Sunday, November 26, 2017

Daddy Issues

Season 22, Episode 24
First aired 23 November 2017

We open on the stationery, cat food, and garden hose aisle of the shop, where Gráinne peeks over Mo’s shoulder and sees she’s obsessively looking at photos of herself and Colm on her phone. You know: Mo and Colm having an argument on a boat; Mo watching Colm launder money in Lanzarote; Mo and Colm being held hostage in a shed. All the usual Instagram stuff. They talk about whether Mo is over Colm yet for a bit (spoiler: no) and then agree to meet for lunch to discuss it further. Mo suggests Gaudi, because of course she does not want to eat a disgusting frozen sandwich out of a plastic box in the place where she works, but Gráinne insists on Tigh Thaidhg because it’s “close to Loinnir.” I wasn’t aware Gaudi was an exhausting slog from the salon requiring pack mules and Sherpas, but OK. A nearby Mack invites himself to join them, but when they point out that this is a girls’ gossip session, he announces he’s going to send Dee in his place, which gives Brídín Nic Dhonncha an excellent opportunity to remind us that she makes the best facial expressions on TV, in this case: “Ehhhhh……” Gráinne, who suddenly has access to Dee’s Google Calendar, tells him she’s pretty sure Dee is busy at lunchtime, but he assures her that he’ll make it work, so she and Mo mutter an unenthusiastic “Iontach” in unison. I’m not sure how to punctuate that to convey their lack of excitement, but if there’s an opposite of an exclamation mark, imagine that.

Vanessa pushes Liam Óg into the B&B kitchen in his stroller and she and Niall flirt with each other for a while about how GILFy they both are. Of course in this case Niall is also DILFy, but neither of them knows this yet. He points out that he’s not technically a grandfather yet, which is truer than he knows, and just as Vanessa is about to hand Liam Óg to Niall to hold, Fia comes hurtling through the doorway so fast her feet don’t touch the floor. She somehow makes a U-turn in midair and goes flying back through the door pushing the stroller, announcing that she needs to go change Liam Óg’s diaper in, umm, Portugal. After she vanishes, Vanessa gives Niall a “Kids! Who’d have ‘em?” look, and he puffs air ambiguously through his cheeks.

Berni stops Gráinne in the street to thank her again for giving her “the works” at the salon earlier, which you will recall involved waxing her chassis and buffing her undercarriage. Gráinne reiterates her theory that Berni’s doing all this because she’s got a man, because women tend not to bother getting Paraguayan waxes and such when they’re spending their nights at home alone with Antiques Roadshow and a hot water bottle. Berni, however, insists there is no man, and in fact she is not even familiar with these “men” of which Gráinne speaks, supporting my theory that she grew up on Paradise Island with Wonder Woman and the other Amazons. The topic of goofy Briain and his good-for-nothing mother comes up, which offends Berni, I mean even more than her usual baseline level of constant offendedness. She insists that he’s very bright and keeps his room tidy and has lovely table manners, actually, but fortunately stops before she starts describing how magnificent his junkular region is. She flounces off, and Gráinne makes a face behind her back that suggests she might be starting to suspect who Berni’s been getting plucked and tweezed for.

Maggie arrives at the community center and offers Máire a slice of the apple tart she’s carrying around, wishing her a happy Thanksgiving and waving a tiny American flag of the sort you might see sticking out of a giant cheeseburger. Máire reminisces that everyone coming together was her favorite part of Thanksgiving in America, which makes sense, because since she was not part of an extended American family while living here, she could enjoy the food and company without also enduring the years of repressed hostility and emotional blackmail the rest of us have to deal with. The conversation turns to mothers and daughters, and Máire tells Maggie she’s surprised she never had children, which causes eavesdropping Frances’ head to spin around like an owl as Maggie sighs that she never had the chance, but that having a little girl would have been nice. Máire adds that kids will break your heart, cause you to lose sleep, and slap you in the street after you walk in on them having sex on the floor with their druggie boyfriend, but that there’s still nothing better. Frances looks sad, which suggests she might work up some plan to rent Áine out to Maggie a few hours per week.

Gráinne is chasing some woman down the street offering her a free manicure, but the woman is pissed off about something and tells her to leave her alone. My guess is that Loinnir’s new “surprise vajazzling with each haircut” promotion is taking a while to catch on. Briain appears and tells Gráinne that he knows of at least one satisfied customer today, because Berni was showing telling him all about her various waxings and bleachings. Gráinne smirks and shoots her eyebrows out in various directions as he walks off, and it’s pretty clear she suspects that if she dusted Berni’s parts for fingerprints, the ones she’d find would be young, hairy, and smirky.

At the café, Fia invites Vanessa to join her for lunch, but when Niall comes in she suddenly remembers that she has to take Liam Óg to, umm, pole-vaulting practice. In Belgium. She flies out, leaving Niall spinning in her wake, and when he and Vanessa sit down together, she says something’s not right with Fia, and in fact, it’s almost as if she doesn’t like Niall. Almost! He tells her it’s all in her imagination, but Vanessa says something is going on here, and she’s not going to rest until she gets to the bottom of it. Unfortunately for Niall, Vanessa did an honors degree in Irish and Private Investigation.

Gráinne and Mo are having their girls’ lunch at the pub, and are thus far Deeless. Mo says she’s left things too long with Colm, and she’s not sure she wants him back anyway. Gráinne thinks this is all seafóid, but that the only way to find out is for Mo to call him. Another option would be to involve Bobbi-Lee, which would result in either a drunken marriage that gets immediately annulled or a series of costly and embarrassing harassment lawsuits. Either way, it would be the best Ros na Rún Christmas ever! Mo tries to change the subject when Mack and Dee show up, because she does not want them getting involved in her bizizzle, but Gráinne is flying high on a wave of gleeful pot-stirring today and informs them that they’re discussing Mo’s unresolved feelings about famous criminal Colm. Dee tries to begin her cross-examination of Mo, who objects to this line of questioning on the grounds that she doesn’t need a lawyer, and also that she hates Dee. Dee points out that she’s not a lawyer, she’s a barrister, actually, which suggests they are two different things, but I don’t care enough to look up the difference. It looks like the fight is about to be on, so Mack and Gráinne disappear, at which point Dee smiles and announces that this will give her and Mo a chance to have a proper chat, causing Mo to make the terrified face of someone who’s discovered her lap belt isn’t attached to anything just as the roller coaster crests the first big hill.

Vanessa has now followed Fia to Gaudi, but when she throws her fork down and starts to flee, she assures her she can relax because Niall isn’t with her this time. Vanessa asks her what’s going on, explaining that she was all set to go back to Australia because Fia seemed better, and now all of a sudden she’s acting like a crazy person again. Fia insists she’s fine, and points out that the 2500+ channels on Emirates’ inflight entertainment system makes the trip to Australia zoom by like a dream. DI Vanessa announces that she’s solved the case: now that Niall has arrived, Fia is jealous that she’s not getting all of Vanessa’s attention anymore. That’s some crackerjack detective work there, Vanessa. Fia agrees, because it’s the easiest option here, and promises she’ll behave herself until Niall and Vanessa leave, which could be on the 7:10 flight to Abu Dhabi if they leave for the airport right now.

Back at the pub, Dee is telling Mo’s cobweb-covered skeleton that in her opinion, she and Colm are just like Simone and Pablo from the book Saturn’s Way, which the subtitles claim she asserts has “strong love themes in it.” This sounds like the thesis of a paper my English-professor husband would give a D-minus. Gráinne asks if it was on TV, and Dee says yes, but that she thinks the book is much better, and then actually has the nerve to say, “I doubt either of you have read it.” At this, they give her some serious, Michelle Obama-caliber side-eye, and then Mack tries to smooth things over by pointing out that the only books he’s ever read are The Cat in the Hat and Nadine Coyle’s autobiography. Dee puts her foot in it a few more times until eventually Mo tells her to buzz off, which she does. Gráinne suddenly remembers she, err, left David on fire back at home and vanishes so Mack and Mo can have some privacy for the big fight they’re about to have. He tells her everyone knows the reason she’s so cranky lately is that she’s hung up on Colm, which is his way of telling her she needs to get laid without having her knock all his teeth out in response.

At the community center, Frances tells Tadhg that Maggie seems very lonely and regrets not having a family of her own, to which he brilliantly replies, “Well, there’s not much I can do about that now, is there?” Heh. She says she still doesn’t approve of the plan she thinks he has to get in Maggie’s good graces in order to inherit all her money, but that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Áine to get in Maggie’s good graces in order to inherit all her money. Tadhg dismisses all this as seafóid, but Frances concludes that she thinks it’s nice that he’s being nice to Maggie. Well, if she thinks his trying to steal Maggie’s money is nice, wait till she finds out he’s trying to frost her muffin.

Gráinne is still wandering the streets, which makes us wonder who’s looking after the salon all day. It would be great if in this scene we saw Áine walking out the front door of Loinnir carrying the till. Anyway, Gráinne runs into Berni in the street yet again, only this time they’ve switched directions, and she brings up the fact that Briain was telling her all about Berni’s waxing earlier. This causes Berni to freak out, pursing her lips at a near-record 98.9 kiloBernis, and she starts sputtering that nothing’s going on between her and Briain, that’s for sure, ha ha! Just then Briain himself materializes, practically standing in Berni’s pocket, and after Gráinne bats them around a bit more, she finally exclaims gleefully that she knows what’s going on between them. I’m not sure if Gráinne started drinking at breakfast or what, but she’s on a roll today, and I like it.

Unusually, after the break we return to the same scene we just left, but Berni has shifted her freakout into high gear and is pretty much losing her shit. Well, this isn’t suspicious at all, that’s for sure. Briain then decides he should freak out too for good measure, so now the two of them are going nuts in the middle of the street, screaming at Gráinne like Scientologists trying to shoo her off their land, and she’s just standing there watching, assuming they’ll tire themselves out eventually. They then take a different approach, making up a Mack-worthy story about a ghost that came down from a spaceship and stole their magic beans, so Gráinne just stands there and lets them embarrass themselves for a while before saying she must’ve gotten things wrong, because OBVIOUSLY nothing is going on here. She walks away smiling, and Berni and Briain presumably go home to put on some clean underpants.

Gráinne, who’s clearly on the Bobbi-Lee Work Plan today, returns to the pub yet again and tells Mo that she just left Berni having a fit in the street, which is of little interest to Mo because they all see that practically every day. They talk for a while about how awful Dee is, and when the conversation returns to Colm, Gráinne badgers Mo about calling him until she finally gives in just to shut her up. She gets his voicemail and proceeds to leave the most awkward message of all time, of the sort that after you hang up, you hope a comet will destroy the earth before the other person gets a chance to listen to it. She hangs up and looks mortified, and even Gráinne starts to think maybe she’s done enough damage for one day and should clock out.

A meeting of Cougars Anonymous has broken out at Gaudi, and in attendance are President Berni and, visiting from the Australian chapter, Vanessa. Berni complains about how difficult it is to keep a secret in this town given how full of gossips it is. Yes, she would know about gossip. Vanessa maintains the “fuck ‘em” platform she’s been campaigning on throughout the election, to which Berni replies that the important thing is that she and her toyboy are banging each other’s brains out. I’m paraphrasing, but not by much. Vanessa confirms that it’s been a total ride-a-thon ever since Niall showed up, too, and this is all really more than we needed to know about any of these people. Vanessa shows Berni a photo of Niall, in which he may or may not be wearing any clothes, and Berni is taken aback to see that he’s not a teenager as she was imagining. Vanessa asks how old her toyboy is, and she confesses he’s 24, and it’s Briain. Instead of the high-fiving “You go, girl!” Berni is obviously expecting, Vanessa’s mouth drops open and she says, “Evan’s friend??” Snerk. Berni asserts that they’re not hurting anyone, and Vanessa semi-agrees, but also asks what Berni would do if Evan were dating a woman her age, which really crams a potato in her tailpipe.

Back at the pub, Cóilí Jackie is holding court about Turfgate, still, and stage-whispers for nearby Maggie’s benefit that some people around here are good at taking what doesn’t belong to them. Burn!! Frances appears and invites Maggie to dinner tonight, explaining that they’d all love to have her over, especially Áine, putative heir to the Maggie Fortune. Maggie awkwardly says that would be lovely, but maybe some other time, so Frances gives her a small bottle of wine as a Thanksgiving gift. Clearly Frances doesn’t know how this holiday works, because the traditional Thanksgiving gift is a gut-punch of guilt. Actually, based on Maggie’s reaction, maybe Frances does know how Thanksgiving works.

Fia arrives home and swallows her teeth when she finds Niall in the kitchen playing with Liam Óg in his stroller. I’m beginning to think this child has been permanently grafted onto that thing. She spins it around so quickly the poor boy practically gets whiplash, and starts to make a quick exit, but Niall stops her and asks her what the hell her problem is. Oh, come on, Niall, even though you may not know this is your son yet, stop pretending you don’t know why there’s awkwardness between you and Fia. She snaps that he should’ve stayed in Australia like he was supposed to, but he’s not willing to let this go, and tells her it’s time they had a chat.

Mo’s sitting at home endlessly checking her phone for calls, texts, or nude selfies from Colm, or possibly waiting for her operating system to finish updating, but there’s nothing. She stomps around for a bit, and then there’s a knock at the door and it turns out to be…Colm. Oh, bleah. I really have no problem with him as a concept, but I hate him and Mo together. They look meaningfully at each other, which probably means he’s here to tell her about an exciting investment opportunity in Uzbekistan.

Back at the B&B, the fight is on. Niall claims he’s only there to support Vanessa, which elicits a series of eye-rolling “Yeah, right”s from Fia, and then he admits he was worried she’d tell Vanessa they slept together. Somehow I don’t think that’s at the top of her to-do list, but then again, Fia hasn’t been at her best lately. She spits that she’d never do that, but he replies that she’s been drinking and out of control, so who knows what she’s capable of? Yeah, she was so messed up she didn’t even take advantage of the opportunity to slap Amy when she practically handed her an engraved invitation. She repeats that telling Vanessa the truth is the one thing she’d never do, but he points out that if she keeps acting like she did this morning, she won’t have to tell her, because Vanessa will figure it out on her own. He storms out, and Fia looks like this might be a good time to start searching the house for any expired prescription painkillers or cat tranquilizers Máire might have lying around.

At her place, Mo pours Colm a cup of tea and tells him she shouldn’t have blamed him for all those things that were totally his fault. He replies that he’s sorry he hasn’t been around to help her through her tough times, but she says only one person could’ve helped her, and that was herself. Alternatively, Superman. She says she’s finally pulled herself together and swears she’s never going to be a victim anymore, and to celebrate this triumph of the human spirit, he grabs her up and kisses her. Right, in Mo’s case, the first step towards never being a victim again is hooking back up with Colm.

Back at the B&B, Niall comes back to fight with Fia some more, and she says she feels guilty whenever she sees him. He points out that he and Vanessa were broken up when he and Fia slept together, which of course makes it TOTALLY not inappropriate in about seventeen ways. He adds that he wanted to tell Vanessa about it when it happened, but Fia insisted they keep it a secret, so she can’t have it both ways and needs to make up her mind what she wants to happen here. While she’s sulking, he tries to give Liam Óg a bottle, which causes her to freak the eff out and scream that Liam Óg has nothing to do with Niall, which we will add to this episode’s long list of things that are not suspicious at all. He says he doesn’t understand why he can’t even look at Liam Óg without Fia having a conniption, so she tells him the easy solution to that problem is to stop looking at him. Fia 1, Niall 0. They argue for a while longer, and eventually her completely unsuspicious behavior causes him to realize the secret she’s been keeping … this is not her natural hair color! Oh, and also Liam Óg is Niall’s baby.

1 comment:

Tell the world what you think! Unless what you think is spam, or porn, or self-promotion, or hateful.