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.

Over at the B&B, it’s time for round 29 of Máire calling Laoise a slut for whoring around on the internet looking for dates. Perhaps this would be a good time for me to reveal that I met my husband via online dating, and can therefore confirm that all Máire’s suspicions are true, because we are both dirty, dirty hookers. Anyway, Máire doesn’t understand how you can know whether you like someone after only exchanging a few messages. You will recall that last episode she told us her preferred means of meeting a man is spying him from across a crowded room at a tea dance or pub, which apparently creates an instant and deep spiritual connection. Generously, instead of asking her if she even listens to the nonsense she says, Laoise instead takes this opportunity to whip out her phone and show her how Shaggr works, which of course results in Máire begging the saints to save her and falling on the floor a lot. It’s about a 4 on the Máire Richter scale, on which a 1 is “almost being held hostage” (distressing) and a 10 is “walking past a TV on which Hollyoaks is playing” (extinction event). It seems one of Laoise’s men has posted a picture of himself with no shirt on, which is super-classy. It causes Máire to shudder in horror, but sadly the scene ends before we get to see Máire asking why anyone would post a close-up picture of a large white pepperoni and then fainting when Laoise explains what she is actually looking at.

At the pub, Mo has returned from her holiday with a fab new hairdo. It’s nice that she managed to find a caravan park with a hair salon. She and Gráinne are decorating the pub for the post-christening party, because apparently Wembley Arena was already booked, and Gráinne is shocked to discover that Mo is once again seeing Dull Tony, who happened to be vacationing at the same place at the same time. That does seem like quite a coincidence, though perhaps there are not as many caravan parks on Craggy Island as I imagine. Gráinne helpfully reminds Mo that Tony is the dullest person in the world, which is really saying something when you consider who Grainne’s boyfriend is, but Mo insists that Tony is great craic. For example, he makes “vroom, vroom” sounds while moving his iron around the Monopoly board, which is totally wacky, because everyone knows irons don’t go “vroom, vroom!” Gráinne cannot believe that the words “Tony” and “craic” have ever been used in the same sentence, apart from possibly, “Tony arrested Adam for selling crack,” and in response starts banging on about how dreamy and non-Tony Colm is. I mean, he’s hardly been in prison at all lately, and also treats women like crap on the phone and then laughs about it. Yummy! Just then the partygoers start arriving, with Mack all, “See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”, and Dee being like, “Could you believe the way Katy was standing up there grinning like she’d done something special? That bitch!” Oy.

Outside, Tadhg is on the phone yelling at John Joe because the car broke down and it was somehow caused by the fact John Joe is from Donegal. Over by the bus stop, where a poor woman has turned into a skeleton waiting for the Bus Éireann strike to be over, Colm and Seán are having a suspicious conversation about some business dealings of theirs which are probably shady. Colm insists that fraud, money-laundering, and being a Somali pirate are all in his past now, which nobody believes, and then chases Mo down the street to ask all about her holiday and flirt with her. Buíochas le Dia, she’s having none of it, and shuts him down every time he opens his mouth, snapping that he’d know about the trip if he’d bothered showing up, and that as much fun as it would’ve been watching him chasing women around the caravan park like a creep, she instead met some nice new friends and had a lovely, sexy time. Sit on that and spin, Colm!

Upstairs at the pub, Frances is oohing and aahing over the gold cup Áine won at the spelling bee, but Áine is furious because her parents were late, and didn’t even see her spelling Feidhmeannach. I’m pretty sure that’s the name of that girl from An Teaghlach who held David hostage that time. Frances tries to explain that they tried to get there, but it’s not their fault that the car broke down and they had to go fetch the hearse instead. If I were Áine, I would be annoyed that my parents were late for my spelling bee, but mostly embarrassed that they arrived in a hearse like the freaking Munsters. Áine points out that they somehow managed to make it to the christening with no problem. She’s got you there, Frances. Áine storms off, and Frances starts to chase after her, but Tadhg stops her and tells her that Áine is just trying to make her feel guilty. I’m not sure that comes as news to anyone, but given the look on Frances’ face, Áine’s efforts have been successful. We imagine she’s run off to her room to scratch out “Spelling Champion” on her trophy and write “World’s Worst Mother” in its place.

At Gaudi, Pádraig is swooning over the dueling cakes Máire has made for today’s festivities, and of course Jay’s cake looks about 50 times better than Áine’s, which looks kind of like it’s been sat on. Of course as they’re packing them up to go, Pádraig drops Jay’s cake on the floor and goes into a panic, but Máire says she’s got a plan. I hope it involves bringing Adam over so Pádraig can talk about gay things while standing uncomfortably close to him.

Back at the pub, someone has scribbled “Congratulations, Áine” in sad little letters at the bottom of the banner that says, “Everyone Likes You Best, Jay!” in giant writing. Frances asks Áine isn’t it lovely, but of course Áine looks like she’s trying to figure out which end of the baby she’s going to roll it up and cram it into. Dee escapes the Daly family togetherness by going to the bar and ordering the first of many G&Ts, hold the T, and Áine hilariously asks her, “You don’t like the baby either, do you?” Dee looks shocked, because she thought nobody knew who was posting all those #IHateMySisterKatyDalyAndAlsoHerBabyIsUgly tweets. Áine continues that she doesn’t know why everyone is making such a fuss over Jay, because all he does is cry and dirty his nappies. Yeah, Tadhg does that, too, but you don’t see everyone making a big deal about it. All this time everyone is trying to get Dee to come over for a family photo, so she heads off to the toilets instead, and Katy sadly says they’ll just have to take them without her. They can always Photoshop her in later, and then Snapchat buckteeth and antenna on her.

At the B&B, Pádraig is thrilled by Máire’s brilliant solution to Cakegate, which is writing “Welcome Jay” in big letters at the top of Áine’s cake. I’m sure this will go over like a water balloon full of urine at a children’s party. Adam arrives and makes a face when he sees Pádraig is there again. He’s got a point—it does seem that Pádraig spends more time in the B&B kitchen than the table does these days. Máire goes upstairs to make sure Fia has brushed her teeth and put on her pajamas for bed, leaving Adam and Pádraig alone to share another of their patented awkward homoerotic moments. Pádraig tries to make nice, asking Adam what he thinks of the new issue of Gay Times and so on, but Adam sneers and rolls his eyes and makes a lot of pukey faces, finally snotting that he and Pádraig aren’t ever going to be friends, because the only thing they have in common is that they both know Fia. I invite you to write your best answer to “The only things Adam and Pádraig have in common are Fia and ______” on a postcard and mail it to Ros na Rún Recaps, USA, and the best entry will win a T-shirt! (Note: there are no T-shirts.)

Pádraig arrives at the pub with the cake, which is now A Jay Production Starring Jay And, In A Supporting Role, Annie. Katy oohs and ahhs over it, but then Áine comes over, looks at it, and flips the eff out. Pádraig tries to explain that there was a little accident with Jay’s cake, so wouldn’t she love to share her very special cake with her little nephew, who is younger and cuter? After careful consideration, Áine decides that she does not believe she would like to share her cake right now, which she demonstrates by screaming that she’s sick of the baby and then punching the bottom of the box, sending the cake flying up into the air and onto the floor. Everyone looks shocked and Frances is mortified, and poor Pádraig can’t believe that his day has turned into run-ins with one stroppy little queen after another.

After the break, Máire, who has traded hairdos with Liza Minelli, is trying to talk Laoise into going to some kind of church choir competition to meet men. Laoise does not think this sounds like the kind of thing she would enjoy, even after Máire sweetens the offer by promising her a hard-up widower who is desperate to find some broad to raise his young children for him. It’s a shame Máire isn’t using these skills in the field of sales and marketing.

Back at the pub, Frances is cleaning the cake off the floor and apologizing to everyone when Máire shows up and cannot believe that Pádraig has managed to be stupid enough to destroy two cakes within 30 minutes. She doesn’t think that she can take it, ’cause it took so long to bake it, and she’ll never have that recipe again. If you get that reference, you are probably either old, gay, or, like me, both. He starts to take the blame, but Frances tells him to stop trying to cover for “that little brat,” and tells Máire that Áine did it, and boy, is she going to be in big trouble when the Gardaí bring her home from wherever she’s disappeared to. Gráinne decides to play the voice of reason in this scene and points out that Áine was expecting her own party and her own cake, and that Jay has come riding into town and stolen everyone’s attention and affection. She presents a complicated metaphor involving another woman stealing Tadhg away, which you’d think would not be such a bad thing, and suggests that if everyone started carrying on about how wonderful Tadhg’s new wife was, Frances too would bust a few cakes, and also skulls. Dee sees an opportunity to leave this shitshow and announces that she and Mack will go buy a new cake, but Katy tells her not to bother, it’s just a cake, and tries to extend an olive branch by adding that she’s extremely grateful Dee is there, considering how hard it must be on her. Of course Dee decides to snatch the olive branch away and shove it up Katy’s arse sideways, and then Jason pulls a furious Katy aside and reminds her that this kind of bitchery is the reason they’re moving away. The Dalys could keep I Hate My Sister Airlines in business all by themselves.

Over at the café, Laoise is fuming to Micheál that Máire is trying to drag her to a praying competition and fix her up with a widower. Micheál agrees that Máire is a pain in the ass, but points out that Laoise could do worse than a widower. For example, a widower who went to prison for killing his wife and then treats you like crap for 3 months because you let his teenage daughter use your phone. He then tries to butter her up, which she responds to by acting like a complete wagon and storming off. I bet he’s reconsidering how he spent all last episode telling O’Shea what great craic Laoise is.

Áine is in her living room hugging that lion pillow of hers I’ve been seriously coveting for months now while looking very small and sad. She figures she’s about to get it when her mom arrives, but after pointing out that her behavior was unacceptable, Frances tells her she’s not entirely to blame, and apologizes for making her feel like the new baby is more important to her than she is. Áine says she’s sorry, and they hug each other. Frances tells her that she’s her entire world and suggests they go back downstairs, but Áine’s worried that now everyone will think she hates Jay, so they put their heads together to think of ways she can demonstrate what a proud, non-hating auntie she is. It’s a sweet little scene, and we’re reminded how good Áine-Máire Ní Óráin and Doireann Ní Fhoighil are together.

O’Shea lures Eric over to her place for a romantic dinner under the pretense of fixing her printer, which is a euphemism if I’ve ever heard one. Then we’re back at the pub, where Áine, who has dolled herself up like Edina Monsoon going to Mardi Gras, has decided to give Jay one of her teddy bears to show how much she loves him. Just keep it away from Pádraig, or he’ll throw it on the floor and then back his car over it. Dee comes over to follow up on her exchange of haterade with Áine from earlier, but Áine tells her she’s realized that Jay is just a little baby, and there’s no reason to blame him for the fact that her parents ruined everything. After all, she’s his aunt! Ahh, out of the mouths of babes dressed like Gypsy Rose Lee. Pádraig announces he has to go to the toilet and hands the baby, who does not seem to be played by an actual baby right now, to Dee, which causes Katy to panic. It seems, however, that her little talk with Áine, coupled with the cuteness of the bundle of towels representing the baby, has caused Dee’s icy heart to grow three sizes larger, and she and Katy share a lovely moment during which Dee notes that their mam used to let her hold Katy when she was a baby, and now she’s holding her beautiful son. Everyone is very happy, and we all have Pádraig’s tiny, tiny bladder to thank.

At the café, Laoise and Eric flirt with each other for a while, but fortunately we cut away from them before they start demonstrating how bendy they are and how they can completely suppress their gag reflexes and so on. Back at the pub, Tony and Mo are having a chat while Colm looks on sleazily and alcoholically. When Tony goes off to the gents’, Colm staggers drunkenly over to Mo’s table and says gross, lecherous things to her that I will not repeat here because I am a gentleman. She chases him off as Gráinne looks on disapprovingly, because apparently she hates Mo now and wants to see her end up in a two-year-long kidnapping storyline like on Fair City. Meanwhile, a sullen Adam is sitting alone at the bar, and shoots glum, intrigued looks at Pádraig flirting with a probable homosexual he evidently found in the toilets. Well, the obvious solution is for Adam to go into the gents’ and see what he comes out with.

There is more love triangling with O’Shea, Eric, and Laoise, the highlight of which is Eric telling Laoise that O’Shea is OK, but he what he really wants in his life is more fun, the same as Laoise. You know you are in a sad, busted love triangle when Laoise is the fun option.

Back at the pub, Dee is on cloud nine, gushing to Mack about how much she loved holding the baby. He’s thrilled to see her so happy, and also not hitting him. She tells him that she doesn’t want to live in Ros na Rún for the rest of her life, but that right now, work is going well, she’s organized all the lawsuits against him into one convenient class-action lawsuit, and she’s realized she loves the baby, so maybe it makes sense to stick around for a while after all. Mack looks relieved, and so are we, because we would miss his dumb, sexy stubbliness, and also her, we guess. Anyway, there’s no reason for her to be hasty, because her uncanny resemblance to an anime character guarantees that there will always be a place for her in Japan.

Pádraig says goodbye to his new trick, threatening promising to see him again soon, and then catches Adam giving them seriously ambiguous, longing, emotionally charged looks. You can see self-loathing alternating with his usual omnidirectional loathing. We hear the gears grind in Pádraig’s head for a bit, and then the lightbulb goes on over his head as he finally realizes the thing we thought he realized about three weeks ago. He leans into Adam and says, “We need to talk. NOW,” but Adam, who is in serious existential freakout territory, sneers that he will never talk to Pádraig, slams his glass down, and storms out.

Jason asks Katy if they should tell everyone their Tenerife news today, but her second thoughts from last episode have clearly turned into third and fourth thoughts, and she employs some stall tactics to delay things another day. He looks somewhat pooed, of course. My recommendation is that they throw Áine another party, but then cross out “We’re Sorry, Áine” on her special cake and write in “Katy and Jason Are Moving To Spain.”

Pádraig has chased Adam down the street, telling him that he can’t hide forever, because he’s figured out his secret. Adam tries to get away, but Pádraig grabs his arm and tells him, “You don’t hate me. You’re gay.” Well, it could be both. There is a long pause while Adam’s brain tries and fails to work through some things, and then he turns into Dark Adam again and hisses that he’s nothing like Pádraig and never will be. He forcefully pushes him away and then runs off down the street, leaving Pádraig standing there looking stricken. OK, I may have been joking about this storyline…just a little bit, but this is really good stuff, and a scenario that my gay brothers and sisters have all been on one or both sides of, and it’s all being done beautifully. This episode, and this closing scene in particular, are why I love this show so very, very much. Also, Áine punching a cake into the air like she’s an Olympic volleyball player.

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