Friday, June 23, 2017

Gráinne's Got a Gun (Season Finale)

Season 21, Episode 82
First aired 15 June 2017

It’s the season finale! And to celebrate, Anto has broken into Mo’s house in order to jump her from behind in the kitchen. Grabbing her throat, he tells her it’s lovely to see her again, but she does not seem to think it’s as lovely an occasion as he does, what with the choking and his being a deranged simian and all. He drags her off camera, and we assume he’s already strangled Uncle Peatsaí to death with a Hawaiian shirt or else he’d surely be here helping his dear niece whom he theoretically lives with.

At the café, Gráinne tells Caitríona that the doctor has confirmed what we already knew: she’s up the duff. Presumably she means sexy Easter Island head Dr Tiarnán and not that sketchy new doctor with the suspicious hairdo who helped Andy pretend to have African hydraulic fever all last season. She hasn’t told David the news yet, because while she’s sure he would make an iontach father, she doesn’t want to trap him in something he doesn’t want, such as fatherhood or quicksand. Well, you should’ve thought of that before you let his sperm karate your egg.

Out in the street, Colm gets a text from an unidentified number telling him to watch the attached video, and fortunately for Mo he watches it, unlike everyone else in the world, who would’ve assumed it was spam and deleted it. She tells him she’s been kidnapped and so on, and also that HostageTel can save you up to 20 percent off your calls to America with no contract required, even if you have bad credit, which we’re sure he does.

Eric, who you will recall was a complete arse to Laoise for no reason last episode, approaches her in the café and asks how she’s doing, and says he’s sorry about how things ended between them. He acts like his being a complete dick is something he had no control over that just kind of happened. She tells him he can cram his apology, and when he gets up to leave, she calls him back to inform him that Imelda knew about them the whole time, just for the sake of stirring up trouble giving him complete information. She explains that Imelda played psychological games with her head, convincing her that she wasn’t good enough for Eric and that he didn’t want to be seen with her. If anyone remembers this actually happening, raise your hand high so we can all see it, because I am pretty sure this is at least 80 percent a fantasy on her part, and the one who kept telling her that Eric didn’t want to be seen in public with her was Eric himself, not Imelda. Even better, he is aghast that Imelda would claim such a thing, and wants to make sure Laoise knows that he would never say he didn’t want to be seen with her. Apart from, you know, every episode for the past month. I think these two need to go back and read the last few recaps to remind themselves how this nonsense actually went down. Anyway, they carry on for a while about what a bitch Imelda is, and Laoise explains that if it weren’t for Imelda, she totally wouldn’t have acted like a complete psychopath in Gaudi the other night. Eric vows revenge and storms off, and she looks pleased with herself, and it’s a good thing this is the season finale, because I’m not sure how much more of these two I can take right now.

Colm returns home to find the place a mess and Mo gone, which is a bummer, because he’s a bit peckish and was really counting on her to make him a sandwich. There’s a cell phone on the table with a note saying, “Use this phone and don’t call the Gardaí,” and when he picks it up and presses a single button, it somehow knows whom to call. It’s the new RansomPresto 3000 from HostageTel, with its patented one-touch speed-dial buttons with pictures of a fire truck, an ambulance, and Mo tied to a chair with a ball gag in her mouth. Anyway, the person on the other end demands €20,000 for Mo’s safe return, and Colm, who seems to have cut his own hair while riding a rollercoaster since last episode, yells vague threats into the phone for a while before he’s hung up on. It’s going to be great if it turns out Anto is just working for Bobbi-Lee, who’s holding Mo hostage as revenge for making her work a double shift when she pulled that sickie last week.

Gráinne’s looking through today’s post, and there’s a surprise. Usually all they get are rambling, incoherent diatribes from David to the local newspapers that have been returned because he forgot to put a stamp on them. Today, however, in addition to all those there is also a hand-drawn card from intermittent semi-orphan Maírtín, thanking Gráinne for being iontach, with an anatomically creative yellow-haired drawing of her. It’s very sweet, although we wouldn’t blame her if she rang him up yelling, “I do have a waist, you know!” David arrives home and finds her in tears, which is not that different from her usual reaction to his coming home, really. He’s brought home a flashlight with a special rabbit-hunting attachment and a box of bullets with special rabbit-exploding tips, but she looks stricken and tells him she’s got something to tell him. Using his amazing powers of perception and uncanny understanding of the human psyche, he tells her he already knows what’s wrong: she doesn’t feel like going rabbit hunting tonight but is afraid to tell him. It’s like he’s got ESP. She tells him that’s not it, and that he better sit down, especially because he’ll need his rest given what’s going to happen to him later this episode.

Colm arrives home, having stopped to have his hair styled along the way, and tells Eric on the phone that he doesn’t know where Anto is holding Mo. They agree to meet in the café later to discuss this and maybe share a scone, and then he retrieves the giant packet of cash from inside John Joe’s hollowed-out head and puts it in a pink drawstring ransom bag he’s carrying around. It’s not a sack with a big dollar sign on it, but it’ll do.

Back at Pregnancy HQ, Gráinne is holding David’s hand and appears to be well into the third hour of the preamble to the thing she wants to tell him. He just looks confused, even by his standards, and eventually she blurts out that she’s pregnant. Well, that explains that plastic stick that smells like urine on the kitchen table. She looks worried, but of course he’s delighted, and hugs her and tells her he loves her. Now she’s confused, reminding him of that casual thing he nonchalantly said about not wanting kids in the house that one time, and he’s basically like, “Oh, Gráinne, you know I spew an endless stream of nonsense all the time. I thought you knew by now not to listen to it!” He beams that he never thought God would bless him with a child, and though she’s worried that they’re barely able to look after themselves, he assures her that they’ll make things work. After all, if idiots like Katy and Jason and Annette and Seán can keep their children alive, so can these two. Their lovely moment is interrupted by Laoise ringing to say she can’t go rabbit hunting because she’s spending the evening having a hallucinatory psychotic break, but Gráinne says she wants to go anyway, because she hears shooting a rifle wildly into the air like Elmer Fudd is good for the baby.

Over at the café, Eric says the plan is still basically the same, but Colm, who seems to have yet a third hairdo now, says it’s different in that Anto may be wearing Mo as a coat by now. Eric doesn’t think they should get bogged down in these sorts of minor details, and tells Colm to go meet Anto wherever he tells him to, and that he’ll arrive shortly thereafter in a Snoopy costume to avoid attracting attention. He’ll be carrying a gun in case trouble breaks out, and before they know it, Colm will be back home ignoring Mo while acting moody and distant, and Anto will be on probation back on Kong Island.

And now, back in the plotline we’re all most concerned about, it’s Windmill Vote Night, or as the papers have taken to calling it, Wexit. The handful of people who care about this issue have gathered in the pub with the usual barflies to cast their ballots and mill around looking confused. There’s the usual petty squabbling between Tadhg and Micheál, and then the meeting begins, and you can tell it’s serious because there are, like, charts and maps and pictures of angry windmills vaporizing children with their laser death beams.

Imelda is drinking alone at her place, which is always a good sign, when Eric arrives to fight with her for a while. We can’t blame him, because there’s nothing on TV this time of year, and unless you’re one of the six people who care about the windmill, you’ve really got to make your own entertainment. He bursts in and makes ridiculous remarks to Imelda about how this is all her fault, and tells her that she’s really upset Laoise. Notice that he’s extremely concerned about Laoise’s emotional state now that he’s found somewhere to deflect the blame, whereas last episode he couldn’t give two shits about her feelings. Imelda accuses him and Laoise of sneaking around behind her back making a fool of her in front of the entire town, which I think overestimates how much the town cares about any of this, but in this battle of weak arguments, I suppose I am Team Imelda. He claims he was happy with Laoise until Imelda came along and ruined it, but before we get a chance to roll our eyes at his revisionist history, Imelda informs him that he doesn’t deserve to be happy, and he reacts as if he’s been punched in the stomach. Well, on the plus side, he can rest assured that nothing worse than that can possibly happen to him this episode.

Colm arrives at the shed, which has been renamed the Apache Pizza Centre for the Performing & Kidnapping Arts, but it’s dark and no one seems to be there. He’ll be shocked when he walks in and everyone yells “Surprise!” from behind the furniture and starts singing “Happy Birthday” to him, especially because it is not actually his birthday. He clutches and fondles his fuzzy pink sack nervously, as one does, and then is terrified when he hears a nearby gunshot! I’m sure we have nothing to worry about, since it’s probably just the start of the shootout/hostage scenario that erupts every night about this time when Frances asks Áine to brush her teeth and go to bed.

After the break, we find the gunshots are of course coming from David and Gráinne, who are peering over the tall grass through their rifles like big game hunters of the Serengeti. Gráinne is annoyed that David is shooting too close to the bunnies and might actually hit one, because their goal is instead to shoot near them, causing them to suffer fatal heart attacks. In unrelated news, we have a call from the ISPCA on line one, and they sound pissed. She snatches the rifle away from him so she can do the job herself, which is of course the way situations in which Gráinne and David try to accomplish something always end.

Back at the corner of Stay Calm And Nobody Will Get Hurt Street and You Can Count It, It’s All There Boulevard, Colm nervously texts Eric that he’s waiting in the shed, but a cut across town shows us that Eric is busy fighting with Imelda right now. He sees Colm’s text and says he’s got to go, which is fine with Imelda, who seems bored with this and ready to get back to her solo drinking now. But before he goes, he just needs to do one little thing, which is start the fight all over again from the beginning and then argue with her for 27 more minutes. She is completely over this, wishes him a good night even though we have a strange feeling she does not actually care whether his night is good or not, and starts walking upstairs to bed. He’s not finished, so he follows her up and argues with her some more, carrying on about poor Laoise this and that, and she replies that he never cares about poor Imelda even though she’s the one who had to pick up the pieces and raise the family after he walked out. She starts up the stairs again and he angrily grabs her shoulder, and when she pushes him off of her, he loses his balance and falls down the staircase, around the landing, and all the way to the tile floor, landing on his face. Imelda screams “Eric!”, because she does not have time right now for all the paperwork she knows this is going to generate.

Back at the shed, Colm is frantically trying to ring Eric, but there’s no answer for some reason! Anto arrives, dragging a bound and gagged Mo with him, and pushes her to the floor while holding a knife to her throat. You can tell he’s trouble because he doesn’t greet Colm with a “Dia duit” or “Conas atá tú?” or anything, like some kind of barbarian. Anto demands the money, and shouts for his henchman Seán to stop skulking around outside and come in. He enters, looking sheepish, and it would’ve been a much better story if the assistant thug had been someone unexpected, like Aunt Sally, or that sleazy plumber who fixed Berni’s pipes that time.

Imelda has joined Eric at the bottom of the stairs, but only one of them is upright and visibly alive, and it’s not him. She shakes him and feels for a pulse and pours increasingly icy buckets of water over him, none of which get a response, so she gets out her phone and rings for an ambulance or a pizza or something. She’s going to have to listen to a lot of menu options before she gets to “Press 9 if your ex-husband has fallen down the stairs and is lying in a pool of blood in your sitting room.”

Colm throws the bag with the dollar sign on it down on the floor, and Anto orders Seán to go count it. I bet poor Mo is thinking that Dull Tony doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Back at the pub, Berni is the spokesperson for the pro-windmill front now, which will certainly tilt the crowd anti-windmill if they weren’t leaning that way already. She claims the windmills will create new jobs, but Micheál counters that if you build too many of them they will function as outboard motors and blow Ireland out into the middle of the Atlantic, which nobody wants. I am only semi-paying attention to this. Furthermore, he’s pulled Maggie up to the front and is now speaking on her behalf, lamenting the terrible fate she’ll suffer if a windmill is built on her land or forehead or whatever, and it’s like those charity adverts where a Z-list celebrity pulls a poor, confused orphan who doesn’t speak English up to the camera and says, “Look how pathetic he is! Does that make you feel good about yourself?” Maggie takes this opportunity to remind everyone how much fun they all used to have up on the land in question when they were young and happy, which causes everyone to just look confused apart from Tadhg, who looks dyspeptic. Berni makes a big production of rolling her eyes a lot, and then Johnny Windmill announces it’s time for a vote, because he wants to get home in time to watch Bear Grylls kill people on that island. He asks for a show of anti-windmill hands, and first Micheál and Maggie raise their hands, and then a couple of extras we’ve never seen before, and then Tadhg. Frances hisses that he’s clearly confused, but he says it’s his family’s land, and Áine will need it to bury the bodies of her enemies someday. That last part is implied. Now a bunch of the other extras raise their hands because Tadhg is apparently the engine that drives local political opinion, and Berni and Caitríona make stinky-poo faces and gagging noises, and you can tell Frances is livid at this turn of events because her mouth disappears.

Back at the shed, Seán has finished counting the money, which we mercifully didn’t have to watch, and assures us that it’s all there. Anto now instructs him to tie Colm and Mo together to keep them from calling the Gardaí on him as soon as he leaves the building, and none of them like this idea, but Seán gets to work using the knowledge of knot-tying he gained during his years in the Kidnap Scouts.

Out in the woods, David and Gráinne decide the rabbits aren’t fleeing or exploding or whatever fast enough for their liking, so they call it a night. David says they should really be thinking more about creating life than about killing everything, and announces that he’s going to come back tomorrow and plant a tree, which will grow up alongside their child, especially when they can’t make the rent and have to live under it. He also pops the question in the most David way possible, by which I mean he slides backwards into a vague non-proposal, but because Gráinne has learned to speak Davidese, she understands where he’s going with this and accepts. Well, that guarantees us that nothing bad is going to happen to either of them in the next three minutes. Just then they notice there are lights on and people in the shed, which there shouldn’t be this time of night, so they better go investigate. Uh-oh.

Inside the shed, Seán finishes tying Colm’s hands together and they exchange meaningful looks that suggest he has not tied an actual knot, or that they’ve decided the have confusing feelings for each other. Seán exits to put the cash in the car, and when they hear movement outside, Colm assumes it’s Eric and screams at him that Anto is hiding behind the door. The door opens and David walks in looking confused, so Anto punches him in the back of the neck and sends him crashing to the floor. By now Colm has untied himself and starts swinging a shovel around in Anto’s direction, and Anto threatens to stab David in the head if he doesn’t drop the shovel, and then Gráinne busts in and puts the gun to the back of Anto’s head and tells him to freeze.

Meanwhile, Frances is raking Tadhg over the coals, which she has conveniently set up behind the bar. She asks him what the hell happened, and he vaguely explains that he just sort of changed his mind, which is the kind of stupid non-answer you give Frances when you’re tired of living and want her to kill you. They bicker for a bit, and then he flees to go wipe off the table where Berni and Caitríona are fuming. You know things are bad when you’d rather go talk to Berni and Caitríona than remain in your current situation. They’re snotty and passive-aggressive to him, and he tells them to STFU, which barely slows them down. Berni criticizes Maggie for trying to force her opinions on people, which is OF COURSE nothing we have ever seen Berni herself do, apart from every time we have seen her interact with anyone ever. They vow that they’re going to blackball Maggie and give her the silent treatment, and Tadhg announces that he can’t imagine how she’ll possibly survive without the two Kardashians speaking to her. Snerk. He leaves them smoldering volcanically and runs into Maggie, who thanks him for his support, and they share a moment as Frances glares at them from behind the bar. Ros na Rún may not get an energy-producing windfarm, but I suspect Maggie will be compressed into something resembling fossil fuel by the time Frances finishes with her.

Back at the shed, Gráinne still has Anto at gunpoint with his hands in the air, as if this is a stickup, and Colm takes the gag out of Mo’s mouth. David regains consciousness and Gráinne instructs Colm to ring the Gardaí, who we suspect are otherwise occupied at the moment, and then Anto starts mocking Gráinne, sneering that they all know that she’s not going to shoot him. David distracts her, which gives Anto a chance to grab the barrel of the gun and shove the butt forcefully into her baby area, which sends her crumpling to the floor. Mo screams, and as David jumps up and runs towards Gráinne, Anto fires the gun. David looks confusedly at his abdomen and then collapses on the floor, and then Anto goes down like a ton of bricks when Colm hits him in the back of the head with the shovel. Mo, who is still tied up on the floor, continues shouting the names of the various people in this scene, and Gráinne crawls over to David, from whom an alarming amount of blood is gushing. She yells that she can’t find a pulse, and cradles his face in her hands, but his eyes are closed and he’s completely unresponsive. We pan slowly across this scene of carnage, and as we fade to credits, we hear a sobbing Gráinne beg David to come back to her.

And that’s it! Season 21 certainly ended with a bang, which we expected, and also a tumble down the stairs, which we did not. What were the moments you’ll remember from this season? Is David truly dead? Will Gráinne lose the baby? Have we heard the last of the windmills? Thank you so much for joining me for another season of recaps. I truly appreciate all of you who read and comment, and particularly thank the cast, writers, producers, directors, crew, and everybody else involved with the show, who have always been completely lovely to me. Have a great summer, and I’ll see you all in September for season 22!

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