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.

Over at the pharmacy, Janice has been bound and gagged and tied to a chair, inconveniently nowhere near the anti-kidnapping-syrup aisle. The Balaclava Bandit, who may or may not be Áine standing on Réailtín’s shoulders wearing a long overcoat, yells at her to be a lamb and shut the hell up and stop struggling, so she turns it down a notch and settles into a light faint. We are distracted by the fact that there is a big box of what appears to be “bum dressing” on the shelf behind her, but sadly I think it is actually “burn dressing.” I like mine better.

We now return to our regularly scheduled Katy vs Jason argument, already in progress. In today’s performance, Katy is the semi-adult one and Jason is the big sulky baby. Eventually he sends her upstairs to deal with the other crying baby in the house, i.e., the one that is actually a baby, and while she’s gone, he gets on the phone with someone called Dermot and tells him he’s feeling trapped and wants to discuss “all the options” with him. My guess is that the options are “faking his own death” versus “burning down the house and then faking his own death.”

Gráinne and Caitríona are arguing in the street about Annette’s probably-frivolous lawsuit, by which I mean Gráinne is asking reasonable questions like a sensible grown-up and Caitríona is yelling and ranting and foaming at the mouth. Niamh literally, and hilariously, walks directly through the middle of their conversation and, once she reaches the other side, tells them she’ll have to cancel her massage, because she doesn’t want either of them touching her, and also needs to spend her massage money to buy tomorrow’s Intermediate Geology of Hungary exam. Gráinne delivers the episode’s comedy highlight by brightly telling Niamh she’d better get her massage quick before the salon goes out of business. Snerk. After Caitríona finishes losing her shit over that remark, Niamh remembers that Caitríona’s looking for someone to investigate lying liar who lies Annette and her pattern of seaweed fraud and drug-seeking, and offers to do it herself, reminding her of the quality job she did last year Googling Colm’s name that one time.

Máire walks past and greets Gráinne, and then just as she’s opening the door to the pharmacy, Black Balaclava and future co-defendant Grey Balaclava, whom we have not seen before but I hope is Adam, come bursting through the door, almost knocking her down. It’s almost as good as when Mack burst through the pub door and almost knocked Máire down last episode, but less stubbly. She starts screaming and carrying on, getting increasingly high-pitched and shrill, which causes everyone in town to stream outside because they think Mariah Carey is giving a free concert.

Over at Gaudi, Fia has given up on expecting Pádraig to serve them and brings over cups of coffee for herself and Adam. She tells him she can’t stop thinking about the house they looked at in Knocknacarra, which the Internet tells me is a colorful bird native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. It’s possible I accidentally Googled “kookaburra” instead. Anyway, Adam is about as interested in moving into a house in Knocknacarra with Fia as he is in moving into a kookaburra with her, so he smiles weakly and says evasive things like “probably” and “I suppose” and “David Beckham is lovely, isn't he?” Pádraig wanders past not working and Fia asks him how his date went, but, because his Grindr username is Coyboy69, he replies only with a thumbs-up. Fia grins and says she and Adam need more information than that, so Adam looks uncomfortable and says she should leave Pádraig alone, and also that the interesting thing about David Beckham is that he has an incredible body, but also seems like a nice guy. Fia tells Pádraig that when she and Adam get their new house in Galway, Pádraig and the boyfriend can come stay with them, so Adam flips out a little and then apologizes, claiming he’s cranky because he’s tired. Oh, Adam.

Back at the pharmacy, someone has untied Janice, and O’Shea, who you can tell is doing serious police work because she is holding a notebook, asks her if she noticed what accents the robbers had. Unfortunately this will be no help, because it turns out Janice does not actually know any Irish, and has just been delivering her lines phonetically all this time. She’s actually quite rattled, and it’s very sad because we’ve decided we think we like Janice. We look forward to her and Bobbi-Lee having a big, hilarious fight over something. O’Shea asks her if she’s seen anyone suspicious or odd hanging around lately, which of course describes everyone in the village, so this line of questioning is no help, either. Máire interrupts to ask if it’s her turn to be interviewed yet, but O’Shea basically says that won’t be necessary, and that if she needs to waste a lot of police time on something pointless, she’ll have them all try to put some toothpaste back in the tube. Hilariously, Máire starts burbling on about how terrible it would’ve been if she’d actually been there, because then she would’ve been tied up, too, and starts crying and pleading for the saints to preserve her and whatnot while poor Janice, who actually did get tied up, just stands there watching everyone comfort Máire over something that did not happen. Hopefully Janice did not give up the lease on her place in Dublin before deciding to relocate to Crazyville.

Laoise bursts into Gaudi and excitedly tells Frances and Micheál that the pharmacy has just been robbed. Frances immediately asks if Janice is OK, but of course Micheál’s response is to blame Laoise for giving Réailtín that stupid phone a month ago. Can he go back to prison for a while so we can stop hearing about this? He stomps off, and Laoise complains to Frances about him for a while, and then proposes that they have a girls’ night out to forget about men, because they are friends, apparently. Meanwhile, across the restaurant, Adam gets a text congratulating him because the house is theirs, but he hides his phone when Fia returns from the restroom and tells her sadly that the house is gone. Of course, she is very disappointed, because she is absolutely determined to ruin her life by moving in with Adam as soon as possible.

Mack and Colm return from their car-buying expedition, which it seems was fruitless because Colm was overly picky about the color and number of wheels and so on. They get out of the van and go their separate ways, and Mack is stopped by O’Shea, who tells him the pharmacy was robbed and asks whether he saw anything suspicious. After she explains to him that “suspicious” is a word that means “weird or scary,” he says no, because he was off in Galway with Colm all morning. She wanders off and is replaced by Tadhg, who has been in the background talking to a hunky policeman who may or may not be the hunky silent police extra we have seen before. Tadhg tells Mack it was very convenient of Colm to use him as an alibi, and that this pharmacy heist is probably what Colm and Anto have been scheming about lately. Mack looks very cross indeed, and will probably be even angrier when he finds out what “alibi” means.

After the break, during which a young Marlon Brando yells sexily at some woman, we are at Gaudi, where Adam expresses his sympathy to Máire about her scary morning. Pádraig comes over and asks if the robbers had guns or sharks or sharks with bees in their mouths, and she frets that there were three or four or sixty of them, and that it was especially terrifying because she had buns in her hands at the time. Take a moment to enjoy the mental picture of Máire grabbing the buns of whichever character you think would be the funniest. I’m going for Vince, or Father Éamonn. Gráinne gently corrects her that there were two robbers, not 300, like in that film, 300, which I’m sure Adam enjoyed as much as I did, but only because of the excellent plot and historical accuracy. Gráinne and Pádraig wander off, and Máire tells Adam she’s terrified that someone will break into her house, and you can hear the gears in his head turning for a bit before he tells her that Fia is moving out, which of course sends Máire into a whole new round of furiously crossing herself while her head spins around. Katy wanders in and notices that Jason is having a serious conversation with his solicitor, so he comes over and explains that they’re just talking about taxes, and also which is the closest country that does not have an extradition agreement with Ireland in cases of parental abandonment and nonpayment of child support.

Over at the pub, Frances, who is momentarily stupid apparently, is telling Colm she doesn’t know why the robbers would’ve taken drugs but not money, so he has to explain to her that, you know, drugs are worth money. Did Frances receive a blow to the head between scenes? Mack, who only enters scenes by bursting into them these days, bursts in and starts yelling at Colm that he resents being used as his alibi, especially now that he’s found out an alibi is not an Italian breakfast pastry. Frances and Mo come over to watch Mack scream for a while until Frances finally throws him out, just in time for O’Shea to arrive with Officer Hunky in tow and tell Colm she’s got a few questions for him down at the station.

Outside, Officer Oo-Er loads Colm into a police car while O’Shea goes over to argue with Niamh for a while about how this Annette/Caitríona/investigation thing is distracting her from her studies. Oh, I think Niamh has her studies under control. In the shop, Mack is yelling to John Joe that Colm played him for a mug, and that the whole car-shopping charade was a set-up. John Joe thinks this is all a big misunderstanding because Colm is totes adorbs and so on, and Tadhg materializes so he can interject his two cents, and then Mo comes screaming into the frame to attack Mack for attacking Colm, and they all shout at each other for a while. This is all happening on the Jaffa Cakes and spaghetti hoops aisle, by the way. Someday I want to visit the set and make a diagram of the Escher-esque geography of Vince’s shop as a service to my readers.

At the B&B, which I am beginning to suspect is not a B&B anymore, Fia is trying to calm Máire down while Adam floats around the periphery of the scene trying to figure out how to work this to his advantage. Máire starts banging on about how grateful she is she doesn’t live alone like poor Brídín Sonny, which may or may not be a pharmacy codename for Pádraig, because 100% of people who live alone get murdered during break-ins, especially if they live alone because their ungrateful and tacky granddaughters have just moved out with their drug-dealing gay boyfriends. Fia, who has a sick feeling where this is going, reminds her that Laoise also lives there (and also Sally and sometimes Peatsaí, no?), but Máire blows this off, hissing that Laoise is never there because she’s always off gallivanting. “Like a slut” is very clearly implied at the end of that sentence. Well, most of Máire’s sentences, really. Fia starts to tell her that she and Adam are moving out, but is interrupted by Laoise, who arrives with a bottle of sleeping pills and an offer to spend the night with Máire to ease her mind. Where else was she going to be? Maybe Máire’s right and Laoise really does gallivant around like a slut all the time. Máire and Laoise leave to go OD on sleeping pills together or whatever, and Fia fumes to Adam that Máire must be psychic, the way she’s started carrying on with this guilt trip just as the pair of them were about to move into their own place. Adam sighs wistfully that they’ll have to forget those plans for now, and Fia and her bizarre old-lady jumper look defeated. I have to say, Adam annoyed me when he was around last year force-feeding Niamh condoms full of heroin or whatever, but this season he’s become exactly the perfect, deliciously scheming telenovela villain that the show needed, and I love/hate him (and the writers) for it.

Jason arrives home and Katy asks him again what he and the solicitor were discussing. She wonders if they were talking about making things legal between her and Cuán and Jason and Jay and Adam and David Beckham, but Jason says no, they didn’t get around to that, because they were too busy allegedly discussing the imaginary taxes and also flying unicorns. Having lasted a miraculous thirty seconds without having a fight, they can’t resist any longer, and start arguing about how Jason has been avoiding Jay ever since he came home from the hospital. Jason’s lame excuse is, “Well, he’s always asleep,” which, duh, that’s why poking babies until they wake up was invented! He continues that he’s always too busy working, but Katy counters that he’s had plenty of opportunities to leave early and bond with the baby all those times the restaurant was shut down by the Food Safety Authority. They argue for a while, and than Cuán starts crying and Jason goes to check on him, what with Cuán being the only child in this house who isn’t Mack’s, probably.

At the pub, Laoise’s plans for a wild girls’ night out have been spoiled by Frances and Caitríona, to the surprise of no one. Well, we expect better of Frances, but Caitríona, you know. It seems Laoise was hoping to have a rich and stimulating discussion about art and literature and willies, but sadly Frances and Caitríona are only able to talk about the farthest Áine ever threw up and the biggest poo Maeve ever took and so on. Laoise gently suggests they maybe talk about something more interesting, such as ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, but they don’t know any other topics, so eventually she wanders over to the bar to pound tequila shots on her own. This is why children should be sent to overseas boarding schools at age 3 and only allowed to return at age 21 so the rest of us can get on with it. Laoise goes over to O’Shea to complain about how tedious the Mom Squad is, to which O’Shea responds by talking about what a stroppy cow Niamh has been lately. She’s worried that something’s going on with her, and also doesn’t like the fact that Eric has been hanging around, but Laoise assures her that she’s got nothing to worry about, because Niamh is a clever girl.

And right on cue, clever Niamh gets in a car with Exam Wagon, who is a rude-looking girl we’ve never seen before who looks like she’s been sucking on a lemon since birth. Niamh hands her €50, but is dismayed when she discovers that’s only bought her two of the exams she needs. She asks about the other two, and Exam Wagon rolls her eyes and hilariously tells her that prices have gone up due to soaring demand. Heh. Niamh assures her that she’s good for the rest if she’ll give her the exams now, but EW is all, “no money, no cheat-y,” and sends her packing.

Oh, and we close with Katy sitting at home crying because Jason … oh, I might as well just end that sentence right there. Katy is sitting at home crying because: Jason.

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