Pádraig has a lot of snazzy new running gear and happens to jog past Sam’s school at recess, and I have no idea whether the school is supposed to be a reasonable jogging distance away or if this is like when we see Mo off jogging casually through rural Norway. Anyway, he arrives just as a bunch of bullies kick Sam’s soccer ball into the parking lot, so he fetches it and runs it over to him. He asks if the baddies were picking on him, and Sam says they haven’t been too bad today, explaining that most days they throw his lunch on the ground, but today they couldn’t because he forgot to bring it. I am being 100 percent serious here, this is the saddest thing I’ve heard in ages, and I genuinely find the mental picture of the bullies throwing poor Sam’s lunch on the ground every day way more upsetting than anything that’s going on with Tadhg and Frances right now. Pádraig asks Sam if they hurt him, presumably meaning physically, and Sam says no, and then Pádraig promises to come back later and bring him some lunch. Sam hesitates, but Pádraig says he’ll tolerate no protests here, because after all, Sam’s mother wouldn’t want him to go hungry. This seems to assuage Sam’s doubts and he toddles off, and I’m usually not enthralled by kiddie actors, but the boy who plays Sam is very, very good and natural and believable, and I sure hope his mother shows up soon and is a wretched demon from the bowels of hell to distract me from how unbearably earnest Sam is.
Over at the House of Broken Dreams But Tasteful Décor, Frances gets off the phone with Tadhg and reports to Dee that he’s requested a meeting. With Frances, I mean, not with Dee, although that would be fun, too. We see hope in Frances’ eyes for the first time in weeks as she tells Dee that perhaps she was right the other day about Tadhg crawling back with his tail between his legs, but the conversation is interrupted when Áine, who is home “sick” yet again today, wanders in. Considering how often she misses school it seems Frances does not use the same threat on Áine my mother used on me, which was, “If you don’t go to school, they’ll put Mommy in jail.” Maybe Áine figures her expert legal team would have Frances out on a technicality by the end of the day. Áine hounds her until she admits that it was Tadhg on the phone, and then her little face lights up with the hope that it means détente is on the horizon, because—as she pulls Frances aside to stage-whisper—she hates it at Mack and Dee’s and wants to go home. Given how many sleepovers Áine has at random friends’ houses without complaining, Mack and Dee’s must really suck. My guess is that Áine doesn’t like ironing the towels and praying to the Nigella Lawson altar every night. Frances swears that everything will be back to the way it was very soon, which seems like a dangerous promise to make, especially since children hold grudges and Áine just did her end-of-term project on cutting brake lines.
At Gaudi, Colm is practicing his radio voice for Vince, who stops him and tells him gravely to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN because he sounds like a sportscaster who’s taken a side job as a phone-sex operator to support his crystal meth addiction. Colm is unsure how to talk on the radio other than as if it’s 4am and he’s introducing 30 minutes of nonstop Stevie Nicks to sleep-deprived horny truck drivers, so Vince tells him to just be himself and talk in his normal voice, and to imagine he’s having a conversation with someone who is an actual person and not Siri on Quaaludes. After a couple more false starts, Colm seems to settle into a groove that approximates a normal human being, although I am unclear whether we’re supposed to snicker like thirteen-year-olds over the fact that he keeps announcing that we’re all now going to look at the most important thing in Vince’s pocket.
Tadhg has moved his pensive sitting upstairs to the kitchen table, and the fact that Gráinne wanders in unimpeded to deliver a wedding invitation makes us think that security has gotten rather lax at the pub lately. Maggie strolls in like she owns the place, causing Gráinne to exclaim that she thought she would have been back in America by now, or at least stranded in the Reykjavik airport because her low-budget Icelandic carrier with a name like “WHEE!” or “POO” went out of business. Maggie stammers that she has to stay for a while longer because she “didn’t have everything in order,” as if she’s in charge of a busy corporation or is not allowed to enter the U.S. due to her subversive activities as a member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Gráinne tells Tadhg to make sure Frances comes, and then adds a side of awkwardsauce by telling Maggie she hasn’t got an invitation for her, but that she can just piggyback on Tadhg and Frances’ invitation and she’ll be sure to put them all at the same table. Hopefully Maggie’s seat is not within Frances’ arm’s length of the wedding cake.
After the break, Tadhg invites Frances to have a seat at the kitchen table, which shows how unbearably awkward this whole thing is since she probably picked out the bloody thing. He sits down, but before he can finish his first sentence, she interrupts to tell him that if he’ll just admit that this was all a big mistake, she’s willing to give him another chance, and that it’ll take time, but all Áine wants is for things to go back to the way they were, but he grimly tells her that’s not possible.
Over in the other production of Kramer vs Kramer that’s going on, Pádraig insists to Sonia that as Sam’s father, it’s his right to see him, but she hisses that it’s rich that now all of a sudden he wants to be a father, and that he doesn’t even know what that word means, or how to think of anyone other than himself. He counters that she’s not exactly mother of the year herself considering she doesn’t even know that Sam is being bullied every day at school, which mercifully shuts her up for a minute.
Back at Tigh Thaidhg, Bobbi-Lee is mocking Annette’s CV, which brags about how she has a B.A. Hons in Sociocultural Transcommunication (i.e., Talking) and also a certificate in Frivolous Lawsuits. Of course Caitríona, who we’re sure is supposed to be working right now, is sitting there and snootily interprets all the acronyms and abbreviations on the CV for Bobbi-Lee’s benefit, since she, like Annette, has a B.A. in B.S. Too bad Caitríona and Annette were absent the day they learned about STFU. Turning the page, we discover that Annette has also put on her CV that she’s “interested in reading, classical music, and walking,” and I guess that last bit is a good thing since she is not, as far as we know, able to levitate. Also, you’d think that somewhere along the way in her many educational endeavors somebody would’ve told her that nobody cares about your hobbies, favorite color, or star sign and none of that should be within 500 feet of a CV. The gist of all this is that Bobbi-Lee hates Annette, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever met either of them, but that she’s intrigued by the thought of hiring her, mostly so she can watch her wipe puke off the dartboard and slip in urine. Mack arrives for lunch and orders soup, which we assume Dee only lets him have at home if he eats it standing over the kitchen sink, and when Caitríona casually mentions that Frances has been staying with him and Dee, Bobbi-Lee starts harassing him for all the dirt on what’s going on. He refuses to say anything, and then Mo wanders through to announce that she’s going home early because she just threw up. I guess that means she already tried the soup. She leaves, and Bobbi-Lee yells that she’s tired of having to do all the work around here while everybody else comes and goes as they please, and it does suggest labor issues when Bobbi-Lee is Employee of the Month.
At Gaudi, the onscreen layout of which I have trouble reconciling with the layout I have actually walked through, Pádraig is keeping himself busy with some napkin origami when David arrives looking glum, even by his standards. He doesn’t waste any time with niceties such as “That’s a gorgeous blue plaid shirt you’re wearing” or “So, any long-lost children re-entered your life with their screaming lunatic mothers in tow lately?”, instead immediately saying he’s here to talk about airgead, and specifically the fact that he teastaíonns a lot of it within the next ten seconds. Pádraig pulls a €20 or something out of his wallet and David clarifies that he needs a bit more than that, namely €3000. Surprisingly, Pádraig agrees, and says he thinks he can get that much from the bank by the end of the day, and David leaves, showing a lot less excitement or gratitude than one would imagine, probably because he’s dehydrated from wetting his pants all day at the thought of Gráinne murdering him.
Gráinne returns home all abuzz about her wedding dress, which Máire has taken over construction of now that Fia has gone back to Australia. This combination of designers ensures that it will be a tie-dyed sports bra on top and a Hessian burqa on the bottom. Gráinne gripes to David about Fia for a while, making sure he understands that she has no patience for anyone who stands in the way of her fairytale wedding, and then mentions that she accidentally invited Bobbi-Lee to sing, which he doesn’t care about because he knows he will be dead long before then. She asks if he paid the deposit at the hotel, but he’s noncommittal and changes the subject to how interesting it is that in ancient Sanskrit, the word for “forgiveness” is the same as the word for “getting married in a Burger King.” She flutters off to the bedroom wittering on about how her veil is going to be made from candy floss spun by faeries, which gives him a chance to ring Pádraig and then poo a lot when he finds out that he’s not going to be able to lend David the money after all because his car fell in a sinkhole. David may have emptied out his wedding fund, but hopefully he didn’t touch his funeral fund.
And now, in the part that is completely exasperating, she informs him that he has a week to leave town forever or he’ll regret it. He’s confused, because of course this makes absolutely no sense, and then she explains that she can make up any story she wants about him and people will believe her, which still makes no sense. What is she even talking about? Who the hell does she think she is? This is infuriating. Anyway, eventually she disappears in a cloud of putrid green smoke, and he looks alarmed, presumably because he’s trying to figure out where and how quickly he can find a house to drop on her.