Sunday, February 11, 2018

I Can't Help Falling in Seaweed with You

Season 22, Episode 46
First aired 8 February 2018

We’re back after a one-episode break, and unfortunately there will be no screenshots in this recap because for some reason TG4 has kindly changed their streaming technology to block them. Thanks, TG4! (If you miss the screenshots, which I often also use in my tweets to discuss and promote the show, please consider tweeting TG4 and asking them to change things back.)

It’s the morning of the big wedding, and Pádraig tells David he and Sam are on their way to the hospital to visit Sonia, but that he’ll see him at Gaudi later. He says he’s not looking forward to the inevitable tongue-lashing he’ll get from the lovely Sonia when/if she wakes up and finds that he’s been taking care of Sam all this time. Yes, as far as she’s concerned, it would have been better to put Sam into foster care like Helen suggested. Sonia really is the absolute worst. Pádraig leaves as Colm wanders in, and he’s completely hung over. You may recall from last episode that, in an elaborate scheme to keep David and Gráinne from seeing each other the day of the wedding, Colm is staying at David’s and Gráinne is staying at Mo’s. I have no idea why Gráinne couldn’t have just stayed at Mo’s with her and Colm while David stayed at home with Pádraig and Sam, but there will be a number of things this episode that don’t entirely make sense, so get used to it. Anyway, David’s going out for a walk and reminds Colm that he promised last night he’d join him, but Colm has no memory of this and argues that no court in the land would force him to honor a contract he made while he was puking vodka and Red Bull into David’s washing machine. David pressures him some more, but Colm stands firm and tells him to get out of his face and go take a long walk off a short pier.

At Mo’s, Caitríona is applying Gráinne’s makeup with a trowel while complaining that it looks like it’s going to rain, which is shocking given that Ireland is an arid desert. She points out that if Gráinne and David had taken them all to Bali for the wedding like she’s been carrying on about for the past two weeks, they wouldn’t have to worry about the rain. Right, because tropical islands like Bali are so green and lush because of the complete lack of rain. (Also, February is the rainy season in Bali.) On the other hand, if they’d taken Caitríona to Bali, maybe somebody could’ve pushed her into a volcano. Gráinne runs outside in a panic to look up at the sky and try to figure out where all that falling water is coming from, which gives Mo and Caitríona an opportunity to conspire about the surprise reception that’s been thrown together for the happy-ish couple at Tigh Thaidhg. Mo figures the place will look like crap and Gráinne will resent having been dragged there, but Caitríona is sure that party-planner Annette will have the place looking fabulous. Yes, she’ll pour glitter on the stickiest parts of the floor and then abscond with the till.

Back at the regional headquarters of Groom, Inc., Mack arrives and announces gravely that a lot of seaweed and jellyfish washed up and ruined the beach and also a 90-foot-long giant squid is putrefying in the sand and the ocean is on fire. David faints and curses God and so on for a while, and then Mack starts laughing and says everything’s fine and he made all that up just to torture David. I knew there was a reason I like Mack. He leaves to go wreak havoc elsewhere, perhaps by telling Dee that Katy is pregnant again and the baby might be his, and then David once again tries to drag Colm out of the house on this walk he’s so obsessed with. Colm could not possibly be less interested in doing such a thing, even when David presents into evidence the cousin of someone he used to know’s podiatrist who climbed Croagh Patrick or Kilimanjaro barefoot on the morning of his wedding and was only partially eaten by wolves. Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with Colm since this is not his wedding day, but many things are vaguely confusing this episode, so I recommend you just lie back and let it wash over you like the rains of Bali.

Back at Bride & Sons Associates, Gráinne is still running around in a tizzy over the weather, and also because Irial from the TG4 weather team just had his top two buttons undone while he gave the forecast, rrrowr. Caitríona orders her to sit down and hold still so she can get the mascara cannon set up, but then Gráinne starts banging on about how she only saw one magpie outside, which is bad luck, whereas if you see four magpies on your wedding day, it means there are six more weeks of winter. Mo and Caitríona tell her to pay no mind to these old superstitions, and that no matter how many magpies she sees or doesn’t see, her luck can’t get any worse than having to marry David. That last part is implied. They hypothesize about what David is doing right now, with the guesses including rehearsing his vows, arguing with SpongeBob on TV, and karate chopping a seagull.

Right on cue, we cut to the shore to check in on our roving hero, who is resplendent in his red trackie and breathing in the fresh, salty air of the sea that is about to consume him. And speaking of salty, we then cut to Maggie, who is grinding her own flour while beating her dishes on a rock by the river. Tadhg returns from the bakery or deli or wherever and says he wasn’t sure whether she’d prefer bagels or croissants, and she goes for the latter even though her preferred breakfast is a handful of dry oats served on a slice of old whale fat. She asks whether Frances signed the legal papers, and when he sighs no, she says she probably just needs some more time. Yes, it will take a few days to stockpile the quantity of explosives Frances is going to need. Tadhg changes the subject by asking Maggie if she’ll accompany him to the reception in the pub later, and while she thinks it might be a bit early for them to be seen out in public together, and especially strolling into the pub making out, he scoffs that there’s no time like the present, and that if Frances doesn’t like it, she can cram it. Oh, and then he decides that today is the day to take off his wedding ring. Well, there’s no way this is going to go badly.

Upstairs at the pub, Frances is scratching out every other line of the papers with a red pen while Dee looks on and wonders whether now would be a good time to reveal that she technically has never studied law. Frances gets to the part about how by taking the pub she can’t make any future claims to any of Tadhg’s other assets and crosses it out with glee, which causes Dee and her lovely hair to look worried, like a beautiful anime princess trapped in a castle, or a beautiful anime attorney whose client is determined to make an unwise financial decision against her counsel.

Back at the beach, David trips over a piece of plankton and falls face-first onto the sand and then starts screaming in pain. It seems the laws of physics work differently on this beach because he’s walking forward when he snags his foot, which appears to make him teeter backwards, but then he falls forward into the sand and lands on his face, which somehow breaks his ankle. If the goal here was to decommission David by twisting his ankle, I might’ve had him step on the edge of a rock and then fall sideways, but I guess the important thing is that he is gravely injured and also the tide is coming in, probably. He should’ve known better to go there in the first place, because I’m pretty sure this is the same spot where Gráinne slipped on a dolphin and broke her skeleton while collecting seaweed that time.

Over at the hospital, Sam says he hopes they can talk to Sonia today, and Pádraig is noncommittal, which is really the best you can expect from someone who’s trying to decide whether he or she hopes Sonia gets better. Sam goes into her room, but Pádraig hangs back, because he has met Sonia and knows she is a complete nightmare. Sam beckons him in, and eventually he gives in when Sam says, “Dad, please,” because he loves Sam more than he hates Sonia. This says a lot about Pádraig’s character given that she’s the worst person on earth, or at least in Europe.

On the non-injury part of the beach, Gráinne has made a circle out of seaweed and looks lovely in a rust-colored cloak over a wedding dress we can’t really see. She’s talking to Mo about how she and David will step over a broom at the end of the ceremony to symbolize the way married couples step over things together, and then she wonders why he’s running late. Colm arrives, blown over a dune by wind so strong everyone is having trouble standing up, and everyone—including Merlin, who is here to officiate—is surprised that David is still a no-show, and doesn’t seem to be answering his phone, either. It tripped over a barnacle and broke its antenna. They hypothesize that perhaps David also went to climb Croagh Kilimanjaro, which Gráinne thinks would be a strange thing to do in a suit, so Colm reveals that David’s suit is still back at the house, so he’s out either in his trackie or naked. I think those would be more appropriate for a Wiccan birthday party, not a Wiccan wedding.

The pub is vaguely decorated in festive shades of beige and cream, and Mack arrives carrying a bunch of balloons and complaining that he nearly reenacted Up while trying to wrestle them down the street. It’s like that time he accidentally reenacted Toy Story by falling into that claw crane machine at the arcade. Meanwhile, Frances is on the phone with Tadhg, explaining that she’s made a few minor modifications to the contract, such as crossing out the entire thing, and that she’ll show it to him if he can drag himself away from Maggie’s Victrola and come over. “Maggie’s Victrola” may or may not be a euphemism.

Back at scenic Injury Beach, David is hobbling around falling onto various rocks and screaming a lot. And now, to make things even more puzzling, he looks up and realizes that if he looks across the inlet or whatever he can actually see Gráinne, Mo, Colm, and Gandalf standing around on the beach looking confused. He calls her name, and given the distance, the ocean, and the wind, I can buy that they can’t hear him, and also that they couldn’t hear any of the other screaming and praying for death he’s been doing. It’s a bit unbelievable, however, that nobody has turned their head 90 degrees and seen him, because it’s not like they’re so far apart they’re tiny specks on the horizon. I mean, we can see the expression on Mo’s face from here, for God’s sake. He spots a mermaid spine or narwhal tusk nearby on the sand, which we presume he is going to use as a cane, splint, or suicide apparatus, but it’s just out of reach, and we go to commercial with him grasping desperately for it and continuing to scream a lot.

After the break, during which we learn that Ariel pods are the first detergent pods to be three different colors, which apparently makes them get your clothes cleaner somehow, Sam is standing beside Sonia’s bed trying to show her a get-well card he made her. She’s unresponsive, and he asks Pádraig in a tone that’s about 30 percent sad and 70 percent annoyed why she hasn’t opened her eyes yet. Because he is a good father, Pádraig refrains from explaining that it’s because even pure evil needs to rest sometimes and instead says that she’s been in a deep sleep for a long time, so it will take her a while to wake up. Yes, let’s please not try to rush the waking-up process here. There’s more discussion of poor Sam’s abandonment issues, but then he brightly volunteers that once Sonia wakes up and discovers he’s got his own room at Pádraig’s house, she’ll probably let him stay over there all the time! Yes, that seems likely.

Back at the beach, Mo suggests that maybe David realized he’d forgotten something and had to drive into town to get it, such as an “I Galway” T-shirt or a 50 Shades of Grey audiobook. Gráinne, however, is too busy cursing David for jilting her at the altar, such as it is, like a fool, and now she’s got all this seaweed here and no one to eat it. She frets that David has left her because they can’t have children together, and Mo kindly explains to a confused-looking Obi-Wan Kenobi that David did that once before, so it’s not as random a remark as it seems. Just then they spot David in his mud-covered tracksuit hobbling over the dunes using the mermaid spine as a cane, and she runs over to him and gives him a big hug. Well, you can’t spell “This is wacky” without “This is wack.”

Our worst fears have been realized as we return to the hospital and find that Sonia’s eyes are open. We all relax, however, when we notice she does not seem to be blinking or moving and is staring at the wall like one of those baby dolls that closes its eyes when you lie it down and then opens them when you sit it up. Pádraig narrates that the doctor said she could be like this for a couple of days, or she could wake up and be fine any minute now. I vote for Option A. Sam worries about what might happen to his newfound relationship with his dad when his terrible mother wakes up, but Pádraig says he’s sure they’ll be able to work something out and then encourages Sam to go talk to her because she can probably hear him. For example, he could say, “Go towards the light.”

The sun seems to have come out down at the beach, and the wind has died down enough that Colm and Merlin aren’t having to hold Gráinne down. It took some serious seafóid to get us to this point, but now that we’re here, the ceremony is quite lovely. They vow to support each other no matter how much seaweed they slip on or how many beehives they kick because they thought it was a soccer ball, and then Merlin ties the ribbons around their hands and pronounces them married. Gráinne helps David hobble over the broom and they kiss, unaware of the nearby lighthouse that is about to collapse and land on David’s groin.

We see Tadhg trying to reassure a nervous Maggie as they stroll down the street towards the pub, and then we cut inside, where Bobbi-Lee announces that when she gets married, the reception won’t be in this dump, that’s for sure. John Joe and Mack insult her for a while for no particular reason, but just as she’s about to tie their willies together and then kick them apart, Annette orders everyone to shush because David and Gráinne are coming. Everyone cheers as the door opens and in walk…Tadhg and Maggie. Well, this is the most awkward thing since…well, the thing that’s going to happen 5 minutes from now. Annette announces Take 2, promising this time it’s actually the correct people coming in, so we do it all over and this time it is indeed David and Gráinne who enter. There is cheering and hugging and whatnot, and then Caitríona introduces them to the woman who’s responsible for all this...Oprah Winfrey! No, it’s Annette, which is a surprise to both of them, particularly Gráinne, who thinks Annette is the worst person in the world but would feel differently if she’d ever met Sonia. Annette hands them an envelope with the rest of the money she owes them, or at least photocopies of money she has made on the copier at the shop. She exits, and Gráinne excitedly tells David that with all this money they can go on a honeymoon now—maybe even to Bali! I was under the impression that Caitríona was the only one who was “eat up with Bali,” as my 98-year-old grandmother would say, but OK. He immediately poo-poos this idea by saying that his mother will be devastated if they don’t honeymoon in Kerry instead. Well, they’re practically the same thing.

Out in the street, Máire stops Colm to be a pain in the arse about nothing in particular for a while. He recaps everything that has happened in the episode so far, which is helpful for her but boring for us, although it does give her the opportunity to bitch and moan about every single thing and disapprove of, you know, the world. She takes her show on the road, stopping next inside the pub so she can tell David and Gráinne in person how much she disapproves of all this and how they are all going to die because he got married in a tracksuit. Caitríona shoos her away so Gráinne can throw the bouquet, so Bobbi-Lee, Mo, and a bunch of extras we’ve never seen before assemble to be thrown at. At the last second Bobbi-Lee grabs and drags into the scrum our friend Maggie, who protests and acts like she doesn’t want to be there but then gets right in the front of the group and of course reaches out and catches it. Another option, if you didn’t want to make things incredibly awkward for everyone, particularly Frances, who is standing five feet away watching all this, would’ve been to NOT REACH OUT AND CATCH IT. Idiot. So Maggie stands there holding the bouquet and looking like she’s going to throw up, and Tadhg is grinning, and Frances is rolling her eyes and clenching her jaw so hard sparks are shooting out.

Adam, who is also a person who is on this show sometimes, is over at Gaudi setting a table for the wedding party and asking Pádraig about Sam and Sonia and what he thinks about that guy who looks like Eoin holding a baby hostage with a flare gun on Fair City. Adam volunteers that it’s great that Sonia is getting better, which he says because he’s never met her, but Pádraig is noncommittal, because he has. He says he knows it’s terrible, but he’s kind of glad Sonia is taking her sweet time waking up because it’s giving him and Sam more time to get to know each other. This season’s Saint Adam says disapprovingly, “That’s a strange statement to make!”, whereas last season's Fun Adam would’ve said, “Wow, she must be a complete wagon for you to say that, because you are wholesome and get along with everyone!” I miss Fun Adam.

Toasts have broken out over at the pub, and the first couple are boring because they are from Máire and Mack. A few people try to get Tadhg to make a toast, but he stands there glaring at everyone, so Maggie takes it upon herself to step up and make a toast on his behalf, because apparently she is his spokesperson now. She wishes them good luck, and a long life with little sorrow and no American floozies swanning in like they own the place and breaking them up. Just then Frances decides she’s had all she can stand of this, so she bursts through the crowd with a “toast” that’s actually a thinly veiled attack on Tadhg and Maggie. She spits that David and Gráinne will need that good luck, because the world is full of thirsty hos who are happy to pretend to be your friend and then steal everything you have. This is where it’s a complete travesty that TG4 has blocked screenshots, because I would love to share Mack’s expression with you as Frances continues to tear Maggie a new one. She screams about her without naming any names for a while and then can’t control herself anymore and flies up into her bizizzle, sticking her finger all up in her face and calling her a thief. YES! A stunned-looking Maggie grabs her coat and flees, and Frances storms upstairs with Tadhg hot on her heels, leaving everyone in the pub standing around in disbelief over the mini-Edward Albee production that’s just begun and ended its run in a single night.

Upstairs, Frances is sitting at the table trying to catch her breath and keep herself from falling apart, and it’s clear that even she is in shock over what she’s just done. Tadhg arrives to help the situation by yelling at her, but she’s able to pull herself together and fight back. He says he can’t believe she attacked Maggie publicly, and she counters that the pair of them came prancing in together publicly, so he can knock off the innocent victim act. He picks the papers up off the table and tells her that she could’ve attacked him all she wanted and still gotten anything she asked for, but now that she’s gone after Maggie, she’s going to get nothing. He rips up the paper and storms out, and when she’s alone, Frances sits back down at the table and bursts into tears. So, maybe this is not the best time to ask, but is somebody going to take David to the hospital for his broken leg or what?


  1. Your illustrations are priceless! Even better than the screenshots. Thanks for writing this blog!

    p.s. I'm able to get screen shots, and if you're in a jam, could probably take some for you, but seriously, the drawings are *ace*.

    1. Aww, thanks, Karen—you’re too generous with your praise! I like the pictures, too, but they took a long time to draw because I’m a crap artist. What device/browser/app are you using that you can still take screenshots? I can’t get them at all on my iPad.

    2. Hi, I'm using Chrome on a MacBook Pro running Sierra. Have put off updating to High Sierra.


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