Thursday, June 15, 2017

One Line Means You're Pregnant, Two Lines Means You've Got A Gun

Season 21, Episode 81
First aired 13 June 2017

It’s season finale week for Ros na Rún, and all signs point to it being completely bonkers! But first it’s the penultimate episode, which begins with Tadhg repeatedly insulting Berni, something we are always in favor of. We’re in the café, and he’s trying to talk Frances out of having a big day out, because it will involve her spending money and his having to do extra work, two things he is always opposed to. She’s adamant that she’s going whether he likes it or not, because Áine is off on an all-day school trip to the envelope factory or wherever and she’s going to take advantage of it. Berni keeps brightly offering her two cents, and Tadhg immediately lays the smackdown on her every time, including, “Stuff a scone down your throat, good girl. It might shut you up,” which is the best thing we have ever heard anyone say to her. Poor Berni never had to take this kind of abuse back on Brigadoon where she came from.

And now, in the petty crime portion of our show, of which there is a lot today, Colm and Seán are arguing. There’s a lot of that, too. Colm thinks Seán warned Anto that the Gardaí were on their way and that’s why they didn’t catch him, but Seán replies that he is not familiar with these “Gardaí” of which Colm speaks, and also couldn’t have possibly snitched, because he was busy being punched by Anto, Annette, and his various children the past few days. Colm decides this has gone far enough and it’s time to call in the big guns, but since Áine is away on her school trip, he will have to settle for Eric.

Micheál arrives at the café with Maggie in tow and orders two scones and two cups of coffee, which causes Berni to frown and explain as if she’s in agony that such a complicated order will take a while. Apparently she’s flying to Colombia to fetch the beans herself, or has to go out to check the scone tree to see if any of them are ripe enough to be picked. This gives Tadhg, who is still hanging around, an opportunity to harass the new arrivals, ostensibly over the ongoing windmill dispute, but really because he a) hates the sheik and b) has complicated feelings about Maggie. He claims the surveyor was just out making sure there are not already windmills on the site, and that it is not an ancient Indian burial ground, which upsets Micheál, because as the self-appointed windmill police, if there’s anything going on, he wants to be the first to know about it. He and Maggie leave in a huff, or rather he leaves in a huff and Maggie follows him because she doesn’t have anything better to do, and Tadhg looks pleased with himself.

Gráinne is at home looking direly at a calendar for reasons we are sure don’t have anything to do with all the discussion of children last episode. David enters and tries to get all smoochy-woochy with her, but she squirms away from him and says she’s got to go help her new best friend Coílí Jackie shear the cattle and milk the chickens. Jackie better watch out, because as Mo learned the hard way, the downside of being Gráinne’s BFF is that she won’t rest until she fixes you up with Colm. David wants to pull a sickie and spend the day with her, but she doesn’t want to because extended exposure to him is bad for pregnant ladies. I’m pretty sure that’s what the leaflet said. She also begs off tonight’s rabbit hunt, because firing shotguns blindly into the dark is not recommended until the third trimester. He kisses her goodbye, causing her to look like she’s going to throw up, and then leaves to go karate the rabbits into submission.

Back at the café, a meeting of the Anto Getting-Rid-Of Team has been called to order. Eric assures Colm that he’s done the right thing coming to him, because he’s almost positive he knows who Anto is, and also has seen almost every episode of Miami Vice. They concoct a scheme to lure Anto out into the open and then pounce on him (?). This is sounding very much like Wile E. Coyote versus the Roadrunner, which means it’s going to end with Eric and/or Colm falling off a cliff.

At the pub, Tadhg tells David and Coílí Jackie that they won’t have to worry about the plague of rabbits much longer, because once the windmills are built, they will blow them all away, or at least chop them into smaller, less hungry rabbits. David takes both sides of the issue, explaining that he is pro-windmill because they will help keep UFOs away, but anti-windmill, because if you don’t balance them exactly right, they will cause Ireland to tip over and sink. I am only semi-paying attention to this. Tadhg shoos him away, and then Coílí Jackie explains that he’s anti-windmill because Maggie is opposed to them, and she had a tough time in America, having been shot at a lot and dealing with overpriced healthcare. He says cryptically that Maggie has suffered enough, and when Tadhg asks him what he means by that, he gets squirmy and uncomfortable, as if he’s being kissed by David.

Back at the café, Laoise is trying to apologize to Eric for the scene she made in Gaudi, but he’s having none of it. He’s a jerk about it, and as he breezes past her, he tells her they’re finished. Gee, and here I thought that seemed like a relationship that was really destined to last.

At the pharmacy, Caitríona, who spends an awful lot of time there considering she’s opposed to its existence, runs into Gráinne, who’s buying a pregnancy test. Caitríona is delighted for her, because she is in favor of anything that involves people peeing on sticks, but Gráinne desperately hopes she’s not pregnant, because David is anti-children right now. Unsurprisingly, Caitríona commandeers this operation and announces that she’ll go home with Gráinne and help her wee on the stick, and I know that if I were facing an incredibly stressful life-changing moment, there’s no one I’d want there in the middle of it yammering on and making it all about herself than Caitríona.

Colm is briefing Seán on the plan to trap Anto, which involves Seán getting him to step into a loop of rope on the ground that is attached to a bent-over tree. Seán is reluctant to get involved with this, but Colm assures him the key is that they need to be smart about it. Well, goodbye, Seán and Colm.

Back at the pub, Tadhg is getting Coílí Jackie, who has the best hat we’ve seen on this show in some time, to spill the beans on everything he knows about Maggie. Jackie explains that his father was the postman, and that Maggie’s father Nosferatu menaced him into destroying all the letters she sent back home from America. I always imagined Coílí Jackie grew up in a shack in the woods with no contact with the outside world, like Jodie Foster in Nell, so discovering his father was the postman is a bit disillusioning. Anyway, he explains that he heard that as a girl Maggie had been carrying on with some local rogue, but he doesn’t know who it was. Tadhg volunteers that he’d have thought that destroying mail was against the law, as if that has ever stopped anyone around here from doing anything, especially him, but Jackie explains that Nosferatu was very powerful, and that he ruled the town. You can tell Tadhg is very upset by this story, because it proves Maggie was telling the truth, but he also acts like a dick throughout the whole thing, because he’s Tadhg.

In the street, Micheál is fuming to Laoise that he spent half the day out on the bog looking for the alleged surveyor, whom it turns out Tadhg made up. She’s able to top that, though, telling him that Eric broke up with her, and that it was a stupid idea for them to keep the whole thing a secret anyway. Nothing gets past our Laoise. Micheál mentions that Imelda has known about their relationship for ages, which makes Laoise go berserk, so she goes running off foaming at the mouth just in time for Tadhg to ooze out of the pub and demand to know where Maggie is. He and Micheál circle around each other waving their fists and threatening to knock each other out for a while, and eventually Tadhg flees in a snit. This is what happens when Frances leaves Tadhg home alone.

At her place, Gráinne emerges from the bathroom and puts the wee stick on the kitchen table. Oh, Gráinne, not on the table. We have to eat there! She’s afraid to look, but Caitríona encourages her to hurry it up, and it turns out … there’s two lines! Which I guess means she’s pregnant! And trust me, she does not look happy about it.

After the break, which we bet Gráinne spent wishing she’d invested some time in inventing a seaweed contraceptive, Anto meets Seán at the corner of Entrapment Lane and Bad Plan Boulevard. He accuses Seán of telling the Gardaí the location of his secret lair, which Seán denies, but Anto isn’t interested in hearing his excuses, and gets his fists dusted off and warmed up.

We return to pregnancy HQ, where Gráinne is in a panic, because not only did David mention casually that children are annoying that one time, but she’s not even sure they’d be fit parents. Well, I think we just need to look at the success David’s had with the kids at An Teaghlach to answer that question. Caitríona, who seems to be wishing she hadn’t inserted herself into this story after all, tells her that she should make an appointment with the doctor to make sure, since sometimes pregnancy tests aren’t accurate, especially when you buy them at crap pharmacies full of rubbish like Janice’s. That last part is implied.

Back at the site of today’s spleen-busting beating, which is much better lit than the others we’ve seen recently, Seán tells Anto that Colm is the one who shopped him to the police. There’s more punching and kicking, and Anto accuses him of lying about Colm having money, because one of the lads ransacked his place and didn’t find any. To be fair, it was a pretty half-assed, shoddy ransacking, which is what you get when you cheap out and use students on a youth employment scheme. Just as Anto is about to run over him with a steamroller, Seán decides to confess that Colm is trying to lure him into a trap, where the Gardaí will be waiting, assuming it’s not during a shift change. Anto pulls out his tiny switchblade, which looks like something from the garden center, and says that if he finds out Seán is lying, he’s going to go after his delightful wife and lovely children. Apparently Seán has a secret second family we have never seen.

Tadhg tracks Maggie down at the café and tells her he believes her about the letters from America now. She’s kind of a pill about it, although not unjustifiably of course, so he apologizes, something I’m not sure we’ve ever seen him do before, except maybe all those times he ruined Áine’s various birthday parties. He tells her he wants to rectify things with her, but that they can’t talk there, because there are too many big ears and bigger mouths around. Well, Berni warned you when she called the place the Gossip, Hearsay, & Undercooked Poultry Café.

At another table, clearly not in the non-yelling section, Laoise snots to Imelda that she and Eric have broken up, and that she can’t believe Imelda knew about them all this time and never said anything. She accuses Imelda of scheming to break them up the whole time, and Imelda counters that she’s so very lucky to have a lying liar like Laoise The Liar as a friend. I love how Laoise is taking the moral high ground here considering she’s the one who snuck around behind her friend’s back and lied to her repeatedly for bloody weeks.

Seán is telling Colm on the phone that Anto bought the story and will be meeting him to pick up the go-away money as scheduled. It’s a good thing they are not FaceTiming this conversation, though, since Anto is standing there holding a knife to Seán’s throat the whole time. It’s nice that they’re working as a team now. Seán hangs up and tells Anto that Colm will meet him tomorrow, and Anto fumes that Colm thinks he’s the smart one here, but he’ll be sorry. If you think you know which one is the smart one here, write your answers on a postcard and send them to Ros na Recaps, America.

At the pub, Colm ignores his beloved girlfriend Mo and sends Eric a text saying the Anto plan is on for tomorrow. Mo is all of a sudden fed up with his distant, hot-and-cold attitude, which of course has been his hallmark ever since we first met him, and demands he explain what his problem is. How long do we have? He admits that while he was in prison he taught money-laundering classes to the other convicts, such as Seán and Anto, but his excuse is that prison is very depressing, so one does what one can to pass the time. The pottery class was full, so he had to find a Plan B.

Back at the café, Laoise and Imelda are still yelling at each other about who slept with whose husband and who couldn’t keep whose husband satisfied and who is a giant pain in the arse and so on. Eventually Imelda decides to change tactics and try to be reasonable, but this is not something Laoise is interested in, so she continues to hiss insults through her gritted teeth and finally storms off after once again calling Imelda a lying backstabber. OK, Laoise, we think we’re just about done with you.

Upstairs at the pub, Maggie is telling Tadhg her Tale of Woe: The Sequel. It’s actually pretty terrible, in that it involves being beaten by her aunt’s alcoholic husband in America. Tadhg can commiserate, since he was beaten by his father, although not in America. He tells Maggie he had no idea how much she suffered, and seems genuinely rattled, which is very disconcerting for us all.

We cut back downstairs, where Colm is also banging on about how much he’s suffered, but it suffers in comparison with Maggie’s story, so we are afraid he will not move on to the next round of Ireland’s Got Problems. He admits that he kept some money from the bank robbery he and Andy pulled years ago to help his mother with her bills, but then she selfishly died before he could give it to her. Now Anto is after it, and Mo realizes this is why the flat got ransacked and John Joe got conked on the head. So, really, this is all Colm’s mother’s fault. He says he understands if Mo wants to break up with him, and she says she knows she should, but she’s worried about him for some reason. Well, she’ll feel better when she finds out Gráinne is running around with a gun.

Upstairs, Tadhg admits he was devastated when Maggie didn’t show up at the bridge, and that he hated her for all these years, but now he understands. She smiles sadly and tells him that the Tadhg she knew was pleasant, kind, and honest, and he hilariously says with a straight face that he’s still all those things. Heh. Tadhg can be funny when he’s not being awful, and also frequently when he is. She asks him if he still remembers the song he used to sing to her, and he sings a bit of it, and then sadly says that young, happy, innocent Tadhg is long gone. It’s a sad, lovely moment.

Outside, Anto, who has been hiding behind a gum wrapper, is about to jump Colm when he walks past, but then he pauses when Mo appears and watches the two of them hug and kiss and make googly eyes at each other, blissfully unaware of his presence. Bliss is the normal reaction to Anto not being around. She happily bounces back into the pub, and when Anto realizes the two of them are together and that he’s going to use her to get to Colm, he blows her a leering, terrifying kiss. Well, we have a lot of stories to tie up in the season finale, not the least of which is: did Áine enjoy her school trip to the envelope factory?

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