Monday, June 5, 2017

Kissing To Be Clever

Season 21, Episode 78
First aired 1 June 2017

We’re moving rapidly into the home stretch of season 21, and in case you’ve missed Caitríona being a complete pain in the arse lately, this is the episode for you! But first, it’s morning, and we begin with a weird jazzy musical montage. There’s a quick pan across Adam looking sad on the swings, and then we see Colm looking pleased with himself as he surveys Mo’s clothes strewn across his living room, which makes us look even sadder than Adam does on the swings. Over at the B&B, Imelda has arrived to torture Eric and Laoise. It’s the first of several scenes this episode of her batting either or both of them around like a cat playing with its prey, and here the pair of them are making up silly excuses to explain why Laoise is there so early in the morning. It’s embarrassing for everyone, mostly us, and while there are many people on this show who are clueless enough to fall for this kind of nonsense, Imelda isn’t one of them, and we don’t understand why her ex-husband and alleged BFF think she’s stupid all of a sudden. She leaves, and looks pained, and we feel bad for her.

Speaking of things that make us look pained and feel bad, Mo sashays into the living room in her robe, where creepy Colm is waiting for her, and he’s even sleazier and more self-satisfied than usual. There is morning-after flirting and kissing, and it’s yucky. You know things are bad when we find ourselves wondering if it’s too late for her to get back together with Tony. She complains that she’ll need a lot of coffee to deal with Tadhg’s bad mood, so Colm convinces her to call in sick and join him back in bed. Yes, pulling a sickie and then inevitably being spotted roaming around town by Tadhg will certainly spare her his bad mood. Clearly Mo was struck on the head by a falling coconut while away on her holiday.

Back at Recycle Pod Graffiti Park, Adam ignores a third call from his terrible mother and looks stricken about it. I’m sure there’s an app he could use to automatically forward all her calls to a more appropriate number, such as a sexually explicit gay chatline. Fia appears and sits on the swing next to him, and he apologizes for worrying her, adding that he knows now that ending his life isn’t the answer. She tells him that it’s 2017, and it’s okay to be gay now, and after some lovely meaningful pauses, she says, “Whatever has happened, we’re still friends. Okay?” The glimmer of hope this puts on his face after seeing him look broken for so long is beautiful, and he and Fia really are so good together.

Frances, who’s carrying around a giant box of cabbage for some reason, and Caitríona, who looks crazed, even by her standards, are roaming the streets looking for someone to discuss windmills with, and run into Micheál. He’s annoyed and seems completely over this issue, as are the rest of us, who really wish we could turn our attention back to the important matters at hand, such as Gráinne’s seaweed. He’s more concerned with the fact that he’s waited an OUTRAGEOUS 15 minutes for Janice to fill a prescription, and complains that she’s moving in slow motion these days. Frankly, if any pharmacist in the U.S. were able to fill a prescription in less than 15 minutes, there’d be a story about it on the 6 o’clock news and people would come from miles around to watch the amazing speediness. I usually just drop off the prescription and come back three days later, giving them time to lose the prescription, discover the thing I need is out of stock and must be special ordered, and then be closed for lunch even though it's 5 p.m. Frances charitably volunteers that Janice is still in shock after the robbery, but of course Caitríona snots that Janice is a faking faker who fakes and that she just wants attention and pity. Let’s take a moment here to imagine the decade-long tearful attention-seeking multimedia production Caitríona would mount if somebody tied her up while robbing the salon. Of course, that will never happen because somebody would have to go into the salon first. Frances and Micheál wander off together to discuss windmills and cabbage, and also presumably to get the hell away from Caitríona, so she walks over to the pharmacy window and scowls at the poster advertising €30 massages.

Annette has inflicted herself on David over at his place to beg him to babysit one or more of her children on an indefinite basis. He’s hesitant and protests that he has no experience taking care of children (??), but should be more nervous about what’s going to happen if Gráinne shows up and finds famous David-kissing floozy and seaweed-faller-downer Annette in her house. Annette doesn’t care whether he knows how to keep children alive or not: the important thing is that she needs a free babysitter. She pretends to cry for a while about her sick father, who may or may not exist, but bravely omits the part where she still has post-traumatic stress disorder over being attacked by Gráinne’s seaweed. All that’s involved, she explains, is picking up Máirtín from school and looking after him and his many fadas until Seán comes to collect him on his way home from “work.” David’s still reluctant, what with his track record of being beaten up and held hostage by small children, but she bats her eyes and confuses him by being dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. We look forward to Gráinne’s reaction later this episode when she innocently arrives home and discovers that David has signed the papers for them to legally adopt all of Annette’s children.

At the pharmacy, Caitríona is harassing Janice about the €30 massages. Janice explains that it’s just an introductory promotion to attract customers to her new business, which doesn’t slow Caitríona’s hissy fit one bit. Another approach would be to tell Caitríona to mind her own effing business and then throw her out. I personally would pay €30 just to see that. Instead Janice smilingly tells her it’s a pity she doesn’t put this energy into her own business, which is completely delicious, and Caitríona replies with the dumbest, most hypocritical thing she’s ever said: “My business is none of your business.” How Janice resists grabbing a fistful of Caitríona’s hair and pulling her to the ground at this point is beyond me. Caitríona snots that in a few days people will be lined up around the block to be ignored and insulted at Loinnir, which is Irish for “ Toenail Fungus,” because famous magazine Ros na Rún Salon & Gay Sauna Weekly is running an article about her. Presumably it’s for their annual “People & Places To Avoid” special issue. Janice is completely disinterested in this nonsense until Caitríona accuses her of milking the robbery thing for sympathy and huffs off, at which point we can see the look in her eyes change from “Can you believe this cow?” to “I AM GOING TO DESTROY HER.”

Meanwhile, over in the boxed hair color aisle, Imelda says she’s ready for a new look, so Niamh helpfully suggests she try a box of Mousy Blah Black. Imelda’s looking for something more extreme, though, and counters with Jaysis, You Look Like A Feckin’ Fire Engine Red. Imagining the hilarious hot mess this will turn into fills Niamh with delight, as it would any daughter, so she says she can put it in tonight. This reminds me that in Dublin last year we walked past a pharmacy in which the giant display in the very front of the store was labeled “FAKE TAN” in enormous letters, which made me laugh, because in the U.S. the sign would say something more like “Sun-Kissed Glow Enhancer.” Anyway, Imelda is confused because she thought Niamh had plans with her dad tonight, but she explains that he canceled because something else came up, and then tells her mom that given the way Eric is carrying on happily, it’s obvious that he’s got a new woman. Well, between Imelda and Laoise, you can certainly see what Eric’s type is.

Colm tracks Tadhg down at Gaudi and gives him a month’s rent and deposit on the new office, and in return gets the keys, and also some stroppy attitude. Tadhg is wearing a gorgeous purple shirt I am unconvinced he would actually wear, unless it’s that he’s so super-hetero-manly that he doesn’t even notice what he wears, or is macho to the point of being colorblind. Tadhg asks probably-facetiously how Mo is doing, and Colm grossly says she’s doing better now that he’s given her some TLC, by which he probably means “The Little Colm,” because he’s awful. Before he can start thrusting his hips and mounting the counter, Gráinne and David arrive, and she’s yelling at him for agreeing to take care of stupid Annette’s stupid kid. He swears it’ll only be for a couple of evenings, but Gráinne, because she has actually met Annette, knows this means “for the rest of their natural lives or until he turns 21, whichever comes first,” and talks about her backside and then calls David an idiot. Ah, young love.

Seán is about to duck into the bookies when he runs into Annette, so he has to change course and pretend he’s going to the library or art museum instead. There’s discussion of money, by which I mean she announces she doesn’t have any so he better give her some, and he makes up some story about how his paycheck has been delayed by a couple of days because of a computer glitch, and also because he doesn’t have a job. She reminds him to collect Máirtín from David’s later and he agrees, although the look on his face suggests neither of those two names rings any bells.

Tadhg returns to the pub after a full morning of terrorizing the community and is met by Frances, who’s annoyed that Micheál is refusing to even discuss windmills after his run-in with Tadhg. She announces that she might go have a word with Maggie, the thought of which gives Tadhg a touch of diarrhea-face, because clearly they were lovers or she’s his daughter or he’s her sister or something. There is a past, and he wants Frances to stay out of it, anyway. She informs him that women are perfectly capable of discussing things sensibly, which we will remember later in this episode when Bobbi-Lee and Mo are screaming at each other in the street, but he tells her that Maggie is a wagon and there’s no reasoning with her.

At Gaudi, Pádraig is serving Adam his cupcakes, which is not a euphemism, but should be. Adam’s mother Cruella de Vil arrives, which on one hand is tragic just on principle, but on the other makes possible the brilliant thing that is about to happen, so we’ll allow it. She lulls us all into a false sense of security by acting calm and reasonable at first, saying that they can’t leave things as they are, and then reveals her true colors, which are poo and vomit, by announcing that the solution she’s proposing is to pay Adam €8,000 to go be gay in London and never come back. Of course she presents this as if she’s doing it to help him, and Caitríona must have this witch on her payroll to keep herself from looking like the absolute worst person in Ireland.

And speaking of, back at the pub Caitríona is banging on to the magazine guy about how she’s considered a pillar of the community, and how happy people are when they leave her salon. To be fair, she’s absolutely right that people are usually very happy when they're walking away from her. Janice arrives to hijack this interview and shove it up Caitríona’s arse by smilingly fake-apologizing for promoting the pharmacy and assuring her that she’s actually not just looking for pity after the thrilling robbery, which of course is the most interesting thing that’s happened in the village since Áine kidnapped herself all those times. Magazine guy, who has been in a coma while Caitríona has been blathering on for the past two hours, perks up at the mention of the robbery, and asks Janice if he can interview her about it, because it’s much more interesting than the new steering wheel on Caitríona's chip van or whatever nonsense she's here to promote. Blondie protests, but magazine dude tells her he’ll come by the chip van later to finish the interview, and he’ll only charge her half price to do it. Snerk! The fact that Janice is on this show to assist Caitríona in humiliating herself and looking like a fool makes us very happy indeed. Oh, and then Laoise pretends to Imelda that she’s not sleeping with Eric some more. I’m looking forward to the battle of the new hair colors that’s going to break out between these two as they try to win over Eric, who will then end up leaving them both to shag Sexpot Sally anyway.

Back at Gaudi, we join Adam and Cruella screaming at each other, already in progress. He tells her she’s unbelievable, and she counters that she’s completely believable, thank you very much, and eventually he tears up the check and shouts to everyone in the restaurant that he’s gay. Of course, other than Pádraig, we’ve never seen any of these people before, so they probably have no idea who he is, but still, this is the most exciting coach tour of the Wild Atlantic Way they’ve ever been on. She tells him to be quiet because he’s making a scene, which of course leads to “Oh, you think that was a scene? I’ll show you a scene!”, which consists of his apologizing in advance to Pádraig and then grabbing him and giving him a huge, long kiss. Cruella looks shocked, Pádraig is frozen in shock and possibly other things, and Caitríona appears just in time to witness this and look thrilled. Also, the Wild Atlantic Way tour group collectively raise their one-star reviews of Gaudi on Yelp to two stars.

After the break, during which we all went and splashed some cold water on our faces, Mo and Colm are strolling down the street looking lovey-dovey and pleased with themselves. They’ll be less smug when they find out that they’ve only been together 12 hours and have already been replaced by Adam and Pádraig as the village’s hot new couple. Someone yells, “Oi, dosser!”, and it turns out to be Bobbi-Lee (!!!!), who’s popped out of the pub to berate shameless skiver Mo for puling a sickie and forcing her to work a double shift. Of course, a double shift for Bobbi-Lee is the equivalent of a quarter-shift for anyone else, but still. Tadhg appears and, after a drive-by insult of Bobbi-Lee, shouts to Mo that she better be in by 6:00 now that she’s made a miraculous recovery. She and Colm amble off and run into their buddy Seán, who’s coming out of the bookies’. Colm is annoyed to see him there, and Seán is panicky to have been caught, so he flees, and Mo explains that Seán’s an old regular at the bookies’, which causes Colm and his increasingly ridiculous sideburns to look very cross indeed.

Adam is walking briskly down the street, followed closely by Pádraig, who says he appreciates the drama and symbolism of that little production, but also needs to advise Adam, who’s new at all this, that kissing someone against their will isn’t the way to go. Oh, come now, Pádraig, it looked like a pretty good kiss, so stop being so noble and rock the casbah every once in a while. Fia runs into them and asks what’s up, so Pádraig tells her bemusedly that now everyone in Ros na Rún knows Adam is gay, especially his mother. And, since Caitríona saw it, all her many, many Twitter followers, by which I mean Vince and several Russian pornbots. Adam tells her his mother offered him money to move to London, and while he hates her, of course, he could also use the dosh, and besides, Ros na Rún is small and everyone is all up in his business, whereas London has a ferris wheel and a Pizza Hut. This causes Fia and Pádraig to transform sweetly if unconvincingly into the Ros na Rún Chamber of Commerce, and to say nice things about how much they care about Adam even though he’s an intermittent arsehole, and he smiles, but looks ambivalent.

Caitríona returns to the pharmacy to yell at Janice some more, snotting that she hopes she’s pleased with herself, and we all cheer when Janice is basically like, “Well, yes, I’m extremely pleased with myself, thanks for asking!” Heh. Caitríona can’t believe Janice hijacked her interview, leaving out the part about how it’s an interview she paid to have done, but fortunately Janice remembers that bit and is only too happy to bring it up. There’s bickering, and Janice finally says that they’re both businesswomen in this small village, and that it would be better if they could try to coexist peacefully, or else she’ll have to vaporize Caitríona and make a mud mask out of her remains. This seems to give Caitríona something to think about, by which I mean she’s probably going to go home and beat Vince now.

Colm confronts Seán by the giant ice cream cone, which is my new favorite landmark in the village, and maybe the next thing Adam will threaten to climb up and jump off. There’s discussion of how Seán better not be using all that money Colm gave him to bet on the horses, and of course Seán assures him that’s not what’s happening, because he’s been betting part of it on the dogs, and also the Eurovision song contest. It’s not his fault he lost that one, because he’d been told that Liberia was a dead cert to win. Colm, who appears to be transforming into one of the brothers from Oasis, tells him he better have cleared all his debts, because Anto is very dangerous and unpredictable, like Little Mix. Sadly this fascinating conversation is interrupted when Seán gets a phone call from…

…David, who’s at home, wondering when he’s going to come collect little Máirtín, whom they have folded up and stashed in a chair. Gráinne is annoyed, and her mood doesn’t improve when Seán basically says that Máirtín is David’s problem now, citing the doctrine of Finders Keepers. He hangs up, and David sends Gráinne into “Told You So” mode by meekly announcing that he’s going to have to drive Máirtín home himself. Oh, he seems old enough to put him in a hackney and hope for the best.

At the pub, Mo and Colm are smoochy-woochy and pukey-wukey some more, and Imelda sees this as her opportunity to ask Laoise if that’s how she and her new mystery man are. Insultingly, Laoise pretends not to know what “men” are and so on for a while, and eventually she admits that she’s seeing someone, but it’s very new and she doesn’t want to jinx it, and it’s not anyone anybody at this table has ever been married to, that’s for sure. Oh, Laoise, we try to like you, but this storyline is not doing you any favors. Poor Imelda looks heartbroken, and while as a whole I’m not finding this plot as gripping as I think I’m supposed to, it is nice seeing that there’s a person with feelings underneath O’Shea’s grim, stony exterior, like when the Tin Man got a heart, or the cars came to life in Cars.

David arrives home from dropping off Máirtín to find Gráinne watching TV and eating popcorn in her robe and terrifying Sasquatch slippers. He complains that when you give Seán an inch, he takes a mile, but Gráinne thinks there’s plenty of blame to go around, and that some of it should be shoved directly into Annette’s smug face. She adds that if Máirtín choked on a roller skate or fell down a volcano while they were babysitting him, skanky chancer Annette would no doubt sue them. They’d lose all the profits she’s made off the seaweed, which is almost enough for that jumbo box of Brillo pads she’s had her eye on. David thinks she’s being too tough on the Chancer family, and besides, it’s only for a week or so, and looking after Máirtín isn’t all that difficult. Well, given that the clock on the wall tells us it’s 3:15 a.m. and you’re just back from dropping him home, I think Gráinne may have a point.

Pádraig arrives at the pub and is pounced on by Caitríona and Vince, who call him Romeo and make suggestive innuendo about him and Adam, such as, “Explain to us this ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ thing we’ve heard so much about.” I’m paraphrasing. Of course he’s mortified and tells them the kiss was all for show, which is really inconvenient for Caitríona and does not play into the storyline she’s developed at all. Pádraig hopes she hasn’t told anyone that he and Adam are a couple, and she’s like, “Sure I haven’t told anyone! Unless by ‘anyone’ you mean ‘everyone in Europe.’” Of course she presents it as if she was doing him a favor by blabbing it to everyone, claiming she thought it was “the real deal,” which is a complete load. He looks annoyed, which we understand, but at the same time, Adam is pretty cute, and if you overlook the drugs and the theft and the lying, he’s one of the better catches in the village.

Bringing us back to where we began the episode, Imelda is playing cat-and-mouse with Laoise some more, talking about how she and Eric were lovey-dovey and dreamy and gross like Mo and Colm at the beginning of their marriage, but then he turned out to be a liar and a cheat. This seems to come as news to Laoise, who had no idea Eric was capable of lying, apart from all the lying she’s been helping him do for the past two weeks. It’s a bit of an odd note to end the episode on, but I suppose it’s all inevitably going to be a bit downhill after the excitement of Janice v. Caitríona and Adam v. Pádraig’s mouth.


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