Saturday, January 20, 2018

Panic at the Disco

Season 22, Episode 39
First aired 16 January 2018

We open in Mo and Colm’s living room, where Postman David has let himself in to deliver a stack of bills. He’s not allowed to operate the mail slot yet because he hasn’t completed the mandatory EU safety training introduced after all those Maltese postmen kept getting their heads stuck. He’s gloomy, even by his standards, but is still bravely making an effort to stand around and talk all day, because when he took the job he made a solemn vow to never do any work, ever. Eventually he leaves, and Colm points out that Mo’s being sulky and bad-tempered too, but she says she has no idea what he’s talking about and then orders him to get the hell out.

At their place, Réailtín is kissing up to Micheál by making his lunch, and he actually tells her that a chicken sandwich is nice, but what would be even nicer would be her going outside and washing his car. I swear I am not making this up. She agrees to do it, which demonstrates how badly she wants to go to this school disco and also how dumb kids are. Speaking of the disco, which I thought we’d settled last episode, she brings it up again, but he says he hasn’t made his mind up yet and then sends her off to school. She looks exasperated and whines a bit, and then Laoise signals for her to scram so she can have a word with Micheál. And that word is: “WTF?” He bangs on for a while about how when he was a child he had to get up every morning at 3 a.m. to milk the brontosauri, but Laoise counters that all their brontosauri are male, so he needs to stop expecting Réailtín to be as dreary and miserable as he was. Eventually he admits that he’s already decided she can go, so all this torture he’s putting her through is really for his own entertainment. OK, that makes me like him a little more.

Over at the pub, Bobbi-Lee is buzzing around Mo and annoying her about being pregnant, which she refuses to either confirm or deny. This doesn’t slow our favorite cowgirl down one bit, and she asks if “it” happened while she and Colm were off on that sad holiday to Craggy Island, or maybe up against the side of the Man of Aran Fudge stand at the Galway Christmas market. Mo finally lies that the pregnancy test was negative, and then heads off to a mysterious appointment, so Bobbi-Lee reminds her to be back in time for the skivvy interviews she’s arranged for later. She leaves, and John Joe muses that it will be nice to see someone young and, you know, slutty behind the bar, but Bobbi-Lee coolly reminds him that she’s hiring someone to muck out the toilets, not give lap dances. Besides, she adds, she’s already more eye candy than he can handle, and he replies that she’s one of a kind, all right. Hee.

At Gaudi, there’s more talk of Pádraig’s buns from the other week, and then Caitríona and Gráinne argue about which of them is doing the least amount of work. Well, Caitríona hasn’t set foot in the radio station since last Thursday, but on the other hand, Gráinne is actively breaking things at the salon, so I’m going to call it a tie. They bicker for a while, and Caitríona finally departs, leaving Gráinne to complain to Pádraig that she and David are going to have to get married in a pigsty because they haven’t got a penny to their name. Furthermore, she’s embarrassed that she’s invited half the town to a nonexistent wedding, and worst of all, she had to hear about it “from that hag Annette.” Yes, I can see how that would really be the icing on the cake, especially when the cake is full of bugs to begin with. Pádraig makes soothing sounds and tries to cheer her up with some platitudes, but then she lets out this complete clunker: “You’re so lucky that you don’t have a partner to bother you. Bye!” She leaves, and Pádraig rightfully looks stricken, and I’m going to chalk this terrible thing that Gráinne would never actually say up to the brain-eating wedding parasite that’s been plaguing her for weeks now.

Mo’s at the doctor’s office, and the doctor loudly announces that she’s not pregnant from halfway down the hall. Apparently patient privacy laws are looser in Ireland than they are in America. Mo is thrilled, but also wonders why she got a false positive. The doctor says she has the same question, so she wants to do some routine blood tests just to rule out “a few things.” Oh, God.

Back at the pub, Bobbi-Lee has poured Gráinne a cup of coffee, set it down behind the bar next to the coffee pot, and proceeded to pick up the CVs and start reading them. OK, that’s going to earn her a “Somewhat Agree” on the customer-service survey’s “My server was genuinely committed to making my dining experience wonderful” question. Gráinne shouts at her for a while and finally gets her attention, which gives her the opportunity to complain about being rushed off her feet with Mo having vanished and Tadhg nowhere to be seen. Colm comes out of the jacks and complains that he was in mid-whatever when he realized there was a woman in there cleaning, but Bobbi-Lee brilliantly dismisses him by saying, “We’re all Europeans now!” and explaining that the cleaner is “on a trial run.” This reminds me of one time in Quebec when my mother came running out of a ladies’ room still buttoning up her jeans in a panic because she discovered a male janitor in there cleaning. I’m sure she would be thrilled to know I’m sharing this story.

Colm leaves, presumably to go finish taking his interrupted leak against the wall of the community center or B&B, and then Tadhg emerges from upstairs and says he’s leaving. Bobbi-Lee insists he be back in time for the interviews later, because she thinks it will look more professional if there are two of them there. I know when I think “professional,” I think Tigh Thaidhg. He scoffs that this is a toilet scrubber they’re selecting, not the Rose of Tralee. It’s a good point, because I am pretty sure there was not a Rose of Toilet Duck in this year’s competition. He leaves, and then Bobbi-Lee summons the next contestant on this worst episode of The Price Is Right ever, shouting that it’s time for Annette to come on down and scrape the poo off the walls in the ladies’ room. Annette looks traumatized, because she herself poos into potpourri sachets and then ties them with pink ribbons before giving them traditional Viking funerals, and the only person taking more delight at the thought of Annette getting her hair caught in a toilet seat than Bobbi-Lee is Gráinne.

Mo is rolling her sleeve back down at the doctor’s office, asking if there’s anything she needs to be worried about, but Dr Ponytail tells her that with symptoms like a false positives on a pregnancy test, “pains down below,” and a swollen stomach, it’s best to rule out anything serious, adding that there’s a 90 percent chance that there’s nothing wrong. OH, GOD.

Laoise arrives home and finds Micheál griping that Réailtín has been getting ready for the dance for two hours and still hasn’t emerged from her room. This is the most exciting thing since Réailtín went to that DrugTeen Sex*Zone concert last season and died! I’m pretty sure that’s how that storyline ended. Just as he’s announcing that he reserves the right to change his mind if she’s showing too much wrist, she emerges from her room looking completely lovely and appropriately wholesome. Also, she wisely chose a top with an intricate pattern that will hide throw-up. He gives her some money for “orange juice and some sweets,” ha ha, and then offers to walk her to the dance, but she understandably acts mortified and threatens to spontaneously combust from embarrassment until Laoise creates a distraction by choking on a Twiglet. “Things are not always as they seem,” Micheál says brightly but obviously, and it’s a good thing we just saw the medical set because there’s a good chance we’ll be needing it again before long.

Sonia bursts into Gaudi and starts harassing Pádraig about the fact that he, you know, still exists. She is such a wagon. She reminds him that he was supposed to have been gone by now, because as you may remember she is under the mistaken impression that anybody gives a damn what she thinks, and apropos of nothing we learn that her father was an alcoholic who used to beat her, and she not-at-all overdramatically proclaims that what Pádraig did was “a million times worse than that.” Oh, FFS, unless Pádraig choked you with his boyfriend’s jockstrap I think you need to dial it down. Amazingly, we discover that the two of them are still married, God knows why, but she spits that she’s thinking about divorcing him now, as if this is some big threat that he should be traumatized about. She adds that she’ll wipe him out financially, which I suppose is a concern, although if I were the court I’d wonder why she stayed married to him all this time and apparently never cared about his money until just now. She orders him to leave town again and then storms out. She really is the worst.

Outside the dance, where all the girls are wearing skirts that come down to about two inches below their armpits, we discover that Réailtín has of course changed into the scandalous ice-skating costume Laoise disapproved of last episode, which is still longer than anybody else’s dress by at least a foot and a half. Some guy who looks about 22 wanders over and starts alternately flirting with her and chugging a bottle of vodka. He hands her the bottle and she first takes a dainty sip, of the type the queen takes when she’s swigging vodka from the bottle outside a school, and when he chuckles at her, she decides to show off by draining half the bottle. She looks pleased with herself, and you can tell he’s trouble because he has an earring.

After the break, we’re at Gaudi, where Gráinne is serving David a big plate of Passive-Aggressive Casserole. She gloats that Annette was cleaning toilets at the pub earlier, and when he balks at that, she spits that she’s lucky she isn’t cleaning toilets in prison. Gráinne 1, David 0. They argue for a while about who stole whose money, and who made a laughingstock of whom, and eventually David guilts Gráinne into submission by bringing up Annette’s four to six children who have, like, little faces or whatever, and she relents that OK, maybe she would’ve done the same thing, but she would told him about it instead of sneaking around lying. It looks like there is détente, but then she decides to tell him hell will freeze over before she forgives him, so it seems all that was for nothing.

Back at the community center, 22-year-old 13-year-old Darach is leading Réailtín around by the hand, but it seems she is the tiniest bit drunk, as demonstrated by the fact that she throws up a lot and then falls down in it repeatedly. Surprisingly, he finds this less of a turn-on than the cover story in Seventeen magazine suggested, and when she stops retching long enough to say she’s not feeling well and asks him to take her home, he suddenly remembers he’s meant to be elsewhere right now, such as someplace where nobody is throwing up. He vanishes, and she cries, and this is shaping up to be the worst Kate Moss’ birthday ever. (It’s true, look it up.)

A fashion show has broken out at the pub, where Bobbi-Lee is modeling a powerful businessperson suit she’s borrowed from Berni. The assembled barflies suggest Berni will kill her if she walks in and finds her wearing her Ivanka Trump costume, but Bobbi-Lee explains that Berni has no need of a business suit because she wears a uniform at work. It’s hard to argue with that, and besides, Berni can’t stop having sex with Briain long enough to leave the house these days anyway. Annette arrives, and Bobbi-Lee sits her down to begin some light torture disguised as an explanation of the intricacies of the job, such as “if ‘MURDER’ is written on the mirror backwards in blood, replace the bog roll before you run away screaming.” Annette squirms, because her master’s program in commerce and Irish woodworking did not prepare her for any of this, and when Tadhg wanders through, Bobbi-Lee wrestles him into the chair beside her and then proclaims ominously that now the interview can begin.

Laoise arrives at the wall outside Keane’s or wherever and finds Réailtín semi-conscious and semi-upright. She asks if she’s OK, but makes sure to call her an idiot for wearing the trampy dress she disapproved first, and then yells that she reeks of drink for good measure. Réailtín moans that Darach dumped her, which does not seem to be at the top of the list of things Laoise cares about right now, and when Réailtín says she can’t go home if Micheál is there, Laoise says that he was there when she left, but that he was talking about going to the pub, maybe possibly. Réailtín pleads that Laoise can’t tell Micheál about this, but she says she has to, and then Réailtín bursts into tears. I think if I were her, I’d take my chances in the gutter rather than risk going home to Micheál.

Back in the Tigh Thaidhg Human Resources Facility, Bobbi-Lee asks Annette what her vision for the place is, but Tadhg answers on her behalf by saying that her vision is “clean toilets.” Undeterred, Bobbi-Lee next asks where Annette sees herself in 5 years, and during the long pause she takes to figure out how to reply “in prison for murdering you” in a way that demonstrates vision, the eavesdropping barflies all complain about how hard Bobbi-Lee is being on poor Annette considering she has four to six children to raise and her deadbeat husband is a total sleaze. Annette finally answers by saying she doesn’t understand why Bobbi-Lee is asking this question, and when she gets back some more nonsense about vision, she replies that a few years ago Bobbi-Lee was singing on cruise ships and now she’s scrubbing toilets and wonders if that’s the sort of vision she’s asking about, and then concludes by calling her “honey.” Damn! Kitty’s got claws! Bobbi-Lee decides that this brings us to the end of the interview portion of our contest, and that the winner is somebody we’ve never heard of called Bairbre Ní Ghríofa, whose chief qualification is not being Annette. Tadhg agrees, because he could not possibly care less about any of this and in fact has spent the entire interview making a list of the ingredients he would need to blow up the pub, but then he remembers that he knows Bairbre Ní Whatever and that she’s a complete slob whose filthy house gives you gonorrhea if you just drive past it with your windows rolled down. He overrides Bobbi-Lee’s executive decision and congratulates Annette on being the pub’s new puke-vacuum-upper. He and Bobbi-Lee both wander away in varying states of strop, and then Gráinne sits down with Annette and tells her that Bobbi-Lee was really mean to her, especially considering she wouldn’t know a toilet brush if it walked up and slapped her, and when Annette asks her if she’s going to turn her in to the Gardaí, Gráinne says she thought about it, but that working with Bobbi-Lee will be punishment enough.

Laoise hoists Réailtín, who seems to have turned an unpleasant bluish-grey color, through the front door and urges her to be quiet so as not to wake Micheál. Réailtín responds by tripping and falling through the wall, at which point Micheál emerges from the cave where he sleeps hanging upside down and starts screaming a lot. He asks where Réailtín got that dress, and she hilariously stammers that it was warm at the disco, so she changed. Heh. He demands to know if she’s been drinking, and Laoise tries to explain that Réailtín is tired and emotional right now, so he turns his wrath on her, accusing her of being a co-conspirator in this elaborate plan and then yelling at her for bringing Réailtín home in this state and not telling him. Umm, in case you haven’t noticed, they just walked in the door, fool. I mean, Réailtín hasn’t even had a chance to throw up in the fireplace yet. He isn’t persuaded by these irrefutable facts, so he sends Réailtín to her room to change clothes and then tells them that they’re both grounded.

Back at the pub, Gráinne tells David that she’s decided not to kill Annette right now, although she of course reserves the right to do so at any point in the future without advance notice. Furthermore, she explains, she’s decided they should get married after all, and they can just have the reception at Gaudi because they can get food poisoning there just as well as anywhere else.

Speaking of Gaudi, Pádraig is closing the place down while arguing with Sonia on the phone. He tells her he knows they can’t really have this conversation while she’s driving, and then proceeds to continue having this conversation while she’s driving anyway, and eventually it seems she hangs up on him, because she goes away and he frowns into the phone a lot. Well, I’m glad that’s settled!

At Micheál Seoighe’s Home For Wayward Girls, he and Laoise are replaying last year’s story in which he went crazy because she let Réailtín use a phone, except this time it’s Laoise’s fault that Réailtín is a teenager. I have to say, I like Micheál and Laoise, but this repeating story cycle is not my favorite. After 11 minutes of arguing, Laoise points out that the reason Réailtín called her instead of him when she needed help is that she’s afraid of him, and that if he doesn’t stop being such a dick all the time, she’s going to go off and get drug-pregnant and then fall off the roof of a brewery, and it will all be his fault. I’m paraphrasing.

Back at the pub, there is moderate excitement over the fact that David has asked Mo and Colm to be the witnesses at the wedding, but then Bobbi-Lee gets confused about what they’re celebrating and almost announces that Mo is pregnant. Fortunately Mo manages to apply the emergency brake before this particular car rolls down the hill and off a cliff by changing the subject to the fact that the reception is now being held in the walk-in freezer at Gaudi rather than the Makes Downton Abbey Look Crap Inn. Gráinne hilariously explains that the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Laoise wanted to bring Eric. It’s true, he would probably try to make everything about himself by falling down the stairs and landing in a coma again.

Chez Seoighe, Laoise is playing a version of solitaire I’ve never seen before when Micheál returns from Réailtín’s room and announces that he tried being comforting and fatherly as he’s seen on TV, and in return she threw up on him. At this he gestures to the big wet stain on his shirt, and I probably would’ve put on something clean rather than just wiping the chunks off, but maybe that’s just me. They agree that it’s good that he’s making an effort, and that Réailtín needs discipline, but also that he shouldn’t be too strict on her. For example, when he locks her in the house and goes out for the day, it’s important to open the windows a crack so she can get some fresh air. Furthermore, he explains, it’s difficult for Réailtín to be a 12- to 18-year-old girl without a mother, especially in the 1980s or whatever decade this is, although she does seem awfully fond of Laoise, dot dot dot. Laoise goes off to put the tea on, as one does when things get too real, and he looks meaningfully at her, or at least as meaningfully as it’s possible to look when one is covered in somebody else’s puke.

It’s closing time at Gaudi, and as Pádraig mops the tables and wipes the silverware clean on his trousers, two hunky police officers in uniform let themselves in and announce that they’re looking for him. This is even more porntastic than a hunky plumber who lets himself in after hours and announces he’s here to examine your pipes. Of course Pádraig is too scared and irate about Sonia’s cornucopia of threats and awfulness to undo his top two buttons and purr, “What might this be in regards to, officers?” and instead yells that whatever Sonia told them, it was a lie. They look at each other confusedly, but also ruggedly, and then one of them tells him he’s not sure what nonsense he’s carrying on about, but asks him to put a pin in it for right now because he’s got some bad news for him. Oh, God, if it turns out Sonia is actually identical twins and now both of them are here to scream about something that happened 8 years ago, I’m going to be so pissed.

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