Over at Mo’s place, which I had never noticed has one grey wall and one brown wall, Colm is walking around screaming her name, but she has left the building. Fortunately she left him and Úna a note saying Mack is taking her to chemo and she’ll be back later, which she very considerately and neatly wrote in big block letters in black Sharpie so we could all see it. THIS IS WHY MO IS THE BEST. Úna arrives and Colm shows her the note, and then they both purse their lips to 100 kiloBernis and look grim, and each of them is probably silently blaming the other, because that is what they do now. They are so going to end up doing it before this season is over.
At the shop, which is decorated for St Patrick’s Day in what appear in this light to be Italian flags, Evan does some light arguing with an extra we’ve never seen before whom we will call Contest Winner about his colossal mismanagement of the soccer team, which is of course all Briain-related, as most things are these days. After Contest Winner storms out, Evan goes to the till to pay for his box of Stroppy-O’s and Vince tries to give him a pep talk, which immediately turns into a contest between the two of them about whose family has been the subject of more scorn and gossip over the years. This is where I feel very sad to have only been watching for a couple of seasons because I am only vaguely aware of Vince’s lurid past and have mostly only seen him bumbling through as the ongoing downtrodden victim of Hurricane Caitríona. Evan, to no one’s surprise, proclaims that his problems are much worse than Vince’s because they are about him and then nearly knocks Máire down as he storms out the door in a huff. She soliloquizes for a while to Vince about how disgusting gossips are and how they should learn to mind their own business, and to his credit he manages to keep a straight face, even when she starts tsk-tsking so hard it nearly sucks the hair off his head.
Upstairs at the pub, O’Shea is explaining that the Gardaí generally don’t start searching for adults until they’ve been missing for 24 hours, to which Maggie brilliantly replies, and I quote, “But that’s a whole day!” You can’t get much past Maggie here. Bobbi-Lee, who is standing around pretending to make tea, puts the detective skills she’s honed by years of watching Scooby-Doo to good use and volunteers that it is very mysterious that Tadhg hasn’t been seen lately, adding that perhaps someone should check the abandoned mill or possibly the haunted campground. Ruh-roh! O’Shea’s response is to ask if there’s some particular reason Bobbi-Lee is here, so she explains that she’s providing moral support, a thing she saw on TV one time. O’Shea ignores her and asks Maggie if she and Tadhg had an argument, but she says that no, they were having a typical morning of soap-making and beating a crossword puzzle against a rock until he went off to see Father Éamonn and never came back. O’Shea offers to go investigate this lead, but Maggie says she’s already checked with him and he reported nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly not a bombshell revelation about Tadhg and Maggie being brother and sister, that’s for sure. O’Shea thanks her for her time and leaves, sadly before DI Bobbi-Lee can helpfully remind her to check the bottom of the river.
O’Shea returns to the garage and finds John Joe sprawled backwards across the hood of her car with his face contorted in pain, like Han Solo encased in carbonite but also left out in the sun all day. He explains that he’s had a grade 3 spine kablooey, and the best part is that he’s been draped across her car screaming ever since the last time we saw him and none of the passersby on the busy street have stopped to help. There really is no hospitality like small-town hospitality. Her response is that this wouldn’t happen if he’d stop being so old all the time, and then he sends her to the pharmacy, informing her that they “know what he takes.” Well, this is an unexpected way to discover that John Joe has been a cocaine addict all this time.
After the break, during which we learn that Ariel has a squad of unemployed dancers doing synchronized laundry while chained to washing machines in the world’s strangest sweatshop, Briain is telling Berni that none of this his is fault because one of the other players recorded him banging the coach’s wife in a bouncy castle without his knowledge or consent. She’s storming around being a complete pill about it, yelling that he should have told her about it even though we clearly saw him try to do just that at least three times and every time she shouted him down that she didn’t want to talk about the past. This is when we really need Dee to come in, grab a fistful of Berni’s hair, and yank her to the floor. Anyway, she walks around screaming for approximately 11 more minutes, and doesn’t slow her roll at all when Briain tells her that the video isn’t a big deal because you can’t see much. Only, like, the first four inches. She whines, “And we’d almost gotten over all the gossiping about us being together”—right, “we”—and when he offers to let her see for herself that the video is kind of boring, she vows that she is never, ever going to watch it! That might be difficult considering Bobbi-Lee has already rented equipment to project it 30 feet high on the side of the pub as part of the First Annual Ros na Rún St Patrick’s Day Porn Festival.
Back at the pub, Maggie begs Tadhg to tell her what the hell is going on here, so he starts trying out a variety of excuses for why they have to break up to see if she likes any of them. First he says he’s choosing Áine over her, but she assures him that she’d never come between the two of them. I think we’re about three weeks too late for that, but OK.
Elsewhere, it seems Maggie has not bought Tadhg’s accusation that she is an Áine-suppressing home-wrecker, so he goes for Plan B, which involves telling her that he’s realized he was in love with the young Maggie of his memory, not this year’s model. When he sees this might be gaining some traction, he dials it up to 11 and adds that she’s an ugly old troll, whereas he is lithe and supple and young. Furthermore, all that ever existed between them was youthful idiocy, and after a series of single tears roll down her various cheeks, she turns and silently walks away. It’s obvious to us that he’s just trying to hurt her so she’ll leave and never come back, knowing it would devastate her to find out that her father was a rapist, but it’s very difficult to watch her heart break, even for those of us who wish she’d fallen out of the plane somewhere between Boston and Dublin 10 months ago and saved us all a lot of trouble.
At their place, Berni is ranting over a hot iron while Bobbi-Lee pretends to help. She fumes that Briain and all his little friends at school will be laughing and sniggering at her, because as you may recall everyone in the world thinks about Berni all the time apparently, but Bobbi-Lee is more interested in why Briain let somebody film him shagging in the first place. Berni’s explanation is that it’s not his fault because he didn’t realize his friend was recording, which totally makes sense, because I for one frequently have sex while my friends are in the room with their phones pointed at me because they are “playing Candy Crush.” Bobbi-Lee, of course, knows a complete load when she hears one, but she lets it go and instead sighs that this is what happens when you date someone who’s a third your age and is part of the generation that InstaSnaps and TweetFaces everything that goes in and out of their bodies. She concludes that it’s a good thing the internet hadn’t been invented when they were teenagers like Briain or else there’d be videos of all their youthful indiscretions, such as her being simultaneously handcuffed to four of Duran Duran and all of Kajagoogoo or Berni writing in a library book. Berni clearly wants to punch her, but before she can decide why exactly, she gets a text from Caitríona saying she wants a private word with her. She wonders what this could be about, and Bobbi-Lee says she’s sure she doesn’t know, but since it’s Caitríona, she bets it’s something bitchy. This may not be the riskiest wager Bobbi-Lee has ever made.
Back at Gráinne’s, there are too many candles burning and you can smell the artificial vanilla through your TV. She’s got Mo, or a stunt double, facedown on a massage table and is buffing her aura and drawing the “bad stuff” out of her. That might be easier if she had a turkey baster or toilet plunger. Even Gráinne realizes she has no idea what she’s doing, but she makes it up as she goes along and says she’s going to ball the cancer up and kick it down the stairs and so on. When she can’t keep a straight face anymore, she stops and asks Mo if she feels any better, and she replies no, but that she also doesn’t think she feels any worse. Gráinne should definitely put that glowing endorsement on her business cards.
Back at the pub, we have several artsy shots where Tadhg and Maggie fade in and out of focus while looking in a mirror, and it’s nicely done, but also is very “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” She walks in and sadly, silently removes the infamous ring and places it on the kitchen table before slowly walking out for what is hopefully the last time. Breaking up is never easy, I know, but SHE HAS TO GO.
Caitríona has arrived at Berni’s for A Private Word and has brought Amy for reasons that surpass understanding. Well, really it’s obvious she’s brought Amy so she can blame her for everything, so I guess what surpasses understanding is why Amy has agreed to come. Berni says she doesn’t care that this little idiot is the one who found the video, but that Caitríona should be ashamed that she’s the one who actually spread it around. She blubs that she thought Caitríona was her friend, although we have no idea what would’ve ever given her that impression, and then they argue for a while until Berni accuses Caitríona of having such a boring life that she keeps trying to steal Berni’s, with her constant attempts to write books about all the times Berni has been murdered and so on. At this point Caitríona snaps, because if there’s one thing she won’t tolerate it’s people badmouthing her terrible books. She asks Berni what she thought was going to happen when she started carrying on with someone who isn’t old enough to ride in a car without a special rear-facing safety seat. Berni then hauls off and slaps the shit out of her, and there’s a hilarious moment where Amy’s jaw drops and then she runs out the front door before Berni can get her slapping arm warmed up for another go. Caitríona beats a quick retreat right behind her, and this is the best brawl we’ve had since Máire and Fia spent an entire episode slapping each other in the street that time.
The sun has come out and the streets are full of loud, hysterical laughter presumably caused by people watching John Joe and O’Shea writhing side-by-side on the ground in pain, but a blank-faced Maggie staggers out of the pub like a ghost. I mean, even more than usual. She wanders into the street without looking where she’s going, and when we hear a horn honk we think for a second she’s about to be sent flying by a speeding car, but alas, we used our entire special-effects budget earlier when Tadhg was standing on that CGI bridge. She turns and gives the pub one last teary-eyed look before walking away, somehow going this entire scene without blinking, and then we pan upwards meaningfully to the “Ó Direáin & A Chlann” sign before cutting inside, where we find Tadhg staring at the ring before bursting into huge, wracking sobs. Well, it’s been real, but now it’s time to hit the road, Mags, and don’t you come back níos mó, níos mó, níos mó, níos mó.