Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fia, Wouldn't Want To Be Ya

Season 21, Episode 55
First aired 14 March 2017

We open this episode, in which everyone is driven to drink, with Adam’s mother Penelope St James-Attenborough telling him he should be grateful that she’s managed to get him back into university, which you will recall he was thrown out of for trying to make out with his tutor. Of course, “gratitude” is not a word Adam is familiar with in any language, so he says his version of “thank you,” which is “give me some money.” She snaps that she already had to give the school €1000 to take him back, so he’s smarmy and threatening, and she’s aggrieved and threatening. Hopefully he’s studying Family Counseling at college, because they need some.

Gráinne exchanges eff-you looks with Caitríona at the shop, but David tells her she needs to make nice or she’ll be joining him on the way to the dole office, especially since the pharmacy opens tomorrow and Caitríona’s going to be furious when she sees the seaweed on sale there. Gráinne is buying a giant bag of Doritos, which doesn’t seem like something Gráinne would eat, and I swear they are on the shelf next to the mouthwash. The geography of Vince’s shop is amazing.

Mack and Dee are being lovey-dovey and flirty-wirty at Gaudi, which always makes us feel disoriented and uncomfortable, like when Berni and Bobbi-Lee are getting along. Fortunately this will soon end, because Janice breezes in and kisses Mack hello in an inappropriately intimate way, i.e., a way that involves her putting her mouth on him. Surprisingly, Dee doesn’t slap Mack and storm out, or grab a fistful of Janice’s hair and pull her to the ground. It’s like we don’t even know these people anymore! Janice is all, “Oh, you know each other?”, and Mack is like, “Yes, we’re married, so please get your mouth off me temporarily.” Janice notes that she’s the new pharmacist, and provocatively tells Mack she’ll be seeing a lot of him, wink wink, and looks at him in a way that says she’s undressing him with her eyes, and likes the hairy beefiness she sees. Of course this makes him gulp nervously, because he is uncomfortable with the thought of his own sexuality, and also the thought of Dee murdering him.

The B&B is a mess, as is Adam, who is drunk and all over Fia. Well, he’s all over the crazy floral print that is all over Fia. She claims she’s got a lot of studying to do, and also thinks it’s a bit early to be drinking straight gin, but of course this doesn’t stop her from immediately taking the bottle out of his hand and taking a big swig. She says Máire is off in Galway, and Sally is off banging Peatsaí at the top of the Eiffel Tower or somewhere, so this is a good time to for them to have sex. Clearly when she said she had studying to do, she meant studying Adam’s parts.

Micheál has dropped by the pub to discuss something boring with Frances. She explains that, unlike all the other days when Áine has stayed home from school because she’s faked an illness or taken hostages, today she has stayed home so they can have a special Cuán-free day of paying attention to her and encouraging her not to smother them in their sleep. Áine is playing with some kind of bendy-straw building toy that I really want, because it looks delightful, and I do not have one. Frances casually mentions that Réailtín’s birthday is coming up, and she can’t help noticing that somehow Áine’s party invitation hasn’t arrived yet. Micheál is uncomfortable and stammers that Réailtín doesn’t want a party this year, and is instead just going bowling with her friends. Áine’s face is all, “Great! I love bowling!”, but then he clarifies that she’s not invited to that, either, because Réailtín is going with a group of school friends her own age. You will recall that this year Réailtín is somewhere in the 14-35 demographic whereas Áine is still 3 or 10 or something. Tadhg notes that Réailtín didn’t seem concerned with the age difference when she came to Áine’s party and ate all their food and pinned the tail on all their donkeys. This must be a different party from the one last season that nobody came to because everybody was mad at Tadhg. Micheál invents a sad cake-and-tea afternoon they’ll be having that of course little Áine will be invited to, which Réailtín may or may not attend or ever be told about, and he finally leaves. Poor Áine, who really has an incredibly expressive and nuanced face, angrily knocks her toy off the table. Well, if she’s not going to appreciate it, I’ll take it.

At a packed Gaudi, David is telling Gráinne how humiliating his trip to the dole office was, and that he’s not qualified for any jobs other than what he was doing before. Which, of course, he was clearly also not qualified for. And speaking of incompetence, here comes a harried Pádraig, who’s being shouted at by semi-competent customer Bobbi-Lee for screwing up everyone’s orders and neglecting the patrons. Let’s take a moment to consider the irony of Bobbi-Lee criticizing someone for being a bad server, shall we? Customers are getting up and walking out, and Pádraig begs them to be patient because their food is on the way out any second, which he demonstrates by sitting down to chat leisurely with David and Gráinne. I find that when I’m swamped at work, the most effective thing to do is stop working and start an extended conversation with my friends about how overwhelmed I am. The outcome of this mess, besides showing us that Pádraig is an even worse waiter than we thought, is that Gráinne informs him that he will be hiring David, which both the guys protest weakly, but they quickly give in because they are afraid of her.

At the pub, Colm is telling the assembled barflies how hot Janice is, which is annoying to everyone for a variety of reasons, particularly Caitríona, who hates Janice for existing. Well, really Caitríona hates everyone for existing, but especially Janice. Tadhg stirs the pot by pointing out how much younger than Caitríona Janice is, and points out that she’s got Mo to thank for bringing Janice Lollobrigida to town. This results in both Caitríona and a glum-looking Mack shooting annoyed looks at Mo, and then he stomps off to eat his sandwich in peace. Mo follows him and is basically, “So, you shagged Janice, huh?”, because she understands Mack better than anyone, including Mack himself. Her death stare causes him to choke on his sandwich and then confess that a drunk Janice made a pass at him a few months ago in his hackney, but that he stood firm (!) and resisted. Mo seems skeptical, either because she doesn’t believe Mack can keep his fly zipped or because she doesn’t understand why anyone would want to sleep with yucky Uncle Mack, and then he says that he’ll be in the doghouse when Dee finds out. Mack should just go ahead and start having his mail delivered to the doghouse, since that’s his primary residence now.

2016 European Waiter Of The Year Pádraig is sharing some of his expert tips with trainee David, such as how to look bored and how to let your chewing gum fall into the food while standing around with your mouth hanging open. Customers John Joe and Micheál call the boys over to harass them, because they’ve decided they’re a great new comedy team, like French & Saunders or May & Sturgeon. John Joe needs to be more concerned about the fact that he seems to be drinking a glass of nuclear green paint.

Returning to Áine’s Day Off, which you will recall involves her parents spending ALL DAY playing with her and paying attention to her, Frances is nowhere to be found and Tadhg is ignoring her while sitting at the table writing angry letters to the TG4 weather girls and whatnot. Áine asks him how old you have to be to start drinking, because she wants to drink like Réailtín, who is only 14. Hilariously, Tadhg ignores the alarming tone and content of this line of questioning, and assures her that there will be plenty of time for alcoholism in the future, and by the way, he’s going to go downstairs and leave her and her yearning for liquor unattended for a while.

Adam has sleazed his way to the café for some lunch, basically telling Máire and Berni that he’s really worked up an appetite riding Fia all morning. Delightfully, his card is rejected, which causes him to throw a little tantrum. I suspect the problem is that the café accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, but not DoucheCard.

At Gaudi, David is busy chatting with the customers and not working, so he’s fitting right in. Mack nervously asks Dee if she remembers the hussy in the purple wig who tried to shag him in his cab that time. She’s brightly like, “Oh, you mean that one you were flirting with?”, which gives him a case of stubbly diarrhea face, and eventually he reveals that it was Janice, which gives Dee a case of punch-Mack-in-the-face face.

A furious Adam has returned to the B&B, spitting to Fia that Máire had to pay for their lunch, and ranting about “that bitch.” Fia is understandably confused about which bitch he’s referring to, but he tells her it’s none of her business, and when she tries to comfort him, he shoves her away forcefully. He tries to apologize, but she refuses to look at him, and throws him out. I know I might give Fia…just a little bit of shit, but Muireann Ní Raghallaigh is really good, and plays this scene beautifully, although it would be more beautiful if it involved her punching Adam in the bollocks.

After the break, Pádraig brings Dee and Mack food they didn’t ask for, because David wrote their order down wrong. He’s assistant manager material already! As soon as Pádraig wanders away, Mack and Dee immediately return to their regularly scheduled argument, already in progress. After some back-and-forthing, and Mack assuring her that nothing ever happened with Janice and that she’s married anyway, which we know she is not, Dee realizes she’s being absurd and apologizes to him, telling him it’s not his fault Janice threw herself at him. Frankly, Mack looks so blisteringly attractive in the outfit he’s wearing today that I’m trying to figure out how to throw myself at him through the TV, so there’s no way Janice will be able to resist him for long.

Upstairs at the pub, Áine climbs up on a chair and gets a bottle of booze out of the cupboard. Aww, the mischievous little scamp! We quickly return to Gaudi, where Pádraig complains to Gráinne that David is a terrible waiter, and he knows one when he sees one. It seems David mixes up the orders, blathers on to the customers instead of working, and, based on what we’ve seen around this set today, keeps serving people glasses of green paint. Seriously, we’ve seen about 5 of them sitting around, but haven’t seen anyone drink any, apart from that one extra we later saw slumped in a corner foaming at the mouth. Maybe they're candles. He asks her to figure out a way to make David quit, to spare everyone the embarrassment of his having to fire him.

Back on the set of The Lost Weekend, Áine is standing in the middle of the kitchen with the unopened bottle of booze in one hand and an empty glass in the other when Frances shows up and starts shrieking. This really is the worst Áine’s Special Day Of Neglect And Substance Abuse ever.

A completely plastered Adam staggers into the café and demands to know where Sorcha is. Berni purses her lips defiantly and tells him she’ll be in this evening, and also, to go feck off. He’s falling down drunk and shouting at everyone, including Máire and Pádraig, so Berni tries to throw him out, but he holds up his car keys and says it’s all right, he’s going home anyway, and furthermore bleeeurrgggghhhhh. Máire orders him to take a hackney, but he says he doesn’t have any money, so she gets out her purse, but he refuses to accept her charity. Next she commands newly appointed bouncer Pádraig to take his keys away from him, but sadly, before what would’ve surely been an entertaining fight can break out, Mack arrives, and she tells him to drive Adam home. As he staggers out the door, Adam asks Máire to tell Fia he never meant to let her down. In his defense, if she imagined he’d do anything but let her down given his track record, it’s kind of on her.

A horrified Frances is holding an intervention for semi-alcoholic Áine, who’s sitting at the table looking guilty, but Tadhg is blowing the whole thing off, saying there’s no harm done since she didn’t actually get around to drinking it. That seems like airtight parental logic to me. Frances reminds Áine that they love her, certainly more than they do that deadbeat Cuán, and she apologizes for worrying them. Tadhg chooses this moment to remember the alarming thing Áine was saying about Réailtín’s drinking earlier that he completely ignored, and she explains that she thought taking up drinking might get her invited to Réailtín’s birthday party, since Réailtín has announced she’ll be on the booze there. Oops.

Adam staggers into his kitchen propped up by Mack, who tries to make a quick exit. Young Adam, who is doing a rather excellent Shane MacGowan impression right now, insists he needs to introduce Mack to his mother, and starts bellowing her name, which turns out to be Katherine. Eventually she materializes, and Adam throws his arm around Mack and slurs that he’s his very, very good friend, which obviously comes as news to Mack, who smiles uncomfortably because he has no idea what the hell is going on, as usual. He finally makes his escape, and Adam and his mother, who has been looking grimly tight-lipped during this whole little psychodrama, start arguing over who has let whom down, and which of them is a bad mother, and so on. He slams his faulty bankcard down on the counter and hisses that she promised she’d put money in his account, and she assures him that she just put €2000 in. So much for that all tough love she’s been promising him. She tells him the problem is that he hasn’t noticed that his card has expired, and furthermore she’s never going to give him another penny, so he looks chagrined, which in Adamworld consists of announcing he’ll just have to go back to selling drugs. Snerk. She tells him to pack his bags and sling his hook, because he’s no longer welcome in her house, and he looks stricken, even though this is about the fifth time we’ve heard her say this in the past two episodes.

At Gaudi, Gráinne is doing a fake tarot card reading for David, and amazingly keeps pulling cards like The Bad Server and The Angry Gay Manager Who’s About To Fire You. He sees through this nonsense and admits he’s been a shite waiter, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief, apart from the poor customers who’ve turned to dust waiting for their food.

At the pub, Mack has repressed the memory of the day’s bizarre antics with Adam and is instead telling Mo that he told Dee what happened with Janice, and she barely killed him at all. Mo says this is go maith, but that he better be careful, because Janice is a man-eater, and by the way, she left her fiancé at the altar and is therefore single and ready to, err, mingle. Even better, she reports that this isn’t the first time Janice has left a man at the altar. Mo should go into PR, because she certainly knows howo to strtegically release information to make the biggest splash. Mack worries he’s going to be in trouble when Dee hears about this, because he told her that Janice is married, and is therefore not a threat in any way. Because as Turlough can attest, Dee firmly believes that marriage guarantees no outside kissy-kissy or grabby-grabby.

There is some more boring stuff with Caitríona being jealous of Janice, and Gráinne being afraid of what Caitríona will do when she finds out about the seaweed. If there’s anyone who isn’t bored with this seaweed story, I want to know what kind of medication you are on.

Adam has sobered up and popped into the café to see Sorcha, and Berni is skeptical and protective, but says she’ll give him one last chance. At first I thought he had a black eye or two, but apparently it’s the lighting, or possibly makeup that is supposed to denote “hung over.” Or maybe his mother kickboxed him in the face repeatedly in footage that sadly ended up on the cutting-room floor. Anyway, Berni disappears and is replaced by Sorcha, so Adam reaches into his pocket and offers her something wadded up in a ball of aluminum foil, which we assume is either drugs or the gold fillings he stole out of Mack’s mouth on the car ride home. He offers to give her the drugs if she lets him crash on her sofa for a while, because apparently famous trollop Síle doesn’t have a sofa, or even a sticky futon. Sorcha, who has suddenly become the smartest person on this show, correctly guesses that mammy has thrown him out again, and assumes it must be over infamous buggy-pusher Fia, but he confesses that Fia and his mother haven’t even met yet. Sorcha smirkily points out that they’ll have to meet soon, because he can’t sleep on her couch forever. I’m not sure I entirely understand the cause-and-effect relationship here, but the important thing is that as soon as Dee finds out about Janice, and Katherine finds out about Fia, new best friends Mack and Adam will get to move into a sad bedsit together. Imagine the comedy that will ensue!

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