Thursday, September 28, 2017

Antisocial Media

Season 22, Episode 7
First aired 26 September 2017

In case Mack and Dee’s return from vacation and immediate resumption of hostilities was not awkward enough for you last time, this is the episode for you! But I get ahead of myself. We open with Gráinne and David discussing today’s upcoming remembrance ceremony for their lost child, to which she has decided not to invite any of their friends, and has only invited David because she sent him the Evite by mistake. She wants it to be small and intimate, just for the two of them, and David reluctantly agrees, but it’s clearly not what he wants.

Mack arrives home from work and explains to Dee that he could barely stay awake, so someone named Jimmy sent him home early. This is probably Mack’s hackney job we’re talking about, although I personally am hoping it’s that new scheme from last season in which he drives Japanese tourists around Ros na Rún and tells them it’s Paris. Today’s group will knock one star off their TripAdvisor reviews because of the part where Mack fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the bus into the polytunnel. Dee, who looks particularly lovely today in her stripey top, tries to make conversation with him, but he is completely disinterested in anything she’s saying, even though it’s about WiFi speed and is therefore inherently fascinating, especially to Mack, who is pretty sure WiFi is a girl he got off with one time behind the bike shed at school.

In the B&B kitchen, Evan is promising Máire he will throw up later because of her cooking. I swear I am not making this up. This is Fia’s opportunity to pull ahead of him in the Good Grandchild contest, but sadly she is nowhere to be seen. Anyway, Evan points out to Máire that the carbon monoxide detector we heard so much about last week is not doing her any good still in its box on the kitchen table, but she seems so detached and bored by all this that we get the feeling she may be willing to take her chances with the carbon monoxide. He senses that she’s upset about something, particularly when she says, “I’m very upset,” and she reveals that she thinks she caused a row between David and Gráinne yesterday. I’d say it was more that David caused the row and Máire facilitated it, but I suppose the important thing is that a row was had.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Season 22, Episode 6
First aired 21 September 2017

We open with the return of Mack and Dee (yay!), who are just back from their holidays and look tan and relaxed. It seems they were not on one of those cruises where everyone gets norovirus and then the ship turns over. As Dee unloads the car, Mack wastes no time putting his foot in his mouth for the first time this season, asking a passing Gráinne how David’s doing what with his being “on death’s door” and all. To make things even more awkward, Gráinne is on her way to Recycle Pod Park with the tiny baby outfit from last episode, so Mack’s well-intentioned but cringe-inducing onslaught sends her fleeing back home and leads to his first “confused puppy” face of the year. I really do adore Mack.

Sad David is sitting lumpily at the kitchen table when Pádraig arrives home after a late night out, which is apparently a thing he does now. He groans that this is the last time, though, and that he never wants to see Bobbi-Lee, Adam, or a nightclub again. I’ve been wondering how newly out Adam spent his summer, and it makes me very happy to find out he’s been hitting the clubs with Bobbi-Lee and Pádraig. Really, if there’s a more fun night out than going to a gay club with those two, I don’t know what it would be. David is grimly bemused by this, which is the best we can hope for with him these days, but then he becomes furious when he sees that Pádraig has brought home today’s newspaper, which has a big article about Anto in it. He snatches it from him and throws it in the bin, which is a shame, because Pádraig has not even read Andy Capp or done the junior crossword yet. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

If I Only Had a Briain

Season 22, Episode 5
First aired 19 September 2017

We open with some product placement we will hear more about later, and then cut to David’s return home from the hospital, which sadly does not involve pushing his injured groin in front of him in a wheelbarrow with yellow “CAUTION” tape around it. He notices that they have a new couch since the last time he was home, and Gráinne notes brightly it’s a hand-me-down from some customer at Loinnir, who wanted to get rid of it because it was full of bedbugs and plutonium. David seems peeved, as would be anyone who got home from the hospital and discovered his partner had replaced the sofa without discussing it with him, but she says they can get rid of it when he’s back to his old self. I’m not sure where Gráinne is getting this endless parade of sofas, but I suspect there’s money laundering involved. Things are awkward, which is the new status quo between these two, and just as he’s about to break the news about his debilitating groinquake, the Ros na Rún Mobile Party Unit arrives, which consists of Pádraig (of course), Mo (?), and Bobbi-Lee (obviously, honey). Neither Gráinne nor David seems in the mood for any of this right now, so right on cue yet another person appears, whom we do not seem to have seen before, but is Kinda Hunky. David appears to know this person, whose name is Briain, which Microsoft Word is freaking out over because it can’t decide whether I am trying to type “Brian” or “Brain.” Either way, it’s sure I am wrong. Anyway, Briain has arrived with a duffel bag and a smirk in tow, and if you imagine a young Chris Isaak and a young Colin Farrell smashed together, you would be in the approximate neighborhood.

Tadhg has arrived at the café to order breakfast, harass Berni, and complain, not necessarily in that order. He’s annoyed that the shop is boarded up, and she happily explains that it’s being turned into an XL, which is a brand of store where you can go buy things in real life. In fact, there’s probably one near you right now! Remember, when you think of spending money, think of XL, serving Ireland with a smile since 742 B.C. I think Asterix burned down an XL in Asterix in Hibernia. Anyway, Berni seems to think the arrival of XL is just about the most exciting thing that’s happened in her entire life, but Máire and especially Fia give hilarious looks that make it clear they could not give less of a shit about any of this. Máire sadly says to no one, i.e., to terrible mother Berni, that it’s a shame that Evan couldn’t make it to Peadar’s mass the other day. Berni rolls her eyes and explains, clearly not for the first time, that Evan was on his way home for it, but then remembered he didn’t want to go found out someone named Josie Ó Lochlainn had died. Máire makes it clear that she doesn’t think the death of Jojo Feckin’ O’Leary or whatever his bloody name is trumps the death of Peadar, but Berni explains that Evan didn’t have the heart to leave Josie’s family in their time of need, what with his being a certified grief counselor and all. Máire, whose dialogue is apparently now written by my mother, says, “It’s a shame he didn’t think of me and how upset I was.” From personal experience I can say that this is hilarious when you hear it on TV, but less so when someone says it to you over Christmas dinner, or at your own wedding. Fia volunteers that Evan would’ve been there if he’d known, and I’m unclear whether she’s saying Evan didn’t know that it was his grandfather’s mass or didn’t know that Máire would be upset, but either way, he totally knew.

Tadhg’s breakfast, which consists of deep-fried bacon with a side of lard, arrives at the same time Frances does, and we’re not sure which of these two things is worse for his health. It seems he’s supposed to be on a diet, so Frances nags him about it for a while, and eventually tells him that if he doesn’t care about himself, he should at least think of little Áine, who needs her daddy to stay alive. I suspect if Tadhg’s poor eating habits lead to his needing a heart transplant, Áine could go out with her Barbie scissors and procure one in less time than it would take the surgical team to get scrubbed in to operate.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Of Graves and Groins

Season 22, Episode 4
First aired 14 September 2017

I’m running behind, and a lot of this episode is fairly grim, so I’m going to condense into one paragraph the tiresome Niamh-induced drama that’s sprinkled throughout the episode. Imelda tries to make Eric feel bad by talking about how hard it was for her to raise Niamh and her sister, whose name I can’t remember and therefore I am going to call Fuinneog, as a single mother. To ramp up the guilt, she produces an old photo of Niamh and Fuinneog as tiny children standing around wearing shirts that say “Cá bhfuil Daidí?” and “I hope Daddy isn’t doing drugs” and so on. It seems she’s making some progress until Niamh shows up and makes everything worse again, obviously, but eventually Eric tells Imelda it’s time Niamh knew the whole truth. Because the community center is apparently not available, they decide this is a conversation that’s best held in the middle of Graffiti Park, which you may recall we last saw when Pól jumped out of a recycle pod and beat up David. Imelda clinches her status as the winner of this conflict when she tells the story of the time she walked in on Eric shooting up right in front of little Niamh, and decided that was the last straw. She loaded the children into the car and set off for America, but when she got to the ocean, she had to turn around and settle for Galway instead. Eric apologizes, and then amazingly so does Niamh, who adds that she didn’t even try to understand her mother’s side of the story. Imelda explains that she didn’t tell Niamh and Fuinneog the whole story because she didn’t want them to hate their father, so they ended up hating her instead. It seems that all is well here for now, at least until Niamh files a report with Child Protective Services when Imelda tries to make her eat her vegetables.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of the episode. Colm visits the hospital, awkwardly, but David seems happier to see him than Gráinne is for some unimaginable reason. David seems cheerful but dazed—I mean even more than usual—so we’re going to assume there’s probably still some morphine action going on, or that he finished today’s junior word search all by himself and is feeling proud. It soon becomes clear that Gráinne hasn’t told David about losing the baby, though, which seriously unnerves Colm, who’s already been involved in enough psychodrama recently and seems reluctant to get sucked into any more.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Bobbi-Lee Ní Neachtain: Undercover Secretary

Season 22, Episode 3
First aired 12 September 2017

We open in the café, where Mo is on the phone with Gráinne, who says there’s no change in David’s condition. At this point David’s treatment regime consists of someone asking him once an hour, “Are you still in a coma?”, because with him it can be hard to tell sometimes. Mo spies a nearby newspaper and is alarmed by a headline saying that Anto is still in the hospital, because she was hoping he would be in the morgue by now, so she storms out, ignoring a hopeful Colm along the way. He sits down with John Joe and grimly admits he’s ruined everything and is leaving for greener pastures, i.e., someplace where he hasn’t kidnapped, robbed, or slept with every single person. John Joe tells him he can’t go without explaining the whole Eric/Anto/Ross Kemp drama to Mo, but Colm sadly replies that Mo doesn’t want to hear about it. Maybe the problem is that she can’t understand his accent without the subtitles.

Tadhg is polishing the outside of the pub when Maggie sidles up coquettishly in her fur coat and bats her eyes at him so hard his shirt almost flies off. They flirt for a bit, and he says he assumed she’d be on a plane back to Boston by now. Well, actually her ticket was on Ryanair, which flies you into Guatemala but calls it Boston. There’s some wistful staring into the middle distance, and then they muse about how much things have changed around here. For example, now there are two gays. She points out that she and Tadhg were “the best of friends” once upon a time, and that now all they can do is “try and get to know each other again.” Another option would be for them to stay the hell away from each other so Frances doesn’t have to run over them at high speed in her car. Eventually Tadhg gets overstimulated and remembers that he needs to go inside to vacuum the microwave and mop the Bobbi-Lee right now, so Maggie sashays away like Gina Lollobrigida in a wool scarf and he shoots his eyes out on stalks and grasps his broom handle firmly.

In the shop, Máire announces that the anniversary of Peadar’s death is approaching, which Janice declares must be, like, kind of a bummer. (I actually like Janice very much, but for some reason when I write about her she turns into Sorcha O’Carroll-Kelly.) Mo wanders past and Máire helpfully points out that she looks awful, which is of course the nicest compliment Mo’s gotten since that time Tony told her she was only the second most annoying person he’d ever met. Máire wants to talk about how traumatic being kidnapped must have been, but Mo isn’t interested in reliving the whole thing for her titillation for some reason and just wants to pay for the latest issue of Today’s Kidnapping Hairstyles magazine and get home to Uncle Pest. We assume he still exists, though we haven’t heard from him in ages. Meanwhile, John Joe floats in to tell Mo what a hard time his BFF Colm is having. He explains that Colm and Eric had an airtight plan to get rid of Anto once and for all, which involved trapping him in a cardboard box, driving him into the forest, and then releasing him, but then Eric spoiled it by doing a backflip down Imelda’s stairs, so Colm isn’t to blame at all. I think we’re leaving out the part where it was Colm’s shadiness that brought Anto here in the first place, but this all comes as news to Mo, and seems to give her something to really chew on, like the steak at Gaudi.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Broken Down on the Hard Shoulder of Love

Season 22, Episode 2
First aired 7 September 2017

So did you notice this season’s new opening credits? It’s nice to see more of the cast included (Fia! Adam! Dee!), but did you notice that Katy is there, but Jason isn’t? Hmm.

We open in the hospital, where David still has giant hoses coming out of his mouth that make it look like he’s being vacuumed out. Caitríona has arrived, and we worry it’s to fire Gráinne for non-attendance, but she’s actually here to be comforting. I know, I’m as surprised as you are. She says that her mother lost a baby once, too, but she got over it with time. They hug, and Gráinne walks her out. This will be the first of several times we see Caitríona caring about someone other than herself this episode, which I’m pretty sure is one of the biblical signs of the apocalypse.

A car pulls up in front of the B&B, and inside we find Imelda, who’s looking grim, and Eric, who’s acting like a big sulky baby. So, business as usual. He’s playing the martyr, and she tells him to knock it off because, sure, she pushed him down the stairs, but it was an accident, and it wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t followed her up them in the first place. This is not exactly how it appeared to happen, since it looked more like he aggressively grabbed her shoulder and then lost his balance when she shrugged him off, but OK. They squabble for a bit, and finally she tells him the official story is going to remain that she discovered him at the bottom of the stairs, and if he doesn’t play along, she’ll tell the girls the truth about his Troubled Past. I like how we keep hearing about “the girls,” but Niamh’s sister is staying far, far away from this mess.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Coma Chameleon

Season 22, Episode 1
First aired 5 September 2017

Welcome back! I’ve missed you!

So we all had a summer of fun in the sun and falling in love with 40-year-old high school students Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta down at the beach, but it seems David did not have that much fun, as he’s still bleeding from the last time we saw him back in June. He’s being wheeled into the hospital set, which we are going to see a lot of today, on a gurney, but seems to be very confused, even by his standards. As the medical types cart him away, he’s carrying on about the rabbits eating all the crops, which has Gráinne very upset indeed. She’s used to him banging on about things that make no sense, but not when there’s so much blood coming out of him. Mo tries to comfort her, because she’s a good friend, and Colm pops out for a bit to work on his alibi, because he is a sleaze. It’s good to know some things haven’t changed while we’ve been away.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the hospital, we find Eric, who appears to be a lot more alive than we expected him to be, and in fact just has a couple of pieces of sellotape on his forehead. Katy got more seriously injured that time she decided to take a nap on the bedroom carpet! Anyway, Imelda is chatting nervously with the doctor, and for some confusing reason decides to lie to her and tell her that she doesn’t know what happened to Eric, because she was in the kitchen polishing the toaster or whatever when she heard a giant crash from the other room, and then found Eric at the bottom of the stairs. I have no idea why she’s making up this story, because I have trouble imagining any court in the land would convict her, the police superintendent, of anything here, given that she repeatedly asked him to leave her house, then said goodbye, and then he followed her up the stairs and he grabbed her. She continues by explaining that Eric suffered some sort of head injury a few years ago, which I am going to assume involved Caitríona somehow, and that perhaps it contributed to his mysterious fall. The doctor wanders off, and I’m sure there’s no way this is going to come back and bite Imelda in her police arse.