Monday, September 24, 2018

The House That Mack Built

Season 23, Episode 6
First aired 20 September 2018

The last scene of the new opening credits, where someone is sneakily handing someone else a €50 note, is supposed to be a drug deal, right? Anyway, we open with a possible hostage situation in which Mack has covered Dee’s eyes with the world’s most fashionable blindfold and led her to a remote part of the countryside where no one can hear her scream. Well, we all knew this marriage was going to end with one of them under a pile of rocks somewhere along the R336, but I think we all thought it was going to be the other way around. He removes the blindfold and, unimpressed, she notes that this is his dumb old field, and she has no idea why he’s wasting her time with this when she could be at home comparing various family members’ hair under her electron microscope. He brightly explains that he’s decided they should build a cottage on this site using plans he’s acquired from someone named Micilín Jimmy, which is Irish for “Jimmy Hovel-Collapse.” He asks, hopefully rhetorically unless he’s prepared to get a response he doesn’t like, “Isn’t it a lovely spot to raise a family?”, which of course causes Dee to swallow hard and make a face like he’s just asked her, “Isn’t it a lovely spot to raise 22 children and have dysentery all the time?”

In town, it seems to be morning, and Micheál is trying to sneak Laoise out the front door. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to do a quiet walk of shame in Ros na Rún, where Máire is doing round-the-clock surveillance of the entire town in an elaborate crisscross pattern learned during her time in Afghanistan. She starts carrying on about how “thank God, you’re safe!” and “thank God, I was up all night worrying!” and “thank God, I was only about two-thirds of the way through planning your funeral!”, which is also known as “Máire Morning Greeting #3.” Laoise explains that she didn’t come home last night because she was, erm, staying with a friend who lives, uhh, two towns over and is named, errr, Fionnuala O’Shacking Up. Máire questions this story, especially since she’s almost positive she attended Fionnuala O’Shacking Up’s funeral, but Laoise explains that, err, that was Fionnuala’s mother who was also named Fionnuala, and that furthermore she and Fionnuala fell asleep on the sofa during Fair City because, uhh, Fionnuala has a lot of gas leaks at her house, and also because Fair City is boring, especially now that Emmet isn’t there fighting with everybody all the time. Furthermore, she explains unnecessarily, she hasn’t been sleeping well lately, which is certainly a good reason to watch Fair City, and then she and Micheál flee in opposite directions. Well, I’m sure Máire is satisfied with this explanation and will meddle no further.

(I kid, I kid, Fair City fans. Please don't send me angry letters. I get enough of those from the Berni fans.)

At the pub, Tadhg is harassing Frances about her torrid non-affair with Cóilí Jackie, which you may  recall consisted of his ruining her trip to see the new calf by offering to show her his udders. She, however, does not have time for his seafóid today because she’s been examining the bank statements and notices that earnings have been way down the past two months, and also that there have been a lot of checks made out to “Chernobyl Quarry” and “Upstairs Heat Vent & Sons.” He says this is because he had to order a lot of stock in July and August, such as 50,000 bags of crisps, and denies her request to see the books because he’s sent them to his accountant, Fernando Mac Money Laundering. She gives him a “Bitch, PLEASE!” look and then walks out, and it’s clear he’s nervous because he only mildly insults her as she walks out the door.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Putting the "Dee" in "DNA"

Season 23, Episode 5
First aired 18 September 2018

We begin this episode in which everyone suddenly has new hairdos Chez Daly, where Katy has rung Jason in order to wish Cuán a happy birthday. As usual, Jason’s default response is to hang up on her, which on one hand seems a little crappy given that Katy was effectively Cuán’s mother for an extended period of time, but on the other hand, I suppose he’s decided she’s not going to be part of Cuán’s life moving forward so he might as well cut the cord, and is also kind of a jerk. The least he could do is let Cuán go on a fun birthday drive to the seashore with Auntie Dee! And speaking of our favorite temporary kidnapper, just then she and Mack arrive. Mack is on crutches, which Dee dismisses in passing as a football injury but which we suspect involves her hitting him in the spine with a blunt object, such as a bat or a refrigerator. They explain that they stopped by the pub to see Katy but that Tadhg told them to get lost, plus it doesn’t have a ramp or elevator, so Mack couldn’t go in anyway. They stand there and watch while she spins a yarn about how Tadhg is difficult and John Joe needs round-the-clock nursing care and Jay is allergic to pubs, leaving out the part about how Tadhg caught her stealing money from him. It’s hard to tell how much of this Dee believes, whereas Mack is waiting for Katy to get to the part with the cow in the road and/or time-traveling robots, which in his mind are an integral part of any lie. They then give Katy a giant gift to take to Cuán when she visits him in Dublin later this week, so she has to explain that, erm, she’s not going this week because, umm, Jason was kidnapped by the Terminator. No, two Terminators! Also Dublin fell in a volcano.

Across town, Laoise, whose sudden new hairdo features a lot of highlights and looks completely fab, is looking at a photo of herself with Peadar. Micheál and his same old haircut wander in and comment that they can’t believe it’s been two years since he died. That does seem hard to fathom! As they reminisce about his passing they start making out, as one does, and we get our first Réailtín sighting of the year (hurrah!) when she strolls in and starts rolling her eyes and making barfy faces like Mr. Yuk, whom those of us who were American children in the 1970s remember warning us that poison tastes bad and therefore we should hold our noses while drinking it. Anyway, Micheál advises her to shut up and eat her breakfast, which gives her an opportunity to point out that he wouldn’t have to feed her or watch her being sullen all over the place all the time if he’d send her to boarding school like she wants. Hmm, if that’s the upside maybe he should send Laoise to boarding school, too. He ignores her and heads off to the lipstick factory or wherever he works, at which point Laoise tells Réailtín she’ll be moving back in soon, but that it’s a secret so she can’t tell anyone. Réailtín’s response is basically, “Don’t worry, I don’t have anyone to tell because I don’t have any friends here and am miserable, unlike at boarding school, where I would be popular and happy.” I tend to think of being sent to boarding school as punishment, which is why when my coworkers complain about their annoying, out-of-control children, I always suggest they send them to an out-of-state military boarding school. Because she is The New Girlfriend trying to win brownie points, Laoise agrees to have a word with Micheál on Réailtín’s behalf instead of telling her to knock it off and go to school like she would’ve last season, or telling her to go jump off a bridge as she was always telling her nemesis Fia.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Eric's Gonna Buy You a Diamond Ring

Season 23, Episode 2
First aired 6 September 2018

We open at Gaudi, where Berni, Caitríona, and Máire are discussing Runaway Jay, which Berni charitably chalks up to Katy’s bad parenting. Of course Katy herself walks up behind them just in time to overhear this, so she shoos them all away and then plops herself down on the barstool beside Mack and complains that she sure wishes she had something to worry about other than everybody in town thinking she’s a bad mother. Right on cue, Dee wanders in and sees Mack putting his hand comfortingly on Katy’s, so she decides this is the perfect moment to come over and stick it to Katy by announcing that she and Mack are having a baby for completely non-manipulative reasons. Mazel tov, I guess?

Over at the café, Eric and Laoise are both pretending to care about getting her an engagement ring. The only one in this scene who is at all excited about this prospect is Bobbi Lee, not because she gives a crap about either of them, but because it gives her an opportunity to be jealous about the fact that she doesn’t have a giant diamond ring, although of course if she wanted one she could strong-arm any number of eligible bachelors into getting her one, such as Pádraig or that guy who works at the pub sometimes when all the actual characters need to be available elsewhere for story purposes. Eric finally says firmly that he wants to buy Laoise a ring, but she doesn’t bother responding and instead smiles uncomfortably into the middle distance, which we can safely proclaim is The Official Facial Expression Of Laoise And Eric. For all our sakes, Bobbi Lee interrupts the terrible awkwardness by making it about herself again, and after Eric and Laoise giggle politely, he suggests they make a day of ring-shopping in Galway, complete with lunch and, depending on how things go, possibly also dinner. Laoise is torn, because on one hand, lunch and dinner are meals she has heard of, but on the other, she may completely despise Eric. That is quite a dilemma.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Jay Ya! (Season Premiere)

Season 23, Episode 1
First aired 4 September 2018

And we’re back! After a long, hot summer of ennui, existential despair, and hot meaningless sex, Ros na Rún has finally returned to bring our lives meaning, and also Bobbi Lee. We begin with a helpful “Previously on Ros na Rún…” montage to remind us what was going on 3 or 12 or 72 months ago on the last episode. For some reason it spends an inordinate amount of time reminding us that Frances had to set up her meeting with the still unspellable, unpronounceable hidirghabhálaí at the B&B due to intricate scheduling problems at the community center, most of which involve Labhrás being a dick, but we are also reminded that Laoise agreed to marry Eric, but rather tepidly, which is really the only possible way to agree to such a thing. Oh, and also Dee went crazy and kidnapped Jay and possibly threw him into the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.

And now for new excitement! First of all, we’re in HD now, which our new title sequence takes advantage of by being blurry and high-speed and showing us that Ros na Rún is a very modern place in which people’s elbows and crotches zoom in and out just like ours, except in high-def and as written by Sonia Ní Oibicín. Katy and Mack are still running around town in circles, and my goodness, they must be tired since they’ve been doing it nonstop since June. On the plus side, it’s excellent cardio, which is why 9 out of 10 doctors recommend having your sister kidnap your child as part of any weight-loss regimen. Tadhg has joined them to “help,” by which I mean yell at them for being incompetent and blame everything on the fact that Katy is from Donegal. So, it’s exactly what you would expect. When Mack volunteers that this happened because he left the front door open, which of course he didn’t, Tadhg grabs him by the neck and starts throttling him Homer-Simpson-style, and after Katy pulls them apart they all run off screaming in opposite directions. As they say, it takes a village to kill each other while looking for a missing child.

Meanwhile, down at the shore it’s a lovely day at whatever this stone structure Dee has driven to is. It seems to have been designed to provide convenient parking when you need to throw someone in the ocean but are in a hurry, once again demonstrating that Ireland is more advanced than the rest of the world at everything. We don’t see her or Jay, though, suggesting they have perhaps popped into Spiddal for a falafel, and then we quickly return to downtown Ros na Rún, where there is running in circles screaming, already in progress. Katy is relieved to see Tadhg pull out what is apparently the only cellphone in the village and assumes he’s using it to call the cops, but she and Mack are dismayed when they discover that he is instead calling Jason in Dublin to tattle on them. It’s just as well because obviously the local police are busy at all times arresting Pádraig for something Sonia has accused him of doing, such as Living While Gay. After some light arguing, Tadhg assures them that he’ll call the Gardaí to report their incompetence as soon as he’s done ratting them out to Jason, so Mack runs off to recruit local childcare experts such as Adam and Peatsaí for assistance while Katy resolves to stand firm in the middle of the street and cry a single dramatic tear.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Season 22 Highs and Lows

Season 22 of Ros na Rún was full of thrills, chills, and mass projectile vomiting, and with the season 23 premiere less than a month away, it’s a good time to look back on the past year and relive some of the biggest storylines, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Which characters had the best stories, which did the best they could with what they had to work with, and which got saddled with story clunkers? Let’s look back together, using a Homer Simpson scale of “Woohoo!” for the best and “D’oh!” for the, errr, rest, and also share some thoughts on what we hope to see next season!

(Note: remember I am not talking about the characters or actors I like or dislike, but rather about the characters whose storylines worked or didn't work for me in season 22!)


TADHG/FRANCES. I’m lumping these two together because the season’s biggest, craziest, and best storyline intertwined them so thoroughly there’s no point in trying to tease them apart. I am, of course, talking about Áine’s ill-fated trip to Tayto Park. No, no, obviously I’m talking about the Tadhg/Maggie/OH MY GOD SHE’S HIS SISTER madness. It was a storyline that went right up to the edge of the cliff, coughed over the side while listening to some old-timey records, and then pulled back just before it toppled over into the Sea of Ridiculousness, thanks mostly to some sensitive writing, beautiful performances, and the windmill-induced Greek tragedy of it all. I can’t wait to see what happens next for them now that Maggie’s out of the picture, and while at heart I’m a hopeless romantic who wants Tadhg and Frances to end up together, I also think he’s got a bumpy road ahead of him because she’s not going to make things easy. The qualities that made her an excellent partner for Tadhg, both “romantic” and “in crime,” will also make her a dangerous adversary, and once she finds out he’s also been literally hiding money around the house to keep from having to give her her fair share, he may wish fatal asthma were contagious.

Friday, August 3, 2018

8 Questions with ... Colm Mac Gearailt

Season 22 of Ros na Rún introduced several intriguing new characters, but perhaps none got into as many messes as Briain, who arrived in town as David's wayward cousin with a mysterious past and soon found himself in a scandalous relationship with Berni! Briain certainly caused trouble wherever he went, even though much of it was inadvertent, and I'm fortunate to have had the chance to talk to the actor who plays him, Colm Mac Gearailt, about himself, his character, and life in Ros na Rún!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Ob-La-Dee, Ob-La-Don't (Season Finale)

Season 22, Episode 82
First aired 14 June 2018

It’s the season finale, and there’s some serious craziness ahead, so let’s get right to it! We open, as we often do with Very Special Episodes, with a montage set to some sad minor-key piano music that suggests Adele is about to show up and wish her ex-boyfriend well even though he’s a complete bastard and she wants him to die. Instead, however, we get a close-up of Peatsaí’s pores looking rather lifeless and Mo sitting beside his hospital bed saying she’s sorry for ignoring him when he was carrying about “not feeling well” and “being on the brink of death” yesterday, although we all know it’s mostly Colm’s fault. We then montage over to a shot of Mack and Katy making awkward eye contact as she sits in the pub doing her geography homework, and then we’re at Micheál’s, where Laoise is shoving all her clothes into a black bin bag, which is where most of them belong. Hopefully this is the first step toward her getting a new wardrobe next year, preferably with more saturated colors like the lovely blue floral thing she’s wearing today. We complete our funereal montage by returning to Peatsaí’s bedside, where Mo reminisces about the good times they’ve had with him watching her rolling out the bins while having cancer and getting his ponytail caught in a mousetrap and so on.

Back at the pub, Mack asks Katy if Jay’s imaginary bed was returned to the shop in time to get a refund, and in return she snots that she knows what he’s up to and she’s not falling for it. Of course Mack is one of the great devious schemers of our times, as evidenced by the utterly blank look he gives her in response to this accusation. Before it can turn into an argument over nothing like all Katy’s conversations do, Tadhg interrupts to ask Mack if Peatsaí’s dead yet, presumably because he’s wondering if he should gas up the hearse. Mack grimly reports that Peatsaí was completely unresponsive this morning, even by his standards, although it’s also possible Mack got confused and was trying to talk to a mannequin in the underwear department at Dunnes, which would also explain the plastic headlessness. Tadhg reports that he’s got to head over to the hospital later today to pick up a corpse anyway, adding that it sure would be convenient if Peatsaí died before then so he wouldn’t have to make two trips. Tadhg Ó Direáin: always thinking about his carbon footprint.

A cheerful Dee shows up, which is Katy’s cue to flee upstairs, but not before she asks if she can do her a favor and pick Jay up from the crÀeche, which will hopefully get its character encoding fixed over the summer, and drive him to his breakdancing lesson or whatever, but Dee says she can’t because she’s got a facial scheduled followed by a trip into town. Doesn’t she work anymore? Before Katy can inevitably attack Dee for being a selfish bitch, Mack volunteers that he could go pick Jay up, causing Katy to choke on her gristle sandwich and sputter that no, she’ll just put him up for adoption or burn down the town or something. She leaves, and Tadhg and Mack get into another spat about whether it’s funny that Peatsaí might die, and if so, how funny on a scale of 10 to 0, with 10 being “pants-wettingly hilarious” and 0 being“Mrs Brown’s Boys.” Dee, who you may recall has suddenly reached Adam levels of saintliness lately, starts berating herself for being thoughtless and swanning off to get a facial while poor, harried single mother Katy barely has enough time to make out with Mack in various locations around the greater Europe area. Yeah, Dee, you’re the problem here.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Kicking and Screaming

Season 22, Episode 81
First aired 12 June 2018

We open the penultimate episode of the season with a shot of Bloody Peatsaí lying unconscious on the living room floor, having tripped over a pile of septicemia and hit his head. Well, slán, a Pheatsaí. We then cut to Keane’s, where Adam takes a break from selling bondage gear or whatever they do there to call Laoise an old drunk, which gives us hope that the old Adam may be returning, but sadly it turns out he thought she was Peatsaí. It’s unclear whether she’s more annoyed about being called an old drunk or about being mistaken for Peatsaí. Anyway, she’s here looking for Micheál, who of course never sets foot in the place anymore, and then asks Adam if he’s got any empty boxes she can use for her upcoming move. The old Adam would’ve rolled his eyes, asked, “Do I look like an effing box factory?” and then stolen her wallet, but because he is the Caring, Sharing Adam of 2018 he tells her he doesn’t think he has any boxes right now, but he’ll be happy to bring her some later. The line between Adam and Ned Flanders is getting uncomfortably fine.

Laoise runs into Máire as she wanders down the street and asks if there’s any news from Fia. We are initially confused by her giving a damn about anyone other than herself, particularly her longtime nemesis Fia, but she quickly makes it clear she’s expressing concern for Fia’s well-being facetiously and is actually using this as an opportunity to talk shit about what a spoiled little madam Fia is. Remember when Laoise wasn’t grindingly negative all the time about everything? I miss that. Máire explains that Fia is off travelling around Europe or Asia influencing people, places, and things right now, which presumably involves shouting “Stay fierce!” at inanimate objects as she falls in a canal. After 17 more minutes of dragging Fia through the mud in absentia, Laoise decides to tell Máire that she and Eric are moving in together, which gives Máire an opportunity to faint a lot about living in sin and getting the milk for free and how 10 out of 9 people who live together without being married die of carbon monoxide poisoning within the first 72 hours. Laoise is surprised by Máire’s disapproving and tut-tutting, having apparently never met her before, and then they wander off in different directions. Thus ends another successful Ros na Rún social interaction.

Monday, June 11, 2018

I Might Have Tried Washing It, But Maybe That's Just Me

Season 22, Episode 80
First aired 7 June 2018

Have we discussed the fact that Ros na Rún won Ireland’s Villagiest Village? And the grand prize was a beanbag chair and a selfie stick for the teen hangout room we have never seen? I’m not sure it was the most thrilling result for a storyline that went on for a year—using the money to build a monorail would’ve been more interesting, especially when Áine hijacked it and crashed it into the side of Tayto Park—but I suppose it’s satisfying to know that Ros na Rún is, in fact, the villagiest village in all of Ireland. That will look much nicer on the signs than “The Murder Capital of the West.”

Anyway, it’s a new day, one on which there will be no screenshots because: TG4 website weirdness. We open out in the street where Frances checks her account balance at the ATM and then frowns in the direction of the pub. She senses that perhaps there have been further financial shenanigans on Tadhg’s part, with Exhibit A being that there is no money in their joint account and Exhibit B being that on her ATM receipt there is a picture of him giving her the middle finger. This is why, in the absence of a pre-nup, the first thing you should do when you get married is kill your spouse before he or she gets a chance to take all your money.

At the B&B, Máire is furiously rosary-ing, and we get the impression this has been going on for a while because her beads are smoldering. Berni offers her a nourishing bread sandwich, but she pushes it away because her simultaneous love and disgust for Fia are all the sustenance she needs, like those monks in China who mummify themselves by eating a lot of cedar chips and potpourri.

Meanwhile, in a very artistic cut across town that shows we are all universally connected sandwich-rejecters, we see Bloody Peatsaí, whose sobriquet has never been more accurate than it will be today, pushing a sandwich away and coughing dramatically. Sorry, Peats, but each soap only gets one death-by-coughing per season, and we’ve already had ours for this year. Deaths that are still up for grabs include “standing too close to a windmill” and “getting pushed in front of a bus by Adam.”

Monday, May 21, 2018

Rash Cash Trash Smash

Season 22, Episode 73
First aired 18 May 2018

We open at the café, where Gráinne presents Mo with an envelope allegedly full of the money they raised for her medical bills at the radio auction thing. She cautions that the money hasn’t come in yet for Cóilí Jackie’s Ming vase once owned by Superman, which leads to a discussion of how he acts like a belligerent old lunatic you’d see on the corner yelling at a lamppost, but that deep down, he has a good heart. Remember this for later. Mo leaves to go thank him for his generosity, and I have no idea why everyone’s assuming he had any idea how much the vase was worth when he donated it, but I’m sure it won’t come back to bite us all in the arse later this episode.

Over at Maggie’s, which Pól and his intermittent paramour Fia are quickly transforming into Squat II: Electric Boogaloo, he’s shoving Maggie’s old tat into bin bags to be taken to the charity shop and/or thrown at cars from a highway overpass for laughs. Pól is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get, and sometimes it turns out to be a laxative. Fia arrives from the shop, which you may recall is officially open now that Donny Osmond or similar has broken a champagne bottle over it, and she’s carrying a bag full of essentials for Squat Life, including the 3 B’s: beer, bog roll, and botulism. It’s unclear whether she’s still a vegetarian now that she and Niall are on the outs, but if so, there is probably also bok choy. There is light domestic dramedy during which they pretend to know who John Denver is, and Pól gives Fia an antique brooch she’s been admiring while he relates a story Maggie told him about the time she and Janis Joplin crashed a blimp into Woodstock while Jimi Hendrix was onstage. Fia decides they should spend the day listening to all of Maggie’s records as a tribute to her, which is sweet, and additionally a way for her to stay away from Máire and Liam Óg all day.

Back at the café, an emergency meeting of the town deadbeats and some extras has broken out because the Ireland’s Villagiest Village people have announced a surprise visit from the judges today. As usual when there is tepid community activism on display, Micheál is in charge, and I’m still not sure whether this is more or less exciting than last season’s windmills were, but then Pádraig didn’t give the entire town mass diarrhea and vomiting during the windmill storyline, so I guess I’ll give the edge to the contest. Caitríona, who has taken a break from her crime spree to be here, volunteers to give the judges a tour of the various Caitríona-related landmarks around town, pointing out that they’ve probably heard of her from that time she made Santa and all those orphans cry during the Toy Show. Micheál agrees that Caitríona giving the judges a tour is certainly an idea with a subject, a verb, and an object, but also wants to make sure people who are not Caitríona have a chance to propose ideas. For example, ANYTHING ELSE. Eventually it’s decided that since there are three judges, they will split them up because it is usually easier to murder people and steal their identities individually than in groups. Amy will take one to the community center because judges like windowless rooms full of IKEA furniture, Laoise will take one to the polytunnel because judges like to see places where David has been shot, and Caitríona will take the third judge to see Loinnir to be packed in seaweed and dug up 3000 years from now as a bog body. Micheál is satisfied with this plan because his sources tell him that so far the none of the other contenders for Ireland’s Villagiest Village have managed to keep more than one out of three judges alive till the end of the day, and besides, we’ve all forgotten what the point of this contest is anyway.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Don't Stand So Close To Me

Season 22, Episode 71
First aired 8 May 2018

We’re back after a week in which we had a very special guest star in the form of Daniel O’Donnell, and like the last very famous guest star Francis Brennan, I don’t know who he is. Unlike Frances Brennan, however, I am pretty sure Daniel O’Donnell is not Gordon Ramsay’s father. Anyway, we were treated to famous singer/actor/chef/something Daniel O’Donnell as part of the grand opening festivities of the shop, which has been open for 8 months. We won’t go into the part where Vince made up the whole thing about having a celebrity lined up, presumably figuring it would all work out because either a) the entire town would forget about it or b) a famous celebrity would happen to wander through at the desired time while carrying giant ceremonial scissors. Clearly years of living with Caitríona has started to erode Vince’s brain. More excitingly, Caitríona got arrested twice in one day, once for starting a catfight in the street with Bobbi Lee and once for being a complete wagon to Dull Tony, who unfortunately for her is a police officer.

We open at the B&B, where Niall informs Fia he has a date today and she turns various shades of purple because it’s not with her. He thinks she’s flustered by this news because she can’t imagine him dating anyone other than her mother, but of course Fia does not give two shits about Vanessa and instead has been batting her eyelashes so furiously in Niall’s direction lately he should start wearing safety goggles. To throw him off the trail, such as it is, she makes up a story about how she’s got a date today, too, with a young lad named, errr, George Glass, but she’s sure Niall doesn’t know him because he’s from, umm, two towns over. Niall isn’t sure he cares about any of this, but he tells her that any lad who’s going out with a girl—nay, woman—like Fia is a very lucky boy indeed, no matter how theoretical he may be.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Bleakest Link

Season 22, Episode 68
First aired 26 April 2018

We’re back after a brief break that mostly consisted of Katy and Jason fighting a lot and Ferdia being an asshole all the time. Now that you’re all caught up, today’s episode opens with Katy and Jason returning from their delightful half-price holiday that famous philanthropist Ferdia gave them at a hotel that was being dynamited the following day due to its fatal levels of ambient uranium. They are, of course, greeted at the pub door by Mack, drawn here by his irresistible magnetic attraction to Katy’s uterus, and his complete obliviousness to toxic awkwardness. Katy suddenly remembers she needs to be somewhere else and Jason picks up exactly where he left off before their minibreak, i.e., glaring at the back of Mack’s head. In case you missed it, this is all because the Hello Kitty DNA app on Katy’s phone revealed there is a 0.0% chance Jason is Jay’s father and also a 94% chance Katy and Dee will not be speaking to each other by the end of the season.

Over at the NoneFM studios, Caitríona is rattling off a list of work she will take credit for after Amy does it. This includes doing a live broadcast from the cabbage-and-USB-cables aisle of the shop, supervising a group of student interns who will be surprised when they get here and discover it is not actually RTÉ Radio 1 as they were told, and, if time allows, photocopying their bottoms and mailing them to Máire. Amy starts making her usual “I have made terrible life choices” face but is interrupted by the arrival of Gráinne, who’s here to ask if they’ll make an announcement on whatever garbage show is on right now about tonight’s fundraising table quiz for Mo, Incorporated. Caitríona smiles and says yes, which means “yes, unless it requires me to exert one iota of effort,” but Amy says she’ll take care of it by having Bobbi Lee make an announcement on her show, which is the only program on this station anyone listens to.

Across the room, Tadhg arrives and starts yelling at Frances that she’s practically emptied their joint bank account and he’s not happy about it. Well, maybe you should’ve looked up the meaning of the word “joint” before now, maith an fear. She asks him to keep his voice down, because she has never met him and is under the impression he cares what anybody thinks. He screams some more, and she hisses that life is expensive, especially now that she and Áine have developed a taste for tiaras, but that if he doesn’t want all their personal business to be on the radio, perhaps he’d like to go in the other room and discuss this calmly over a nice bowl of diamond soup.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Pest of the West

Season 22, Episode 64
First aired 12 April 2018

We open at Keane’s, where Adam takes a break from teaching gorillas sign language or whatever they do there to listen to Mack inform everyone that his buddy Niall here is babysitting Liam Óg today. I’m not sure it’s technically babysitting if it’s your own child, but OK. Laoise impatiently tsk-tsks that she already knew about this because she heard Máire complaining about it earlier, because if there’s one thing Laoise can’t stand, it’s complainers. Mack and Niall leave as Cóilí Jackie arrives, slaps €75 he may have drawn with crayons down on the counter, and demands ten more bags of yesterday’s discount fertilizer. Adam informs him that he knows he owes €100 for yesterday’s crap, and that he better pay up, or else Laoise here is going to keep sneering at him and calling him a thief. Cóilí Jackie leaves to spread his mayhem elsewhere, and Laoise takes this opportunity to get another dig in at Adam, reminding him that none of this would’ve happened if he hadn’t decided he was too good to keep using cuneiform chiseled into clay tablets like Micheál has been doing since he came here from Mount Ararat and opened a jump-rope factory or whatever this place is. Adam looks pained, and it’s worth noting that there is an identical cactus to the one from last episode on a shelf next to the mousetraps, which suggests that either Micheál is stocking multiple cacti now or that Cóilí Jackie decided the last one was an extravagance and returned it to get his money back.

At Gaudi, Pádraig asks Katy if he can have the weekend off so he can take Sam camping in Inis Oírr, which you may be interested to know has an average score of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Google Island or whatever this page is that I landed on when I was looking up how to spell “Inis Oírr.” It seems the Aran Islands as a whole got docked a tenth of a point for producing Berni. Anyway, Katy reminds him that she can’t cover for him because this is the weekend she and Jason are going to Dublin to take some nice family photos of the two of them screaming at each other in front of the Book of Kells. It’ll be a nice change from last year’s family Christmas card, which showed Katy smashing Jason’s iPhone on the ground at a bullfight. Pádraig says he understands, and then pauses for a moment before shamelessly launching into the story of how the only reason Sonia’s offered to let him keep Sam is that she’s going to a wedding in London, and that this will almost certainly be the last chance he ever has to see Sam before we all die of global warming and so on. Clearly this is all a total load, because none of us believe for one minute that anybody would invite Sonia to their wedding. Anyway, the guilt trip works and Katy says that he can go and she’ll leave the place in the capable hands of Sinéad, who as usual is just out of frame whenever she’s mentioned, but the way Katy nods in her direction tells us she’s TOTALLY a real person who is RIGHT THERE.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Ten Bags of Manure and a Comedy Cactus

Season 22, Episode 63
First aired 10 April 2018

We open with Mack chasing Fia into the shop, assuring her that he’s not here to stick his nose in her business, which she’d understand if she’d just stop and let him stick his nose in her business for a minute. She tells him to buzz off unless this is about something other than his BFF Niall, which is going to put a serious crimp in the conversation, because the only other thing Mack likes to talk about is the time he saw somebody in Aldi who he thought was Ross Kemp but it turned out wasn’t. Anyway, before Mack can fully buzz off, Niall appears outside the shop window carrying his backpack, so Fia shouts at Mack that she can’t believe he did this, although of course it’s really the only believable course of action here. Mack looks sheepish, and Fia’s going to feel bad when it turns out Mack had nothing to do with this and that Niall and his backpack are actually here because Ros na Rún is coincidentally hosting the World Boy Scout Jamboree this week.

Mo emerges from her bedroom in her robe and finds Colm and David, only one of whom is supposed to be at her kitchen table this time of day. Colm should leave immediately! David has of course stopped in on his mail rounds for a light buffet breakfast, and then stupidly decides to put his foot way up in it by joking about how it’s nice for some lazy sods like Mo who are able to sleep late and laze around in their bathrobes when they’re not busy puking up their chemo drugs. Eventually he realizes what he’s said and tries to dig himself out of it, but Mo has met him before and is therefore surprised only by the fact that he stopped himself before saying, “I wish I had cancer!” and putting his head down on the table for a sob. She lets him twist in the wind for a while before he finally throws today’s letters at her, some of which may actually be intended for her or Colm, and runs out the door. Unfortunately for her, one of them is a bill from the hospital demanding she pay €5000 for the chemo she’s had so far. Colm assures her it must be a mistake because her insurance should be paying for it all, but she looks worried. Clearly the solution is for Mo to stop opening letters from the hospital.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Home Is Where The Hate Is

Season 22, Episode 62
First aired 5 April 2018

It’s morning at the pub, and Katy apologizes to Tadhg for the fact that Jay was so noisy last night, what with his teething and trying to teach himself “Smoke on the Water” on the guitar and so on. Tadhg says Jay is just like his mother, who also never shuts up, but then tells Katy she and Jason are welcome to stay at the pub as long as they want. After all, he says, it’s Jay’s home. Cuán is on his own, I guess. She thanks him and, as she’s going out for a walk, tells him that Jason is having a lie-in, because radiating omnidirectional anger at all times is exhausting. Tadhg replies that she’s clearly spoiled Jason, causing her to look sadly into the middle distance, which is her new favorite hobby.

Across town, we have our first-ever sighting of David and Gráinne’s bedroom, which has fewer crystals and karate trophies than we would’ve imagined, but exactly as many whips and ball gags. She says maybe Pádraig has forgotten about that “swapping bedrooms” arrangement we first heard about last episode, and just as David is weakly agreeing, Pádraig arrives to wish them a happy Get The Hell Out Of My New Bedroom Day. Because he is a great humanitarian, and because he’s still busy burying Sonia’s body under the floor of his old bedroom, he gives them till the end of the week to get lost, at which point Gráinne prods David into offering an extra €50 per week, month, or year to let them keep the big bedroom. Pádraig considers this for half a millisecond before replying that naah, they’ll stick to the original agreement, and when she starts fussing that they’ll never fit all their crap in the smaller room, he brightly explains that this is a great opportunity for her to throw out all the old junk she no longer needs. It’s nice that he doesn’t add “such as David” even though we all know that’s what he means. He disappears down the hall to start taking all his Daniel Craig and David Beckham posters down, at which point Gráinne informs David that there’s no way in hell she’s moving into that small bedroom, and the look in her eyes suggests that Sonia may not be the only one buried under Pádraig’s floor by the end of this episode.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Daly Extra

Season 22, Episode 61
First aired 3 April 2018

We’re back after a mini break during which there were a couple of unrecappable episodes. By “unrecappable,” I mean “if I had recapped them in my usual fashion, I would go to hell.” So I will just tell you that the important things that happened are that Sonia ramped up to a Level 12 Assfactory, but it turns out the man she caught Pádraig in bed with was her brother, which caused us all to laugh heartily enough to almost make up for the intense, continued misery she’s caused us for months now. Berni moped around a lot about Briain because she was really looking forward to making his Easter basket and hiding eggs in the garden for him to find, and when she finally decided to try calling him, he told her to buzz off and leave him alone. O’Shea and John Joe flirted a lot, meaning they will probably give birth to a bunch of children with hereditary bad backs, and somebody probably died, but I CAN’T SEEM TO REMEMBER WHO.

Anyway! That was then and this is now and “turn, turn, turn” and so on. I hope they replace Maggie with that giant plastic ice cream cone in the opening credits for the rest of the season.

We open with Tadhg standing outside the pub in the rain trying to sweep a puddle, which seems like a totally well adjusted thing to do, that’s for sure! Next he’ll be trying to wipe reflections off the windows. He pauses to look meaningfully at the “Ó Direáin & A Chlann” sign and then leans on his broom for a while wondering whether the picture of the chicken will go to the left or the right of it when the pub becomes a Nando’s next season.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

They Tried To Make Sam Go To London, But He Said "No, No, No"

Season 22, Episode 57
First aired 20 March 2018

We open with Mack and John Joe leaning against a wall complaining that Tigh Thaidhg was mysteriously closed on St Patrick’s Day and therefore they had nowhere to have fun. I’m not sure which I find more unbelievable, the fact that these two couldn’t find any open pub within a day’s drive or the fact that Mack doesn’t consider hanging out at home with Dee great craic. Gráinne wanders by, freshly returned from a yoga retreat she also dragged David to for some reason and which is now, coincidentally, going to have to be torn down and a memorial garden erected in its place. Máire, drawn here by the sound of misery and complaining, explains to her that the pub has been closed for days and also that she heard that Tadhg and Maggie broke up. I have no idea where Máire would’ve heard this unless one of them quickly changed their Facebook status to “It’s Complicated,” but OK. Mack reiterates that the worst part of all this is that he had to spend St Patrick’s Day at home with Dee, whereas Gráinne and John Joe are worried that Maggie, who seems to straddle the line between this world and the next even at the best of times, is frozen in a block of ice up at her igloo. Máire volunteers that another thing they could all worry about is the possibility that Tadhg is lying dead at the bottom of the pub stairs, but nobody else seems very concerned about this, although their interest is vaguely piqued when she adds that Frances is away in Dublin and doesn’t know about any of this because both Tadhg and Maggie have blocked her from their Instagram.

At Berni’s, Bobbi-Lee is leisurely painting her nails and dressed so snazzily it appears she was misled about the dress code of this dump. In contrast, Berni frumps in wearing her sad fleece robe and hessian pajamas that look like they’d be worn by Debbie from Finance who nobody in the office likes even though she often brings cake. Berni complains that she has an upset stomach, which of course means she is pregnant, and also a sore throat, which means Bobbi-Lee has replaced her toothpaste with hemorrhoid cream to entertain herself again. As usual, Bobbi-Lee is unsure she gives a crap about any of Berni’s problems, so she asks about the only thing she’s interested in, which is whether Briain and his parts are coming back. Berni deflects by asking if she’s going to work today, but she replies that today is Day 5 of the pub being closed and that this is the easiest money she’s ever made, apart from all those fake slips-and-falls at Dunnes. Berni tells her she’s an idiot if she thinks Tadhg is going to pay her for not working, although as someone who’s seen what Bobbi-Lee calls “work,” you’d think Berni would understand that some days it’s worth it to pay her just to stay away.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

We Just Have To Face It: This Time We're Through

Season 22, Episode 56
First aired 13 March 2018

We’re back after a week away during which we got the biggest shock of the season: Mo and Gráinne implied that Bobbi-Lee was alive during the 1970s and she did not murder either one of them! Oh, also Tadhg found out that Maggie is his sister. Nobody got murdered as a result of that yet, either, though Tadhg reserves the right to go back to the church at any time, bash Father Éamonn’s head in with that African good-luck statue we spent so much time discussing, and then burn the place down.

We open with Maggie emerging from the pub and looking worried, but unlike every other morning, it’s not because she spent all night sexing up Tadhg and is now worried that one of them might be pregnant. No, according to the conversation she has with passerby John Joe, it seems Tadhg did not come home last night, and although we’re having trouble putting our finger on why exactly that’s a bad thing, she’s frowning a lot so we’ll take her word for it. You can tell John Joe is devastated by this alarming news by the way he continues bounding down the street whistling like Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie.” On the plus side, if Tadhg turns up dead, we know where to find a hearse.

And right on cue, we cut to the infamous bridge, at which we’ve spent so much time this season it’s going to start charging us rent. There we find Tadhg, who’s suffering from a severe case of crazy eyes. We can tell it’s Emotionally Significant because there is a lot of fancy camerawork, with Tadhg spinning past on a turntable and then us pulling away in the famous TG4 helicopter, which we’re going to assume is being piloted by Áine, who’s stolen it and is flying it to Tayto Park, possibly with Réailtín tied up in the back seat.

Over at Mo’s place, which I had never noticed has one grey wall and one brown wall, Colm is walking around screaming her name, but she has left the building. Fortunately she left him and Úna a note saying Mack is taking her to chemo and she’ll be back later, which she very considerately and neatly wrote in big block letters in black Sharpie so we could all see it. THIS IS WHY MO IS THE BEST. Úna arrives and Colm shows her the note, and then they both purse their lips to 100 kiloBernis and look grim, and each of them is probably silently blaming the other, because that is what they do now. They are so going to end up doing it before this season is over.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Let's All Blame Adam Just To Be On The Safe Side

Season 22, Episode 52
First aired 1 March 2018

We open on fabulous Sex Beach, which used to be called Chastity Beach until Berni and Briain got there. They’re in post-dirty weekend afterglow, which is only partially because the hotel they stayed in was dirty. If they’d checked TripAdvisor they’d have seen that the place only has one star, and it’s throwing up. Anyway, he tries to grab her various parts as they stroll along the beach leaning into the gale at a 45-degree angle, but she shrugs him off in case someone sees them. Eventually he convinces her that the only person within 20 miles is a jellyfish trying to mate with a plastic bag, so she relents and takes his hand, which hopefully means the #424 bus will now drive past them filled with the entire town on a shopping excursion to Euro Giant.

At Gaudi, Evan is desperately trying to reach Berni by phone while, on the next stool over, Amy is desperately trying to make Caitríona go away. She’s harassing Amy about when she’s going to get that scandalous story about dog herpes or whatever that she’s been promised, but she’s eventually distracted by a butterfly that looks like it’s got a secret and runs after it. Amy sidles over to Evan and says she’s not going to be able to put Caitríona off forever, explaining to him that she’s got bills to pay just like everybody else except, you know, him. She says she might be able to sand some of the edges off the story if he tells her what his problem with it is, but he’s evasive and pleads with her in vague terms to drop it and go back to her original plans for today’s Amy’s AccuReport NewsBlast, which is Mack talking about the time he found a crisp that looked like Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Back at Harold & Maude Beach, Berni and Briain are about to make out when suddenly she looks like she’s going to barf in his face, which seems a bit extreme even for her. It turns out she’s just spotted John Joe, who’s arrived to fix the ocean’s boiler. She tries to hide behind a seashell, but it’s too late: they’ve been spotted! She starts making up a story about how she and Briain happened to run into each other while they were out strolling on the same beach 27 miles from home and also she choked on a sultana so he was giving her CPR standing up, but John Joe just waves at them and then carries about his business off in the other direction, because contrary to what Berni thinks, she is only the 14th most fascinating person in the world, after the Spice Girls and those octuplets in California.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Lean, Breen Sex Machine

Season 22, Episode 51
First aired 27 February 2018

We’re back after a bit of a break, though I don’t know for how long since the TG4 player is only semi-working this week and I haven’t been able to make it show me Thursday’s episode yet. Still! Last week was full of excitement, most of which consisted of Máire discussing the sodium content of different types of flour in great detail, and also Úna and Mo having various fights about Colm, but I’m sure we won’t be hearing about that again.

As for today’s episode, it was written by Seán T. Ó Meallaigh, so we are pretty sure it will be good. It’s morning, and Maggie is living in the pub now. Because, unlike her cottage, the pub is located in the 21st century, she’s wandering around the kitchen looking befuddled by the modern technology, such as the toaster and the backsplash. She puts a slice of bread in to toast and then sighs plaintively, which we assume means she is going to start a fire and burn down the pub because she is accustomed to making her own bread on a rock by the river and then toasting it over a candle that she made on a rock by the other river.

Over at Gaudi, Frances is buying paella brownies and flan-on-a-stick for Áine, explaining to Pádraig that the poor thing deserves a treat after all she’s been through lately, and Bobbi-Lee and Caitríona are watching raptly because this purchase seems to be the most interesting thing they have seen in a while. Bobbi-Lee mentions that Maggie has moved into the pub now, which comes as news to Frances, who looks stricken. Bobbi-Lee decides that if she’s sinking in the icy waters surrounding this particular shipwreck she’s going to take everybody else down with her, so she grabs a nearby John Joe and forces him to explain to Frances that Maggie’s had to move into the pub because there’s a problem with her heat. I’m 80 percent sure that’s a euphemism. Since Frances hasn’t collapsed in a complete faint yet, Caitríona helpfully and smilingly points out that Maggie didn’t even wait for the sheets at the pub to get cold before she hopped into them, but then clarifies that she thinks that’s terrible, to remind us all what a caring person she is.

Back at the pub, as predicted, the smoke detector is going off and a black cloud is belching out of the toaster. This is why you should never leave time-traveling floozies from the mid-19th century alone in your kitchen. Maggie comes running in panicking and somehow causes the blackened toast to shoot two feet into the air, because the pub is equipped with a pneumatic toaster apparently, and Tadhg hits the smoke detector with a broom handle until it shuts off. He offers to make her some more toast, but she’s flustered by this entire ordeal and decides instead to take her horse-drawn carriage into town and relax over a nice cup of plague.

Out in the street, Berni and Evan are arguing over who’s more embarrassed by whom and which of them has seen Briain’s willy more times and so on. He asks smirkingly if she enjoyed watching him hit on her age-inappropriate friend Úna last week, and she points out that Úna and Aidan are both Gardaí and that he’s lucky he didn’t get arrested for groping without a license. She storms off in a huff and leaves him in the street looking embarrassed, which is also how we all feel for having to be a part of this.

At Radio Please Let Us Know If You Figure Out What Our Format Is Supposed To Be, Caitríona asks Amy if she’s made any progress on her investigation of the windmills, which are once again a hot topic in town in spite of their not existing. Amy says no, and looks depressed because Radio Pobail is, unbelievably, not giving her the opportunities to do hard-hitting global investigative journalism she was expecting. This is what happens when you work for a radio station whose top-rated program consists of Mack reading imaginary lottery numbers. Caitríona informs her that the latest development is that Maggie has moved into the pub, which is proof that she’s in an anti-windmill conspiracy with Tadhg, but Amy is unsure there is any kernel of a story in this nonsense, and is also busy wondering which of her terrible life choices is most responsible for leading her to this moment. Colm interrupts to announce that he’s here to record some “vox pops,” which I’m pretty sure are those sugary alcoholic beverages all the kids were binge-drinking a few years ago in flavors such as Raspberry Puke and Baby Spice Fizz. I have no idea what’s going on here. Caitríona harasses Amy that the only decent thing she’s ever done around here was the “so, are you a top or a bottom?” interview with Briain, and when Amy reminds her that none of that was even true, Caitríona sighs that she needs to stop getting bogged down in whether things are “true” or “not” and just get people clicking on the station’s website or else she’ll get the sack. Why is it people keep hiring Caitríona for things again?

There’s some toast-based stupidity over at Micheál’s involving Eric not knowing how to operate a spoon, and then Laoise wanders in and complains about Eric’s dropping in unannounced and expecting her to put her life on hold for him. If you’re saying, “But wait! Wasn’t Laoise complaining last week that Eric never comes to visit her?”, you would be correct. They bicker for a while like people who hate each other, and eventually he says he guesses he’ll just go back to Dublin then. As they say goodbye with the type of awkward kiss usually seen at open-casket funerals, she grimly tells him she’ll see him next weekend, though it’s unclear whether this is more of a promise or a threat.

Over at the café, Berni is being a snot to Tadhg, although you may recall that a couple of weeks ago they were BFFs united in their crusade against the blight of gossip and also their mutual interest in minibuses. He tells her he came in for a cup of bad coffee and a burnt salad, not to be interrogated, which is Amy’s cue to materialize and ask if he’s got time for a few questions, which goes over about as well as you’d expect. After she finishes picking her guts off the floor, she goes to the counter and tries to order a cup of coffee from Briain, who’s still annoyed about the whole “can you give us the homo perspective on soccer?” thing. He forgives her, but when she immediately starts grilling him about why a big (?) sports star (??) like him would leave Australia to come serve soup with hair in it in Ros na Rún, he tells her if it’s a story she’s after, she should Google Map her way to the nearest library. Not really, but that’s what he should’ve said.

Elsewhere, O’Shea is hilariously carrying a single stalk of broccoli around the shop and asks Vince if he has any smaller vegetables. Instead of flexing his parts and telling her he’s never had any complaints about the size of his vegetables before, he informs her that, why, yes, in fact the vegetable lady is in the back right now and he’ll see whether she has any individual broccoli florets for sale today. Of course then Laoise appears from the back, which leads to some light-to-moderate awkwardness between her and O’Shea as well as a vegetable-size discussion forum that could be Radio Pobail’s new hit show if only Colm were here with his microphone. Happily, it seems Laoise has finally decided she’s tired of fighting with O’Shea over nothing, which gives us an opportunity to wonder if we have ever seen a fresh produce aisle in the shop before this exact moment.

Over at the café, Tadhg encourages John Joe to take his time repairing the heat over at Maggie’s house, which is just as well because it’s been difficult to find parts for a coal-powered steam turbine at Keanes anyway. We then return to the shop just in time for Frances to arrive and start screaming at everyone there that she knows they’re all staring at her and talking about her and that they should take a picture instead because it’ll last longer and also AIIIEEEEEE. Of course they’re all completely confused because none of them give two shits about her and in fact were continuing to speculate about the size of Vince’s broccoli. She freaks out for a while longer and then storms out in a huff after shouting that she doesn’t want their pity. After she goes, Vince and O’Shea exchange wide-eyed looks that I like to imagine mean, “Does anybody know who that was?”, and then we pan over to Dee and Pádraig, who are talking about an access request, which I am going to go out on a limb and guess is Irish for “the access request.” It seems he’s trying to get her to file some paperwork about Sam, but as usual with Dee it turns into a discussion of barristers versus solicitors, so we will return to this later if there are future developments.

Over at Micheál’s, Réailtín is hanging out with her friend Áine, or possibly babysitting her, because we are unclear what the age difference between them is supposed to be now. Anyway, Áine whips out a bottle of vodka and says she’s going to drink her sadness away, which of course Réailtín is opposed to because there’s only room for one underage alcoholic in this town, and it’s her. She tricks Áine into giving her the bottle and then hides it in her backpack, which we genuinely think is actually an attempt to keep it away from Áine and not a sneaky plan for her to drink the whole thing on the bus and then throw up later, but since this is Réailtín, there’s no way Micheál is not going to find it and send her to a convent.

On the beach, Amy is trying to get information out of Evan about why Briain left Australia, informing us that she’s discovered that he was Southern Hemisphere Pole-Vaulting And/Or Pie Face Player Of The Year two years in a row, but then his team mysteriously didn’t renew his contract. My guess is that the ball kept getting stuck in that slammin’ cleft in his chin. Evan tells her a confusing story about how Briain was aggrieved by the fact that the Australians couldn’t pronounce his name and kept spelling it “in a funny way,” which causes a light bulb to come on over Amy’s head. Speaking of Amy’s head, she has beautiful hair, and it’s nice that after some early trial and error they’ve found a style that really accentuates it.

After the break, Frances’ Freakout Tour has made a stop in the pub kitchen, where she’s yelling at Tadhg that he’s humiliated her by moving Maggie in. He retorts that it’s his house and he can do whatever he wants, including moving in a Victorian lady who recently woke up from suspended animation and has never seen a hot plate before. Frances starts rattling off a list of Tadhg’s assorted murders and other crimes and says it’s time she told Maggie exactly what kind of man he is, but just then the unfrozen cavewoman herself strolls in with a self-satisfied look on her face and says she already knows who Tadhg is, thank you. There’s back and forthing, and eventually Frances slinks off looking defeated. Oh my God, I cannot wait for someone to wipe that smug look off Maggie’s face, or for the pub to burn down with her inside because she couldn’t operate an alarm clock.

Amy has found her way back to the radio station and is Googling Briain, which is sadly not a euphemism. She searches for his name misspelled “Breen” and, after finding a few boring things like his Fast & The Furious fan blog and his InstaSnap selfies with dog noses and bunny ears on, she suddenly stumbles across something that makes her look very pleased with herself indeed, commenting what a naughty boy Briain is. I strongly suspect Google would have asked when she searched for “Briain McDonagh” if she was actually looking for the apparently infamous “Breen McDonagh,” but I suppose the important thing is that we are finally getting somewhere with this.

Micheál arrives home and Áine immediately throws Réailtín under the bus in a most genius fashion, complaining to him that Réailtín won’t share her dictionary even though it’s RIGHT THERE IN HER BAG. Réailtín’s eyes grow enormous when she realizes what’s about to happen, but it’s too late, because Micheál looks in her bag and flies into a rage when he discovers the bottle of vodka. Poor Réailtín; Áine’s got her in checkmate when she’d thought they were playing Scrabble.

We cut briefly to the radio station, where Caitríona is, to no one’s surprise, trying to steal Amy’s story, but Amy tells her to buzz off. We then return to Micheál’s house, where we join some yelling, already in progress. Réailtín weakly tries to tell him the bottle of vodka isn’t hers, which is the first time any teenager has ever said this truthfully. When she tries to explain whom it actually belongs to, Áine pretends not to know what it is and, furthermore, says she was sitting here innocently practicing her ABCs with her dolly when Réailtín rode in on a motorcycle smoking and trying to give her a tattoo. Micheál shouts at her some more and then she replies that this is all a big load, which of course it is, but then she somehow tries to make it about the fact that her mother is dead and storms out. We were with you right up there till the end, Réalz.

Back at None FM, Amy is delighted to tell Evan she’s discovered that Briain, under the airtight alias of “Breen,” got fired from the Australian or New Zealand Twister or Monopoly Junior team due to a sex scandal! Involving the coach’s wife! Who was much older than he is! And was named Berni! That last part is implied. Evan is initially thrilled until he thinks this through and realizes it has, you know, implications, and he becomes even more alarmed when Amy reveals that there’s a sex tape she’s in the process of tracking down. At this point he hilariously starts tut-tutting that Amy is better than this, and that she really ought to be off reporting on the environment, which he’s pretty sure he heard somewhere is, like, a hard Brexit or something. It’s at blustering moments like this you wonder if Evan is secretly Labhrás’ son somehow. After Amy finishes rolling her eyes at him, she says this story is exactly the kind of trash Caitríona is looking for, and as soon as she figures out how to transmit a sex video over the radio, it’ll be gold.

It’s dinnertime upstairs at the pub, and tonight’s special is steamed gristle à là Maggie. As she serves it, she complains to Tadhg that it took twice as long to make dinner as it usually does because she’s not in her own kitchen and therefore couldn’t find a rock to beat it against. He’s too distracted to notice the Andean plane crash on his plate, though, and starts telling her that he may have done a few bad things she doesn’t know about, such as not paying his parking tickets or killing a bunch of people. She stupidly says she’s sure she knows him better than anyone, what with her having no contact with him for 40 years and all, and besides, we all do questionable things sometimes, such as telling our doctor we exercise more than we actually do or breaking up a family because of some nonsense from when we were teenagers. These two really do deserve each other.

At Gaudi, we see Evan frowning at his phone as he contemplates calling Berni to tell her the news about ol’ Breen, but he decides against it and instead starts frowning at his plate because he is pretty sure authentic Spanish gazpacho should not have hot dogs floating in it. We then pan over to O’Shea and Laoise, who are in the process of burying the hatchet, only partially in each other’s skulls. We begin with some light apologizing, then move to our main course, which is some hearty blaming and savory guilting, and then conclude with dessert, which is a cake with “I’m Not Sure About You, But I Don’t Have Any Other Friends, So Let’s Give It Another Go” written on it.

Over at the pub, Pádraig is telling Dee the sordid story of his marriage to Sonia. Of course, any story involving Sonia is automatically sordid. Dee has trouble processing all the confusion and the doing-it-in-the-alley-that-dare-not-speak-its-name, but she is also an ally to the gays, having danced to “It’s Raining Men” at a wedding one time. Pádraig confesses that he slept with another guy, who brought favors to the party Sonia could not compete with, and then there was breaking up and Will & Grace box sets being thrown out windows, and now here we are. Whatever mistakes he may have made, he says, Sonia shouldn’t be using them to keep him away from his son. Incidentally, the two of them are wearing incredible outfits in this scene, which is probably not what we should be taking away from all this, but they’re really good clothes.

We return to Gaudi, where Evan is still frowning at his phone and also his dinner, which seems to be a French-fry salad of some kind, and then we once again pan over to O’Shea and Laoise, who are reminiscing about the time they roofied U2 at Live Aid and so on. It seems they’ve made up, so Bono, the Edge, and the other two better watch out.

Evan arrives at the radio station, where Amy is waiting for the Briain sex tape to download because nobody has told her about streaming porn sites. They start watching and confirm it’s definitely Briain, because Amy recognizes his face and Evan recognizes all his other parts, even the ones that won’t stop going back and forth long enough to facilitate a positive identification. Apparently Briain gets started without the coach’s wife, but eventually she wanders into the frame, at which point Evan slams the laptop shut and says this isn’t news and Amy is above all this. We discover that she’s taking a higher journalistic road than we thought, because it seems she thinks the newsworthy part of this is that the team unlawfully fired Briain over a sex tape, but she also has to admit this is the kind of smut Caitríona has been gagging for. We’re pretty sure Caitríona’s interest in this will be less about Australian labor law and more about trying to estimate the size of Briain’s junk on the air. Evan switches his approach from guilt to begging, pleading with her not to go public with this story if their friendship means anything to her, but she says she’s sorry, but she needs this story if she wants to keep her job. Because Evan is one of the world’s foremost experts at playing “good cop, bad cop” all by himself, he now starts screaming at her to go screw herself, and she retorts that no, he can go screw himself, so there! He grabs his jacket and starts to leave, but on his way out he spits that if she runs this story, she won’t have many friends left in Ros na Rún, including him. Well, given that we never see Amy with any friends to begin with, and we’re not sure who would care about this other than Berni and Briain, who already hate her, I’m not sure this is as big a threat as Evan thinks it is, but: take that, Amy!