Friday, October 27, 2017

Please Mr. Postman

Season 22, Episode 15
First aired 24 October 2017

Jaunty music plays as we open to find Tadhg dancing around the pub with a broom, which is less like the dancing brooms in Fantasia than you might imagine. It’s quite disorienting to see him smiling and happy because, you know, Tadhg. We cut to Maggie’s, where she is also sweeping the floor, what with the official sport of Ros na Rún being drudgery. The same happy music is playing over there, and it’s unclear whether we are supposed to imagine it’s coming from a radio (surely not Micheál’s imaginary station!) or we’re all suffering a mass hallucination or what. Anyway, Maggie finds Tadhg’s watch where he hid it on her windowsill last episode, and she gives a gravely ambiguous look, which is of course the official facial expression of Ros na Rún.

Over at David and Gráinne’s, which today is more like the Love Shack, he’s trying to have sex with her at, in, or on the kitchen sink, but in spite of his raging libido and freshly starched pajamas, she’s decided that everybody needs to keep it in their pants right now. She consents to a little light eating each other’s faces off, and then he once again tries to migrate things to the bedroom, or possibly to Pádraig’s bedroom, where they will spread all his clothes on the floor and do it on top of them. Fortunately for all of us, and mostly for Pádraig, she reminds him that she can’t right now, because she’s got to go to the salon. It’s unclear whether she is actually going in or if this is another one of her pretend days at work, but either way, they will not be sexing each other up right now. He’s disappointed, but then when the blood starts returning to his brain, he panics: he’s forgotten to go to work! It seems David’s latest career is going to be just as glorious as all the earlier ones.

Micheál, who is carrying a big box of poison ivy or something around town for some reason, runs into Fia, who’s taking up space at an outdoor table we’ve never seen before in front of the café. Today’s special is existential despair, which comes with a side salad. He asks if she’s dropped off her CV to the radio station yet, but she lamely claims that she hasn’t had a chance because she’s rushed off her feet with Liam Óg. Of course he’s nowhere to be seen, but she’s pretty sure she saw him yesterday, or maybe it was the day before. Anyway, she’s going to make a mental note to find out what happened to him as soon as she finishes flipping through this issue of Overburdened Raver magazine she shoplifted. As Micheál is asking her to do some volunteer labor at the station this afternoon, Pól wanders up and starts mimicking him behind his back, which is actually pretty funny, but does not make us want to punch him any less. Struggling and ultimately failing to keep a straight face, she tells him that yes, yes, radio is the wave of the future and that she’ll be over there to do some unpaid work at half past her hole. She adds that Máire will throw a shit fit if she asks her to look after Lester Óg or whatever his name is again, though, because she’s been depending on her way too much lately. By “lately” she means “since right before the placenta came out.” He wanders away with his box of coca leaves and Pól sits himself down so they can rap for a while about how square and ungroovy grownups are. They shrug a lot about how boring everything is, especially their ennui, and then he pulls out a little baggie of what we are sure is Rooibos or possibly Oolong tea and suggests they go, you know, smoke it. She makes the first good decision she’s made all season and says she better not, which means we’re sure she will by the end of the episode.

At the pub, Dee is complaining to Mack that she doesn’t have any friends anymore, which she blames on having moved to Ros na Rún. While we’re sure her being 400 percent more terrible this year than last has absolutely nothing to do with it, she probably has a point that it’s harder to make friends in a town with only 12 people, half of whom are Bobbi-Lee. Also, where did she move here from? Galway? I didn’t get the feeling it was hundreds of miles away, so she could always take a bus to wherever her friends live, or maybe if she asks around she’ll find someone she knows who drives a hackney. Now that we think of it, we know Dee has a car, from that time she and Mack had a car chase around the block. Mo stops by to ask if Dee’s talked to Katy since the wedding, so Dee lies and is like, oh my God!, they totes talk all the time, because they are BFFs! Considering what she does for a living, you’d think she’d be a better liar. Just then David arrives in his new uniform, which looks very sharp indeed, but Tadhg and Mack make fun of him anyway, just on principle.

Sufficiently harassed, Postman Pat goes back outside to his truck just in time for Bobbi-Lee to run over and start digging through the back looking for a parcel she’s expecting. Interfering with the post is considered a criminal offense, unless you’re Bobbi-Lee, in which case it’s considered foreplay. David drags her out of the back of the van and shoos her away from his sack, telling her that he delivered her parcel to the pub, actually, since that’s where it was addressed. She takes great delight in informing him that it’s a delivery of new undies and then runs inside to break them in, and it’s probably better that we don’t stop to think about why Bobbi-Lee has her mail-order knickers delivered to the pub. Gráinne comes over to ask how things are going, and he acts like a big sulky baby, so she trots out her speech about how postmanliness is next to godliness again and reminds him that they also need the money, so he should shut the eff up and get back to work. That last part is implied.

At the front door of the B&B, Máire is thanking Micheál for giving her his briquettes, which we hope is a euphemism, and then he says he’ll come back later to deliver his wood and drop it at the back of her house. We had no idea Máire and Micheál had that kind of relationship, but we like them both better now that we do. There is, of course, talk of Fia’s nascent career in radio, which everyone in town except Fia seems overly excited about, and then he adds that she was fretting earlier that she’s been depending on Máire too much to care for Liam Óg. Well, he has started calling Máire “Mammy,” and calls Fia “that drunk lady who throws up here on bank holidays.” Hilariously, Micheál tells Máire that he knows she’s busy, but that she should really be less wrapped up in herself and spend more time worrying about Fia. After we all finish wetting ourselves laughing, he bogs off, but pauses long enough to make fun of a nearby David’s new uniform. Frankly we think this is by far the best we’ve ever seen David look, so everybody needs to shut up about it.

Back at the pub, Tadhg considers ringing Maggie, but then decides to put on his coat and go over there instead. Just as he’s leaving, though, Frances and Áine make a surprise return a day earlier than he expected, which he makes a point of noting repeatedly. I guess they should go back to Dublin, let Áine enjoy another day of mugging tourists in Temple Bar, and then come back tomorrow as scheduled. Frances notices he’s wearing a clean shirt instead of one covered in gravy and smells of aftershave instead of hate, so he makes up some nonsense about how he had a feeling they’d be back today. Maybe Gráinne did a tarot reading and he pulled the Interloping Family card. Before Tadhg gets a chance to ask her to go back where she came from so he can get back to sniffing around Maggie, Áine starts whining to Frances about wanting pancakes, so the two of them go upstairs, just missing Maggie, who’s come to drop off Tadhg’s watch and glare at everyone like the Angel of Death. She puts the watch on a table and sweeps back out the door without saying a word, so he follows her out, explaining that he was just on his way up to see her when Frannie and Annie came home unexpectedly. She’s distant and aggrieved for some reason, and seems vaguely offended that Frances had the nerve to come back to where she lives, and then she wanders off. We could probably spend a lot of time trying to interpret what’s going on with her here, but of course what we really want to know is WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE RADIO STATION, and WHAT WILL THEIR SLOGAN BE, and CAN WE WIN THINGS BY LISTENING?

After the break, David is hanging out in a customer’s kitchen, as postmen on Irish and British soaps do. If the postman came into your house in America, you’d shoot him and then call the police and claim it was self-defense. Anyway, the customer in question is Máire, who’s banging on about how all she ever gets are bills, and how sad it is that no one writes letters anymore. Well, if she’d try sending some letters other than anonymous notes calling local women harlots for showing too much ankle, maybe she’d receive some nice letters once in a while. David, who’s been standing there awkwardly for what we imagine is several hours, apologizes for having to upset her and then produces some piece of junk mail addressed to Peadar. He says he wishes he could’ve thrown it down the sewer like he did the rest of today’s mail, but the sewer is full now, and also the street is flooded for some reason, so he had no choice but to deliver it to her. She tells him it was his duty to deliver it as the new postman, which reminds him why he’s standing in her kitchen in a uniform, and sadly says it’s not the first piece of mail she’s gotten for Peadar since he died, which David finds absolutely shocking for some reason. We get mail addressed to people who lived at our house 15 years ago, so I’m not sure why David finds all this so unbelievable, but we don’t have the energy to argue with him right now. She burbles that she wishes Peadar and his good advice were here today of all days, presumably because he could advise her how to get David to go away. He asks if something’s bothering her, and she says “I’m fine” in her patented tone that means “Please continue asking what’s wrong,” so he asks her to put the kettle on so he can sit down and have a nice leisurely cup of tea with her. Well, thank heavens he delivered Bobbi-Lee’s new emergency knickers before he decided to start skiving.

Tadhg wanders back into the pub, where Frances informs him that a crisis has broken out in the form of their being out of flour. Decades from now, we will all remember where we were when we found out poor little Áine couldn’t have pancakes that time. Frances sends him off to the shop, and because he’s still in a daze over this Maggie situation, he agrees to go, instead of his normal reaction, which would be to tell Frances that Áine doesn’t need pancakes at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and to stop being so stupid about it. As he starts to zombie out the door, she tactfully points out that he hasn’t bothered asking how her dad is doing, and that it turns out that he’s fine, just incidentally. Of course Tadhg had pretty much forgotten why Frances went to Dublin, and also that she has a father, so he tries to create a distraction by flirting with her and turning on his dyspeptic charm routine, which must have worked on her at some point, we guess.

Back at the B&B, where supposed-to-be-working David is still hanging out, Máire has made a few phone calls and gotten Liam Óg a place in the crèche at the community center. I’m sure all the people who are sitting at home waiting for their important medication to be delivered will understand when David tells them he was delayed because he needed to hang around while some kid’s daycare needs were being sorted out. I mean, they’ll understand when he tells them this after they wake up from their comas. David, very familiar with the inner workings of the mind of a toddler, assures her that going to the crèche will give Liam Óg’s day some much-needed structure and that he’ll also enjoy it, and offers to write down a list of the best toys they have there so Liam Óg won’t waste his time on the rubbish ones. Máire adds that, even better, when Fia gets this radio job she doesn’t want and is not applying for, she and Liam Óg will be in the same building all day! They’re very pleased at the solution they’ve engineered to this problem, though they will be disappointed when they find out Liam Óg doesn’t get the spot in the crèche after all because it turns out he was at a 2-day-long rave when he claimed to be at the library working on his CV. She tells him he was brought here today by God himself, in the form of An Post I suppose, and that he’s the best postman they’ve ever had, even better than the one who kept stealing and then wearing Bobbi-Lee’s mail-order bras and also the one who killed all those people. Talk of postmen reminds David that, oh yeah, that’s him, and that he’s wearing this uniform and has propped his feet up on this big sack of mail because he’s supposed to be working. With this kind of dedication and work ethic, it’s a wonder that he’s bounced around among so many careers.

David leaves and Fia arrives, which we would normally consider a trade up, but given the way she’s been behaving lately, we’re not so sure anymore. Máire tells her about the chat she had with Micheál earlier, and that to address Fia’s semi-existent concerns about leaning on Máire too much, she’s gotten Liam Óg a spot in the crèche (or, as the incorrectly encoded subtitles keep calling it, the “crÁeche”). Fia thinks this is totally iontach, because the crèche is conveniently located halfway between the pub and the beer aisle at the shop, or as that section of town has become known,“the Fia District.” Máire also reminds her about the meeting about the radio station taking place at 5 o’clock today in the pub, which Fia hasn’t heard about and has not yet decided whether she gives a shit about, either. We also don’t get the impression that getting Liam Óg into the crèche took much effort at all, so we wonder why it didn’t occur to any of them before. Maybe they kept seeing it on the sign as “crÁeche” and thought that was some kind of French pastry.

At the café, John Joe is trying to make Dee feel better about the fact that her own sister didn’t bother telling her she was getting married, had gotten married, or even what her name is. His explanation is that one of Katy’s coworkers posted the news on Fakebook without anyone’s permission, and that Katy and Jason were very cross about it. So basically what he’s saying is that the problem isn’t that Katy doesn’t like Dee, the problem is that Dee found out Katy doesn’t like her. For some reason this does not seem to make Dee feel better, so she starts wondering what’s wrong with her that her own sister would do this to her. Has she not seen the last 2 seasons of this show? John Joe weakly tells her, “Look, it wasn’t personal,” because it wasn’t just Dee: Katy didn’t tell any of her sisters with whom she’s barely been on speaking terms for their entire lives and whose husbands might be the father of her baby about the wedding. We realize John Joe is in a difficult situation here, but what an incredibly stupid thing to say. At this point his best bet would be to tell Dee, “It’s not your fault, it’s that Katy is a total wagon,” and then try to clean up whatever damage that causes down the road when Katy finds out he said it.

At a different table, David is telling Gráinne he had an OK day at work, though he’s bursting for a wee after all the cups of tea he drank and also his arse hurts from sitting on it all day. He adds that loneliness is an awful thing, and he’s seen a lot of it today due to the fact that Ros na Rún has the most shut-ins per capita of any town in the EU. It’s true, you can look it up. Gráinne is only semi-listening, however, because she’s just discovered while sitting here that she has a uniform fetish, so she tells David to go home and prepare himself, because she’s going to ride him like a roller coaster. It’s the Ros na Rún equivalent of the Simpsons where Marge orders Homer to make sweet nuclear love to her, but only if he keeps the Mr. Plow jacket on.

At the pub, a meeting of Radio Imaginary has broken out, starring Micheál, Fia, Amy, and the cast of Grange Hill. There is a lot of boring radio talk among Amy and the kids we’ve never seen before, in which someone called Fraochán or something says she heard that radio stations are radioactive and that worries her, and Liathróid says he thinks they should have chairs at the station, and Siopadóireacht Bheag says she thinks the chairs should be blue, and it’s all very very interesting, obviously. Fia is mostly interested in her phone, to which Pól keeps sending photos of joints he’s rolling, and also in some lad named Jack who is well fit or whatever the kids are saying nowadays, but also looks like a cross between young Tom Hanks and David. Eventually Amy and Fia get into a row because Fia says she’d like to be a reporter for the station, but Amy tells her she can’t because she’s tied down with a baby and therefore won’t be able to drop everything in the middle of the night and travel far away to report on breaking news. What kind of local 2-hour-per-week teen radio station do they think this is going to be? All of a sudden they’re sending war correspondents to Syria at 3 in the morning. For feck’s sake. Anyway, Fia is offended and thinks this is all a big load, which it is, so she storms off.

John Joe and Dee are toasting Katy and Jason with glasses of champagne, by which I mean John Joe is toasting Katy and Jason while Dee drinks as much champagne as possible as quickly as she can in hopes of forgetting Katy and Jason exist. He gets a phone call from a woman whose car full of orphans with gluten sensitivities is broken down at the bottom of a river or whatever, and he tries to tell her he’s too busy to come fish her out because he’s drinking with his depressed daughter. Eventually Dee tells him to just go, because she’s perfectly capable of drinking alone. “Independent Women, Pt. 1” and so on.

Upstairs at the pub, Tadhg announces that he’s sent Áine to have a sleepover at the house of some kid he’s pretty sure she knows. They seem to be about the same age, anyway, so he’s sure it’ll be fine. Frances thinks it will be good for her, because she had a very tough time in Dublin, where there are too many shoe stores and the DART is not the same as the Luas and the Molly Malone statue thrusts its cleavage at you very aggressively, like a bronze Bobbi-Lee. She says she’s going to have a bath and then go to bed, which concerns Tadhg since it’s broad daylight outside and, given when the radio meeting downstairs was supposed to start, can’t be much past 5:30pm. He forgets how exhausting it is to be around him. She invites him to come join her, but he makes excuses about how he needs to go visit Maggie count the coasters until he realizes how obvious he’s being, and remembers that Frances is not stupid, so he promises that he’ll be in soon.

Fia arrives at the House of Horrors, where Pól is unconscious on the sofa. Well, halfway on the sofa and halfway on the floor. I think he’s confused about the two things a convertible sofa converts between. Fia stomps in and starts ranting about how the radio meeting was a complete waste of her valuable time. Yes, time she could’ve spent smoking pot and reenacting episodes of The Walking Dead with Pól before passing out in a hedge. She sits down at the opposite end of the sofa, so he slithers over and then starts fiddling with her hair and trying to kiss her. She shrugs him off and tells him to get off her, so he calls her frigid, and then somehow makes things even worse by saying clearly she wasn’t always that way, or she wouldn’t have a baby. Nice. Rather than slapping the shit out of him, she orders him to turn up the music, which he does, and then they sit there ignoring each other and listening to a droning song that seems to be called “Ey. EY! Ey. EY! Ey. EY!”

Tadhg has hiked up to Maggie’s house and starts to open the gate, but then pauses and thinks about what he’s doing. Eventually he decides he’s making a mistake, closes the gate again, and walks away slowly. Of course, Maggie is secretly watching all this through the window, and looks anguished—and also a bit like Han Solo frozen in carbonite—when she sees him turn and walk away. He disappears, and then inside the house, we see her gravely turn her back to the window, a single tear running down her face. We like Maggie, but we would feel a lot sorrier for her if not for our sinking suspicion that this storyline will eventually end in Frances being hurt, which we are very much opposed to. Team Frances!

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