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.

At home, Réailtín is giving Micheál the silent treatment, so it’s business as usual. He asks if she’s seen his keys, but she refuses to even look up from the magazine she’s languidly flipping through at the kitchen table, which it appears Easter has exploded on for some reason. Laoise arrives to discuss parsnip blight or something, and in the course of the conversation we learn that the soup factory or wherever Micheál works is understaffed because his work-experience lad fell in the industrial canner and is now being distributed to Lidl stores across Europe. Eventually he heads off to work after finding his keys, which Réailtín could not be bothered to tell him were under the magazine she’s been reading this entire time. Snerk. After a sidebar in which we learn Laoise’s phone is butt-dialing people, which we will care about later but not right now, Réailtín complains that there’s no point in telling the truth because nobody ever believes her anyway. Laoise helpfully replies that she should stop being a lying alcoholic liar who lies all the time and then heads off to take a bath, which seems to be her excuse to exit at least 30 percent of the scenes she’s in, even those taking place at the shop or pub. As soon as she leaves the room, Réailtín zips over and does something sneaky with her malfunctioning phone, and if Réailtín is not your favorite character right now, it’s because you haven’t been paying attention.

Frances and Tadhg are having an argument at the community center over custody of Little Áine and Little Mo. He tells her she has no right to keep Áine away from him, and she replies that it’s not her fault Áine doesn’t want to see him. As you would expect, his response is basically that he will hit Áine over the head with a big hammer and drag her to the pub in a sack if he wants to, but Frances counter-proposes that she will try to talk her into going to visit him of her own volition, and also while conscious, but she can’t promise she won’t be a complete brat.

Berni slinks out her front door and is surprised to discover that the new cellphone tower she thought they’d built outside her house while she was away is actually Evan, who has been lying in wait to ambush her. He says he’s got something important to tell her, but instead of coming out and saying it, he opens with a long preamble about how Briain is using her, which gives her an opportunity to snot that maybe she likes being used, especially while hanging from a complicated system of ropes and pulleys. They argue for a while, and she’s such a pill about it that he eventually decides not to bother telling her and storms off in a huff.

Réailtín answers the door to find Adam has arrived to deliver the bottle of Chardonnay “Laoise” ordered. She explains that Laoise is in the bath right now but she’ll be glad to accept the delivery on her behalf, but he tells her he’s not allowed to give wine to a 12-to-16-year-old girl no matter how devious her scheme is. Just as he’s about to leave, Laoise strolls out of the bathroom in her kimono and character turban, and when he explains what’s going on, she curses her phone, which butt-dials people and she apparently believes also butt-opens apps, puts a bottle of wine in its shopping basket, enters payment information, and arranges delivery. She decides there’s no point in wasting a perfectly good bottle of hooch, though, and sends Adam on his way. After she disappears to resume hour three of her bath, Réailtín grabs the wine and dashes out the door, and I hope this is some kind of elaborate triple-cross in which she hides the bottle inside Áine’s Barbie and then gets Micheál to look in it with a story about a stolen dictionary.

Dee runs into Pádraig at the pharmacy, which we had forgotten exists, and excitedly tells him that her colleague Claire, who is either a solicitor or a barrister, whichever one Dee isn’t, has just filed an access request against Sonia. As with last episode, in which he begged Dee to meet him so he could ask her for a favor and then complained that the time and place she suggested weren’t the most convenient for him, he acts disappointed at her good news. Instead of pulling him to the floor by his hair, as she would be completely within her right to do, she calls him on his lack of gratitude, and he apologizes and explains that he’s worried that if this access request thing doesn’t work he’ll be out of options. We love Pádraig, but this whole Sonia/Sam thing seems to have driven him a little bonkers. Anyway, Dee and her luxurious ponytail tell him to keep his chin up as they bounce off to film a shampoo commercial, but he bites his lip and looks nervous.

We pan over to the chia seeds and maxi-pads aisle, where Mo ignores what her screen tells us is a second call from the hospital, which is efficiently entered in her phone as OSPIDÉAL, and then Frances comes over and asks snottily if she’s enjoying her life of leisure and then demands an apology for God-knows-what. Mo warns her to slow her roll or else there will be weave-snatching and throat-punching, which causes Frances to dial it up to 11 and start ranting that she’s got too much on her plate to deal with Lady Mo, who she spits wouldn’t know anything about hardship. Yes, when I think of spoiled people who have led easy lives, I think of Mo. Mo basically replies that if she thinks she’s got a lot on her plate, she ought to try being screamed at by some lunatic in the pharmacy while having cancer, at which point Frances bursts into tears. Mo then starts comforting her in soothing tones and offers to buy her a cup of coffee, and Frances is very lucky she didn’t pull this stunt with anybody else in this town, who would’ve instead told her to go to hell and then cut her brake lines to increase the speed with which she got there.

Over at the café, John Joe and Mack are giving Berni a hard time about being spotted on the beach with Briain earlier, although they’re under the impression that he’s just got a little crush on her as opposed to, you know, riding her senseless at all times. John Joe jokes that Briain is too young for her and that what she needs is a man with some experience, and we initially worry that he’s about to offer up his services since his role on the show lately has been to be horny. Fortunately, however, it turns out he and Mack are trying to fix her up with someone named Seosamh, who is covering postman David’s route while he’s off on his honeymoon trying to extricate his head from the windmill at Kerry Mini-Golf. Briain walks in just as she scoffs at this idea, and then he furrows his brow and shakes his head angrily before stomping back out the door, and she looks to the heavens in an aggrieved fashion. This really is the strangest episode of Hollyoaks ever.

After the break, during which we think about how glad we are that, whatever happens with this Réailtín/wine thing, we’re sure it won’t blow up in Adam’s face somehow, Tadhg is serving Áine what appears to be a bowl of Lucky Charms with everything but the marshmallows picked out. She first declines semi-politely, and when he replies “But you used to love them!”, she resists what must be an overwhelming urge to respond, “Yeah, I used to love a lot of things.” He keeps trying to win her over, cooing that he only ever thinks about what’s best for her, but she recognizes a steaming pile when she sees one. As she announces that she’s going to Réailtín’s house, he tries to tempt her to stay by offering to cook her a big steak, which is of course what every 10-year-old wants at 3:00 in the afternoon, but she heads for the door, dropping a couple of devastating guilt-bombs on him on her way out.

At the café, Frances has mostly stopped crying and vaguely apologizes to Mo for being a wagon and a half earlier. She says that Mo and her cancer are very lucky to have all these people who love her, such as Úna, Colm, Mack, and the Ros na Rún Recapper, but Mo offers that Áine is the one who’s truly lucky here, because she has Frances, the kind of mother she wishes she’d had growing up. Well, Mo, at least now you have a mother who disapproves of your boyfriend but who might have an affair with him by the end of the season anyway. As you know my plot predictions always come true, such as when I said Briain was here to be Pádraig’s boyfriend.

Áine appears at Micheál’s door and says she’s here to confess that the bottle of vodka was hers, and that Réailtín was innocent. Furthermore, she explains, she was angry when Réailtín wouldn’t let her drink it, so that’s why she threw her under the bus and smirked a lot. Just as she bursts into tears and Micheál starts comforting her, a completely drunk Réailtín busts hilariously through the door, escorted by Superintendent O’Shea. Réailtín is like, “Look, Dad! Terrible Réailtín is at it again!” and giggles a lot, but O’Shea, who is not giggling nearly as much, explains that she found her and some other kids drunk in the graveyard. Well, they’re never going to mount a successful production of Cré na Cille with that attitude. Micheál sends Áine home, but not before Réailtín calls her a brat and accurately blames her for starting all this, and when he demands to know where she got the wine, she takes a break from throwing up on the table long enough to confusedly mutter something about how Adam was only doing his job and isn’t to blame, and also ponies One Direction Instagram. OH, FFS. O’Shea asks her to confirm that her OFFICIAL STATEMENT is that Adam Mac Donnacha, of No. 12 Newly Gay Street, Ros na Rún, underagedly sold her alcohol. Despite the fact that Réailtín’s only response to this question is to projectile vomit into the sink, ace detective O’Shea, who graduated top of her class from Dealz Police Academy, decides this is proof enough for her and goes off to ruin poor Adam’s life for the 217th time.

Meanwhile, Briain and Berni are out in the street once again having the argument about whether she’s embarrassed by him, which we can’t get enough of. A quick cut to Keanes shows that Mo is on the phone, and that OSPIDÉAL is telling her she needs to come in tomorrow at 2:00.

O’Shea has arrived at the shop to accuse Adam of selling alcohol to a minor. He denies it, and when Vince asks who made this allegation, she says she can’t reveal that information, but adds smugly that she’s positive this person was telling the truth. Well, really she was less “telling” anything than “throwing up on the counter.” Remember when O’Shea used to be a good cop? To his credit, Vince says Adam is OK at his job and always turns down local children such as Áine and Liam Óg when they pop in to buy booze and cigs, but O’Shea snots that apparently he didn’t do so this time, and that Vince will have to shut down the shop for a while and pay an enormous fine. Of course Adam is standing there deliciously rolling his eyes at what a complete load all this is, and while we feel very sorry for him, we are kind of enjoying it, because Adam is a lot more fun when he’s being downtrodden and is therefore about ten seconds from cutting a bitch.

Áine has returned to her barstool and is sadly stirring a glass of water or gin with a straw when Maggie appears and decides to stick her oar in. She asks Áine how she’s doing and, amazingly, instead of grabbing Maggie by her scarf and dragging her across the counter, Áine replies in a neutral tone that she’s fine. Not taking the hint, Maggie continues pressing her, asking if perhaps the schoolhouse ran out of coal or one of her little friends died of dropsy, but sadly before Áine gets a chance to reach across and knock a knot in her, Frances appears and informs her it’s time to go. While she toddles off to gather her coat and ninja throwing stars and such, Frances hisses at Tadhg and Maggie that she’s just found out from Micheál that Áine is now the leading vodka distributor of the Wild Atlantic Way. Tadhg tries to blame Frances’ bad parenting, but she clarifies that he and Wallis Simpson here are to blame due to their being a liar and a floozy, respectively, and storms off.

Back at the shop, Laoise is buying Réailtín a big bottle of 7 Up because dry heaves are painful and she is a caring person. Adam is still folding his arms and rolling his eyes, which we suspect he has been doing continuously since the last time we checked in with him, and when the conversation turns to how teenagers be crazy and so on, it’s revealed that this nonsense was caused by O’Shea’s terrible policing Réailtín stealing the wine. Adam spits at Vince, “I told you I wasn’t to blame!”, which he should really have printed on a T-shirt to save himself time, but when Vince evasively claims they don’t have all the facts yet, Adam starts rattling off the list of all the other times he got unfairly blamed for things he didn’t do, such as when the case of wine disappeared at Christmas, and when he tried to blackmail Niamh all those times, and when he sold drugs to that undercover cop. No, wait, forget those last two. As expected, all this ends with Adam telling Vince he quits, which he should have printed on the other side of the T-shirt.

Fortunately for Adam, the highly elastic Ros na Rún labor market allows him to immediately get a new job at Keanes when Micheál agrees to accept his storming in and screaming what a lying little thief Réailtín is in lieu of a CV. Laoise, being a non-obstacle for the first time since the middle of last season, helps by explaining that Adam’s experience working in the shop has prepared him perfectly to work in a sushi restaurant or whatever this place is, and points out that perhaps Micheál will be less of a neglectful deadbeat dad to teen alcoholic Réailtín if he takes on additional staff. You guys, I love this show SO. MUCH.

Berni pops into Gaudi to deliver a big box of anti-nausea medicine from the restaurant-supply store, which is convenient because we are all going to need it about ten seconds from now. John Joe and Mack, who’ve moved their comedy act down the road, start carrying on again about fixing her up with Sexy Seosamh, the substitute postman. At this moment Briain wanders through, so Berni grabs him and starts eating his face off, and I swear, they seriously start groping each other and going at it so hard the place would be shut down immediately if the health inspector came through. Of course everyone looks shocked apart from Pádraig, who even in the depths of his despair can find the ability to be visibly delighted by scandal and sleaze, which is one of our favorite things about him. Amy and Evan happen to be at a nearby table, and as he hides his face in his paella, she asks him why he didn’t tell her about this, and he replies brilliantly, “Would you want to tell people about something like that?”, which is our favorite thing he has said or done all season. He says she should go ahead and publish the story to teach Berni a lesson, but she decides this is all a lot of trash that’s better left in the bin and suggests they make a quick exit, presumably before Briain and Berni are completely naked.

But! Speaking of trash that’s better left in the bin, Caitríona is rooting around in there as usual, this time in the form of snooping around on Amy’s laptop. Well, she starts out on the office sofa and then totally almost falls down as she gets up to walk over to the desk, which on any other show would be the highlight of the season, but on Ros na Rún is barely even in the top five things that happened in this episode. Anyway, she finds the draft of the online story Amy has written with the headline “Scandal! A Sports Star’s Life Is Destroyed”, which is the sort of thing you expect to see on the front page of The Sun followed by “2 For 1 Tickets To Flamingo Land! See Details Inside.” She clicks the “Publish” button and bares her lovely teeth in predatory delight, confident that this will finally win her that Nobel Prize in Smut she’s spent her entire career working towards.

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