Monday, March 27, 2017

Make Your Daughter Berserk Day

Season 21, Episode 58
First aired 23 March 2017

We open Chez Seoighe, where Réailtín is in a moderate strop, glaring at Micheál and refusing to eat the pot of slop he’s prepared for her breakfast. She snots that she’s got soccer practice and stomps out the door as he yells after her, “Do bhricfeasta! A Réailtín, do bhricfeasta!” It seems it’s going to be one of those days, and that the bricfeasta will go uneaten.

And speaking of ill-tempered teen-type daughters, Katy is wishing John Joe a happy birthday over at Gaudi. She tells him she has good news: she’s rearranged her schedule and is now preparing a birthday lunch for him! This gives him diarrhea face, not just because he is familiar with the food at Gaudi, but also because Dee has scheduled a “no Katy allowed” birthday lunch for him already. I’m sure no hijinks will result from this.

At the salon, Caitríona is ranting, as usual. This time the unfortunate audience is Gráinne and Vince, and the topic is Annette, whom it seems may be suing them over last episode’s seaweed-induced pavement vs face incident. The panic spreads to Gráinne, who just now realizes that insurance is a thing, and that she doesn’t have any. Vince tries to reason with them, because he has never met them before, but it’s an uphill battle, as Gráinne is now in a zombie fugue and Caitríona is yelling about the various injuries she’s sure Annette is going to fake, such as a dislocated kidney and a bruised DNA. 

John Joe runs into Dee in the cereal and magazines aisle of the shop and brings up the possibility of spending his birthday with both of his daughters, or at least the ones we’ve met. I’m sure in a few years a long-lost secret daughter will arrive to stir up trouble. Maybe it’s Janice! Anyway, Dee reacts as if he’s just asked her to stab a Care Bear, and is offended that he’d even ask her to invite famous slapper Katy. She furthermore accuses him of always taking Katy’s side, even when she’s being a marriage-ruiner. He basically agrees that Katy is a complete wagon, but to save himself he claims he wasn’t asking her to invite Katy, he was just warning her that he might be a bit late because he’s going to visit the sick baby, and possibly donate a lung to him while he’s there. Maybe Peigí also needs a new organ of some kind. Of course Dee is fooled by his shite and feels guilty, because the Dalys thrive on emotional blackmail.

At the house of sadness, or at least one of them, David reports that the furniture store won’t take back the seaweed stand he accidentally bought last episode, and Gráinne, returning home from her job at the salon, frets that Annette might seek thousands of euros in compensation for her accident. She tries to leave for Job #2 at the polytunnel, which is David’s cue to whine for a while about how she’s working too much while he sits around in Arseville doing nothing. She says she doesn’t mind, but he says it’s time for him to be realistic, and vows he’s going to get a job of one kind or another today, no ifs, ands, or buts. I am not sure “realistic” means what he thinks it means.

Over at the pharmacy, Micheál is making a tit of himself because he wants to buy cocaine or something for his headache, but Janice is trying to sell him something more reasonable, such as children’s chewable morphine. They go back and forth for a while until she finally relents and sells him what he wants, just to make him go away. This is why I appreciate Europe, where you can just buy narcotics from the pharmacist if you look sick enough or act like enough of a knob, as opposed to the U.S., where you have to pay a doctor $200 to write you a prescription that will enable you to buy three aspirin. Laoise, who is hanging around shoplifting or something, pulls him aside and tells him he can’t treat people like that, especially since we don’t know whether or not Janice is a psycho yet, but he tells her he doesn’t care, because Réailtín met her brother yesterday. I like how he says this as if it would make any sense to anyone who doesn’t know his entire life story.   

The world’s most awkward family lunch has broken out at Dee and Mack’s, where John Joe is picking at his food as if he’s worried he’s going to find an ear in it. There’s a long and boring discussion of his food and drink consumption, and finally he dashes off before Dee can even bring in the tart, by which she may or may not mean Katy.

And now in the comedy portion of our show, David struts into the pharmacy and tells Janice that he sees that she’s hiring someone to teach a yoga class, and that he’s her man, because he has a black belt in karate. She manages to keep a more or less straight face as she explains that her business offers medical (?) treatments such as mindfulness (??) and tai chi (???), not kicking people in the neck or breaking boards with your face. Well, he knows all about mindlessness. Sadly, he has to slink away jobless after he is somehow unable to convince her that hitting people over the head with a concrete block improves their relaxation and mindfulness.

At the pub, Micheál has told Laoise the sad story of Pauline’s illness and death, and they are both amazed that Máire managed to keep it all to herself given she and Laoise live under the same roof. I’m not sure whether this is more or less unbelievable than the fact that Réailtín has never heard about any of this from anyone, ever. Laoise seems somewhat appalled, but insists he’s got to tell Réailtín, because it’s only a matter of time before she hears it from Mikey or someone else, since it’s public knowledge. EXACTLY. His counterargument is that, well, Laoise managed to live in the village for the past year without hearing about it, so maybe Réailtín can, too, except instead of “for the past year” substitute “for the rest of her life.” They quarrel, and Micheál gets up to leave in a huff, so David of course arrives and decides to ask him for a job mid-snit. This goes over about as well as you’d expect, and he’s unable to convince Micheál that karate would be a useful skill at the pet shop or wherever he works. And now Berni appears, and Micheál cannot believe the idiot parade he’s being subjected to, but she gets his attention when she tells him something is up with Réailtín. I hope she’s holding hostages!

John Joe arrives for his quick, quiet lunch with Katy, planning to dash back to Dee’s within the hour, but is dismayed when he arrives at Gaudi and discovers Katy has turned it into a full-scale surprise party. This is different from the usual type of dismay people feel when they walk into Gaudi. The whole thing is very much like one of the 50 episodes of Three’s Company where Jack has 2 dates for the same night and tries to keep them from finding out about each other, except with less jiggling, because nobody at Gaudi is wearing a tube top.

Réailtín is at Berni’s place watching a show about women in peril running down the street at twilight, possibly in Scandinavia, and is annoyed when Berni shows up with Micheál in tow. This is different from the usual type of annoyance people feel when Berni shows up somewhere. Micheál and Réailtín squabble, and he yells that he’s tired of her attitude, and tries to grab her by the arm and drag her home, so she screams that she overheard yesterday’s conversation and knows he killed her mother. Well, that came to a boil quickly.

After the break, David is embarrassing himself by being loudly unqualified for a cleaning job, because this is clearly the kind of phone call one makes while standing in the middle of the shop rather than at home. When that isn’t a goer, Vince turns him down as well, so the two of them stroll over to the biscuit, drain cleaner, and dole aisle to see if David’s benefit has come through, which it has. It feels like we’re killing a bit of time here, to be honest, although not as obviously as last episode when Réailtín demonstrated in slow-motion the order in which she puts on her outerwear to go outside.

And speaking of, Réailtín is in disbelief as Micheál starts to tell the story of Pauline’s death, and she goes semi-berserk when she finds out that Berni, here serving the role of Greek chorus, also knows about all this. Wait till she finds out that, like, everybody knows about the euthanasia, including Mack, who didn’t even know Micheál and Pauline had ever even been to Asia. (Sorry, I had to make that joke once, but will not do it again.) Micheál manages to convince her to sit down at the table, and when Berni tries to leave them alone, Réailtín screams at her to stay, as if she thinks angel of death Micheál is about to claim his next victim and figures she can outrun Berni. He tells her about the cancer and Pauline’s pain, and it’s heartbreaking when Réailtín realizes the reason her mom didn’t undergo chemo to save her own life was because she was pregnant and wanted Réailtín to survive.

Back at the newlyweds’ house, Dee is slapping Mack, although in this case it’s only his hand, because she’s trying to keep him away from the birthday tart. It’s possible she’s still referring to Katy here. She doesn’t understand what’s taking John Joe so long and is furious, but then decides that he must be mad at her because she wouldn’t invite Katy to her sad, sad luncheon. She confesses that she just can’t bear to be around Katy after what she did, and Mack helpfully points out that she won’t be able to avoid her forever, especially when the baby comes home, so they exchange sad looks with their enormous and stubbly eyes, respectively.

Out in the street, Caitríona swallows her teeth in distress when she sees that Annette is walking around with her face in a sling. We cut to the pub, where Dee is reporting to Mack that she checked out John Joe’s story about a broken-down van and a vampire that I didn’t bother telling you about, and it’s all a load of bollocks, in various ways. Bobbi-Lee wanders over to deliver Mack’s drink and says she’s surprised they aren’t at the party, which of course they haven’t heard about, but I do appreciate the fact that the one time Bobbi-Lee actually does some work, she manages to stir up trouble.

We return to the party, such as it is, and there is discussion of the fact that Dee and Mack aren’t there, and then they show up, and it’s kind of boring, apart from a half-hearted skirmish between Katy and Dee about nothing in particular. Dee tries to storm out, but John Joe has had it with her nonsense, so he pulls them aside and hisses at Dee to grow up, because they’re not going to spend the rest of their lives celebrating two of every holiday, one with Dee and one with Katy, just because they can’t be in the same room without the pair of them having a row, or Mack sleeping with Katy. Seriously, isn’t Earth Day stressful enough without having to go through the whole thing twice? He concludes that they’ve got to find a way to get over this, and stomps back to the party.

We see David at home playing patience with his dole money and the bills, and then there is something pointless with Mo and Colm, and then we see a sketchy-looking man in a suspicious car spying on Colm for some reason we will probably need to care about later, but not right now. Back at Gaudi, Katy and Dee emerge from the kitchen carrying a birthday cake, and the crowd sings a slow, dirge-like version of “Happy Birthday.” It seems Dee and Katy have found an uneasy truce, at least for the moment, though I’m sure they both reserve the right to smash the cake in the other’s face at any time.

Back at Berni’s, Micheál finishes telling Réailtín the story of how he fed the pills to Pauline and then she died. Everyone is crying, and she correctly guesses that this is why Micheál and Mikey fell out. Micheál spills the beans about the trial, and then has to admit that he was found guilty, because even though the jury believed his version of events, euthanasia is still illegal in Ireland, and he went to jail for 7 months. She can’t listen to any more, and jumps up and runs out of the room as he calls after her. It’s a shame this couldn’t have all played out at John Joe’s birthday party, really, especially since the clown only showed up late, and then with a grumpy Dee in tow.

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