Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Gráinne: Engine of Unemployment

Season 21, Episode 52
First aired 2 March 2017

It’s morning, and David is moping around the house zombie-style while Gráinne sweeps through the house like a tornado on uppers, excited that Caitríona has asked her to come in early so they can discuss her seaweed before the customers arrive. I’m unsure why Gráinne thinks Caitríona is suddenly going to be anything other than terrible, but I guess that’s the pointless, soul-crushing power of optimism. She doesn’t notice that he’s in a tranquilized stupor, which is probably because she’s used to him being sluggish in the morning as his body struggles to process the previous night’s nettle- and moss-based dinner.

Upstairs at the pub, which has been transformed into a small branch of Toys ‘R’ Us, Frances is frantically looking for Cuán’s cuddly dinosaur, which she claims he’s inconsolable without, though he seems perfectly happy to me. She should be more concerned with the fact that he seems to have been replaced by a different and significantly older child since the last time we saw him. Tadhg appears and gives approximately zero shits about Cuán, whomever he’s played by today, or the dinosaur, who doesn’t pay taxes and is therefore a drain on society. Frances is annoyed at how useless he’s being, and then John Joe shows up with the dinosaur, which gives Tadhg an opportunity to point out what a terrible deadbeat dad and generally awful person he is. Tadhg has a lot of room to talk about neglectful deadbeat dads, as Eoin would tell us if he weren’t busy nailing him into a coffin and setting the building on fire.

Gráinne, who seems totally coked out with excitement, bursts into the salon, where Caitríona is as usual busy not working. Gráinne is thrilled to find she’s printed up brochures promoting the new sports massage service, but her excitement turns to “Oh, hell no!” when she sees that Caitríona has completely left her and her seaweed out of the pamphlet and has really just stolen the idea. Gráinne calls her on it, and Caitríona is so unbelievably snotty and passive-aggressive in response that you would get up and punch your TV if it were still under warranty. Gráinne goes totally ape on her, as we’ve been wanting her to do for about three weeks, and after calling her a thief and a wagon and a nuclear bitch, she quits and storms out.

There’s a lingering shot of David down by the water looking sad and unemployed, and then we cut to the café, where Máire is trying to get Laoise to read some essay Fia has written for her course. It seems Adam was supposed to come by and look over it this morning, but he didn’t show up, what with his being an asshole and all, so she hopes Laoise will take a look since she has a postgraduate degree (?). Laoise’s all like, “I totally would, except I don’t want to” and flees, so Berni offers to look at it, but Máire tells her this is a job for a university graduate, not a semi-literate barefoot yokel from the remote islands of Lilliput. She makes it sound like Berni has just arrived in from a headhunting tribe of Borneo, or is Jodie Foster in Nell. Máire bogs off and is replaced by Sorcha, who’s all excited about her plans to take over the world using jam, and possibly a switchblade. Berni is tired of this mentoring nonsense and rudely tells Sorcha to take her ham or whatever and go away. You know it’s bad when Sorcha is the sensible, professional one in the scene.

At the pub, John Joe and Bobbi-Lee are comparing notes about what awesome grandparents they are to Cuán, and to listen to them bang on about it you’d think they were Angela freaking Lansbury in Beauty & the Beast. Tadhg is in the middle of insulting them and telling them to shut up when Katy drops by from the hospital to tell them she’s on her way to the hospital. Uhh…? She doesn’t know when she’ll be back, because the hospital she’s talking about is in Aruba, and is really more of a Hilton than a hospital. Tadhg volunteers Frances to babysit Cuán indefinitely, which is made easier by the fact that she’s not there to protest, but is instead upstairs trying to keep Cuán from eating the couch.

We have a weird sweeping vista of the seaside taken from the TG4 helicopter, and then we see that Gráinne has gone down to the beach to find David, who’s looking at jobs in the newspaper. Well, jobs or Andy Capp. We then return to the pub crèche, where Frances is excitedly packing up Cuán’s crap to send him home, or to work in a shoe factory, or anyplace in the general vicinity of “away.” Tadhg appears and tells her there’s been a change of plans which involves her minding Cuán for the rest of her natural life, which she’s as excited about as you’d imagine. She starts to protest, but Tadhg disappears back downstairs, after waving to Cuán, who as I mentioned before seems to be about 6 now.

Back at the beach, David is telling Gráinne a ridiculous story about how he would be at work except for a magical dragon that flew in and transported him to the land of Narnia on a rainbow. Finally he remembers Gráinne is not stupid and starts to tell her he’s lost his job, but she interrupts him to tell him she just quit the salon because of Caitríona’s extreme wagonness. He tells her she’s got to go back there, and she accuses him of not believing in her business, and she yells at him for a while before storming off in a huff. She could at least collect some seaweed while she’s there.

At the pub, Laoise is chatting up Officer Tony, the cop who’s been sniffing around Mo. Bobbi-Lee points this out, and even though Mo tells her to mind her own business, Bobbi-Lee is determined to get somebody into Mo’s pants before the end of this season, and it might as well be Tony. Colm comes over to interrupt and informs Mo that she will be spending the evening with him betting on horses, and as usual it’s unclear whether he’s trying to hit on her, or just using her to make money. I suppose it could be both. Mo wants to go home for an evening alone with EastEnders and her hot water bottle, but eventually she gives in and starts filling in Colm’s racing form. We’re all thankful that this is not a euphemism.

Over at the café, Dee asks Berni whether she’s heard anything else about the sleazy builders who stole all her money, and she replies that the Gardaí now think she’s going to get all her money back. Well, that worked out anticlimactically. Meanwhile, Sorcha is going from table to table collecting pots of half-eaten jam and dumping them back into the jar, and she doesn’t understand why Berni freaks out and tells her she can’t do that. To be fair, usually when Berni freaks out it’s over something completely stupid, but this time it’s justified, because customers don’t like it when they find toast crumbs and plasters in their jam. Sorcha storms out, and Mack interrupts Berni’s complaining to tell her that Sorcha reminds him of a young, ambitious wagon he once knew named Berni. This really gives Berni something to think about, such as where she’s going to dispose of Mack’s body after she murders him.

Pádraig is screwing up orders at Gaudi, which is the specialty of the house. Gráinne runs into Father Éamonn there, and she tells him she’s very stressed because she’s unemployed. He tells her this must be especially difficult since David isn’t working, either, which of course comes as news to her. Well, so much for David’s brilliant, foolproof plan of never having a job again without Gráinne finding out.

After the break, Frances and Cuán, who seems mildly sedated, are beating each other with stuffed animals, but she flees when Tadhg arrives offering to babysit. You can tell he wasn’t expecting that. We cut quickly to Gráinne arriving home, and just as David is about to tell her he got fired, or at least begin to tell her he got fired and then chicken out midway through the sentence and instead tell her he might be a lesbian, she interrupts to tell him she knows, and wishes she’d heard about it from him instead of Father Éamonn. He sadly says he tried to tell her, which is semi-true, but didn’t have the courage, which is totally true. She blames herself, because she’s the one who left the poitín in the boot of the car, but then he assures her it wasn’t just that, but rather all the other mistakes he’s constantly been making, such as Pól, and that time he karated a nun in half. He says the important thing is that Tomás is OK, which Gráinne doesn’t respond to, because if she made a list of the 1000 most important things in her life, Tomás’ well-being would not be one of them. She’s sad because it’s her fault everyone in their house is unemployed now. Well, her and all those immigrants who keep flooding into town taking all the jobs involving killing teenagers and arguing with Caitríona.

At the pub, Tony is giving Mo googly eyes from across the room, and looks crestfallen when Colm cozies up to her to discuss their latest winnings at the track. It’s nice that Mo has apparently kept her finger on the pulse of the local horseracing scene, though I’m not sure that’s really the best use of her time or brainpower. I suppose she can’t sit around at home listening to Peatsaí and Sally having sex all the time. Bobbi-Lee comes over and tells her to pay more attention to hunky cop Tony and less attention to sleazy convict Colm, but Mo shoos her away, though eventually she decides to turn around and smile at Tony, by which point he’s lost interest and returned to doing the children’s word search on the back of the placemat. Oh, Mo.

Gráinne is still tearfully asking David how she can fix this mess, offering to turn herself in to the police (?) or burn herself at the stake in front of An Teaghlach, but David kindly tells her there’s nothing to be done, and that it’s not her fault he screwed up. Finally she tells him she’s going to go back to Caitríona to beg for her job back, even though it will mean having to clean toilets with her own toothbrush and, even worse, be in the same room as Caitríona occasionally. She says she’ll do whatever it takes, and when she gets her job back, she’ll take care of David till he gets back on his feet. Awww. I sometimes don’t entirely get the David/Gráinne relationship, but they are very sweet and loving here, which is nice to see, even though I still think Gráinne could do better. I hear Tony is available, and also has a job.

Fia has been hanging out in the community center all day waiting for Adam to show his smirky, annoying face, and when he does finally drift in, he is smarmy and yucky, even by his standards. We really need Máire hitting him with her purse right about now.

Frances returns home loaded down with posh-looking shopping bags, presumably from Vince’s shop, which has a surprisingly good Stella McCartney collection on the same aisle as the athlete’s foot medicine. Tadhg is doing a crossword and calmly reports that he’s fed and bathed Cuán and taught him to ride a bike while speaking Latin and so on and has now put him down for a nap. It’s unclear whether Frances believes this, but a flustered Bobbi-Lee immediately enters and explains that she’s gotten Cuán down off the roof and found most of his teeth and tied him to the bed for a nap. Frances is annoyed with Tadhg and tells him she’s going back out, and this time he’s going to be the one to mind Cuán. Well, it’s been nice knowing you, Cuán.

We have an odd establishing shot from the roof of a building somewhere in town, and then we’re in the café, where Sorcha has arrived to tell Berni she can shove her jam up her arse, because she quits. There are too many unreasonable rules, such as “don’t put ground glass in the jam,” plus she’s never going to get rich off of it, and also Berni is a complete cow. Once again Sorcha is the voice of reason, which I’m pretty sure is a sign of the apocalypse.

Back at the community center, Adam tells Fia her paper is brilliant, in that her bibliography and footnotes are formatted correctly, which he assures her is the only thing they look at. As someone who has worked in higher education for over twenty years, I can assure him he is a fool, and also that there is free software that will format your bibliography and footnotes for you. Idiot. She asks if he’d like to watch a DVD together tonight, such as When Adam Banged Fia, but he smirkily tells her he can’t because he’s got a tutorial tonight, which she points out is the same one that someone named Síle is in. We can tell by the way Fia says her name that Síle is the town slut. Adam grins and says “Aye!” grossly, giving her a chaste peck before leaving, and we really want to smack him, even though we will grudgingly admit he looks cute in this scene, which makes us feel yucky. Speaking of cute, Fia is wearing an outfit that’s totally fab, at least the part we can see, which is sign #2 of the apocalypse.

Elsewhere at the community center, Tadhg wanders in, and Frances is worried he’s tied Cuán to a lamppost, or left him in a parked car somewhere with the windows rolled up. He explains that some Daly or another has come to fetch Cuán and take him back to wherever he came from, but that things will be exciting for them, because he “accidentally” forgot to give them Cuán’s dinosaur. Heh. He and Frances flirt for a bit, by which I mean he leers at her and she likes it, and he agrees to take her to a nice restaurant, and more than any other pairing on this show, I actually find Tadhg and Frances a completely believable couple. Well, maybe also Caitríona and Satan.

Back at the pub, Bobbi-Lee is giving Mo lessons on how to pick up Tony, which shockingly do not involve taking off her top and hoisting her boobs up to her earlobes. Tony then comes over to chat Mo up, which is awkward given that Bobbi-Lee is standing there watching and, even worse, Colm is literally sitting between the two of them. Colm finally slings his hook, but not before giving her gross thumbs-ups and pelvic thrusts and so on, and Mo and Tony are awkwardly sweet, or possibly sweetly awkward, because apparently neither of them has ever been on a date on this planet before.

Gráinne slinks into the salon with her seaweed tucked between her legs, and tries to make nice with Caitríona, who is of course not familiar with that word. Gráinne apologizes, and Caitríona is rude, and is basically all, “How dare you call me insulting and rude, you bitch?” Gráinne grovels and begs, and pleads that they’re friends, which is of course another word Caitríona isn’t familiar with. Caitríona plays the martyr for a while, banging on about how she’s got enough on her plate being a neglectful single mother, running a rubbish salon, and writing a stupid book nobody cares about, and that the last thing she needs is Gráinne’s antics on top of it. She forgot that being a total harpy is at least a 20-hour-per-week job. She makes Gráinne listen to this nonsense for about 27 minutes and then throws her out, telling her there’s no way she’s going to hire her back. Well, the only solution is for Gráinne to somehow trick Caitríona into putting the salon in her name and then burn it down for the insurance money. Fingers crossed!

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