Friday, October 6, 2017

Hurls Gone Wild

Season 22, Episode 9
First aired 3 October 2017

We open in a church, where David is praying for guidance on the whole “lighting Gráinne’s fire” issue. Well, in the US if your pilot light goes out, the gas company will come out and relight it for $75, so that might be an option here. He asks for the strength to do the right thing, and we’re not sure what he thinks that is, but we wish he would hurry up and do it, because watching him go around in circles is getting tiresome.

Over at the B&B, Fia is kissing Máire’s ass so furiously Máire can barely sit down. She quickly realizes Fia wants something, what with having met her and all, so Fia grins bashfully and giggles that she’s hoping Máire will babysit Liam Óg tonight so she can go out with Evan for a cider and perhaps some light bible study. Translation: “do shots off Briain’s abs all night and then throw up in a bush.” I think that’s in the Old Testament. Máire agrees, and Fia looks pleased with herself, because just last episode her mother was telling her via picture-Victrola that she should be more drunk and irresponsible.

At Stately Gráinne Manor, formerly known as the bachelor pad, David arrives home and tells her he’s been at the church. She asks him what he was doing there, and when he says he was praying, she seems vaguely disappointed, or maybe just bored. She had probably convinced herself there was going to be bingo in this story, and there’s no way to recover from that. He announces gravely that he’s decided to go home for a while, but is not taking his car for some reason, because he “won’t need it.” Kerry’s comprehensive subway system and plentiful hover-buses will get him everywhere he needs to go, we guess, or maybe he’s just planning on being too drunk to drive at all times. Gráinne is basically like, “WTF?”, so he informs her that she needs some space and time to get her head around things. Yes, clearly Gráinne and her poor coping skills are the problem here. He proclaims that this is what’s best for both of them, and then leaves her standing there in annoyed disbelief as he heads off to the bedroom to pack his various karate uniforms for the trip. This time of year is hard because you never know whether you’ll need your light cotton one or your insulated wool one with the attached mittens.

At their place, Mack tells Dee that he’s going jogging with Mo again, but looks stricken when she replies that she thinks she’ll go with them. It seems running is a thing she has seen pictures of in magazines, and also she studied the landmark case of Widow Jones v. The Cliffside Jogging Trail With No Safety Rails And Also v. Foot Locker in law school. Mack tepidly says that having her along would be nice, but what would be even nicer would be him and Mo going and Dee staying at home. He explains that he’s been running with Mo to help her get over her depression, and that it would be harder to cheer her up with Dee and her terrible personality around. For some reason she expresses confusion at this rather than immediately pulling his face off, so he clarifies that of course he finds her obnoxiousness delightful, it’s just everyone else who finds her unbearable. She seems slightly disappointed, but again does not grab his head and put it through the coffee table, so we are not sure who this person is or what she’s done with Dee Daly.

Out in the street, Micheál and Pádraig are arguing over absolutely nothing. Micheál is stressed out because the Ireland’s Villagiest Village people are coming today, and Pádraig is annoyed because, as we will see shortly, today he has been assigned the role of designated dick. Micheál declares everything in the world seafóid and storms off to the edible-underwear factory or wherever he works, and then Pádraig, who is still ticked off that the contest people will be eating at Tigh Thaidhg rather than Gaudi, gets in an even bigger snit when the mussel delivery dude wanders past and deposits a bucket of mussels with him to take to Tadhg. Sadly for us and for Pádraig, “mussel delivery dude” is not a euphemism. His explanation for why he can’t carry them inside himself is that he can’t go into the pub wearing his giant wellies, so we will gloss over how he was able to drive his truck with them on and instead concentrate on the unlikely thing that happens next, which is that Pádraig looks hilariously back and forth between the bucket and the pub for about eleven minutes and then decides to run across the street and hide the bucket behind a big rock. He skulks away, and all this seems like a completely bizarre and half-assed thing for him to do, but then I guess he doesn’t have as much experience spontaneously concocting airtight plans to get his way and/or cause general chaos as, say, Bobbi-Lee.

Mack and Dee are having breakfast over at Gaudi, and it seems her delayed-reaction anger has just kicked in, because now she’s giving him the silent treatment. Fortunately he is smart enough not to say, “Hey Dee, you’re awful all the time, but this is bad even for you. What’s up?” and instead just says the second part. She says the Mo/jogging situation makes her feel like he’s trying to keep her away from his friends, and reminds him that she’s new to the area (?) and that it’s difficult to make friends when you don’t know anybody, especially when your father is a kook and your sister is even worse than you are. Of course Mo has arrived just in time to overhear this, and sensing that Mack is about to say something that will result in his being murdered, and seemingly also feeling bad for Dee, she brightly interrupts to say she doesn’t think she can go jogging with him today, but maybe Dee could go with her instead? Dee is thrilled, and Mo really is the best, even though of course this will come back to bite her in the ass immediately since the show has decided to ramp Dee’s awfulness up by about 200 percent this season.

Pádraig, who looks amazing and should wear shades of grey all the time, comes home in mid-snit about what jerks Micheál and Tadhg are and that the Villagiest Village people wouldn’t know a quality village if it came up and kicked them in the town halls. He rants for a while and eventually notices that Gráinne is sitting on the couch crying, and she tells him that David is gone. We understand why this is upsetting for her, at least on paper, but we still think she could do better. She asks Pádraig if David said anything to him about it, and the fact that Pádraig suddenly becomes very interested in examining the floors and ceiling tells her the answer is yes. He delivers some platitudes about how this has all been very hard on David and that he must think he’s doing the right thing, but Gráinne concludes that David is an idiot. Well, it took her long enough, but she finally got there.

At the B&B, Fia has been harassing Evan with texts all day and now that he’s here in person, she informs him that the two of them are going out for a few drinks. He tells her he’s already got plans with Briain tonight, but of course she also has plans with Briain tonight. This is starting to feel like a Will & Grace episode. Evan tries to discourage her by telling her all he and Briain talk about is football, but she makes a great “nyah” mocking noise and tells him it’s still better than sitting around all night listening to Máire tut-tut about how everyone on Strictly Come Dancing looks like a slut. He’s resistant, but in a battle of wills between these two Fia will win every time, because poor Evan has been steamrolled by Berni so many times that at this point his spine is mostly collagen.

Tadhg is pacing back and forth outside the pub looking for his mussel man. Aren’t we all? He rants at a passing Mo that the Donkeys of the West idiots will be here soon, and they’ve been promised mussels. Vince’s shop probably doesn’t carry any of the soy substitutes like tofussels. Mo is unconvinced that she cares about any of this, even when Tadhg fumes that Bobbi-Lee hasn’t shown up for work (SHOCK!), and then Dee appears, excited to show Mo a new app she’s found that somehow manages to make jogging even less fun than it already is. As Dee natters on about it, Bobbi-Lee shows up and Mo harangues her for a while, and warns her that Tadhg’s in a mood because of the stupid mussels. Dee has perhaps the most luxurious hair I’ve ever seen, but I’m finding her extreme fringe very distracting, because she’s starting to look like one of the Ramones.

Inside, Tadhg has produced a giant bag he’s found in the freezer full of something green, lumpy, and terrifying. Sensibly, Bobbi-Lee doesn’t want to touch it, because this is like the opening scene of every low-budget space horror movie from the ‘50s, but he explains that they’re the last batch of mussels Séamus Mhichil Tom ever gave him, and they’ve been sitting in the freezer for the past two years. Oh, dear. He orders Bobbi-Lee to go dump them in a saucepan, or put them in the vicinity of a saucepan and let them crawl into it themselves, and when she offers that she thinks they need to be defrosted first, he points out that they’ll thaw out soon enough when she puts them in a pot of boiling water. Well, you can’t argue with that. She shrugs and carries them off to the kitchen as Tadhg breathes a sigh of relief, confident in the fact that he’s solved his problem in a way that probably will not kill any of the main characters, though today’s extras may want to take out some additional life insurance.

At Stately Gráinne Manor, Pádraig reveals to her that David hasn’t been feeling like a real man since being shot in the sausage and two veg, and tells the story about Gráinne’s pilot light going out and David not being able to reach the gas company ever again. Appropriately, it seems this last bit causes a light bulb to come on over her head, and she picks up her phone and calls David, desperate to talk to him. Unfortunately for her, the nearby ringing reveals that he left his phone here when he left, too, presumably because he won’t be needing it in Kerry thanks to the fact that everyone there lives within shouting distance of each other, or is telepathic. Pádraig points out that if David didn’t drive, then he must’ve taken the bus, because he remembers seeing on the news the other day that the cross-Ireland monorail flew off the track near Limerick, and then they had to shut down the teleporter because it kept reassembling people’s bodies in the wrong order at the other end. This pair of infrastructure disasters really sank Ireland’s chances in the Europe’s Islandiest Island competition. Anyway, Gráinne proclaims that Pádraig is a genius—remember she’s been spending all her time around David lately—and realizes that since only three buses come through Ros na Rún per day, there’s a chance she can still catch David at the bus stop!

After the break, during which we learn that identical triplets buy their clothing from the milk case at Tesco’s, we’re at the pub, where Labhrás and Micheál are fuming to Mo that Tadhg can’t change his menu at the last minute: they were promised mussels, and they’re getting mussels! I keep getting distracted because the word for mussels sounds a lot like the word barraicíní, which is something else. Mo tells them there’s nothing she can do about the presence or absence of mussels, but just before she can recommend they STFU about it, Tadhg and Bobbi-Lee appear with platters full of them. Tadhg proudly proclaims that they were picked fresh from the vine or whatever just this morning. Mo is confused, but at this point has given up on trying to understand anything that happens in her life, especially where Tadhg and Bobbi-Lee are concerned, so she shrugs and starts pulling pints, and Tadhg looks very pleased with himself. Oh, I hope this is going where I think it’s going.

Gráinne runs into Mack out in the street and asks if he’s given David a ride in his hackney today. Mack is pleased because this is a question he actually knows the answer to, unlike that time he was on Mastermind and made John Humphrys cry. It seems he dropped David off at the bus station in Galway a little while ago, and when Gráinne panics that she’s got to hurry up and get over there, he tells her there’s no point, because the bus was leaving at 1:00 and he’ll be long gone by now. Maybe if she’s lucky, the bus is operated by Ryanair.

At Berni’s house, Briain and Evan are playing darts and talking about football in excruciating detail while Fia sits there looking bored. Mocking the hookers on Strictly with your grandma doesn’t seem so bad now, does it, Fia? She tries to make the conversation less stultifying by making a weak football pun and then repeating it several times, and when that doesn’t make Briain take his trousers off, she produces a bottle of vodka and unilaterally declares the party underway.

Over at the pub, there’s a strange sense of doom in the air, and it’s also about to be on the floor. Pádraig arrives and asks Mo where these mussels came from, and right on cue, people in the background start clutching their stomachs, covering their mouths, and running off retching. Labhrás staggers over and theorizes that the mussels have gone off, and then runs to the toilets. By this point everyone in the background is spewing, and we clearly have a major situation on our hands, so of course Bobbi-Lee cruises through while putting on her coat and announces that, well, she’s going home, so byeeee! Mo clarifies this misunderstanding by grabbing her arm and slinging her towards the toilets, and as the chorus of synchronized retching gets louder and louder, like an Enya record, Pádraig wanders outside and looks dazed by what he hath wrought.

Back inside, Mo asks where the mussels came from, and Bobbi-Lee matter-of-factly says Tadhg found them in the freezer, behind a box of popsicles encased in a layer of ice so thick you can barely see that it's running a contest where you can win tickets to a Beatles concert. Mo freaks out when Bobbi-Lee adds that the mussels came from Séamus, and then Tadhg appears with a mop and bucket and tells Mo they might have a bit of spill on the floors, the tables, and halfway up the walls. Mo yells at both of them and refuses to get involved, so Tadhg thrusts the mop at Bobbi-Lee, who as always reacts as if it’s the first time she’s ever seen one of these strange devices. During this whole scene there are a couple of extras in the background clutching their stomachs and doubling over while making retching sounds and they are my new favorites. Of course in real life you’d be like, “Excuse me, could you get your arse to the toilets and puke up your ring in there instead of sitting here casually throwing up on the table?”, but because it’s TV, it is absolutely hilarious, and they should get their own show immediately.

Micheál arrives and asks what the hell is going on, and Labhrás emerges from the toilet just long enough to say the word “mussels” and then runs back in there grabbing his stomach. Brilliantly, Frances then strolls merrily into the pub carrying the cake she’s picked up from Máire and suddenly looks around at the scene of splattered destruction that stretches as far as the eye can see. Micheál yells at Bobbi-Lee and Tadhg that their stupidity has cost the town the Villagiest Village contest, and you can tell Bobbi-Lee would be hurt by this accusation if she weren’t so busy figuring out whether she could get away with leaving work early by claiming her water just broke.

Laoise has escaped from the polytunnel and runs into Gráinne sitting at the bar at Gaudi being sad and on the verge of tears. It’s a good thing these two decided not to have lunch at the pub today or they’d be on the verge of something else. Laoise asks her if she wants to talk about whatever’s wrong, but Gráinne replies that she better not, because her big mouth is what got her into trouble in the first place, and flees.

Fia and the two lads enter the pub, which by this point looks like the first half hour of Saving Private Ryan. The guys look surprised—you expect to see mass vomiting at the café or Gaudi, but not at the pub—but Fia, who’s about 80 percent drunk, laughs and says it looks like they’ve missed a great party. Heh. It’s nice that people in the background are helping those who are still puking and fainting since the Red Cross hasn’t arrived yet. The guys order themselves pints, but Fia can’t be bothered with such kid stuff and orders shots of vodka. She’s wild-eyed and feeling no pain at this point, and the lads—and Frances—give her “oh dear” looks.

Out in the street, Pádraig semi-accidentally reveals to Mo that he had something to do with Project: Mussel Go Away, but feels terrible because he didn’t think anything like this would happen. Mo tries to get details on what exactly he’s saying he did as Bobbi-Lee hilariously passes by evacuating the walking wounded as if she’s a nurse on M*A*S*H. Unfortunately for Pádraig, she deposits one of the star pukers on the bus bench by the big rock and then comes back carrying the bucket full of missing mussels. Mo can’t believe what she’s seeing, and finds it as far-fetched as we do that Pádraig would stoop to this, or at least that he’d half-ass it so poorly, “hiding” the evidence directly across the street from the crime scene in plain sight.

We have a shot of Gráinne at home sadly sniffing and fondling David’s clothes, and then we return to the pub, where it seems the liquid lunch is over. We won’t think about what it smells like in there. Our focus shifts to a table where the boys have resumed talking about how boring football is, and Fia, who’s holding on to the table to remain upright as if it’s a hanging strap on the Tube, is continuing to do shots by the trayful. When Evan takes a quick phone call, she talks to Briain about Australia for a while, and bats her eyes at him so vigorously it nearly blows him off the stool, but then the football talk starts up again and she’s immediately bored, as are the rest of us. Fortunately for everyone, she decides to amuse herself by throwing coasters at Tadhg, who enjoys it exactly as much as you’d imagine, so the guys decide it’s time to move this one-woman party elsewhere. On the way out she falls into Briain’s arms and burbles about how strong he is, and he shoots Evan, who does not like this one bit, an ambiguously alarmed look.

Mo and Dee are standing against a wall in running gear stretching and ponytailing and so on, and instead of attempting to carry on a conversation, they are taking turns having unrelated monologues. Mo is describing the events of Pukefest 2017, whereas Dee is carrying on about how much she loves Italy because, like, they have hairdryers in the room. The highlight is when Mo notes that Bobbi-Lee tried to pick up some guy during the cleanup, or possibly asked him how he felt about her boobs as he was in mid-spew, but Dee is in her own world. Mo basically threatens to leave, so then Dee decides to interact with her by telling her that she and Mack talk about how pitiful she is some, but not too much. Like, a normal amount, I guess. This goes over like a poo in a kiddie pool, and Mo jogs off in a huff.

Fia has been airlifted to Berni’s, where she’s passed out on the sofa. Briain wakes her up to have a cup of coffee, so she comes to life, sort of, and woozily flirts with his crotch, or at least the Briain’s Crotch Metropolitan Area. He goes back to the kitchen to say goodbye to Evan, because this has all gotten way too real for him, and Evan talks shit about how awful Fia is for a while. Briain’s response is that Evan should take it easy on her and be less of a complete pill all the time, because it’s very difficult to be a single mother at age 17 or 24 or however old Fia is.

Gráinne has wandered into the church, which seems odd for a devout atheist. I can more easily imagine her going to seek solace in a library or a Pizza Hut, frankly, but those places would make the next thing that happens seem even more far-fetched, I guess. Anyway, she tells God that she doesn’t set foot in such places often, but since He lives there or whatever, she’s come to ask Him to give David a message. She wants David to know that she loves him now more than ever, and that he’d lit the light inside her long before the baby came along. She turns around and finds David standing there, and he explains that he couldn’t go any farther than Galway. We assume he means he couldn’t bring himself to go farther, though he makes it sound more like there was a bus strike. Anyway, he asks if she meant what she just said, and she assures him she did, and they hug happily, and it seems we have come to some kind of resolution here, or at least reached a détente. Détente is a fancy French word that means “don’t eat mussels that have been in the freezer since 1977.”

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