully dressed, including her jacket, and then we have a leisurely scene of her putting on her coat, scarf, and hat before leaving a note on the counter and heading for the door.

Caitríona is walking around the new pharmacy looking at everything disdainfully. Hopefully Janice sells anti-sourpuss cream. She sniffs disapprovingly at some face cream or arse spray or something and then tells Janice, who is dressed as if she’s performing surgery, that it’s nice that there’s no overlap between the luxury products sold at the salon and the cheap rubbish on offer here. Because Janice doesn’t punch her in the throat immediately, she decides to push her luck further by telling her that she notices that Janice is offering massages for €30 and must respectfully demand that she raise her prices immediately. It seems massages at the salon cost much more, and that’s before Gráinne adds on the 20% spine-busting surcharge. Janice sends her on her way with a cheerful “No way” and then thrusts a newspaper at a newly arrived Mo, pointing out a headline about Colm’s upcoming court date and asking her, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Wait till she gets to the comics and discovers the other man in her life, Andy Capp, is married and a drunk.

Micheál arrives home with the Carmen Miranda-style fruit hat he’s purchased for Réailtín and finds that she’s done a runner, and has left a note saying in gigantic, visible-from-space writing that she’s gone for a walk and will be back at teatime. He’s furious, and he hasn’t even found out yet that she’s out spoiling her appetite by eating a bunch of oranges and an entire pineapple.

Caitríona returns to the spa and yells at Gráinne for a while about how that wagon Janice is making business decisions without stopping to ask herself how they will affect Caitríona. That bitch! Frances comes in and shares the good news that Áine has been accepted into the Moderate IQ Club, which alarms Caitríona, because Maeve, who was last seen at home with her head stuck in a bucket, has received no such news. Frances leaves, and Caitríona starts blaming all this on Annette, whom she accuses of being unreasonably cross with her just because she accidentally yelled at her for 27 minutes the other day in the shop. She vows revenge and storms off, and then Pádraig appears with news of the envelope mix-up we totally did not see coming, except for the part where we did, instantly. So it seems Gráinne sent David off to Galway with €600 to buy a seaweed stand, and gave Pádraig 30 cents to pay the bills. She’ll be even more upset when she finds out David has used the money to buy magic beans.

At the shop, Dee invites John Joe over for a meal tomorrow to celebrate his birthday. He doesn’t want to come if Mack’s going to be there, so she lawyerly argues him into relenting, though he says she has to invite Katy too. Of course Dee would rather burn her home to the ground with everyone she knows inside it than spend one minute with Katy, so John Joe finally agrees that he’ll come, but that she can’t tell Katy about it to avoid hurting her feelings. I don’t think Dee telling Katy much of anything is likely at this point, unless she can find a way to tell her to go eff herself through semaphore or interpretive dance. Elsewhere in the shop, on the cereal and greeting cards aisle, Micheál is fretting to Berni about AWOL Réailtín, but she seems unconcerned, and suggests he give her an hour or two. Hasn’t she watched enough TV to know how Internet kidnappings work? In two hours Réailtín could be in Dubai doing a fan dance in the souk for drugs.

Colm is loitering in the pub when Mo thumps the newspaper down in front of him and asks why he didn’t tell Janice about his past. He sighs that he’s used to women dumping him when they find out he’s been in prison. I’m not sure that’s the whole reason women keep dumping you, Colm. He says he doesn’t care, because this just demonstrates that Janice only cares what other people think of her, and also about not getting murdered by her boyfriend. Mo tries to comfort him by telling him that in a week’s time his name will be cleared, and after floozies and employers read Caitríona’s book, he’ll be beating them off with a stick. I think she said “off” there when she meant to say “to death.” He asks her if she wants to go to the comedy club with him tonight, and she says sure, because she just cannot take another night of this Katy kidnapping storyline on Fair City.

Micheál has returned home to try to guess Réailtín’s not-Facebook password, but seems to be having trouble, because she knows more letters and numbers than he gave her credit for. Wait until he finds out that upper- and lowercase letters count as two different things. We then cut to the seaside, where Réailtín is sitting on a lonely rock like the Little Mermaid, and we see a man in a leather jacket ride up on a motorcycle. I can’t decide whom I want it to be more, Nick Cotton or Evel Knievel. We cut back to the house, where Micheál, with Laoise’s help, remembers that Réailtín’s favorite band is called DrugTeen Sexzone, which turns out to be her lame, easily cracked password. He logs into her account and sees the message from MetalMan telling her to meet him tomorrow at the old pier. This is why I use “ThatBarnEimearGotLockedInAndAlmostDiedThatTime” as my hard-to-crack password for everything. We return quickly to the seaside, where MetalMan takes off his helmet and reveals himself to be … an age-inappropriate man!

After the break, during which it seems a bunch of people cracked my password and stole money from my bank account, David proudly arrives at the salon with the wrong seaweed stand. Gráinne is upset because it seems the one he’s purchased was extremely expensive, though it looks like cheap tat from Asda to us. Apparently there is no IKEA in the Ros na Rún metropolitan area. She tells him they have to return it, because she accidentally gave him the money that was supposed to go towards the oil and electric bills, and then there is a confusing yet uninteresting discussion that suggests David is unaware they’ve had heat and power all this time. The gist seems to be that he doesn’t want her to pay any of their bills, which is incredibly stupid given that he’s not working and she is, so I’m going to skip over it because it’s nonsense, even by David’s standards.

Micheál slowly coasts to a stop at the beach car park, and there would’ve been much more of a sense of urgency if they’d sped up the video and added screeching-tire sound effects, because as it is, it looks like he just ran out of petrol and rolled to a halt. We see Nick Cotton Knievel with his arm around Réailtín, and Micheál goes running down to them, yelling for Internet Creep to get his dirty Facebook hands off his daughter, but he skids to a halt when he gets close enough to realize Internet Creep is … Mikey!

Back at the salon, Gráinne tells Caitríona that Annette still hasn’t rung about Maeve’s membership in Club Two Short Planks. It seems Caitríona’s been roaming the village looking for Annette all day and hasn’t found her, but did discover that some other dumb kid we’ve never heard of got into the club, and she hilariously tells us that this is the same girl who got her head stuck in the school gate twice. Hee! I’m starting to suspect there may be too much lead in the local drinking water. Caitríona notices that the seaweed stand hasn’t arrived, so she says they’ll just set up a display on a shelf, at which point Gráinne reaches into a bag and pulls out 11 miles of yucky seaweed, which she has brought in to decorate the display. Caitríona tells her to get that muck out of her salon because it could be full of fleas, but Gráinne counters that it’s not, because she picked them out already. Delightful. Caitríona orders her to take it outside right now, but not before helpfully telling us that it’s Fucus serratus. Good, I was wondering what this slime is so I can be sure to avoid it in the future.

Mo is waiting for Colm at Gaudi, but he arrives dressed to the nines, or at least the six and a halfs, and tells her that based on the helpful advice she gave him earlier, he decided to call up some of his mates and go out with them instead. Umm, OK? He gives her the tickets and tells her to go without him, and she looks sad. Clearly having to live in Peatsaí and Sally’s House Of Constant Shagging is starting to have a negative effect on poor Mo.

Elsewhere at the restaurant, a delighted Katy reports to her dad that the baby is learning lots of new tricks, such as grabbing her finger and throwing up. That last one is implied, but will serve him well since he’ll be growing up at Gaudi. She tells him she’s sorry she can’t see him on his birthday tomorrow, but he assures her he’ll be happy at home alone. She asks isn’t Dee doing anything, but he tells her no, and that he’s fine with that. She accepts this explanation, because she has met John Joe’s family and understands why no one would want to spend time with them on his or her birthday.

On the sunny shores of Mallorca, Réailtín seems to have wandered away again, but nobody cares. Micheál tells Mikey he should’ve talked to him before getting together with her, but Mikey says that Réailtín’s the one who tracked him down using her incredible detective skills that were beyond Micheál’s abilities, i.e., typing his name into the Facebook search box. He says Micheál shouldn’t have tried to prevent Réailtín from meeting him, although they both know the reason why he did. He asks if Réailtín knows about her mother, and Micheál says no, and that he wants it to stay that way. Mikey smirks that he’s not going to tell her, because he doesn’t want to take that pleasure away from Micheál, and storms off to say goodbye to his sister. Ahh, there’s nothing like a family day out at the seaside.

Annette runs into Caitríona outside the salon and asks her why she’s had eleven voicemails from her today. Uhh, telephone survey? Caitríona starts telling Annette what a terrible person she is. By “she” I mean Annette, not Caitríona, though I can understand why you’d be confused given their mutual terribleness. She can’t believe Annette would use poor stupid Maeve against her, and tells her that she can take her Club Eejit and shove it up her arse. Annette chooses this moment to reveal that Maeve did indeed get a place in the group, and that she was just about to call Caitríona to tell her when she got an urgent call from the school saying her son had fallen into a tsunami, and that’s why she’s been too busy to get in touch. She starts to walk away just as Gráinne pops her head out the door, and then we hear an offscreen slip, thud, and scream, and we then see that Annette has slipped on a pile of seaweed and landed hard on her face. Well, finally there’s some payoff to this seaweed storyline!

Back at the beach, Mikey has given up on waiting for an ice cream van and hugs Réailtín goodbye. There will be tears today, but no 99s. She seems very taken with her big brother, which Micheál notes after he sends her to the car to wait for him. Instead of getting her hair caught in the car door like Maeve would’ve, or stealing the car and selling it for parts like Áine would’ve, Réailtín hides behind it and eavesdrops as Micheál apologizes to Mikey and asks if they can start over. He tells Mikey he’d be welcome in their home, and he hopes that now that he’s older, he has a better understanding of life. He explains that Pauline was in pain and sick, but Mikey spits that Micheál was the one who was sick – sick of looking after her! He tells him to save his lies for Réailtín, because she’s going to start asking questions soon, and it’ll be a challenge to explain to her how he killed her mother! Of course she looks stricken when she hears this, and it’s a shame she took off before Micheál came home with all those bananas, because I bet she could really used that energizing burst of potassium right now.

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