Monday, January 29, 2018

Don't Stop Movin'

Season 22, Episode 42
First aired 25 January 2018

We open above the pub, where Frances interrupts Tadhg’s morning cup of kerosene by strolling in with all her luggage, looking him straight in the eye, and informing him that she and Áine are moving back in. He replies that Áine is welcome, but Frances isn’t, which she completely ignores and continues that she’ll also be working shifts in the pub again, and in conclusion, if he doesn’t like it he can suck it. Finally, the Frances we’ve all been waiting for has arrived with fire in her eyes, and it’s a beautiful sight. Tadhg better fasten his seatbelt and put on his adult diapers, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Pádraig is skittering around the house fussily trying to make sure everything is just right for Sam’s arrival. He’s even dressed up for the occasion, since that of course is something children care about. He complains that the blanket Gráinne has found for Sam’s bed has flowers on it and is therefore unacceptable, and she hilariously replies that if she’d known when she bought it that he had a secret nine-year-old son who would someday be coming to live with them, she would’ve gotten something else. Heh. He apologizes and says he just wants everything to be perfect for Sam, and she assures him it will be, unless the 50 percent of Sam’s DNA that is Sonia decides to emerge today, in which case may God have mercy on all our souls.

Bobbi-Lee pops into the pub to check her schedule and is unhappy to discover that Frances has taken over all her shifts. Bobbi-Lee may not like the working part, but she likes the getting paid part. She asks Mo a million questions about it, including whether this means Frances and Tadhg have made up, and Mo’s response is basically, “Look, she came in here, changed the schedule, and now she’s upstairs. If you have further questions, visit your local library.” Bobbi-Lee then makes the possibly fatal mistake of announcing that she’s going to storm up there and give them a piece of her mind, and it looks like Sonia’s funeral may not be the first one we go to this year after all.

Upstairs, Tadhg declares that Frances can’t just come waltzing back in here and take over like she owns the place, and in response she continues to unpack and informs him that that’s exactly what’s happening here. At this, Bobbi-Lee crashes through the door like Kool-Aid Man, waves the schedule in Frances’ face, and demands to know what she’s playing at. Frances snaps at her to have some manners and knock before she comes through that door, and then Bobbi-Lee replies, “It’s not my fault that your husband is cheating on you!” OH, SNAP! Surprisingly, instead of tearing Bobbi-Lee’s head off and laying eggs in her thorax, Frances turns on Tadhg and sneers that everyone in the village knows his dirty business. Bobbi-Lee, who certainly dodged a bullet there, then pleads that none of this is her fault, and that she shouldn’t have to suffer because Tadhg is having an affair with Berni. He gawks at her in disbelief while Frances laughs out loud at the preposterousness of this suggestion. She apologizes to Frances and explains that she thought taking her off the schedule was punishment for her association with Berni, and at this Tadhg finally throws her out of the kitchen and slams the door behind her. Now that the blonde distraction has subsided, Frances hisses that Maggie is not to set foot in their pub or their house, and Tadhg spits back that it’s his pub and his house and that he’ll have whomever he wants in there. She replies, “We’ll see about that,” and it looks like all the things that made Frances a good partner for Tadhg are also making her a worthy adversary to him.

Helen arrives at Gaudi with Sam in tow, and he’s sulky and pouting and refuses Pádraig’s offers of cupcakes and fizzy drinks and baskets of puppies. He instead turns to Helen and asks again why he can’t go to Bristol with her, offering to pay for the plane ticket with his communion money, which is very poignant, and then pleads with her not to leave him here. Wait till he finds out none of the bathroom doors in this place actually lead to bathrooms. Pádraig points out that he’ll take Sam to visit his terrible mother in the hospital every day, and that he’s made up a lovely room at home for him, but Sam pouts that it’s not his home and walks out the door. I’m sure it’s not what I’m supposed to be thinking in response to this, but: how many bedrooms does David and Gráinne’s house have? It seems to expand in response to local housing needs, much the way the staffing needs at the pub, shop, and café expand and contract in direct proportion to the local labor market.

Frances is tidying up the living room at the pub and fumes to Tadhg that he’s turned it into a complete tip. This is what happens when you let Cóilí Jackie roam free in your house without putting newspaper down. She informs him that he can sleep in the spare room because she’s reclaiming their bedroom, but he says that’s not happening because he knows where he can find a more comfortable bed and then grins insanely at her like a jack o’ lantern with impulse control issues. Somehow I don’t think he’s referring to Mattress Mick’s.

At the bar, John Joe overhears Colm talking to Mo about her ulcer, which causes him to bug his eyes out in her direction since he knows she actually has cancer and has lied to Colm about it. After using Bobbi-Lee as a metaphor for why John Joe better keep his mouth shut, she eventually progresses to outright threatening him, making it clear that if he inserts himself into this situation, he’ll be going back to Donegal in a pine box. Given how many imminent deaths are floating around at the moment, I sure hope they didn’t get rid of those Cré na Cille props from a few years ago.

Tadhg strolls through the kitchen with his suitcase to make sure Frances sees what he’s doing, and she gasps that she can’t believe he’s actually “moving in with that hag.” He tells her not to call Maggie a raicleach, and I wish I’d learned that word before my trip to Ireland last month so I could’ve thrown it around a lot in my efforts to further the special relationship between our two countries. Since insulting Maggie didn’t work, Frances tells him that if he moves in with her Áine will be the laughingstock of the schoolyard, at which he vows to beat up any child who hassles his daughter. I love the mental picture of Tadhg wading through the playground punching small children left and right. Frances once again employs some creative math by accusing Tadhg of having a midlife crisis, and he calls her a bitter old woman and promises that nothing will ever come between him and Maggie again. I’m going to be so pleased when he goes charging over there and discovers she’s moved some new Portuguese boyfriend in with her.

The most awkward high tea of all time has broken out at Gaudi’s, where Sam says he can’t be friends with Pádraig now that he knows he’s his dad who abandoned him as a baby, and Helen reminds him in soothing tones that things aren’t as black and white as that. Hopefully this means she reminded him what a complete wagon Sonia is and then asked, “Do you know what ‘homophobia’ means?” Maybe there is a Bran book about it. David arrives and introduces himself to Sam, explaining that he and Helen are old friends, and then the grownups yammer for a while about how awesome this is all going to be while Sam sits there and gives them all a bunch of side-eye. He sighs that his mother’s never going to wake up, and they all assure him that she will, and it’s a good thing Sam is a fictional character or else I would probably feel guilty about talking smack about his dreadful mother all the time. Helen promises Sam she’ll pick him up as soon as she gets home from her scuba holiday in Bristol, and Pádraig asks him, “So, what do you think?”, as if he has some choice in this matter, which elicits some more quality side-eye. He may have been blandly wholesome at the beginning, but I love how a room immediately becomes 50 percent shadier as soon as New Sam enters it.

Tadhg shows up at Maggie’s and finds her sitting around reading in the dark, and then she bangs on about her love of books for a while, and as a librarian I can officially say she reads too much and needs to develop some other hobbies, such as drinking. They flirt for a while, and then he tells her that Frances and Áine moved back into the pub, so he moved out. He shows her his suitcase, and as soon as she realizes what’s going on here—or at least what he thinks is going on here—she folds her arms across her chest and her lips disappear. Oh, dear. It seems this Airbnb is not as welcoming as the website suggested.

After the break we’re at the café, where Bobbi-Lee confesses to Berni that she may have put her foot in it just a smidge earlier by telling Frances her Berni-Tadhg-Sex theory. Berni gasps that she does have some standards, you know, and Bobbi-Lee replies that apparently Tadhg does, too, because Frances assured her that Berni is not his type. Heh. The matter of the earrings Berni’s mystery man gave her comes up again, and then they both realize that she’s only wearing one of them right now because the right one is missing. Berni goes into a panic, and let’s all imagine together how great it would be if in the background we saw Máire choking on her quiche and then coughing up an earring.

Back at Maggie’s, which you’ll notice I’m not calling “Maggie and Tadhg’s,” it seems the honeymoon may be over because she’s making it pretty clear that she doesn’t want him living there. He sputters that he left his wife and daughter to be with her, and she points out that they never discussed this and this isn’t the way it should have happened. As an avid viewer of American sitcoms, she was probably imagining she would place an ad in the newspaper seeking a roommate, or possibly a bass player for her band, and then the person who responded to it would turn out to be Tadhg. She spits that he’s not here because he wants to be with her, he’s here because Frances threw him out and he had nowhere else to go. If he hadn't been such a pill about it, he could go stay at that youth hostel where An Teaghlach used to be and make friends with some German backpackers in the process.

Pádraig wraps up the tour he’s given Sam of his new home, showing him how the toilet seat works and warning him to stay out of David’s karate room when the red light is on and so on. Sam looks peeved, and I suspect he’ll only be giving this place two stars on Yelp. He’s subtracting two stars because it doesn’t have an audio tour with a little headset like all the good museums, and one star because room service is only available until midnight. Pádraig offers to make him some paella soup or whatever they serve at Gaudi, but Sam’s more interested in how many TV channels they get and is annoyed when Gráinne tells him they only get “the Irish ones” because all his favorite shows are on Al-Jazeera. He actually says, “Is that all?” and then raises his eyebrows and makes a “they don’t even realize what a dump this place is!” face to himself that is absolutely delicious. It seems Pádraig could take lessons from his son on how to throw shade. He offers to call and order some additional channels, such as the Brazilian porn ones and the Shady Bitch Network, but then in an effort to avoid having to climb on the roof and install a satellite dish David offers some board games, which knowing him are probably educational. Sam looks around in disbelief at the Little House on the Prairie nightmare he’s wandered into, and then asks them if they at least have Wi-Fi he can use to Tweet for help and also to leave them a bad review on TripAdvisor. He’s pleased when it turns out they do indeed, but will be disappointed in a few minutes when he discovers the Vodaphone installer actually brought them an old fondue pot and told them it was Wi-Fi.

Maggie tries to smooth things over with Tadhg with a cup of tea and then pretends the issue here is that she wants Áine to accept them as a couple. He basically shrugs and replies that we all have our crosses to bear, such as eczema or knowing Caitríona, and that Áine will just have to live with it. This is a little different from a few minutes ago when he was on the playground kicking children in the face in her defense. Maggie frets that she doesn’t want Áine to think she’s the villain here, which of course she’s going to think even if Maggie shows up with an Xbox full of money and promises she never has to go to school again. She says they should tell Áine what’s going on and then “let her get used to it” before they move in together. That sounds a little like letting someone “get used to” dysentery, but OK.

Back at DavidCare, Sam is groaning with exasperation because the crappy internet keeps freezing his game. He whines that it only took two minutes to download a game at Helen’s, and Pádraig confesses that their internet can be slow sometimes, mostly because they are stealing the signal from Mack and Dee down the road. It didn’t take them long to crack their password, MackIsAwesome. Sam starts pulling clumps of his hair out and yelling that this house is stupid, and if he’s frustrated now, wait till he finds out he’s not allowed to stuff cotton balls down the sink, either. Gráinne finally puts a stop to this nonsense by offering to take Sam’s iPad over to Loinnir and use the Wi-Fi over there to download the stupid game if it will shut him up. I’m paraphrasing. He agrees, and Pádraig mouths his thanks to her. Maybe tomorrow they can just take Sam over to Loinnir and leave him there until Helen comes back.

Tadhg pops into the café for no particular reason, and he and Berni discuss what a fool Bobbi-Lee is and also how terrible rumors are. I love it when Berni climbs up on her soapbox and condemns gossip given that she personally has distributed more misinformation than the Daily Mail. He then wanders away, leaving her sighing into the middle distance and wondering if anyone would believe it if she started telling people that Adam and Vince seem to be getting very cozy, just for kicks.

Over at the pub, Bobbi-Lee is recapping all the latest comings and goings for her intermittent BFF Caitríona: Frances moved out, Frances moved back in, Tadhg moved out…. Right on cue, Tadhg strides through the front door and up the stairs carrying his suitcase, giving the blonde bombshells a chance to lick their lips over this latest twist in the Frexit/Texit saga. It is a bit like watching Wimbledon, but with better clothes and less grunting.

Upstairs, Áine is sitting at the table whining to Frances that she can’t do her math homework without her dad here to help. It’s true, Tadhg just answers all of Áine’s math problems by writing “None of your business” and then telling the teacher she’ll regret it if she asks again. Frances offers to help, but Áine waves her off because she’s useless at fractions. This reminds me of the time my mother “helped” me with my kindergarten math homework and, because she didn’t know the difference between the “less than” and “greater than” symbols, I got every single one of them wrong and almost got put in the remedial class. I swear I am not making this up. Just before Áine has to go to a special school, Tadhg appears with his suitcase, and she runs over and hugs him, exclaiming she knew he wasn’t really moving out and spitefully chalking it up as yet another of her mother’s lies. The two of them gang up on Frances for a bit and then Áine toddles off, which gives Frances the opportunity to innocently ask Tadhg if he forgot something. Heh. He matter-of-factly states that he didn’t, but that he’ll be staying in the spare room for a while after all, and she gloatingly asks if Maggie’s thrown him out already. Frances is definitely on a roll this episode, and I love it. He replies that it’s none of her business, which of course means “yes,” and after he stomps off to the spare room with his sad, sad suitcase, she smirks triumphantly to herself.

Downstairs, Mo hands John Joe his change and looks at him as if to say, “I know you’re dying to butt in, so go ahead and get it over with.” He reveals that he was talking to Colm earlier and that he’s planning to surprise her by taking her on a ski trip to Bray for Valentine’s Day, and that perhaps it would be good for her to tell him she’s got cancer before he books anything non-refundable. She tells him to drop it, because she’s not going to tell Colm anything until she knows exactly how bad things are, but he asserts that it’s not fair for her to keep this from him. Yeah, especially given how their relationship has been based on complete honesty all along.

At DavidCare, they’re just finishing dinner, which seems to have consisted of the grownups eating while Sam plays his game and occasionally glares at them. Pádraig stands up and announces that it’s bedtime, because apparently he thinks nine-year-olds go to bed at 7:00. He offers to read Sam a story before bed, but Sam not surprisingly rolls his eyes and reminds everyone that he’s not a baby before marching off down the hall himself. Pádraig thanks David and Gráinne for their help today, and then David delivers one of patented fortune-cookie platitudes, which today is “Every day is a winding road” or “The first cut is the deepest” or some other Sheryl Crow song. After Pádraig leaves the room, David looks meaningfully at Gráinne and says he’s gonna soak up the sun and leave Las Vegas and so on, and also that this situation is a complete effing mess. I think that last one may be an Enya song rather than a Sheryl Crow one.

Back at the pub, Frances is pulling pints while Bobbi-Lee apologizes for today’s hilarious misunderstanding. Because Frances is still amused that Maggie sent Tadhg back with his tail between his legs, she’s in a charitable mood and tells Bobbi-Lee “we all make mistakes” rather than “wait here while I go get my gun.” She and Berni wander away just as Dee arrives, and Frances can’t wait to tell her that Tadhg has come slinking back to the spare room because he didn’t get a warm welcome from Miss Prissy-Pants. They share a laugh over poor Tadhg’s misfortunes, and then we pan over to Evan and Briain, who have joined Berni and Bobbi-Lee at the bar. Briain orders a round for everyone, and when he reaches into his pocket and plops a bunch of coins down on the bar, right in the middle of the pile is…Berni’s missing earring! Of course Bobbi-Lee is the only one who notices it, so after a moment of wide-eyed shock, she picks it up. Briain claims he found it on the floor at the café while he was sweeping, and Berni snatches it away and nervously burbles that it’s a good thing he didn’t throw it away, ha ha. Bobbi-Lee, the light bulb finally having switched on above her head, muses to Berni what a great lad Briain is and gives her a knowing smirk and a subtle eyebrow pop, and we end with Berni giving some serious diarrhea face. If you ever want to see a concise encapsulation of why I love Annamaria Nic Dhonnacha as Bobbi-Lee so much, watch this sequence, and in particular her delivery of the word “Oh!” as she picks up the earring. It’s always good fun when Bobbi-Lee puts 2 and 2 together and gets “the Battle of Hastings,” but I think there’s some even better craic ahead now that she’s put 2 and 2 together and gotten something in the vicinity of 4.


  1. I love your blog so much. It's my regular post-episode read to relax and scream at all the terrible things happening to my faves!

    1. Aww, thanks, you’ve made my day! Thanks for reading and please comment more often so we can all scream together!

  2. Just found your blog, and love your recaps! Also really enjoyed reading about your trip to the set.

    1. Thanks very much for reading and for your kind comment! Don't be a stranger!


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