Monday, March 13, 2017

Kick Out The Jams

Season 21, Episode 54
First aired 9 March 2017

In today’s episode of Berni’s Kitchen Nightmares, Sorcha is pasting fake “Subh Shorcha” labels on jam jars she’s bought from the shop. Out in the street, Berni stops Caitríona to tell her Sorcha’s debuting her jam today, and of course Caitríona responds as if she’s been offered dog poo on a stick. Berni then bursts into the café and starts ranting, which sends Sorcha into a panic, but it turns out she’s just mad over some nonsense with last night’s coffee delivery. Don’t worry, Berni, no one comes into your café expecting decent coffee. Or food. Or service. They mostly come to get out of the cold, really. Sorcha breathes a sigh of relief when Berni spots the fake jam and doesn’t notice anything suspicious about it, instead oohing and ahhing over how lovely it looks and how trustworthy Sorcha has become all of a sudden. This, students, is what we call “dramatic irony.”

Down the road, Caitríona stops by the building formerly known as An Teaghlach to harass Tadhg and the builders. Initially we are disappointed when he doesn’t tell her to buzz off, but we realize something even better is about to happen: he thanks her for warning him away from sketchy accountant Seán, and just as she starts to gloat, he tells her that thanks to her interference, he’s found an even better new tenant: a pharmacy! Which will also have a wellness center upstairs that is basically a salon! Based on Caitríona’s sudden diarrhea face, they will hopefully sell Imodium, too.

At the doomed salon, Gráinne wonders if she should ask Caitríona about selling her seaweed there again, but David doesn’t think it’s a good idea, mostly because he is tired of this storyline and doesn’t want to hear about it anymore. Caitríona bursts through the door in a fury, ranting about the pharmacy that’s opening next door. Seeing what a terrible mood she’s in, Gráinne decides this is a good time to ask about her seaweed, which Caitríona is as gracious about as you’d expect. She yells that she’s got €1000 of actual product on the shelves to sell and doesn’t have time to deal with Gráinne’s muck. Presumably that includes David. There is more discussion of the financial ins and outs of small rubbish salon than we care about, but the gist is that Caitríona offers Gráinne a microscopic commission on any new business she brings in. Well, this will sure encourage Gráinne to write a glowing review on that mentoring form she’s got to fill out to get Caitríona paid.

Over at the pub, Colm and John Joe are complaining that their carrot soup doesn’t have any carrots in it. Even so, it looks a lot more like something I’d want to rub on my face than anything Gráinne’s selling. Tadhg starts insulting them, but then Frances interrupts to tell him he’s got to do something about Áine, because she’s just taken the scissors to her brand-new jeans and turned them into hot pants, complete with a glittery gold belt she seems to have borrowed from Supergirl. It looks like she’s done a pretty good job, actually, so maybe she should be Fia’s fashion tutor.

Just then, a pretty young woman in an unidentified animal print coat struts in, and of course John Joe and Colm lecherously drool over her for approximately eight seconds until she shuts them down and puts them in their place. I like this woman already. She introduces herself as Janice, a friend of Mo’s, and Colm tries to flirt with her some more, but it seems she’s immune to what I imagine he thinks are his charms.

Over at the salon, Gráinne is rattling off a list of ideas for new salon promotions, all of which Caitríona instantly shits on. Clearly she’s looking for a way to make tons of money while standing around insulting people and staring into space, preferably if it also involves Berni being launched into the sun. Sadly none of Gráinne’s ideas seem to meet these requirements, but instead are about, like, manicures and stuff. Finally she suggests they could go harass people at the community center, such as the parents of the Clever Children Club and those who hang around there waiting to see Pádraig fall down and hurt himself, and Caitríona agrees that this might work. Caitríona keeps saying “yummy mummies” in a way that makes me feel dirty, and not in a good way, and says she’ll talk to Frances about it and maybe even see if she can enroll Maeve in the group. If Maeve were clever, she’d have found a way to escape from Caitríona by now. Janice shows up asking for a facial, and even though they have been standing around doing nothing all day, Caitríona makes a big production out of “squeezing her in” to the schedule. It’s a little like squeezing a rowboat through the English Channel. Janice is pleased, and Caitríona takes this opportunity to put on her coat and leave, because she has got a restraining order against work requiring it to stay 100 meters away from her at all times.

All the people without jobs, which is pretty much everyone on this show except Dee, have gathered in the café to sample Sorcha’s jam, by which I mean store-bought jam on which she’s crossed out “Lidl” and written in “Sorcha, bitches.” Everyone agrees that it’s delicious, though David thinks he needs to take a dozen jars home so he can make an informed opinion about it, and so he and Gráinne will have something to put on their pinecones for the next month. This last part happens off-camera. Sorcha looks like she’s on the brink of throwing up, though not for the reasons people usually have that look in the café. Mack tells her how lucky she is to have Berni for a mentor, because she is very honest and would die if anyone did something such as pass off store-bought jam as their own, for example, and Máire burbles some nonsense about how people from Easter Island like Berni are very hard workers. Even Berni rolls her eyes at this seafóid. Eventually Sorcha can’t take it anymore and tries to take her aside to tell her the truth, but Berni steamrolls over her as usual, so she gives up.

Caitríona follows Vince into the shop complaining about educational spending and foreign policy in the Pacific Rim. No, wait, I mean she’s banging on about herself and how Tadhg is opening this pharmacy next door just to annoy her. I’d say it’s less the reason he’s doing it and more an added bonus. She says she’ll talk to Frances about it later, since she needs to talk to her about getting Maeve into the Clever Clogs Club, and a nearby shopper, who turns out to be Terrible Annette from that storyline last year where Áine won the World Cup, volunteers the info that the club is almost full. Caitríona is incredibly rude, even by her standards, and while we are usually very much in favor of people being rude to Annette, this is really beyond the pale. Annette lets her carry on for a while, during which we learn she is apparently married to the shady accountant Tadhg almost leased the building to, and when Caitríona finally shuts her gob, Annette tells her that she was going to use her pull as a member of the committee to get Maeve into it, but now she’s going to recommend that Caitríona drop dead instead. Heh.

Back at the café, Berni tells Pádraig and Máire that she’s so pleased with Sorcha’s work that she’s gotten her a lovely card and a voucher for a massage. Hopefully it’s someplace nice, like Happy Ending Fun Time Massage near the bus station, and not someplace seedy, like Loinnir. Máire suggests Berni sneak it into Sorcha’s purse, because people always like it when you open their bag and look through it, and while doing this Berni of course starts pulling out jars of the store-bought jam and a long supermarket receipt. We might ask why, if Sorcha had the time and money to go to a shop and buy 40 jars of jam after burning her own, she didn’t just go buy the ingredients and start over again, which clearly would’ve been much cheaper. I guess that wasn’t written down in her business plan notebook.

After the break, during which we learn that taking Senokot laxatives will cause a tree to grow out of your rectum, Frances anxiously shows Tadhg Áine’s diary or something, in which she has written a rather compelling tale about how terrible her parents are when Cuán is around and how, in conclusion, she hates Cuán. They are shocked and distraught, because they had no idea small children get jealous of babies who are suddenly hanging around getting all the attention all the time. If they think this is bad, wait till they get to the chapter about how Áine has been slowly poisoning them for months.

Laoise shows up at the salon asking if they can make her look like the photo of Beyoncé she’s carrying around, but Gráinne doesn’t have time for her, because she’s still doing Janice’s NCT. It seems Janice wants a facial, but has to be very careful because she had one recently that caused her face to fall off, which she doesn’t want to repeat because she wants to look good when she slaps Colm later. There is back-and-forthing and Gráinne eventually tells her about the seaweed, but says she can’t have it. Customers always love it when you taunt them with products they can’t have. Janice will not be dissuaded, mostly because she’s imagining the seaweed mask looks like something you’d want to put on your face rather than something that would come to life in a swamp and attack you.

Berni has summoned Sorcha to the kitchen, or as I originally typed it, fkitchen, which is the lenited version. She confronts her with the store jam, and rather than just explaining what happened like any normal person would, Sorcha starts spinning a tale about market research and a flying elephant, and then stands there while Berni starts carrying on about what a fool she was and how this is the worst thing anyone has ever done to anyone. She accuses Sorcha of not even trying to make the jam herself, and of trying to ruin her good name, so Sorcha extremely accurately points out that this is typical Berni, making everything about herself. And she wasn’t even around that time Berni accused the people of that Third World village of having a deadly earthquake the same month as her birthday just to spite her. She carries on for about 14 more minutes until Sorcha finally tells her to go frig herself and storms out. Berni’s going to need to replace the worn-out floor tiles from all the times Sorcha has stormed out of this place.

At Gaudi, Caitríona is complaining about the pharmacy to Frances, who could not possibly be less interested in this. She explains that this is going to hurt her business, and she’s only thinking about Maeve, who will be needing money for university. I think it’s more likely that Maeve is going to need money for years of therapy and then ultimately changing her name and moving to Australia. She brings up Annette and the Clever Kids and the yummy mummies again, and wears down Frances, who is so upset about this Áine thing that she forgot to brush her hair today. They decide to team up against Annette, which I would normally be in favor of, but the only person in the Northern Hemisphere who is worse than Annette is Caitríona, so I am torn.

Janice has been seaweeded and somehow lived to tell the tale, and because of its hallucinogenic properties, actually wants more of it. Gráinne reminds her that it’s not for sale, but is intrigued when Janice finally tells her that she works for a national pharmacy chain and wants to sell it nationwide. At this point Gráinne realizes Janice is the pharmacist next door, and looks uncomfortable, because she knows this is going to result in Caitríona, you know, saying things.

Berni drops by the pub to break the news to Frances about Sorcha, and finds Tadhg stuffing his face with the jam. When he finds out Sorcha made the jam, he spits it in the bin, because it turns out Sorcha is the niece of Cóilí Jackie, who you may recall is the village lunatic. Well, one of them. He badmouths Clan Crazy for a while, and then Berni jumps to Sorcha’s defense, saying it’s not her fault she was raised by wolves. This makes her decide she doesn’t want to tell Frances about the store jam after all, so she leaves, which is of course the desired outcome of any interaction with Berni.

Back at the salon, Gráinne and Janice are still debating the Seaweed Accords, and finally Janice leaves, telling Gráinne she knows where to find her if she changes her mind. Hopefully running over Colm with her car. Sensing that the work is finished, Caitríona returns, and Gráinne tries to tell her who Janice is, but she keeps interrupting her and shutting her down with her usual self-absorbed rudeness. Laoise dumps Gráinne in it by demanding she wants the seaweed treatment, too, and then it’s really on.

At Gaudi, Mo is introducing Janice to Dee, pointing out that she’s a lawyer for when Janice inevitably needs to sue Tadhg for something. There’s discussion of how Mo can’t get a man, which is a recurring theme these days, and then Janice notes that there was a cute guy in Tigh Thaidhg earlier. Given that Mack hasn’t been there today and Eoin lives in Dubai now, we have a sinking feeling about where this is going. Janice tells them this alleged hottie was hanging around with some creepy old sleazeball from Donegal. Dee’s reaction is hilarious, so she leaves, and Janice swears her goal in life is to put a man on the Mo. There’s a lot of that going around lately.

We see Berni out in the street leaving a voicemail for Sorcha, promising they can work things out, and when she picks up some litter and puts it in the bin, she discovers the burnt pot from the jam meltdown, and realizes Sorcha was telling the truth after all. I have a feeling this is all supposed to be much more compelling than it actually is.

At the pub, Colm is flirting with Mo by showing her his carrot, which is fortunately not a euphemism. During the course of the conversation, such as it is, Mo realizes he’s the “cute guy” Janice was referring to. She tells him she’s the new pharmacist, and he makes a variety of gross remarks about needing her to prescribe him some throat lozenges and willy cream and so on. Barf. Why Mo doesn’t walk away without dignifying this with a response I’ll never know, but instead she banters with him and then looks ambiguously at him as he oozes away. Oh, Mo.

Sorcha slinks into the café with her tail between her legs, and Berni tells her she found the ruined pot in the bin. Instead of asking why the hell Berni was digging around in the bin out in the street, Sorcha offers to pay for a replacement, but Berni instead does that thing where she shifts out of her usual inhuman she-beast mode and acts like a nice person, which we always find confusing. She tells her we all make mistakes sometimes, but that we have to take responsibility for them and learn from them rather than putting a fake label on jam we bought at the store. Words we can all live by. She tells her they’re back in business, and that they’ve got work to do if they’re going to make all that jam Vince and Gaudi have asked for. Well, I’m glad that’s settled and we will never have to hear about it again.

At the pub, Tadhg gleefully reveals to Caitríona that Janice is the new pharmacist. She looks stricken, of course, so he asks Janice if she can write her a prescription, because her blood pressure seems to have shot up. Maybe she can write her a prescription for some Shut Up Cream while she’s at it. Caitríona stomps over to Gráinne and spits that Janice is the bloody pharmacist, and then goes berserk when Gráinne tells her she already knew that, and that she tried to tell her but she never shuts up. Caitríona hisses that this has all been a plot for Gráinne to sell her stupid seaweed and then storms off, so Gráinne goes over to Janice and tells her she’s changed her mind: she wants her to sell her seaweed in the pharmacy! I recommend she change the name from “Aille na Saille” or whatever to “Eff You, Caitríona.”

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