Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Best Scene of the Year, and Also: Windmills!

Season 21, Episode 77
First aired 30 May 2017

I’ve unfortunately had to skip the recap for the previous episode because time didn’t permit, i.e., I am still hung over from a week in Cancún, but I’ll try to fill you in on the highlights of last episode as appropriate during this one. We open at the B&B with a shot of a battlefield-quality first aid kit, which we’re sure won’t come back as a plot point later on, and Máire is tut-tutting over the fact that Adam hasn’t spoken to his awful mother since last episode’s awful homophobic nightmare blow-up. Of course anyone else on earth would consider not having to deal with Penelope St James-Attenborough a good thing, but since poor Adam is stuck with her as his mother, it’s causing him mixed feelings. He volunteers that since his mother threw him out he’s been sleeping on Sorcha’s couch, which is a sitcom I would pay to watch. Máire says it was awful listening to the things Catherine said, which should be carved on Catherine’s headstone when she dies. She’s in mother hen mode to Adam today, which is sweet to see, and he’s so beautifully and heartbreakingly trying to be strong through the despair and brokenness that it makes you want to forget all the terrible things he’s done, by which I mean everything he ever did before last week. He says ambiguously that he’s got a family event to go to today, which Máire assumes is a happy party, and on her own way out  the door, she makes sure to point out the first aid kit she’s just going to leave right here on this table.

At the community center, there’s still tension between Micheál and Tadhg over the big fight they had last episode about which one of them is prettier, and also windmills. Micheál is talking to Mo and Tadhg is talking to Frances, and there’s “tell me more, tell me more” parallel storytelling like in “Summer Nights” from Grease, but instead of going bowling in the arcade or getting friendly down in the sand, there are people punching each other over windmills. Micheál explains to Mo that while the fact that it makes Tadhg insane is an added bonus, the main reason he doesn’t want a windmill on his plot is that Séamus gave it to him, and he’d never agree to have the land spoiled this way. Mo agrees, although surprisingly she doesn’t seem to have a relevant Séamus saying for this situation, such as “never go fishing with a red-headed woman you met at a windmill.” Meanwhile, Frances is tired of hearing Tadhg carry on about this nonsense and begs him to drop it, but he’s furious because Micheál apparently went to the school (?) and subjected the children to his anti-windmill propaganda (??), and he’s not going to let him win. I’m having trouble picturing this school assembly: “Boys and girls, today we have local kook Micheál Seoighe, Réailtín’s dad, to yell at us about windmills, which he suddenly has an opinion about.” Dull Tony is hanging around for no apparent reason, and when Micheál asks him if he could please move his car, which is illegally parked across three handicapped spaces and a child’s leg, he’s completely obnoxious about it and refuses. Tony really is a train running back and forth between Semi-Comatose and Total Arsehole with no stops in between. Mo sees this and decides she’s had enough of dating this boring jerk and is looking for more of a sleazy jerk with a criminal record, so she asks Tony if they can have a word later, at which point the Tony rail line will be extended to Splitsville.

Monday, May 29, 2017

It's An Ill Windmill That Blows No One Any Good

Season 21, Episode 75
First aired 23 May 2017

We open at the B&B, where a depressed Fia is taking comically sad photos of dead flowers and clowns with a single tear running down their faces and so on and posting them on Facebook so people will ask her what’s wrong. I love this because it is so exactly what she would do in this situation. She gets a phone call from Adam, which she frantically rejects, and as the camera pans back, we see that Máire is standing against the counter watching with a hilarious, bug-eyed “Is she going crazy? Should I go over there?” expression on her face. She finally walks over cautiously, as if through a field of landmines, which is not as metaphorical as it sounds, and puts down two cups of tea, which may or may not have anything in them. She tells Fia she’s going to have to speak to Adam eventually, but she replies that she hasn’t got anything to say to him. Well, she will when she discovers he stole her wallet and half the silverware on his way out.

Out in the street, Adam frets to Pádraig that Fia won’t take his calls, but before Pádraig can give any of his patented semi-helpful advice, Caitríona interrupts to brightly introduce our new storyline, which is something to do with windmills. It was going to be somebody getting held hostage in a box for a year and then swapped out for her brother, but that was already taken. She announces that she’s sure she’ll see them later at the community meeting, and of course Adam informs her that the only thing he’s less interested in than windmills is continuing this conversation. Caitríona, who as usual is unstoppable, tells him that he should be very interested in them indeed, because the windmills also serve as children’s playgrounds. I, like Pádraig and Adam, am only semi-paying attention to this, but I assume she means the children will be tied to a windmill and run through a swimming pool, like Simon LeBon in the “Wild Boys” video.
Adam continues to give her an “Is you trippin’?” look until she explains that Liam Óg would love to be tied to a windmill and dunked in a lake, and when she wanders off, Adam tells Pádraig this would be a perfect excuse for him to go talk to Fia. Pádraig, having met Fia, points out that there’s no way she’s going to believe that Adam is suddenly interested in windmills, and just then Adam notices that all the Facebook Sad Flower photos are causing people to start asking her what’s wrong, so it’s only a matter of time before the news comes out. Well, you’re skipping over the next step, which is where she changes her relationship status to “It’s Complicated” and posts an Alanis Morissette video. Pádraig doesn’t think Fia would out Adam on Facebook, because that’s really more of a Twitter thing, but says he’s got to go to the B&B later to be abused by Máire anyway, so he’ll have a word with Fia while he’s there. That word is “Margaritas!”

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Everybody Loves Laoise

Season 21, Episode 74
First aired 18 May 2017

We open at the B&B, where Eric and Laoise are sneaking downstairs after a night of wanting each other’s sex. He jokes that Máire’s going to catch them, which Laoise finds about as funny as food poisoning, and he playfully asks her if she’s always so cranky in the morning. I’m not sure why he imagines she’d be any different in the morning than she is the rest of the time. He’s unable to resist her sexy nuclear blue Walmart greeter’s vest and they start making out, but manage to pull themselves apart seconds before Máire appears and has to turn the hose on them. She wonders what Laoise’s doing there given she doesn’t, you know, live there anymore, so Laoise says it’s because she had a stone in her shoe. Well, that explains everything. She continues that living at Micheál’s is super-iontach, and in fact she’s cooking him a huge feast tonight to thank him, and she’s here at the crack of dawn because she needs to borrow Máire’s recipe book. So, forget all that stuff about a stone in her shoe she made up earlier, because she’s drunk and didn’t know what she was saying, I guess. She and Eric flirt with each other some more, which Máire is completely oblivious to, because these days she’s really only tuned into male homoeroticism.

Back at the IKEA showroom where Micheál lives, he’s moving things around the set when Laoise slinks in. He’s surprised because he thought she was still in bed, and in fact, now that he thinks of it, he doesn’t remember hearing her come in last night, either! Laoise, of course, is a quick thinker who is capable of making up a believable lie on the spot, unlike all the male characters on this show, who would’ve immediately launched into a story involving a nuclear-powered robot who learns to love just in time to return to his home planet. And, if it were Mack, also a really big dog. She starts explaining that she ran into some friends at the pub and whatnot, but Micheál interrupts her and says that unlike at Máire’s House Of Snooping And Vermin, she doesn’t have to answer any questions or explain herself here at IKEA Ros na Rún. She breathes a sigh of relief, which in her case looks more like an annoyed grimace of relief, and I’m sure it’s the end of the teen sex hijinks for this episode.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Imelda O'Shea's Underpants Safari

Season 21, Episode 73
First aired 16 May 2017

It’s moving day for half the people on this show, and Máire is annoyed that famous interloping slut Laoise is moving out. She’s also in a mood because she’s jealous that Fia has a gay boyfriend and she doesn’t, apart from Pádraig, whom she’s beginning to suspect just isn’t that into her. Laoise offers to pop in for a cup of tea this weekend, and in response Máire basically tells her to go eff herself, but in a very saintly, holy way, like Jesus would. Laoise flees because she does not have time for this nonsense, especially with her two semi-boyfriends trying to boink her all the time, and on her way out she passes Pádraig, who’s here for his daily gay discussion forum with Adam. Today’s topic: back hair, yea or nay? Pádraig says yes, but only if it’s not long enough to braid, whereas Adam says no, unless it’s sandpapery, like Mack. Anyway, Máire is a complete shit to Pádraig, too, and when he asks why, she hisses through gritted teeth—I’m pretty sure she does not actually unclench her jaw this entire episode—that she heard him talking yesterday! Of course this is no help at all, because Pádraig does nothing but talk, so she explains that she overheard his conversation with Adam. She accusatorily asks him, “Why didn’t you tell me he was like that?”, and you can tell that Pádraig is so alarmed over where this is going that he’s willing to overlook the “like that” part. Every gay person loves to be called “like that,” especially when said through clenched teeth from behind a swinging Bible.

Vince thunders into the kitchen in a panic because he’s overslept, and of course Maeve is there to be a complete pill about it. You may recall that Caitríona is out of town at CaitríonaCon: The World Caitríona Festival, A Caitríona Production Starring Caitríona. This year it’s in Dublin, which has been renamed Baile Átha Caitríona. He asks Maeve why she didn’t wake him, and she snottily replies that she never has to wake Mammy, because of course vampires don’t sleep, and then when he tries to send her to school, Maeve Theatre breaks out. Today’s show is “The Little Girl Who Pretended To Be Sick And Might Get Left In A Basket On Máire’s Doorstep On Christmas If She Doesn’t Knock It Off.” It’s by Ibsen. She starts out by carrying on about a pain her tummy, and when he tells her he’ll give her ice cream if she shuts up and goes to school, the pain instantly spreads to her head. Vince resists the urge to inform her that now the pain has spread to him, specifically his arse, and that said pain now has five seconds to get her shoes on and get her little behind out the door. Maeve warns him that he’s going to be in big trouble when Mammy hears about this, not knowing that he is immune to such threats because he gave up all hope of anything other than complete doom years ago when he hooked up with Caitríona.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Hola. I Seem To Have Lost-o My Baby-o, Gracias!"

Season 21, Episode 72
First aired 11 May 2017

It’s moving day for Katy, who is standing in the middle of the street daring cars to hit her, and Jason, who seems to have been spending a lot of time at the gym recently. Also Cuán, but not necessarily Jay, as we will be seeing shortly. Jason and his pecs are positively glowing, but Katy looks dour and alarmed, as if she has a terrible feeling she’s about to forget something, but doesn’t know what.

Over at the B&B, Máire is harassing Adam and his two black eyes about how he should phone the Gardaí about how he was attacked by Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom last episode, but he brightly brushes her off. For some reason he’s still wearing the blood-soaked shirt he was wearing last episode, which I highly doubt Máire would allow. I was going to say “because of her long history of working at the launderette,” but then realized I may in fact be thinking of Dot Cotton. There’s more discussion of how the armed bandidos rode off on their space motorcycles with his wallet, and then she plops said wallet onto the table and tells him to cut the crap. Oh, and we keep getting tight shots of a baby monitor we’ve never seen before, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say I have NO IDEA how this might fit into the proceedings.

Katy and Jason are stressed because the moving van has arrived and they haven’t finished packing yet. John Joe offers to help, but Katy turns him down because he’s got a bad back, and also she doesn’t have time for him to get drunk and tearfully summarize the plot of Darby O’Gill and the Little People again. He explains that his back is fine as long as he doesn’t lift anything heavy, which fortunately is not the sort of thing one has to do while moving, and then rings Mack and Dee to come help. Mack’s hunky burliness will be useful, but I suspect that Dee is far too busy dancing a jig today to go over, although she might make an exception if she feels it will get Katy off her island one minute sooner.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Punch and Moody

Season 21, Episode 71
First aired 9 May 2017

We open in the street outside the pub, where Áine is hiding behind Tadhg, assuming that Jason has just wandered up to punch her after last episode’s attempted murder of Jay. It seems he’s forgiven her, though, as he brightly asks her why she isn’t at school. Hasn’t he noticed that Áine hasn’t been to school since Christmas? Tadhg explains that they kept her home today because she’s upset that he’s moving away. This seems like a questionable reason to keep a child home from school, but OK. Jason assures her that she’ll be able to visit him any time she wants, what with her unlimited international travel budget and the fact that Ros na Rún is a Ryanair hub, but she whines that he won’t be able to attend her games anymore, and even worse, Pádraig is a terrible waiter who doesn’t know how to put syrup on her ice cream. I knew if we waited patiently this would turn out to be Pádraig’s fault somehow. Tadhg passive-aggressively explains to her that Jason probably knows what’s best for his family, and that everyone has to make their own decisions about their lives, even complete bozos like him and Katy, but Áine whines some more. I had no idea she and Jason were so close, given that we’ve only seen them in the same scene two times this season, one of which he was yelling at her for killing Mack’s baby. All of a sudden Áine decides she’s done caring about Jason and is now only interested in getting a croissant from the café, so she and Tadhg wander away, leaving Jason standing there looking confused, because before this moment he’s not sure he could’ve even picked Áine out of a police lineup of 12 little girls, some of whom were different races.

At Gaudi, Gráinne is trying to get Mo to kiss and tell about last night’s date with Officer Tony, but Mo is evasive, or coy, or annoyed, or constipated. Men seem to elicit complex and hard-to-understand feelings in our Mo. Mack stops by to try out his new police-themed comedy routine on her, and it’s a cute moment between the two of them, but then we discover that she’s actually very anxious for Tony to call her for some reason. I suppose it’s either because she’s dying to know whether he wants to see her again, or if he’s noticed yet that she stole his Taser to use on Peatsaí when she just can’t listen to his nonsense anymore.

At the B&B, Máire leads Eric into the kitchen, because he’s come to have a word with Laoise. Hopefully that word is “threesome.” Sensing something’s going on that is none of her business, Máire stands between them doing nothing for a very long time, until Laoise finally tells her to bugger off, because an image of Jesus appeared in a piece of toast at the café or something. She leaves, and it seems Eric has stopped by to try to talk Laoise into going out with him again, but she’s adamant that she just doesn’t feel right about it because of her friendship with O’Shea. If they keep insisting on showing us that O’Shea has feelings and a personal life beneath her grim policebot exterior, I may have to start calling her to Imelda, and I don’t think any of us want that. He insists that there’s nothing wrong with two friends going out for a meal, or some moderately aggressive bondage, and besides, he says, he and O’Shea are over. OVER! She reluctantly agrees, so he asks her to meet him at the pub at 7, but she suggests they meet at the B&B instead, presumably because Tadhg and Frances are fed up with her shagging gentlemen on the bar all the time. He flirtatiously tells her to have a small lunch, because the restaurant he’s taking her to is brilliant. Yes, Nando’s has free refills on soft drinks and everything!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jay and the Giant Strawberry

Season 21, Episode 70
First aired 4 May 2017

We open at the community center, where Adam is telling Máire that he’s on his way to see Fia, but she tells him it’s not a good idea because she’s not feeling well today. I’m unclear where Adam is coming from that the lobby of the community center is along the route to the B&B, but we don’t have time to ponder the always-confusing spacetime geography of Ros na Rún, because it happens that Pádraig is there, too, much to Adam’s delight. By “delight,” I of course mean “erotically charged confusing resentment.” Máire leaves, which gives Pádraig the opportunity to grab Adam by the collar and tell him if he pulls another stunt like last episode’s again, he’s going to … err…threaten him again and then give him one more chance, I suppose. He hisses that it’s bad enough that Adam was kicking his car, but to try to kiss him, too! I think I would’ve led with the kiss, but OK. Happily, Adam doesn’t deny the failed kiss happened, or claim that Pádraig was the one who tried to kiss him, or borrow a page from Mack’s book of excuses and blame a scary ghost or a big dog with a knife, but instead announces that Fia is waiting for him, so he’s got to go. Pádraig tells him he needs help and then exits, leaving Adam looking sulky and confused, or as I call it, “sulkfused.”

Over at the pub, Tadhg is complaining to Jason that he had to find out about Operation: Tenerife from John Joe, and then actually asks him with a straight face what Tenerife has that Ros na Rún doesn’t. Well, 70,000 sunburned English tourists, to start with. Also, probably a KFC. Jason doesn’t bother dignifying this with a response, and then Katy arrives carrying a baby seat, which we are all pretending has a baby in it. She asks Frances if she can look after Jay today because he is a total drag, and having him around makes it harder for her to spend the afternoon calling Dee at her office and, when she picks up, burping into the phone and hanging up. Frances makes it very clear that she can’t, because Tadhg has a funeral and she has to mind the bar, and remember this for later when Katy and Jason act like complete jerks about it. Tadhg suggests they leave him with John Joe instead, but Katy doesn’t want to because he has a hangover the flu, so they basically bully Frances into reluctantly agreeing. Oh, also Áine is hanging around, presumably because her teacher banned her from school because she's tired of trying.

At Gaudi, Colm is still sniffing around Mo, which makes us hope that Officer Tony is heavily armed and the jealous type, and then Micheál arrives for the most awkward exchange in history with Laoise. He offers to go house-hunting with her again if she wants, which she accepts, and then he asks her if she’d like to go out on a date, but then clarifies that what he actually meant to ask was whether she’d like to sell her vegetables in the pet store or wherever he works. Right, because “Would you go out with me?” and “Would you like to sell your vegetables in my shop?” are so similar. She thinks this would be iontach, though it’s unclear how much of her enthusiasm is actually about the vegetables and how much is about not having to go on a date with him. Meanwhile, Colm is standing in the middle of the restaurant on the phone yelling at Seán in great detail about their money-laundering scheme, which an eavesdropping Pádraig interprets as an invitation to butt in and offer his two cents about. Colm appreciates this about as much as you’d imagine, and while we understand that all the time Pádraig is spending with Máire is eroding his sense of personal boundaries, he’d be much better off to get back to meddling in Adam’s life. Adam may yell at you, grab your arse, and then call you a homo, but Colm seems like the stabby type.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Kiss Is Just A Miss

Season 21, Episode 69
First aired 2 May 2017

We open this episode, which I am recapping from an IKEA café in suburban Philadelphia, with Adam and Pádraig struggling to assemble a confusing Flůrjnøřp bookcase and eventually realizing that they are missing a screw. No, wait, we open with Adam and Pádraig in the community center, struggling to process Adam’s confusing feelings and eventually realizing that at least one of them is missing a screw. Adam has just bought a bouquet from the community center’s mobile florist, which is apparently a thing now, and tries to flee when he spots Pádraig, but as usual Pádraig is quick and will not be denied, and corners him to apologize for cornering him in the last episode. He tells him he only wants to help him, but Adam is still working through some things and angrily forces Pádraig to admit he was wrong, and that Adam is totally super-straight, like Rock Hudson or Cary Grant. As he goes off in a snit, Adam hisses to Pádraig that he better stay away from him and Fia, because they don’t want anything to do with his kind. Well, given the confusing feelings floating around these three, I am pretty sure that all of them appreciate this “kind” in one way or another.

In the café, Máire is, as usual, scolding Laoise for jeopardizing everyone’s safety with her irresponsible behavior, but this time the topic is Laoise’s going house-hunting without a man there to supervise rather than her extreme sluttiness. Fortunately for the sake of humankind, Micheál is hanging around doing nothing, and offers to go with her, since he’s free this morning. Presumably the Pokemon factory or wherever he works is closed today. There is some light awkwardness, and eventually they realize they don’t care about this storyline and agree to head off together, or not. Also, apparently the café is called Cúl Chaint, which I think is Irish for “Not Responsible for Hair Found In Your Food.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

When I Think About You, I Hate Myself

Season 21, Episode 68
First aired 27 April 2017

OK, after a couple of episodes that felt like we were treading water and biding our time a bit, things are on and poppin’ this time, so let’s get right to it! It’s the day of the Miss World Spelling Pageant, and Áine is pissed at her parents because they’re going to the christening instead. Tadhg clarifies that, sure, they’ll miss the contest itself and all the parts that are meaningful to her, but he assures her that they’ll come screeching in at the last second to see the very end of it, after all the good stuff is over. Amazingly, this does not seem to make her feel any better for some reason. Frances takes a different approach, gently telling her that she knows she wanted this to be her own special day, but sometimes people come along who are more important than you are and take everything you care about away from you, especially when you are a powerless child. I’m paraphrasing. Frances finally manages to coax a smile out of her, which I suspect is because Áine is imagining blowing up the church with everyone inside. She toddles off, but Frances looks guilty. Ah, mothers and daughters.

At the world’s purplest house, John Joe is busily collecting various Dalys to herd into the christening-bound party bus. Dee is in a mood, which will come as a surprise to no one, and mopes to Mack that this is just the beginning: for the rest of their lives, everything is going to be all about stupid Katy and her stupid baby, all the time. Wait till you move to Spain to escape them and discover she and Jason are living in the other side of the duplex you bought. Noreen shows up, coughing and sneezing and barfing, and Jason informs us that Katy has basically banned her from the christening so she won’t contaminate the baby. Rather than being in attendance at St Peter’s Basilica in person, she will have to watch the proceedings on the jumbotron at Aviva Stadium with the rest of the riffraff and hangers-on. Dee looks vaguely sympathetic, or at least slightly less violently annoyed, because Noreen is the only person in this scene she doesn’t completely hate, but she does at least realize this is an excuse for her and Mack to sit with her in the germ zone in the back row and play Candy Crush: My Sister Is A Bitch Edition on her phone.