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.

At the former bachelor pad, Gráinne is telling Mo she should go off on her camping trip alone, but Mo tells her that sounds terrible, and also to shut up already. Using her uncanny ESP, Gráinne senses that something’s bothering Mo, and eventually wears her down and makes her admit something happened.

Back at the café, Máire is telling Laoise about how ungrateful wench Fia was secretly planning to move out during the dark of night, probably while Máire was being mugged and murdered, and that the only thing that prevented this was Adam, who is now A Wonderful Human Being. I’ll give you a minute to finish laughing. Laoise points out that Máire’s certainly changed her tune, but she replies that it’s up to God to judge Adam, although we imagine He will consult with her first. God and Máire have worked out some kind of scale awarding 1 to 10 points in a variety of categories. Laoise tells her this is all well and good, but reminds her that people never change, and that it would be safer to just keep hating Adam until the day they all inevitably die in a car that flies off a cliff because he cut the brake lines. At the table behind them, Annette’s husband Seán is telling her to keep her hair on because he’s looking for a job as hard as he can, but she hisses that he’s been saying that ever since he got out of prison, and meanwhile, the bank keeps calling, the electric’s been cut off, and she’s had to sell their houseplants for parts on the black market. Colm overhears this and gives a confusing look into the middle distance, which we will probably need to care about later, but not right now.

Mo finishes telling Gráinne the sad tale of how Anto menaced her in the pub the other week, and Gráinne, who is practically in tears, can’t believe Mo kept it to herself all this time. She’s not any happier, but for different reasons, when Mo confesses she told Colm about it, because he’s a super listener, and hardly ever robs and dismembers people. She tells Gráinne she can’t get Anto’s voice out of her head, and that she’s angry at herself for letting him continue to get to her. Gráinne tells her this is even more reason for her to get away for a few days, but she replies that she wouldn’t have much fun on her own. We love Mo, so we hate it when she’s sad. I’ll go on holiday with you, Mo.

Niamh is holding court over at the pub, bragging to her dad and Caitríona about how her amazing skills of talking brought down Annette’s international drug ring or whatever. Caitríona is cheerfully passive-aggressive to Eric for a bit, and then thanks and pays Niamh, who exclaims that all this is totally iontach, because she needs every penny these days, what with financial-market uncertainty at home and abroad, as well as the rising cost of cheating. When they’re alone, Niamh asks her dad if she can do some work with him after her exams are finished, and after he wanders away, she rings up Exam Wagon and tells her she’s got the cash for the next set of exams now. Oh, how this is all making me miss being a student!

At the shop, Colm asks Caitríona and Gráinne what they know about Annette and her husband. Of course Caitríona says she’s a blanking blank and blankety-blanking stropbucket, which is her standard answer to anyone asking her about anyone, and Gráinne narrates that Seán was a top-notch accountant until the Celtic Tiger mauled him. She pulls Colm aside and tells him how much Mo appreciated his support after the Anto thing, and tells him he should go away camping with Mo for a week. I always love it when my friends invite random people to go on vacation with me without asking me if that’s something I would want. He agrees, so she tells him to pack a bag and be at the pub at 3:30. I really need to create a macro that will insert the text “Well, there’s no way this is going to go badly.”

Katy returns home from her family-free family photo session and is pleased to see the crib is assembled, apart from not having a bottom, which is fine, because the baby’s going to have to learn how to fall on the floor sooner or later anyway. She’s delighted because she assumes Jason has finally given one single crap about this baby, but of course then John Joe appears and says he’s been working on the cot all day. She goes vaguely berserk when he tells her that Jason asked him to do it, and starts semi-crying, semi-whining, and semi-yelling about how Jason doesn’t want anything to do with this baby, or with her. John Joe tries to helpfully explain that it’s just that men don’t care about babies like women do, using himself as an example of the kind of neglectful father she can aspire for Jason to become. He assures her that she just needs to give Jason some time to “get used to the baby,” as if it’s skimmed milk, but she looks skeptical. The lesson here is to never ask John Joe for advice about anything.

After the break, during which we are starting to suspect that TG4 is targeting that ad featuring shirtless, hunky young Marlon Brando specifically at us for some reason, we’re back at the pub, where O’Shea and Eric are demonstrating that the village young folk haven’t got the market cornered on pointless arguing. The specialist subject is Niamh, and it’s the usual back and forth about which of them is a bad influence on her and which of them has been a terrible father and which of them is going to kill David and make it look like suicide. Mo and Gráinne burst in squabbling, because it seems Mo has found out Gráinne invited Colm to go on holiday with her, and shockingly is not happy about it. I think the problem is that Gráinne’s tarot reading came out wrong because she was holding the cards upside-down. Mo insists she doesn’t want to spend a week in a camper van with Colm, because she is a human being who has met Colm, so Gráinne helpfully suggests that she could stay in the van and Colm could stay in a B&B. This is a great plan, volunteering Colm to go on what seems like a cheap holiday and then informing when he gets there that he’ll be paying to stay down the road alone in a B&B. There’s no way Gráinne’s getting a good rating on Tripadvisor after this.

Jason sits Pádraig down for a one-on-one meeting at the café, and of course Pádraig sensibly assumes he’s being fired, but it turns out Jason is asking him to take over Gaudi, which today seems to be called Gaudi’s. Pádraig is, of course, shocked, because even he didn’t think years of screwing up orders, ignoring the customers, and cleaning under his fingernails with the cutlery would result in his running the place. If that’s how it works, Bobbi-Lee will own the pub by the end of the week. Jason implies that he needs Pádraig to run the restaurant because he won’t be around, but asks him not to mention it to Katy, because she doesn’t know about it yet. Jason and Katy are inspirational reminders of the power of love to make people miserable. Elsewhere in the café, Colm runs into Seán, and it’s suddenly an old mates’ reunion from Ros na Rún Prison, Mini-Golf, & Duty-Free Gift Shop. Seán seems happy to see him, but Colm is rude and obnoxious, and basically comes across like, “I am the only ex-con in this village!”

Over at the pub, Mo and Gráinne are still arguing about whether Mo has a crush on Colm and wants him to go to Craggy Island with her and so on. Mo’s scared of the thought of spending a whole week with him, so Gráinne helpfully points out that if things aren’t working out, she can always push him out of the moving camper van at a train station and then speed away. Too bad she didn’t give that advice to Katy and Jason a long time ago. Or Dee and Mack. Or Fia and Adam. That station would be packed with dumped men waiting for trains. They could get a discounted group rate.

Back at the café, Colm has taken the flaming stick out of his arse and calmed down a bit, and believes Seán when he says he had nothing to do with the pharmacy robbery. To be fair, even if he did, I don’t think there’s a court in the land that would convict him of stealing drugs to poison Annette to death, at least not once they met her. Colm’s completely changed his tune now and tells Seán that he was a good friend to him in prison, and to let him know if there’s ever anything he can do for him. Not recognizing that this is a figure of speech that nobody ever means, Seán immediately asks for a lift home. Heh. Colm weakly protests that he’s got to go home and pack a bag, but Seán tells a story of woe and Annette, and Colm sighs.

Gráinne and Mo are still arguing over at the pub, and Mo grumbles that it’s all a moot point given that Colm hasn’t even bothered showing up. Mack arrives and tries to apologize to her for yelling at Colm, but she glares and is semi-rude and icy to him. Poor Mack is having no luck with his apologies today, which is surprising given how much practice he’s surely gotten living with Dee all this time. Speaking of Dee, she shows up carrying a load of papers to remind us that she has an important job, and then makes stinky faces when he asks if she’d like to go to Gaudi for lunch. She snots that John Joe, Katy, and the baby all went to Galway on Saturday and didn’t even invite her, as if any of us believe for one second she would’ve gone with them, or not been offended that they even asked her such a stupid question. Mack tries to smooth things over, but this is not something Dee is interested in, to no one’s surprise, because in Dee’s world, the best thing about family is that you’ve always got someone to be angry at.

Adam slinks into the B&B with a smirky look on his face that suggests he’s either about to trick Máire into giving him something or outright knock her down, steal her purse, and set the building on fire on his way out. It’s always hard to tell with him. He spots Liam Óg’s Easter egg and tells Máire a sob story about how he never had any Easter eggs as a child because his mother said they were a waste of money, and that the one time he bought himself one, she took it away from him and gave it to the kid next door. Also, she used to beat him with the tree every Christmas Eve and then lock him in the coal shed until Near Year’s Day. Of course Máire eats this up, cooing about what a brave and noble little trooper Adam was, and as always with him, it’s unclear whether even he believes the things he’s saying.

There’s still no sign of Colm, so Mo gets in the car with Gráinne and they drive off. If Mo is looking for someplace scenic for her camper van to break down, I can recommend a lovely seaside park in Bray with an abandoned band shell and a public toilet with semi-running water.

O’Shea is straightening up at home when she finds Niamh’s stolen exam, which she has stupidly left right in the middle of the kitchen table, with blinking lights pointing to it as if it’s the landing strip at Heathrow. Niamh appears a moment too late and snatches it away from her, but because O’Shea graduated top of her class at the police academy, or at least has seen Police Academy parts 1 through 12, the damage is done. Niamh weakly tries to turn it back on her mother by snotting that she didn’t have permission to be going through her things, for which we are all embarrassed for her, and then demands a chance to explain herself and then proceeds to stare into space for a while as she struggles to put a positive spin on this. Finally her mother asks her if she’s cheating, and she literally says, “Yes, but…”, as if there’s any way to finish this sentence that’s not going to make things worse for herself. O’Shea starts screaming at her, and we finally cut away, though I’m sure we will be back here soon.

Over at the pub, relationship expert Pádraig is giving Laoise tips on how to use Tindr or Shaggr or whatever more efficiently, which involves immediately swiping “no” on any dick pic showing less than 7 inches. This is clearly one of those “dating” apps that’s all about sex, which you should keep in mind, as it will cause you to be annoyed with Laoise in the near future. Meanwhile, Colm arrives and Gráinne immediately attacks him, sadly only verbally, and not with a board with a nail sticking out of it. She asks him where he was, and he explains he had to give a friend a lift, and they argue a bit over whether Mo wanted him to go with her, an argument Gráinne is very familiar with, given that she’s already been involved in it for this entire episode. Eventually she concludes, “I don’t know. Don’t pay attention to me,” which will be her tagline if they ever make The Real Housewives of Ros na Rún. Gráinne leaves, and John Joe and Tadhg butt in, one much more kindly than the other. I’ll let you guess which is which. John Joe tells Colm that he just can’t see him and Mo together, but Colm gets all googly-eyed, which in his case means grimacing slightly less, and sighs that what he really likes about Mo is that she always says exactly what’s on her mind. Well, if that’s what he’s into, I know a local country singer/barmaid/credit-card-fraudster who would be right up his alley.

At Gaudi, which will soon be renamed Pádraig’s House Of Dancing On A Box, he tells Jason he needs to have a word with him about his earlier offer. No matter how high he climbs up the corporate ladder, he needs to be allowed to ignore the customers and screw up their orders, because that’s his trademark. No, I’m kidding, he’s here to tell Jason that he’ll accept his offer to run Gaudi, but only if he can run his side business out of the restaurant, and if he is made a shareholder in Jason, Inc. Surprisingly, Jason immediately agrees with this, because he is completely over this money pit. I suspect he’s trying to follow the model of brother Eoin, who’s demonstrated that if you flee the country, you end up on Fair City. Anyway, Jason tells Pádraig he’ll speak to his solicitor and accountant, but that he’ll be sure to give him a fair price. Pádraig is happy but also a bit taken aback, probably because he wasn’t aware this was going to cost him anything, and he knows his current bank balance is €3.62, plus a £5 note he got for his 12th birthday. Jason reminds him not to tell Katy about any of this, and then John Joe wanders in and shows them the proofs from the baby’s photo shoot, the theme of which was apparently “sleeping baby.” I was hoping they’d do that stupid thing kiddie photographers do where they make the child hold a shovel, as if it’s a gardener, or an apple, as if it’s just come back from the orchard. John Joe brags for a while about how babylike the baby is, and how fast they grow up, and how one has to treasure every moment. Jason gives an ambiguous look, because apparently he was unaware that children get older, and then—oh, OK, the music kicks in and the episode is over. Well, that was weird. THE END, I guess.

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