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.

Back at the B&B, Máire seems to have finished yelling at Pádraig, ambassador to Ireland from Gaytopia, and announces that she’s going to have to tell Fia about this. Pádraig tells her that Adam has to be the one to tell her, and agrees with her that it’s got to happen soon. Unfortunately Pádraig’s definition of “soon” is “sometime between now and the time everyone we know dies,” so he and Máire barter for a bit and finally agree on “right this second.” It’s a good thing Gaytopia has no oil or strategic value, because with Pádraig as its chief negotiator, it would’ve been annexed and fracked into oblivion the very same day it gained its independence from the Republic of Bi-Curious. She leaves, and he rings Adam to warn him that she knows everything! Máire is Exhibits A-J of the saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

And now, the love square. As we can see by the fact that he enters the scene in an unpleasantly tight T-shirt while scratching his balls and belching, Eric is making himself at home at O’Shea’s. She’s ecstatic about having his sleazy nonsense around again after all these years, and is positively glowing, as is the entire scene, which seems to have had a “Donald Trump’s Skin” filter applied to it in post-production. Eric intimately touches the small of her back for no particular reason, and she’s giggly, and they reminisce about old, sexy times, and we really wish David would kill another of the children in his care right about now so O’Shea would be called away on urgent police business.

The entire cast of this show, and half the cast of Pobol y Cwm, have been waiting impatiently outside the shop and flood through the door when a flustered Vince finally arrives to open it. Sometimes you really need a Crunchie bar and an airmail stamp to Botswana at 7:15 in the morning. Of course Tadhg is impatient and insulting because he’s dying to see today’s Page 3 girl and also do the children’s crossword, but Frances asks Vince if everything’s OK. He explains that he overslept and then had to deal with Maeve’s acute case of school-itis, which causes Frances to chuckle and say Áine has had that, too, and then ask, a little too eagerly, if Maeve also does the thing where she takes hostages at knifepoint when she doesn’t want to brush her teeth. She offers to go provide some motherly counseling, of the sort that’s kept Áine on Interpol’s Most Wanted list for three years running, but Vince assures her that he’s familiar with Maeve’s antics, having watched Caitríona hone them to brain-melting perfection over the years. He asks after Katy and Jason, and Frances burbles that she spoke to them this morning and that they’re settling in nicely in Tenerife, although the flight was delayed, which of course caused Katy to have a nervous breakdown, assault eleven Ryanair employees, try to kick the airplane door open at 30,000 feet, and be placed on a lifetime no-fly list. That last part is implied. Various customers complain about various things, including Mo, who does not seem to understand that coffee machines do not produce boiling water the instant you switch them on, and then Vince receives an urgent call from Maeve’s school, or whichever school he dropped her off at this morning, anyway.

Máire arrives at Gaudi’s and interrupts Fia’s lunch with her dear friend we’ve never seen or heard of before Emma, a.k.a., Contest Winner. Máire tells Fia she’s got something important to tell her that can’t wait, and makes hissing noises and swatting motions to shoo Emma away like Eddy to Saffy’s friend Titicaca on Ab Fab. Máire’s just about to break the gay, gay news about Adam when he arrives, still in perma-grimace, and when Máire announces to Fia that he’s lied to her, he decides that the lie that needs addressing is that his wallet was not actually stolen, but rather that he got in a fight at a rugby match rescuing a barmaid from a pack of werewolves. Except, you know, the rugby match was a gay bar, the barmaid was a drag queen named Eva Destruction, and the pack of werewolves was Pádraig’s fist. Fia reacts to this with a brilliant mixture of annoyance and boredom, and tells him disinterestedly on her way out the door that she better not hear about him shoplifting or whatever again. After she’s gone, he tells Máire that she’s clearly got the wrong end of the stick about yesterday’s conversation with Pádraig and that she better knock it off before she ruins everything for everybody. She hisses back that she doesn’t care which end of Pádraig’s stick he’s knocking off: he may be able to pull the wool over poor stupid Fia’s eyes, but Máire knows what she heard, and also accidentally saw part of Graham Norton’s show one time when she was looking for Songs of Praise, so she knows homoseximatism when she sees it!

Mack arrives at John Joe’s, and after a brief discussion of Katy and Jason’s Exile on Spain Street and how “sometimes it’s worse for the people left behind,” as if Katy and Jason have been raptured, Mack remembers that he’s been carrying this gift bag around all day because it contains a present from Dee to her dad. It’s a new cellphone, because Dee’s decided John Joe “needs an upgrade.” I didn’t realize you could upgrade someone’s Dad Chip at the Apple Store now. John Joe seems underwhelmed and vaguely confused by this, either because he is a hardcore Android user or because he is three months into a 50-year contract for an Eircom fixed-line account. Mack leaves just as an annoyed-looking Colm enters, and Mack gives him a hilarious look I interpret to mean, “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that dude, but whoever he is, flowers are pretty.” Mack really is the best. John Joe notices that Colm seems to be carrying a gigantic sack with a big dollar sign on it full of cash, and Colm tells him repeatedly to mind his own business unless he wants to get involved in this storyline. I know I don’t. Eventually Colm admits he’s involved in shady dealings with Anto, but helpfully narrates that he’s on his way to take care of this mess once and for all over at “the old factory behind the pitch.” I’m pretty sure that’s a recycled set from an episode of Scooby-Doo.

At Gaudi, Adam is still trying to explain to Máire that she didn’t hear what she thinks she did, because in today’s YouthSpeak, “gay” means “studious,” and “I can’t stop imagining what Ryan Gosling’s neck smells like” means “goodbye, I am on the way to the Bible store now!” She insists that she knows what she overheard, and besides, the only reasons to talk to Pádraig are that you are gay or that you are the co-owner of a cake-making business with him, and she has never seen Adam with an icing bag. He insists that he’s never even been with a man, and that the thought of it makes him sick, and when Máire responds to this with a brilliant, silent “Gurrrl, please” that she has obviously learned from RuPaul, he backpedals, and admits that sure, maybe he’s fancied a man once or twice, but that’s all it was. Well, to be fair, anyone who never had funny feelings while watching Don Draper on Mad Men needs to be checked for a pulse. Máire counters that if he’s had feelings for men before he’ll have them again, especially since that Hugh Jackman nude scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past is on television ALL. THE. TIME, but Adam swears he’ll never act on them, so therefore, he’s won. Well, I’m convinced! She worries that Fia’s going to be the one who gets hurt in all this, but he insists her loves her, and is also very fond of little Leo-or-possibly-Lisa Óg. It’s actually a lovely little scene that rings very true, and the only thing more surprising than Adam’s frankness is the fact that Máire isn’t crossing herself while fainting, though you can tell she reserves the right to hit him over the head at any time with the holy phone book she stole from her motel room in Knock.

Micheál helps Laoise move the last of her junk into his place, and tells her not to worry about Máire, because she may be in a mood today, but she’ll be over tomorrow morning with buns and tea, gossiping about who’s being treated for toenail fungus at the pharmacy and who’s a big closet case and so on. He’s about to leave for the strip club where he works when Eric shows up with a housewarming gift he wants to deliver personally to Laoise, and also a potted plant. There’s uncomfortable male posturing, and then Micheál leaves, because he’s due onstage for his “I Shot the Sheriff” number in 5 minutes. Eric asks probing questions—the only kind of questions that interest him—and she assures him that she and Micheál are just friends. He thinks this is good, because he wants to do her, and he knows she feels the same way about him, but she throws him out after telling him that she and O’Shea are friends, so nothing can ever, ever happen between them, at least until later this episode.

At the deserted post-apocalyptic factory behind the old football pitch, which is unquestionably the silliest location we’ve been to all season, Anto examines Colm’s sack, and please write your best suggestion to what happens next on a postcard and send it to Colm’s Sack, Ros na Rún Recaps, USA. Colm admits he didn’t invest the money, and isn’t going to, which amuses Anto in the sense that it does not amuse him, and he gets all up in Colm’s face and informs him that he and his comical sideburns are going to do exactly what they’re told to do, or else. Well, I for one think Colm’s best move here would be to act defiant, starting by telling Anto he looks and acts like Donkey Kong.

Eric returns to Superintendent O’Shea’s House of O’Sex, where she’s preparing an erotic steak dinner and starts trying to ply him with wine. He’s disoriented, and even more so when she tells him there’s a gift for him in the bag, which turns out to be a pack of underpants. Give yourself a minute to stop laughing, and then I’ll tell you that it’s a variety pack of animal-print boxers, and I swear I’m not making this up, though I am about to pee in my pants over the hilarity. She explains that they’re “just until he gets settled,” and he and I are both unclear how leopard underpants fit into the process of getting settled into a new house, but OK. She’s blissfully unaware how uncomfortable everyone on earth other than her is right now, and she happily bops off to the shop to buy a 64-pack of alcopops, leaving him and his Tarzan underwear looking unhappy in the kitchen.

Oh, and back at the old factory, Colm threatens to tell the Gardaí about the pharmacy robbery et cetera, so Anto beats him up for a while.

After the break, O’Shea returns from the shop with a bottle of wine to find that, hilariously, Eric has packed all his belongings and found alternative lodging at the B&B. Necessity, and zebra-print underwear, are the mother of invention. O’Shea tries to hide her disappointment, telling him he doesn’t have to leave right this moment, but he insists that he does and flees, because he needs to meet Máire and get the keys, and also he’s afraid O’Shea is about to present him with a tube of sparkly arse glitter, “just until he gets settled.”

Back at Deserted Factory & Sons, big ape Anto is still beating the crap out of Colm. There is an awful lot of blood, and also writhing on the floor while retching and possibly pooing, and as much as I dislike Colm, it would’ve been fine for most of this to happen off-camera and someone to tell us about it later, such as Áine, possibly in the form of a crayon drawing stuck to the fridge.

Poor Vince is on the phone with Caitríona, trying to explain that Maeve seemed fine when he dropped her off at the Sikh Academy for Boys this morning, and that he checked her temperature and wiped the fake blood off her face and everything. From the sofa, Maeve screams towards the phone that he did not in fact do these things, and when he tells Caitríona not to come back early, for reasons that do not need explaining to anyone, Maeve screams to Caitríona to come home because she is dying and on fire and has a ruptured prostate and so on. Caitríona says she’ll just have to cancel the World Caitríona-lympics and come home early, but before Vince can go over there and give Maeve an actual ruptured prostate, Mack appears to talk about renting the dumb house, explaining that even though they’ve got a lovely house with, like, windows and stuff, he feels like it’s time for a change. Yes, it must have been very difficult for him to live in the same place for four and a half whole months. Vince asks how Dee feels about this, and Mack says he’s “sure she wants to be closer to her father,” because he has never met her. Or her father.

We see Colm, whose face now looks like a stained glass window someone’s put a rock through, on the floor of the factory ringing John Joe for help. Too bad John Joe just got that new phone he hasn’t learned how to use for anything but internet porn yet. We then flash quickly to the B&B, where Máire explains to Pádraig that Adam thinks he can fight off the gay, like it’s a mild cold, or a bee. Of course Pádraig knows this is a bunch of deluded seafóid, even by Adam’s standards, and says he needs to go help him, but then Máire, who has behaved semi-sensibly as long as she can, announces that perhaps Adam isn’t, you know, super-duper gay like Pádraig, whose gayness you can apparently see from space, but rather is “probably confused.” I blame Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron flitting around giving us all confusing feelings with their political sexiness and tight Gallic bums. Pádraig says he’ll take care of this, but Máire insists that she’ll be the one to handle it, what with her intimate knowledge of the complexities of sexual orientation, internalized homophobia, and having seen Mr Humphries on Are You Being Served?

O’Shea runs into Laoise at Gaudi and tells her that Eric has moved into the B&B. Laoise’s confused, so O’Shea offers this by way of explanation: “Maybe buying him boxers wasn’t a good idea.” Well, we might as well close down the Understatement Of The Year competition now. Meanwhile, a worried Dee asks Mack if John Joe liked the gift, and is elated when he confirms that he did indeed, although there’s a 60 percent chance he doesn’t know what she’s talking about and also has no memory of having seen John Joe, or Dee, prior to this moment. Instead of wondering why she didn’t give her dad the phone herself if she was so emotionally invested in it, we’ll move on to the bit where Mack tells her that John Joe really misses Katy, a concept Dee cannot wrap her mind around, and then she allows him to bully her into moving into the sad purple house, presumably because she figures this marriage is on its last legs, and she’ll be able to use the upcoming June Bank Holiday to move her stuff back into the nice house anyway.

O’Shea tells Laoise how lucky she is never to have gotten tangled up with a rogue like Eric, because as soon as you buy him inappropriately intimate willy-touching gifts five minutes after he arrives at your house, he does a runner. She digs herself deeper by revealing that back in the ‘60s or ‘80s or whenever they were young, Eric had a huge crush on Laoise, but O’Shea ran him off because she knew Laoise was too good for him, and then married him herself for good measure. It’s good to have friends looking out for you. O’Shea raises her glass and toasts her cleverness, what with the stealing Laoise’s boyfriend and sending her down a path of decades of depressed singleness and wearing a bright blue vest all the time that makes her look like she works at Walmart. For some reason Laoise does not seem to appreciate this confession, and the look in her eyes suggests that she will very shortly be helping Eric destroy his new underpants, one way or another.

The lighting confusingly suggests that it’s now the following day at Face Breakers Inc., where John Joe arrives and starts picking up the pieces of Colm’s spine. Colm, who is even smirkier and smarmier than usual, either as a coping mechanism or because he has suffered a severe head injury, insists that he’s never felt better, and that he crashed his car, you know, inside the factory. And then the car evaporated. Whatever; it’s just a pity he didn’t crash the car a couple more times. John Joe, having lived on earth for a while, recognizes this as complete bollocks, but Colm reminds him that if he gets involved in this, his family will be in jeopardy, and given that John Joe cares about Dee and Katy for some unfathomable reason, he gives in.

Laoise arrives home, furious, but also aroused, as demonstrated by the way she sexily removes the erotically charged banana clip from the back of her hair, which makes absolutely no difference in her appearance. Seosaimhín Ní Shuilleabháin is so pretty, and the stylists do such an impressively thorough job of making Laoise look like five miles of bad, lemon-based road. She sees the sad potted plant Eric brought her earlier and eyes it up, which suggests she will either be throwing herself at it or him very soon. I hear Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy has caused an uptick in plant erotica lately.

Back at Gaudi, Micheál is banging on to Dee and Mack about Réailtín’s school trip to France, and you can tell Katy’s departure has made Dee feel like a completely new woman, because she’s laughing and smiling and asking follow-up questions despite the fact she has no idea who this Maybelline person is or why Milo here keeps talking about her. Oh, and there’s an allusion to the fact that Pádraig has already started ruining the menu at Gaudi, replacing the porter everybody liked with some craft beer rubbish made of pumpkin that tastes like feet and probably comes from someplace ridiculous and imaginary, like Oregon.

Laoise shows up at the B&B, and she and Eric throw themselves at each other for a while, discussing whether his mickey has settled in and, if not, would it like to, and so on, and, mercifully for us all, they shut up just before we start all start puking our rings and begin furiously making out. Take that and party, Imelda!

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