Saturday, April 29, 2017

You Don't Bring Me Flowers

Season 21, Episode 67
First aired 25 April 2017

We open this meandering episode with Máire snooping through a bouquet of flowers that has arrived for Laoise. Given they are all shades of purple, my guess is that her mystery suitor is Prince. Laoise arrives, and Máire immediately starts up with the internet dating nonsense again, complaining that she can’t believe Laoise would put all their lives in jeopardy by giving their address to some computer predator who is clearly feigning interest in her just to get information that will allow him to murder Máire. To be fair, murdering Máire is something we’ve all imagined doing a time or two. Laoise swears she hasn’t given any internet creeps her address, but Máire is unrelenting. Right, because it’s such a state secret where everyone in this town of 12 people lives. Laoise opens the card and it says, “Can we start again?”, and when Máire asks apprehensively, “Well?”, as if it’s the results of a pregnancy test, Laoise smirks and reminds her that she’ll be moving out to her own place soon, so Máire will have to find someone else to help get her killed by an internet predator. Or by The Predator, from that Arnold Schwarzenegger film, which would officially be the BEST SEASON FINALE EVER.

At the shop, O’Shea is nagging Niamh about how everything she does is wrong, which we just can’t get enough of. It seems Niamh has her meeting with the dean today, which we thought had already happened but apparently not, so O’Shea helpfully advises her to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. I swear I am not making this up.

At the community center, Gráinne asks Dee and Mack, who are dressed as if they’ve just finished their space yoga class, what time baby Jay was born, because she is working up his astrology chart as a christening gift and wants to make sure it is as thorough and detailed as possible when Katy and Jason throw it away. Of course, they don’t know, because Mack hasn’t learned to tell time yet and Dee hates the baby, so she’s like, “Gee, Gráinne, I would love to continue engaging with you about this topic, but I am extremely busy and have to go stand over here now, so, slán!” She and Mack walk about three feet away and then Dee hisses at him that she’s tired of hearing about this bloody christening and doesn’t want to go, but Mack points out that people will gossip if they don’t show up, so it will be easier if they just go and try to blend into the crowd at Westminster Abbey. Dee glumly says she supposes so, and walks off sighing. A better approach would’ve been for Mack to remind her that it will be much easier for her to grab Katy by the hair and shove her face-first into the cake if she is actually at the christening. That’s called “knowing your audience.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pádraig Ó Loinsigh: Making Men Question Their Sexuality Since 2017

Season 21, Episode 66
First aired 20 April 2017

We open with Agony Aunt Pádraig listening to Agony Inducer Máire complain about what a hot-headed lunatic Laoise is. Of course the spin she puts on this is that she gently raised questions about whether Laoise is dating the right kind of gentleman, whereas the truth is that she called Laoise a cheap slut and internet whore who is endangering the community by inviting an endless stream of scumbags and sex offenders to town to ride her. Potayto, potahto. Pádraig senses that there’s probably more to this than Máire is telling, what with his having met her and all, but he kindly suggests that Laoise is a grown-up and that Máire needs to apologize to her and stay out of her business, and also her knickers. It’s a good thing Pádraig never has sex, or else Máire would be all up in his boxer briefs, too. Right on cue, Laoise arrives, and she’s in a grump and giving Máire the silent treatment FOR NO REASON AT ALL. You could cut the tension with a knife, like the kind the squad of hostage-takers almost held to Máire’s throat at the pharmacy the other day except for the part where they didn’t, and Laoise finally frostily tells her to stay of her effing business. Máire gives her patented I Was Only Trying To Help speech, but then agrees to stop interfering in Laoise’s life, which she demonstrates by immediately interfering. She makes up some nonsense about needing a book and then pointing out that the library is a good place to meet a nice, quiet, educated man. After Laoise and Pádraig make stinky faces for a while about nice, quiet, educated men, of the type Bobbi-Lee made when she found out she was going to be in a play that was based on a book, Máire shifts her non-interfering into high gear by clarifying that nice, quiet, educated men are different from Laoise’s usual type: internet predators with explosive full-body herpes.

At the house of fog and guilt, O’Shea is yelling at Niamh for throwing her life away, asking her if she wants to end up like all the other losers around here. I was going to list them, but instead I will invite you to pick the local loser of your choice. O’Shea still thinks there’s a chance the dean won’t throw her out of school, and possibly Europe, since it was just the one exam, so Niamh takes this opportunity to admit that it was literally every exam since the beginning of the year, and also that she has been printing fake €10 notes, lottery tickets, and OAP bus passes in her bedroom. Her lame explanation is that she’d fallen behind because she’d spent all her time concentrating on one subject, and so her only option was to cheat her arse off. Presumably the one subject she paid attention to was her hair, which is lovely and silky. O’Shea yells that she’s going to get herself expelled for sure with this madness, and Niamh tries the risky legal ploy of trying to make herself the victim here, spewing out a bunch of “You get angry because I cheated. Then you get angry because I’m being honest. I can’t win!” nonsense. Amazingly, this seems to give O’Shea something to think about, I mean other than which of her hands she should slap Niamh with first.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I Fought The Law, And The Law Won

Season 21, Episode 65
First aired 18 April 2017

We open with Jason semi-apologizing to Mack for missing Easter at his place, and Mack replies that it ended up being just him, Dee, and her burning hatred for him after all. Well, seething resentment is what Easter is all about, anyway. Niamh enters with her mother in tow, and is very excited indeed because she’s starting her new long-term career as Dee’s legal assistant, and today is the first day of the rest of her life, and she’s going to make it after all, like Mary Tyler Moore. If she had a hat like Mary, she would twirl around and throw it into the air, but hopefully she kept the receipt, because as we will see later, she’ll need to get her money back.

The postman delivers the mail to Áine, who at first is disappointed that her new issue of Petty Larceny Weekly hasn’t arrived, but she brightens when she sees there’s a letter addressed to her tuismitheoirí that’s not from her probation officer for a change. She asks her nearby mother when Tadhg will be home, because she’s got an exciting letter for them, and Frances completely ignores her, which means this is going to be one of those episodes where Áine is jealous of everyone and everything, and might also kidnap herself again. If she’d managed to find a way to earn frequent flyer miles every time she runs away from home without actually leaving the building, she could’ve had a free ticket to Orlando by now.

Gráinne and David are having one of their usual “I’m paying the bills!”/“No, I’m paying the bills!” arguments, but for variety’s sake, this time they’re doing it in the middle of the street. Love means never having to say “I’m sick of you.” His phone rings, and Gráinne is annoyed when she sees it’s Annette, and starts up with her patented “Does she ever leave you alone?” routine, which she honed to perfection back during the Fidelma era. David lectures her that Annette is going through A Really Tough Time Right Now, so they should all be nice to her, so Gráinne rolls her eyes and reminds him that he’s supposed to go with her to the dentist today and is therefore only allowed to care about Annette until 12:45 and no later.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

No Matter What They Take From Me, They Can't Take Away My Karate

Season 21, Episode 64
First aired 13 April 2017

We open at Gaudi, where Katy is complaining to Pádraig about stupid nosy Frances’ stupid parenting advice, such as “clothe the baby” and “feed the baby.” Yeah, butt out, Frances! Pádraig is basically like, “Ha ha, so true! Well, the important thing is to be flexible, such as when you get a text from Jason any minute now saying he’s left you and fled the country.” Katy has no idea what’s going on in this confusing conversation, but since that’s often the case when interacting with Pádraig, she doesn’t look particularly concerned. 

Over at the House Of Cheating, Niamh wishes her mother a good morning, and O’Shea responds by giving her a “drop dead” look. Snerk. Niamh tries to be nice for a bit, but finally gets tired of her mother’s repeated rudeness, and they decide they might as well go ahead and fight. O’Shea, who is wearing an abstract stripey poncho thing that seems to exist in several dimensions other than the ones we are used to, threatens to arrest her, and asks how she knows she hasn’t cheated on all her exams, so Niamh lies and says no, it was totally just this one. O’Shea manages to make it about herself by asking rhetorically what’s going to happen when people find out the superintendent’s daughter is a cheating thief and possible floozy, but I think she’s overestimating how much the locals actually remember that O’Shea and Niamh, you know, exist.

Frances is hanging around at Katy’s helping to fold bibs and iron nappies and so on. It’s unclear whether Katy is enjoying having her around, which is disheartening, because in the olden days Katy always made it very clear when she was annoyed by something. For example, everything. I miss the old Katy. There’s discussion of breastfeeding, and Frances wistfully notes that she was never able to nurse Áine, presumably because every time she got that close to her, Áine would pick her pocket. Katy asks leading questions trying to get Frances to admit that Tadhg was a neglectful, emotionally distant non-father like Jason is, but she replies that no, Tadhg was actually incredibly attentive and loving. Of course Katy looks stricken, because she knows that it’s always a bad sign when someone comes in second place to Tadhg in any kind of fathering competition. It’s like coming in second place to Máire in the Minding Your Own Business Awards.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Mo' Colm, Mo' Problems

Season 21, Episode 63
First aired 11 April 2017

We open at Jason’s, where he is busy not putting together a terrifying monkey crib for the baby, whom he hates. He picks up his phone a fraction of a second before it rings, tells the person on the other end that he’ll be wherever “there” is in ten minutes, and then hangs up and lies to Katy that it was a wrong number. She tries to talk to him, and he completely ignores her, because the two of them have never learned how to have an actual human conversation. At least Mack and Dee know that the way it works is that one of you yells, and then the other yells something back, and then somebody runs out of the room crying and slams the door. Katy volunteers, as brightly as she can muster from the bottomless depths of existential despair that is her life, that she’s made an appointment for the three of them to go to Galway for a family portrait (tough luck, Cuán). Jason, however, would clearly rather go have a colonoscopy from Captain Hook than have anything to do with this, and leaves after telling her that an even better idea would be a family portrait with only her and Jay in it. Ouch.

At the pharmacy, Máire is burbling on to Janice about how scary seeing the robbers go running past her was, and we get the impression this has been going on for some time, such as ever since the last time we saw her. Janice, who you will recall is the person the scary thing actually happened to, is not interested in continuing this discussion, and tries to encourage Máire to, you know, shut up and work. Or at least just shut up. I’m sure she never thought she’d be in a position where she’d miss those conversations that consist of Máire listing all saints first in alphabetical order, and then in the order she’d most like to be friends with them, but here we are. Fortunately for us all, the most merciful Saint Mo of Hurley Stick arrives to rescue Janice by telling her the camper van will be ready to go after lunch, but shell-shocked Janice says she won’t be able to go, because she can’t find a locum to wade into this dumpster fire, and because Máire is threatening to wee in fear continuously until she dies of dehydration. Mo looks peeved, and then Niamh, who today is playing the part of Magnum P.I., lures Máire into a conversation about what a pill-popping con artist Annette is. Máire may not have the gift of gab, but she has the gift of saying exactly the right thing to stir up the maximum amount of trouble possible in any situation.

Over at the café, Colm is vaguely obnoxious and defiant to O’Shea, who basically tells him he’s lucky this isn’t America, or else she’d totally police-brutality his ass right now. She leaves, and Mack comes over and apologizes to Colm for screaming at him in the pub the other day, but Colm throws it back in his stubbly, stubbly face. Elsewhere in the café, Caitríona graciously, i.e., passive aggressively, swoops in to pay for Annette’s lunch when her card is declined, and then gloats that it’ll be the last penny Annette ever gets out of her. Niamh materializes and the two of them inform Annette that she should’ve mentioned in her lawsuit that the medication she takes can cause balance and falling-down issues, and after they smugly snot off, Annette calls her husband and yells at him that her card was declined, and he better fix it.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Extra-Strength Robbery: Now Available Without A Prescription

Season 21, Episode 62
First aired 6 April 2017

We open with Mack vacuuming out his van in preparation to take Colm alibi-shopping, I mean, car-shopping. John Joe stops by to discuss how poor Colm is often in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as on this show when it is being filmed. Máire interrupts to announce that she’s starting her new job at the pharmacy today, which is nice reminder for them that if they want to go pick up their impotence cream or herpes spray without her knowing about it, they better hurry up. Colm appears, and he and Mack head off to buy a car, or steal a car, or be seen in a location far away from town while this next thing happens.

Janice arrives at the pharmacy for another day of helping the community and being mugged. She senses something is amiss, but before she can figure out what it is, the black-clad masked bandit who’s been lurking around the past few episodes springs out from behind a box of Kleenex and attacks her! This is why you should always take a ferocious Alsatian with you when you go to Boots, or alternatively, a comical oversized mallet. You never know.

At Gaudi, Niamh is texting the proprietor of Stolen Exams, Inc., which is a division of Carrolls Irish Gifts, to tell her that she’ll have the €50 for today’s exam soon. Good, she needs to know what to study if she’s going to be the star graduate of the Galway School of Law and Twerking. You can tell I am old because I think twerking is still a thing. At the bar, Pádraig is the latest stop on Máire’s Bragging About Her New Job World Tour. The support act on this tour is showing people her bunions. Also, Betty Boo. Having watched him jump up and down clapping at her good news for a while, Máire decides it’s time to head off to work, but he decides he wants to make her two coffees on the house, which will take him 27 minutes, and additionally Niamh points out that he screwed up her order, which will take him an additional 3 hours to fix. Máire looks worriedly at her watch, but on the plus side, this delay will allow the Balaclava Bandit to rob the pharmacy and kidnap Janice more leisurely and thoroughly. The traffic jam in this scene builds as O’Shea arrives, and she and Máire talk for a while about what a good girl Niamh is now that she’s not snorting coke off Adam’s bum and so on anymore. Sadly, before Máire gets the chance to start complaining about what a loser Fia is, O’Shea makes a big production out of counting out a wad of cash to pay Niamh for the massage she’s promised her as a reward for doing such a good job cheating on her exams. Pádraig returns from his break, and when Máire reminds him she’s in a super-big hurry, he gets on the phone. It really is shocking that he wasn’t selected to be the star of the new series of Francis Brennan’s Most Efficient Restaurants.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Important Thing Is That Adam Is Not Gay

Season 21, Episode 61
First aired 4 April 2017

We open with a faceless, mysterious stranger all in black, who may or may not be Johnny Cash, or possibly one of Depeche Mode, loitering across the street from the pharmacy, casing the joint. Janice arrives to open up for the day, and Depeche Cash puts on his gloves and looks like he’s about to make his move, but then a customer arrives, and he changes his mind and skulks off. Well, Janice sure dodged that bullet!

And now we are reminded that Niamh is a person who is sometimes on this show! She’s at home studying for her exams, and O’Shea, ever the observant detective, notes that Niamh is looking at the same book she looked at yesterday, which seems highly suspicious to her. Clearly O’Shea does not understand how studying works. Grumpy Niamh tells her to buzz off, and refuses her offer of a ride to the exam, because she’s booked a hackney. Why she doesn’t want to arrive at college in a police car driven by her mother is beyond me. O’Shea wanders away, probably to review today’s list of complaints against David, and Niamh sneakily reaches into a folder and pulls out … a copy of today’s exam! Well, I think now we know the nail-biting pulse-pounder that’s going to carry us through to the end of the season.

We switch from a scene of mother-daughter domestic bliss to one of father-daughter domestic bliss in the form of Micheál and Réailtín, who are still arguing about who killed whose mother and so on. Of course, this is all Laoise’s fault, and secondarily, society’s. Thanks, Laoise and society. Anyway, Micheál tells her to do something and she retorts, “Or, what, you’ll kill me, too?”, and we get the impression this has been her response to everything lately, which we’re sure hasn’t become at all tiresome to Micheál, or made him wonder if perhaps killing her up just a little might not be an entirely terrible idea.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Agatha Bhriste, Literary Detective

Season 21, Episode 60
First aired 30 March 2017

We open with Caitríona looking at a copy of her new book, hot off the presses. My God, it’s long. I can’t imagine there’s that much to say about Colm. Vince congratulates her, but she’s depressed, because she feels she’s been played and will be humiliated when people find out she’s written a book claiming a money-laundering sleazeball is innocent. Well, on the plus side, nobody reads books anymore, especially this one, so I think she’s safe. Vince points out that Colm is actually innocent of the thing she talks about in the book, so it’s not her fault if he’s guilty of a bunch of other things. That’s some skillful, Dee-worthy lawyering right there. This doesn’t seem to cheer Caitríona up for some reason, and she frets that nobody will buy this book when they find out he’s “an actual criminal.” As a published nonfiction author myself I can see why she’s so upset about this, because my last royalty check was for $9, and she’s going to need that kind of serious dosh to pay for Annette’s new nose.

Mo arrives at work, clearly still rattled from last night’s Anto-induced yuckiness, and Tadhg gripes at her for leaving the place a mess when she closed up. She’s not in the mood for his nonsense, which in this case is actually justified, and tells him she’ll clean up now if he’ll shut up about it. He asks her if she took off early last night to go “do the jailhouse rock” with Colm, and while I usually love it when Tadhg insults people using references from his youth, such as telling them their powdered wig looks like Marie Antoinette’s and so on, Mo is so visibly shaken that it’s really no fun, because we love her.

There’s some uninteresting awkwardness involving David’s unemployment, and then we cut to Gaudi, where the troops are preparing Colm for his day in court, straightening his tie and ironing his balaclava and so on. Micheál drops by to return Laoise’s spare mobile as rudely as possible, reminding her that it’s her fault that Réailtín is a teenager and therefore awful, and then storming away. She complains about how unreasonable he’s being to an audience of Pádraig, who doesn’t care, and Colm, who barely knows who Micheál and Réailtín are, and then Caitríona shows up to engage in some moderate arguing with Colm. She takes him aside and hisses that she can’t believe he let her write this stupid book proving his innocence while he was off money-laundering and stagecoach-robbing the whole time. She continues that he may have made a fool of her, something which of course she is fully capable of doing on her own, but that she’ll have the last laugh when she tells the Gardaí everything. O’Shea will be relieved to have a case that doesn’t involve David turning himself in because he only paid for one Snickers bar but the vending machine gave him two. Before Caitríona can fly off on her broom, Colm tells her to wait, because yes, he laundered money, but she only knows half the story. Presumably the other half is that he’s also doing some light human trafficking on the side.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Oh No, Anto

Season 21, Episode 59
First aired 28 March 2017

We open out in the street, where Micheál is complaining to Laoise that Réailtín hasn’t spoken a word to him since he told her the sad story of Pauline’s death last episode and that she’s even been staying at Berni’s because she doesn’t want to be around him. You know things are bad when someone chooses to be around Berni instead of you. They wander off, and then we see Tadhg harassing Mo about when the Séamus-brand poitín is going to be ready, which we had completely forgotten was a thing, since we haven’t seen any since that time David almost killed that stupid kid with it. She says fine poison can’t be rushed, and is then distracted by Colm, who’s down the street speaking suspiciously to someone she doesn’t know, but who looks a bit like David if you turned the Neanderthal up by 20% and the Fred Flintstone down by 25%. She thinks it must be the business associate Colm has been banging on about, but Tadhg tells her it’s famous criminal Anto Ó Murchú. Because, you know, it’s wise to be seen hanging around town with convicted felons the day before the hearing in which you’re hoping to prove you’ve been wrongly accused.

Over at the café, Caitríona is complaining to Vince that Annette is suing her over the seaweed incident outside the salon. It took us a long time to get here, but we’ve finally gotten some payoff in this stupid seaweed story, in the sense that it is annoying Caitríona. It seems Annette claims she broke her nose when she landed on it, and Caitríona brilliantly hisses, “I should have hit her to make sure her nose was really broken.” Heh. She wants to call Annette to harass her, and possibly to burp into the phone and then hang up, but Vince distracts her by reminding her that tomorrow Colm will be walking out of court a vindicated man thanks to her. Thanks, Caitríona. As a result, the media will want to talk to her, presumably because they too blame her for his annoying antics. Besides, her book is being launched next week, so this will be a chance for her to flog it. I hope her name is misspelled “Boobi-Lee” on the cover, too. Berni comes over to ask how Gráinne’s seaweed is going, so Caitríona lies and says it’s “iontach,” because she doesn’t know how to say “lawsuit-inducing” in Irish. She passive-aggressively asks where Sorcha is, because she hasn’t seen her around recently and therefore assumes she must be in prison or rehab or somewhere, but Berni snots that she’s just started a business studies course in Galway, actually, and then storms off. Caitríona knows she’s lost this one, because poor Gráinne couldn’t find her way to a business studies course in Galway in a cab, so she snatches up her phone and proceeds to call a radio station to get some publicity for her stupid book.

At Gaudi, John Joe tells Dee that the baby, whose name turns out to be Jay, is going to be released from the hospital tonight, and she looks disappointed, though not as visibly disappointed as Katy was when Jason told her the imaginary DNA test he made up showed that he was the baby’s father. The Daly sisters are like a box of chocolates, in that you never know what you’re going to get, but also like dinner at McDonald’s, in that there’s a 50% chance you will get food poisoning. Mack arrives, having been out running baby-related errands, which annoys Dee because she doesn’t want either of them having to do with this marriage-wrecking baby, who’s totally boring and can’t even read or walk. She further fumes that everyone’s running around after Katy, as usual, and when John Joe returns to remind them that there’s going to be a welcome-home do tonight, she looks as enthused as if he’s just invited her to the unveiling of the nude self-portraits he’s been working on with his new high-def camera.