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.

At the pub, Mack brings over a couple of plates of what appear to be deep-fried sandwiches and tries to talk Dee out of the Easter plans she’s concocted, which consist of climbing, riding a mule up, or skydiving onto Mám Éan, and then pushing Mack off the top of it. That last part is implied. He thinks this sounds enchanting, in as much as he thinks “enchanting” means “terrible,” and tells her that perhaps they could spend Easter doing something else, such as anything. She admits that Easter is her favorite holiday (?), but that it’s like Christmas, in that if your whole family is a bunch of assholes like hers is, it really makes you want to spend the whole day drinking a bottle of gin in the closet under the stairs.

At Gaudi, a worried Jason is flitting around harassing Pádraig about whether the restaurant is prepared for Easter. Since Pádraig is the responsible soon-to-be manager of Gaudi, he assures him that everything is under control, and that he has designed a lovely Easter menu, namely licorice ham with Cadbury Creme Egg soup. He asks Jason if he’s told Katy what’s going on yet, and Jason tells him to mind his own business, which of course is not a thing Pádraig does.

Niamh has summoned Eric to the pub, but before she can tell him about her little accidental repeated cheating oopsie, Adam shows up, and he and Eric start a Mexican standoff. It comes out that Eric threatened him or beat him up or ran over him with a car or whatever back when Adam and Niamh were snorting Smarties off each other’s whatnots. Adam is all tough-guy smarmy and defiant, making a minor stink about it, and then proclaims that he’s not afraid of Eric, which he demonstrates by fleeing immediately. Niamh asks if O’Shea knew about this, and when Eric nods yes, she spits that her mother is a hypocrite and storms off in a huff. Someone should show Micheál this scene so he can see how many years of teen stroppiness he has to look forward to with Réailtín.

Katy comes home and discovers a letter from a school in Tenerife advising Jason that the enrollment forms for Cuán are enclosed. She looks stricken, because although she spent most of her school years smoking cigs behind the bike shed and giving the teachers the middle finger from the back row, even she remembers that Tenerife is not in Galway, and that this is going to make Cuán’s school drop-offs and pick-ups a lot more time consuming.

Mack tries to talk John Joe into climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with him and Dee, and John Joe can think of only one way to make this scenario better, and that would be to not do it. Mack changes approaches and suggests that instead the whole family get together for Easter Sunday, and John Joe thinks this sounds like a fine idea given that his bulletproof vest is just back from the cleaner. Well, there’s no way this can go badly, especially since we are totally sure Mack wouldn’t suggest this if he hadn’t already cleared it with Dee, right?

Over at Gaudi, Gráinne and David are doing some corporate role-playing, which he is disappointed to discover does not involve her dressing up as Richard Branson and slapping him with her business plan. Instead, they are having a pretend job interview, which consists of her asking him what kind of animal he would like to be and, when he replies that he would like to be an elephant, she gets very excited and tells him they’ll be in touch. This will come in handy when he applies for a job as an elephant impersonator at the Spiddal Zoo. David is skeptical, having a sinking suspicion that perhaps Gráinne is not the CEO of Microsoft after all, but she assures him that this is only about 90 percent nonsense, and that furthermore, wanting to be an elephant means that one is highly suited to working with children and helping people. Well, I’m convinced. He heads off for his interview, and Gráinne brightly tells Pádraig and Niamh, who is everywhere all of a sudden, that she hopes he doesn’t get this job, because the corrupt system is forcing him to apply for a security job he isn’t suited for. I’m not sure giving a teenager in your care alcohol poisoning constitutes being the victim of a corrupt system, but OK.

Back at their place, Jason is carrying around the baby, or at least a cardboard cutout of a baby designed to shut Katy up. He complains that this baby throws up too much, as opposed to Cuán, the good baby. This gives Katy the excuse she’s been looking for to flip out, thrusting the Tenerife letter in his face and yelling that Jay speaks Spanish every bit as well as dumb ol’ Cuán. She hisses that she won’t stand in his way if he wants to run off to Tenerife with Cuán, although she doesn’t go so far as to offer to drive him to the airport, because she’s not a saint.

After the break, David is telling an interviewer that working security for a nightclub has been his lifelong ambition. You can tell it’s a quality establishment because the office is puke green and there’s a plastic tree in the corner. Hilariously, there is discussion of David’s black belt in karate, although he admits he’s a bit out of practice, because people in the village kept getting cross when he walked up to them in the street and karate chopped them in the windpipe. You wouldn’t believe the commotion when he innocently broke that board over Micheál’s head in the shop.

Back at the House Of Arguing And Throwing Up, Katy is still furious with Jason, because the last time she was in Tenerife, she fell off a cliff and landed on a dirty tattoo needle that gave her hepatitis. On the plus side, it only rained one day. Jason lets her rant for a while and eventually tells her that he wants all four of them to go, reminding her that he was a DJ there a few years ago (?) and that he still has mates there. Jason was actually the L in the KLF, because “J” is Irish for “L.” He tells her they could lease a “small seaside restaurant there,” because the people of Spain need food poisoning just as badly as the people of Ireland, and explains that he’s got to get out of town, because he feels suffocated by Mack, especially when Mack has got him in a headlock and is choking him. All he wants is the opportunity for them to bring up their two boys somewhere with no tension and no gossip. To be fair, he should’ve thought of that before he agreed to raise his children on a soap opera.

Back at the job interview, club manager Sheisty McShysterton is listing the various offenses he expects David to karate chop teenagers for, including graffiti, poor enunciation, and wearing flared trousers. David explains that he knows the local teens and that if you show them respect, they’ll give you no trouble, except for when they’re dealing drugs, setting fires, and pulling knives on small children. Mr Shysterton, however, is obsessed with graffiti, reiterating his pro-karate stance, so David stands up and delivers a rousing speech about how the children are our future, and we must teach them well and let them lead the way, but not karate chop them. He storms off in a huff, sadly before we can find out that this is a very delicate topic for Sheisty McShysterton because his mother was killed by graffiti.

Over at the shop, Gráinne tells Colm that Mo has been texting her constantly, bragging about the great fun she’s having on Craggy Island. There are boys, there is disco dancing, there is a boarded-up roller rink. Take that, Colm. Elsewhere in the shop, Dee is arguing with Mack while doing my absolute favorite thing on this show, which is walking down the aisle putting things in her shopping basket without looking to see what they are, because the items she came in looking for are coincidentally side-by-side-by-side on the top shelf. She hisses that he should’ve asked her before inviting her terrible family over for Easter, because she’d rather spend the day doing something more enjoyable, such as having diarrhea live on national TV. He places a vegetable order from a passing Laoise, who is rude and surly for no reason, and then Dee complains that she’s tired of always having to be the one to make the effort, and that Katy and John Joe never even call her. Mack reminds her that Katy is busy with the children, and John Joe doesn’t know how to operate a telephone, and eventually she relents, mostly so he will shut up.

At their bizarrely decorated house, which is full of art that seems to be hung too high up on the wall, and may or may not be Suzanne’s old holiday house, Niamh and O’Shea are arguing again. This time the topic is that time Eric attacked Adam, who Niamh seems to be defending now, even though the last time we saw them together she was terrified of him and just wanted him to leave her alone by any means necessary. Another case of Adam-induced amnesia.

Katy is looking at photos of the Spanish restaurant they could soon fill with disgruntled customers, incompetent wait staff, and food with plasters in it, and asks Jason when he was planning on going. He says a month, and then she yells that Jay has hospital appointments, to which he responds that there are hospitals in Spain. Yes, they have intravenous paella. She asks what’s going to happen to Gaudi, which she says is “booming,” by which she means the gas line keeps exploding. He says Pádraig has agreed to take over the restaurant, which means Katy will be yelling at Pádraig for not telling her about this in the near future, and then she starts carrying on about how this will break various hearts, including John Joe’s, Noreen’s, Frances’, and Tadhg’s. I’m pretty sure at least one of them doesn’t have a heart, but she has a point. He counters that it’s only a four-hour flight, except for when it’s a 37-hour-flight because Ryanair cancels your original flight twice and then strands you at an airport in Albania without your luggage. He reiterates how stressful it is seeing Mack all the time, not to mention all these other assholes, and that he’s haunted by what happened, but she wonders whether moving to Spain will magically cause him to forget. You will not be surprised to hear that her wondering takes the form of yelling.

Over at the B&B, Laoise is floozing up for her hot date with the guy from Shaggr, which consists of oiling up her hands and putting on a jacket made of disco shingles. Máire keeps asking whether she knows him, who his parents are, what his favorite Bible verse is, etc., and Laoise is basically like, “All I know is that he’s into being tied up.”

Chez O’Shea, Niamh explains that she cheated because she knew she hadn’t studied enough and would fail her exams, and that she couldn’t face the thought of spending the rest of her life playing Molly Malone for American tourists. O’Shea tells her the only solution is to postpone her exams, and is unswayed by Niamh’s argument that if she’d just give her some more money, she could buy all her exams, and then none of this would be an issue. Niamh seems unconvinced, and the lesson here is to never leave the exam you stole right in the middle of the kitchen table for your mother to find.

At Gaudi, where “booming” is indicated by one customer in the background, Gráinne congratulates David for standing up for what he believes in by swearing only to use his karate for pro-, not anti-graffiti purposes, but Pádraig helpfully points out that principles and such won’t pay the bills. David says he can pick up a few hours at the polytunnel, which seems to have unlimited hours available to an unlimited number of people, and then mentions to Gráinne that he’s been chatting with Annette lately, which she doesn’t like. Gráinne, I mean, although I can see how you could think I meant Annette. He continues that Annette says her son John has shown great improvement since David has been working with him (??), and that it’s encouraged him to follow his bliss and keep doing volunteer work with youth. Well, it’s been nice knowing you, John.

Back at Tigh Thaidhg, Niamh accepts an offer from Dee to do a few hours a week of research and administrative tea-making at the law firm. Eric overhears and is concerned, but Niamh tells him she was planning to postpone her exams anyway, and assures him that her mother is OK with it. Across the pub, Laoise’s square-headed sex-date has arrived, and when he suggests they go have sex, she gets indignant and isn’t that kind of girl and so on. When is Laoise going to figure out that “no-strings-attached sex” doesn’t seem to work for her? Eric helps throw Sexy McBrutish out, and then he and Laoise may or may not have a moment. It’s hard to tell. At a table, John Joe, Mack, and Dee have descended upon Katy and Jason like a plague of locusts to invite them to Easter at Dee’s, but they explain that they’ve already promised to go to Tadhg and Frances’, and also, no feckin’ way. Dee leaves in a huff, followed by the two men she’s holding hostage in perpetuity, and Jason tells Katy that none of this will be an issue when they’re enjoying fun in the sun and being eaten by sharks in Tenerife. She thinks about it for a bit and then agrees that they should go, because this may be their only chance to start over. As soon as poor Spain hears these two coming, they’ll start trying to organize a Spexit to keep out the EU riffraff.

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