Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pic Your Poison

Season 22, Episode 25
First aired 28 November 2017

We begin in the B&B kitchen, where Niall is eating his fingers off while looking at photos of Liam Óg and trying to figure out if he looks like him, but Fia, who will we charitably say looks like she’s been having a rough time of it, keeps insisting that Liam Óg’s father is Danny, a.k.a. Ganja. She asks him to knock off this line of questioning, and when he asks how he can be sure he’s not the baby’s father, she replies that, as she’s already told him, it’s just not possible that he’s Liam Óg’s father. Well, I’m convinced. When he points out that this is a completely stupid non-explanation, she makes up some nonsense about having been on the pill when they slept together and then getting pregnant on the plane between Australia and Ireland or whatever. She was trying to press the flight attendant call button to ask for a ginger ale, but she accidentally pressed the “unintended pregnancy” button instead. He says he supposes he believes this story, which of course means he realizes it’s a complete load of crap, but is going to convince himself it’s true because he does not want to ruin his figure by having a baby right now.

Over at Mo’s place, which is apparently Mo and Colm’s place already, they’re giggling and carrying on about the loud, acrobatic sex they spent all night having up against the window, which overlooks a daycare center. He is a terrible influence on her. She asks him to pull a sickie so they can stay home and have sex in the kitchen sink all day, but he says he has a big day of doing whatever it is he does ahead of him and besides, his equipment is worn down to a nub right now. They’re unappealing for a while, but I suppose if having him back stops Mo moping around like she’s been doing all season, it’s worth it. Possibly. Also, I think Uncle Peatsaí died.

At the community center, Gráinne and her yoga ponytail run into Briain. She apologizes for being completely accurate yesterday about the fact that he and Berni are sleeping together, and he’s all, “Well, just don’t let it happen again.” One option would be for him and Berni to try being less completely obvious about their carrying on to anyone who’s paying attention, or alternatively to start accidentally sending naked pictures of themselves to everyone in town and then deny it. Oops, spoilers!

Meanwhile, at a table, Áine is working on her letter to Santa, in which she says she’s been very good this year, and if he doesn’t believe her, she’ll go up to the North Pole and break some elf legs. Maggie materializes and asks her if she thinks she’ll be on the good list in spite of her multitude of crimes, but Áine is only semi-paying attention to any of this because she’s busy stealing Maggie’s earrings and car keys. She says what she really wants for Christmas is an iPad (excuse me, a “tablet”), but that Tadhg told her they’re too expensive, so she’s asking for a bike instead. Maggie tries to walk her through some complex mental gymnastics that could result in her getting both, and I’m not sure why it hasn’t occurred to Áine to ask Santa for the expensive iPad and Mommy and Daddy for the reasonably priced bicycle, unless Tadhg has convinced her that Santa isn’t smart enough to build an iPad, or maybe isn’t Apple-certified.

At the shop, Berni runs into Briain, who is giggling into his phone over some app called “Pic” which allows you to send photos to your friends that disappear three seconds after they look at them. If the fact that Briain is amused by this nonsense doesn’t tell Berni that he’s too young for her, nothing will. He smirks that she should send him a “Pic” of her face or areolas or whatever, and she’s all giggly and “Oh, you!” and is clearly wondering if this app is compatible with her flip-phone from 1999. He flits off and she sees Bobbi-Lee, who’s at the post office window mailing threatening letters to Shania Twain and Blake Shelton. She asks if she’s familiar with this Pic thing that all the kids are talking about, and Bobbi-Lee of course says she is, and also invented it probably, but when Berni asks if she’ll teach her how to use it, she basically replies that she would except it would be a complete waste of her valuable time because Berni is stupid and unteachable. Snerk.

Tadhg appears at the community center and basically tells Áine to get her little behind into the hearse, because he’s got to take her to school even though it’s not doing her any good. He forgets that she’s very precociously stealing cars at a ninth-grade level. She whines that she can’t go to school because she has to mail her letter to Santa instead, because of course dropping a letter in the mailbox is the sort of all-day activity that prevents one from going to school, but Maggie, who is still hanging around, says she’ll post it for her. Somehow I suspect that in Áine’s mind skipping school is the more important part of this deal than posting the letter, but she gives in because she knows resistance is futile. After Áine toddles off, Maggie tells Tadhg she’s going into town to do her Christmas shopping and perhaps see a film, and then they reminisce about movies they have seen together in the past, such as The Rescuers Down Under and Debbie Does Dallas.

Out in the street, Dee is fretting to Mack that things were already rocky between her and Mo, and then she had to go and make things worse by, you know, talking. She wonders rhetorically why she’s incapable of keeping her mouth shut, but Mack manages to let that question evaporate in the wind rather than attempting to answer it, which is good because he’s one of our favorite characters and we would hate to see him impaled on a fencepost right here at the holidays. He does volunteer that Mo is a private person who doesn’t like others interfering in her life, and that another of her weird quirks is that she gets insulted when people say insulting things to her. He tells her to let it go and give Mo a few days to cool off, which she thinks is a splendid idea, except she’s going to do exactly the opposite and go apologize to Mo, which we’re sure will go something like, “I forget that sometimes stupid people get easily offended!”

At the café, Niall tells Vanessa he knows she wants to stay in Ros na Rún for a while, but he’s got a job back in Australia he needs to get back to. We have no idea what his occupation might be, but we assume he’s a teen abstinence counselor. She counters that it’s very important for her to be here while Fia gets her business off the ground and also has her various freakouts and drug-related head injuries. She tells him he doesn’t understand what it’s like because he’s NOT A PARENT, and after a beat he agrees noncommittally but reminds her that their life is in Australia, and that his INXS tribute band has got a tour of the Outback coming up that he needs to get back for. She sighs a lot and looks pained, so he assures her that he’d do anything to make her happy, such as trying not to sleep with her daughter again except once a year on his birthday.

Meanwhile, Caitríona, who you may recall is extremely busy with her new job as manager of the radio station, is sitting around the café going through a bunch of paperwork related to the salon. She sees something that makes her angry, so she screams a lot and then snatches up her phone and angrily dials someone, presumably the National Missing Persons Helpline to ask what the hell happened to Vince.

Maggie returns to the community center and excitedly tells Frances and Tadhg she picked up a little Christmas trinket for Áine: an iPad! She goes to fetch it from her tractor or whatever, which gives Frances a chance to fume that she and Tadhg were supposed to surprise Áine with the iPad, having thrown her off the scent with all that crap they fed her about them being too expensive and then sending her to her room without supper for asking. Of course Tadhg falls over himself defending Maggie, whose antics I for one am getting tired of, and points out to Frances that they might as well let Maggie spend her money on Áine’s nonsense so they don’t have to. Maggie returns with the iPad and suggests Frances and Tadhg hide it for her until Christmas for reasons that make no sense, which will give Áine a chance to find it or Frances a chance to shove it up Maggie’s arse on Christmas Eve or whatever. Frances goes to hide it, and to stick pins in the Maggie voodoo doll she keeps in her office, and as soon as she’s out of earshot, Tadhg and Maggie start flirting with each other, and she tells him that she’s bought him a present as well, but he’ll have to come up to her place to find out what it is. I hear a new “iPads and Sex Toys” shop just opened in Galway, but I’m sure that’s totally unrelated.

At their place, Berni is complaining to Evan that this “Pic” app is extremely complicated and asks him to show her how it works one more time. He looks like he wants to slit his wrists, because as we all know, parents should not be allowed near social media EVER. After he finishes rolling his eyes and drinking poison, he shows her again how to point the camera at herself and press a button. Well, this isn’t going to cause trouble, that’s for sure. For practice, she sends him a photo, and is then very excited when he gets it, because apparently she has never sent a text before. Having done his community service for the day, Evan flees, and Berni looks very pleased with herself, but also mischievous, because she’s clearly trying to decide whom she’s going to accidentally send a naked picture of herself to first. I vote Máire. She runs across the room and picks up a black-and-pink shopping bag, which is of course the universal symbol for “sexy lingerie,” and then lays said sexy lingerie on the table, snaps a photo of it, and sends it to…someone. PLEASE GOD LET IT BE EVAN.

Sadly, we cut to the street and see that she has correctly sent it to Briain, which is so disappointing I am going to write an angry letter to my congressman. He smirks at it—I mean even more than usual—and then it looks like he’s about to reach down the front of his pants and do something I didn’t think they were allowed to show on TG4, but it turns out he’s pulling his shirt up to snap a photo of his abs. Evan materializes just as he does this, and then they wrestle over the phone like 13-year-olds, and Evan manages to grab it away from him just in time to see that Briain has just sent a photo of his abs to…Bobbi-Lee! Briain yells that it was a mistake, and Evan laughs that it better have been, because she’s old enough to be his mother. Ev, you have no idea.

Over at the café, Bobbi-Lee gets a generic “ding!” sound on her phone, which means either someone’s sent her a Pic or another country-music star has filed a restraining order against her. It would really save her time if she organized all those into a single class-action lawsuit: Grand Ole Opry v. Ní Neachtain. She sees that it’s a close-up of Briain’s stomach and fumes over what nerve he’s got, the cheeky bastard, and then storms out, passing Fia and Vanessa on her way. Vanessa’s banging on about how cute Liam Óg is, what with his face and hair and limbs, and Fia’s like, “I’m sure you’ll miss him when you go back to Australia! By the way, would that be on today’s 7:10 to Abu Dhabi or the 8:50 to Dubai?” Vanessa chooses this moment to reveal the big surprise she’s got for Fia: she and Niall have decided to stay in Ros na Rún through Christmas! Oh, and also they’re buying Áine an iPad.

After the break, during which we suspect Fia curses under her breath a lot, we’re at Maggie’s, where Pól is being tech support for her laptop. You can tell gift-giving season is upon us, because all the young lads are helping the oldies in their lives with smiles pasted on their faces rather than calling them old saddos and then stealing their money and prescription meds. He’s got her laptop out and is teaching her how to watch DVDs, which are apparently still a thing. It seems her recent walk down movie-memory lane with Tadhg has inspired her to rewatch some of her old favorites, such as Unfaithful, The Other Woman, and Human Centipede 2. She complains for a while about how the upcoming robot revolution will result in us all being enslaved by our Roombas, but is then delighted when she sees he’s set her up so she can watch a film with the touch of a single button, assuming she’s put the disc in the right way up and has not been murdered by Frances. There are a number of contingencies in play here. When she gives him €50 as thanks for his labor he is very grateful, and we will have to keep in mind this display of semi-human behavior later when he is a complete slug again.

Dee’s Apology Of The Day world tour makes a stop at the pub, and Mack, who is as usual trailing along in her wake, looks like a man being led to his own execution. Mack may not know much, but he knows that whenever Dee and Mo—the two most important women in his life—get together, one way or another he’s going to end up sleeping on the sofa. Dee starts gabh-ing Mo’s leithscéal, but we are all shocked when Mo interrupts her to thank her for her good advice the other day about love, as opposed to dragging her into the street by the neck and kicking her repeatedly. She excitedly tells Dee that she and Colm are back together, and then they scream and hug a lot and Mack looks relieved, because it seems he will live to be confused another day.

And now we’re going to zip through the rest of this recap, because the English subtitles disappear during this scene and never return. So I’m basing this on my memory of what happened from when I first watched this episode five days ago, and from my very limited knowledge of Irish. For all our sakes, we better hope there is a lot of discussion of what color things are and whether various stores are open or closed.

Pól finds Fia at Gaudi and acts like a dick for a while, which of course is one of the qualities she looks for in a man, so she invites him to sit down. She’s clearly in a mood, so he asks her what’s wrong, and she says Niall, her stupid mother’s stupid husband, is a big poo-poo head and she wants him to go away. If Fia has the ability to make the annoying men in her life vanish, I recommend she start with Pól. He announces that he’s going to “the jacks,” and hopefully she will take this opportunity to flee the jurisdiction and begin a new life in Moldova under the name Svetlana.

At the pub, Bobbi-Lee has put on her “indignant” face and complains to Berni that Briain, who is a blackguard and so on, sent her a Pic of his hot rippling whatnot and she does not appreciate it. Berni suggests that perhaps he sent the Pic to the wrong person by mistake, like that time she misdialed and tried to order a Chinese takeaway from Máire. The poor dear spent three hours frantically crossing herself and weeping while trying to figure out how to fold fortune cookies. Bobbi-Lee will not be swayed from her single-issue “Briain is a scoundrel I must destroy” platform—I imagine she is calling it “Briexit”—but does reveal that she’s starting to think Briain may not be gay after all. Come on, Bobbi-Lee, you should know that straight men don’t have abs like that.

Back at Gaudi, Pól is still off dropping a leisurely deuce when Evan arrives to meet Fia. She’s in a mood today in which her complain-o-meter can go from zero to 700 in 3.5 seconds, so it’s not long before she’s in full whinge about how Vanessa and Niall have decided to stay in Ros na Rún for a few more weeks, which is ruining all her carefully orchestrated plans, such as ringing Vanessa from a pay phone, putting on a borderline-offensive Middle Eastern accent, and claiming to be a representative from Qatar Airways informing her that she’s won two free one-way tickets on today’s flight to Doha. They have a long discussion, the exact content of which I don’t remember, but the important part is that Pól is hiding behind a sugar dish and overhears Evan mention that Fia and Niall slept together. This causes him to make “searing gas pain” faces, which I think is supposed to mean he’s trying to figure out how to use this knowledge to his advantage.

Over at the pub, Dee destroys any goodwill she might have accumulated with Mo earlier by banging on to her and Gráinne about how lucky they are to have brainless pressure-free menial jobs, because her extremely important and complicated job is totes stressful. Like, the other day the copier was out of toner, and Dee couldn’t find the girl whose job it is to fix it, so she sacked her, and her crying and begging totally did Dee’s head in. Mo and Gráinne give her the “Oh no you better don’t!” side-eye they learned watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Mack looks despondent, because he knows this is his life now and his only escape will be the sweet cool embrace of the grave, or bogging off to Portugal and changing his name when Dee isn’t looking. Just as Mo is about to grab a handful of Dee’s luxurious hair and pull her to the ground, Caitríona arrives with a thirst for Gráinne’s blood, and also for a nice white wine. She pulls her aside and starts complaining about something to do with someone named Louise who works at Loinnir and whom Gráinne gave too many hours, or not enough hours, or joint ownership of the business as an early Hanukkah present, or something. I don’t remember the details of this conversation, which the Irish subtitles unhelpfully tell me is full of words I don’t know like “margaíochta,” but the important bit is that Caitríona threatens her a lot and then drags her back to the salon by the arm.

Speaking of threats, we see Tadhg corner Colm at the community center and tell him that if he does anything to hurt Mo, he’ll rip his head off and then lay eggs in his thorax, like something out of a David Attenborough documentary. We return to the pub, where Briain is trying to pretend the whole Pic thing didn’t happen. Of course Bobbi-Lee is only good at pretending things she did didn’t happen, so she yells at him for a while about what a sleazeball he is and also suggests that the next time he sends her a photo of his abs, he pull the waistband of his jeans down a bit as well. He starts trying to gaslight her, because after many years of being forgotten that’s suddenly a thing again now, insisting that he doesn’t know anything about any picture and that he doesn’t even have a phone, or abs. She disappears in a huff, presumably to fill his underwear drawer with exploding cobras, and then he and Berni smirk and flirt about how clever they are and how they are totally an eternal couple for the ages, like Romeo and Juliet, or Jack and whatever Kate Winslet’s name was in Titanic. I’m going to say Latoya. Oh, and then Berni suggests the two of them go home and wreck her new lingerie so thoroughly that Asda will never give her her money back, only store credit.

Pól corners Niall outside the B&B and does what I think is his tough guy routine, which is more like Putzie in a reform-school production of Grease. He announces that he knows Niall slept with his wife’s daughter, and also that Rizzo is pregnant with Kenickie’s baby. Niall attempts to deny it, but Pól’s not here to debate: he demands €1000 from Niall by tomorrow, or he’ll tell everyone the big secret he’s learned, starting with Vanessa! This is totally like that part of Grease where Sandy sleeps with Danny’s father. Oh, wait.

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