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!”

At the polytunnel, Micheál is yelling at Laoise for being such a scrubber, which is a recurring theme this season. We won’t get into how sad it is that having sex with two people during the course of a year makes one the town slut. He, of course, is furious that he walked in on her and Eric’s post-coital cooldown, and she asks if he’s actually telling her she’s not allowed to have visitors. He snaps, “Not when Réailtín is home,” which is perhaps a slightly incredibly stupid answer given that, as Laoise points out, Réailtín was not actually at home, so he counters that “she could’ve walked in.” Given that we never heard that she actually made it home from her school trip to France, she could still be waiting for him to pick her up at the Dublin airport. She’ll be in the Ryanair lost & found by now. Laoise’s analysis of this situation is that Micheál is horny and needs to get laid, which may be factually accurate, but is probably not the best approach to deescalating the situation. This, however, does not mean I am not hoping Angela Merkel will tell Teresa May she needs to get laid at the next G8 summit. She promises she and Eric will be more discreet next time, by which she means they will have sex pressed up against the front door so no one can come in, but he tells her perhaps she should go look for a room with her good friend Imelda, who he’s sure would love to hear about this.

Everyone is discussing the pros and cons of windmills at the community center. By “everyone,” I mean “everyone who wasn’t able to get out of this scene.” There is a lot of discussion I won’t go into now, but I invite you to go watch the new TG4 documentary, Windmills: What Are They? It’s hosted by Enya and Stephen Fry. The short version is that Caitríona is pro-windmill, because she figures it will be make good fodder for her next book when someone wanders too close to it and gets cut in half, whereas Tadhg is anti-windmill, because he’s worried it will blow the town away, and if anyone’s going to destroy Ros na Rún, it’s going to be him. Everyone remembers they are not interested in this right now and wander away, which gives Mo an opportunity to remind Tadhg of the poitín subplot, which she is suddenly very concerned about because she’s dating a cop now. She wants to pour it all down the sink, which means next episode she need money to install a new plumbing system in her house, but Tadhg tells her that instead they’ll all come round this evening and drink it, which means next episode he will have a sudden influx of funerals to arrange.

Back at the polytunnel, Colm and David are discussing the other side of the poitín storyline we’d forgotten about, which is that David is still under investigation because James Dean Jr. got alcohol poisoning in the boot of his car. Colm thinks David should push the Gardaí to drop the charges and also apologize to him, not because he gives a crap about David, but because he’s hoping to use him as a character reference for his new money-laundering-eteria. Yes, if I were looking for a character reference to help with my new business, I’d immediately think of the guy who has a reserved parking spot and personalized ergonomic chair down at the police station.

At the B&B, Fia is destroying evidence of her relationship with Adam, making a big production out of ripping up their first cinema tickets, the ATM receipt from the first time she loaned him money that he never paid back, and so on. Máire stops her as she’s about to throw out one of Adam’s T-shirts, and Fia brilliantly asks, “Why? Do you want it to wash the floor?” Considering how un-fun she was when she first arrived, it’s amazing how much I enjoy Fia now. There’s a gay knock at the door, and it turns out to be Pádraig, who knows that Máire’s about to leave to provide a biblical interpretation of windmills at the town meeting and he’ll therefore have some private time with his BFF Fia. Máire leaves, and he casually mentions to Fia that he saw all her annoying nonsense on Facebook. She tells him that she and Adam have broken up, and to his credit, rather than pretending to be surprised, he tells her he understands, and that it must’ve been an awful shock. Fia, who is a lot smarter than she used to be, immediately interprets this to mean Pádraig knows Adam is gay, and we can see the implications of this start to drop into her head like Tetris pieces.

O’Shea is trying to have a quiet lunch at Gaudi when Colm and David arrive to harass her. Colm is obnoxious, OF COURSE, but David is embarrassed and tries to get him to knock it off. This is really the basis of any relationship with Colm. O’Shea says it’s her day off, but that she’ll check into the poitín case thing when she’s back in the office tomorrow and get back to him. I’m skipping over a lot of rudeness from Colm, which causes Eric, who’s just arrived, to threaten to beat him up, but instead of pointing out that she can take care of herself, O’Shea giggles a lot and they flirt with each other and I can’t even take this anymore. Speaking of people who may or may not be able to stomach this, Niamh arrives, fresh from the hair-bleachery. Seriously, was she this blonde the last time we saw her? At least she’s been away for several days during which she could’ve gotten a new hairdo, unlike when Mack gets a haircut between walking out his front door and getting into his car. Anyway, Niamh is happy to see her parents sharing a laugh rather than yelling at her for once, and they say the past is in the past, and we are the world, and so on. This détente will last approximately two episodes, at which point O’Shea will shoot Eric in the crotch when she finds him in bed with Laoise.

Back at the B&B, Pádraig explains to Fia that he spent ages pleading with Adam to tell her the truth, which is of course the worst thing he could say to her, because it makes her feel like a fool and makes her annoyed that her alleged BFF kept this from her all this time. He explains that it wasn’t his place to reveal Adam’s secret, but she insists that it feckin’ well was, because they’re friends and are therefore supposed to look out for each other. He counters that he was looking out for Adam, too, and starts to explain how these things work, but Fia interrupts him and yells that Pádraig is her friend, not Adam’s. There are perhaps flaws in both their arguments, but they’re both also exactly right, which is why this situation Pádraig found himself in was such a sticky mess, and not the good kind.

Everyone at the community center is carefully examining drawings of windmills, which are sadly the metal kind that generate electricity, and not the Dutch kind that generate wooden shoes and tulips. Well, this changes everything. Colm has cornered Tadhg and is telling him he wants to rent the office above the chemist to open his new brokering business. I have no idea why he thinks he needs the expense of an office at this point, given that he has no experience and no customers and is a convicted felon and is yucky, but I suppose he has to acquire office space before Anto can burn it down in the season finale or whatever, so we’ll go with it. Tadhg is ambivalent, because on the one hand, he likes money, but on the other hand, he hates Colm. Tadhg’s other hand pretty much always involves hating the person he is interacting with. Dull Tony interrupts to say something loud and stupid, which Mo struggles to laugh at while Gráinne throws up in the background. In response, Colm tries to act hard, like Phil Mitchell before he was on the brink of death in the hospital all the time, and then wanders away, to everyone’s relief. Micheál starts banging on about how the windmills have come here from another planet to ruin our way of life and also give us rabies, which gives Tadhg an opportunity to remind everyone that Micheál is possibly shagging Laoise and that it’s inherently amusing. If you have ever seen this show, I don’t have to explain to you how Tadhg got from Point A to Point B in that exchange. Micheál is annoyed and tells him that we’re not talking about nonsense right now, we are talking about windmills from space giving us cold sores, and he for one is not going to allow them to build one in his living room, especially because Réailtín might walk in on it. This gives everyone an opportunity to fight for a while, although of course this would be 200% more entertaining if Bobbi-Lee were here to give her perspective. We assume she’s off in jail somewhere and nobody has bothered to go bail her out.

Fia seems to have thrown Pádraig out as she’s crying into the sink alone, and then Adam lets himself in. This really is Fia’s worst Saint Rita of Cascia’s Day ever. He tries to explain, but she says she knows exactly what was going on, and can’t believe he was using her and her child as cover while he was out gaying around all over the place. She turns her back on him and starts crying, and when he gingerly puts his hand on her shoulder, she spins around and slaps the hell out of him. This month has not been easy on Adam’s face. Maybe Gráinne has a bucket of soothing seaweed muck he could stick his head in.

After the break, Tadhg is asking Colm about the financial benefits of the windmills, but in a way that’s still totally mocking him, which is his forte. Colm, who is Rain Man all of a sudden, tells him that there’s somehow €24,000 to be made per windmill, and if we cared more about this, we would try to figure out how they are supposed to make a profit off someone else’s windmills. Perhaps they’re going to learn how to build windmills themselves by watching a YouTube video and then undercut Windmills, Inc. They can call their rival company Imminent Crashing Death & Sons. Sadly, it turns out that the plan involves Tadhg leasing some land he owns to Windmills, Inc., which is a lot less interesting, but probably for the best, because there’s only €65 in TG4’s exploding windmill budget this year and they’ve already committed it to Opry an Iúir.

Back at the B&B, Adam is still apologizing to Fia, who is now officially a slapper, but the kind that actually involves slapping. He says he’s sorry he couldn’t be a better boyfriend, but she interrupts him to say she didn’t want a boyfriend, she wanted a friend. Well, I’m not sure what the problem is then. She alludes to some complications in their sex life we won’t dwell on, and she says when they were together, he was probably imagining being with a man. He swears that’s not true, and I believe him, because he may have been imagining being with several men, such as the Irish national rugby team, or Ant and Dec. She’s angry that he lied and that she’s going to be a laughing stock when everyone finds out about this. Well, then you’d better delete that meme with a sad Hello Kitty saying “I Just Found Out My Boyfriend Is Gay” you just posted on Instagram, hadn’t you?

At Gaudi, Laoise admits to Eric that they never should’ve had sex in the middle of Micheál’s living room. It’s true, that IKEA furniture just isn’t meant for such rigorous activity. She suggests that they should tell O’Shea and Niamh about the two of them as a preemptive strike, because it’d be much worse if they heard about it from Micheál, especially since we’re not positive Niamh even knows who Micheál is. Eric is reluctant to rock the boat, because after so many years of fighting and false arrests and police brutality, he and O’Shea are finally getting along, so the only solution is to keep sneaking around with Laoise behind everyone’s back and hope nobody finds out. That sounds like an airtight plan to me.

At Mo’s terrible puce and brown house, she, Tadhg, Gráinne, David, and Colm are making the poitín go away by drinking it. Given that we just saw Mo carrying around about 15 bottles of it, and there are only five of them, this could be a busy night at the local hospital. They should bring that Tomás kid over to help. Colm and Tadhg strike a deal to turn the office above the chemist into Money Laundering & Key Cutting 4 U, which I’m sure Janice will love if we ever see her again, and just then Mo gets a text from Tony saying he’s finished early and is on his way. This is even more upsetting than any other time Dull Tony is on his way, because he’ll be very cross indeed about all this poitín, so they all start frantically hiding it, much of it down their throats.

Fia seems to have calmed down, or is at least giving her slapping arm a rest, and Adam asks her to please stop posting stuff on Facebook, because he’s not ready to tell the whole world his secret yet. He begs her to make up any story she wants about why they broke up, but not to tell the truth, because it would kill his mother. Fia is livid that he’s only concerned about not making things difficult for himself, and she goes a little (not unreasonably) mental, and finally throws him out, and Muireann Ní Raghallaigh really is terrific in this entire episode, but particularly in this scene.

Tony arrives at Mo’s and immediately wants to make out, but she points out that they have company, so to please be a doll and cram a potato in his tailpipe. Gráinne decides the most hilarious way to get rid of the poitín would be to pour it into Tony, so she gives him a glass of “punch,” which she claims is a family recipe. Apparently her family are the Pogues. Mo tries to put a stop to this, but then remembers that Gráinne is kind and lovely until you get in her way and then she will destroy you, so she gives up and decides to see where this is going. Somehow the conversation turns to advice Séamus gave Mo over the years, and Tony upsets her by dismissing it as superstitious nonsense, so Colm sees an in and starts talking about how seriously he has always taken Séamus’ advice and how much he, like, totally respects and loves him. You may recall that Colm never laid eyes on Séamus, but all of a sudden, he’s his spirit animal.

At the pub, Laoise is sharing a drink with Máire and O’Shea, possibly against her will, but then it’s always hard to tell with her. Máire notes that Adam and Fia have broken up, and of course O’Shea assumes that he’s on drugs again, but Máire says vaguely that no, this time it’s “something else entirely,” and that all she’ll say about it is that honesty is the best policy. O’Shea agrees that no good has ever come of keeping secrets, particularly, for example, if you’re sleeping with your best friend’s ex-husband who she’s now interested in again and keeps buying him underpants and other ball-adjacent gifts. Laoise has a strange feeling that all this applies to her situation somehow, but she can’t quite put her finger on it, although she might put her finger on Eric’s underpants later.

Back at Mo’s, Tony is good and drunk, and holding court about a variety of annoying and insulting topics. Tony and Colm start squabbling with each other over Mo, and for some stupid reason she sits there and allows herself to be treated as the prize, and finally Gráinne decides she can’t take any more of this seafóid and she and David scram. She tries to extricate Colm while she’s at it, but he sleazily announces that he doesn’t think he’s quite finished with his drink yet, but it all becomes a bit of a moot point when Tony passes out on the couch. Colm decides this would be a good time to ask Mo out on a date, because he is ridiculous, but she says she’d better stay in and make sure Tony doesn’t choke on his own vomit, but maybe another time. Oh, Mo.

Back at the B&B, Fia calls Adam’s awful mother Penelope St James-Attenborough and invites her to lunch with her and Adam tomorrow. Penelope asks why, since the only thing she’s less interested in than spending time with Fia is spending time with Adam, but devious Fia coyly says that they’ve got some big big news for her that they’ll share with her tomorrow!
She hangs up and looks pleased with herself, and clearly she’s advancing rapidly through the stages of grief, from denial to slapping to revenge. Adam’s going to be in big trouble when he finds out the hard way that the next stage is driving a car over your ex-boyfriend’s face.

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