Saturday, March 17, 2018

We Just Have To Face It: This Time We're Through

Season 22, Episode 56
First aired 13 March 2018

We’re back after a week away during which we got the biggest shock of the season: Mo and Gráinne implied that Bobbi-Lee was alive during the 1970s and she did not murder either one of them! Oh, also Tadhg found out that Maggie is his sister. Nobody got murdered as a result of that yet, either, though Tadhg reserves the right to go back to the church at any time, bash Father Éamonn’s head in with that African good-luck statue we spent so much time discussing, and then burn the place down.

We open with Maggie emerging from the pub and looking worried, but unlike every other morning, it’s not because she spent all night sexing up Tadhg and is now worried that one of them might be pregnant. No, according to the conversation she has with passerby John Joe, it seems Tadhg did not come home last night, and although we’re having trouble putting our finger on why exactly that’s a bad thing, she’s frowning a lot so we’ll take her word for it. You can tell John Joe is devastated by this alarming news by the way he continues bounding down the street whistling like Mickey Mouse in “Steamboat Willie.” On the plus side, if Tadhg turns up dead, we know where to find a hearse.

And right on cue, we cut to the infamous bridge, at which we’ve spent so much time this season it’s going to start charging us rent. There we find Tadhg, who’s suffering from a severe case of crazy eyes. We can tell it’s Emotionally Significant because there is a lot of fancy camerawork, with Tadhg spinning past on a turntable and then us pulling away in the famous TG4 helicopter, which we’re going to assume is being piloted by Áine, who’s stolen it and is flying it to Tayto Park, possibly with Réailtín tied up in the back seat.

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.

Meanwhile, Mo has arranged for Mack to pick her up at Gráinne’s because, as she explains, she cannot deal with Colm and Úna’s fussing over her and fluttering around looking aggrieved and surly anymore. Gráinne agrees that boyfriends and mothers are the worst, and then hits Mack with a cup of scalding tea when he jokes that this whole thing is going to be the death of Mo, ha ha. He eventually realizes what he’s said and, after he finishes picking his teeth out of Gráinne’s fist, apologizes, but Mo is unfazed and tells him not to worry about it because she has, you know, met him before. Gráinne assures her that when the doctors find cancer this early they are practically always able to beat it out of you with a stick, which she learned in nursing school just before she flunked out, and after Mo takes ten seconds to feel sorry for herself, she picks herself up and dusts herself off and announces that it’s time to go kick cancer’s ass. Again, MO = THE BEST. Oh, and then Mack waves goodbye to her as she leaves and goes back to leisurely drinking his tea until Gráinne hits him again and he remembers the entire reason he’s here is to drive Mo to the hospital. MACK = ALSO BEST.

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.

In the comedy portion of today’s episode, which may also be leading to the two of them sleeping together, O’Shea brings her car to John Joe for some new tires, because she wore out the old ones running over Adam last week. She says she’ll go to the pub and pretend to be interested in Maggie’s “Tadhg is missing, boo hoo hoo” nonsense, and John Joe brightly tells her that oh, you know how Tadhg is, he’s probably just dead, and they share a good laugh. They will make a much more bearable couple than Laoise and Eric. As soon as she’s out of earshot, he blows out his spine while putting on his jacket, and I guess if he can’t have a daughter who’s a doctor and can heal him, the next best thing is having a daughter who’s a barrister and/or solicitor and can sue the jacket manufacturer.

Berni and Briain are eating each other’s faces off behind the counter at the café, and despite the fact that they are both beautiful, it’s making everyone sick. All that’s missing is some bow-chicka-wow-wow music and the arrival of the cable repairman and this would totally be a porno video. The best part is that it appears one or both of them was in the middle of cutting shamrocks out of construction paper when they stopped to make out. This is the strangest kindergarten art class ever. Anyway, Máire arrives to turn the hose on them have a word with Berni about her ridiculous behavior, and after Briain sneers menacingly at her and she swats him away like a bug, she proclaims that Berni has made a big fool out of herself and that every day she spends with Briain is like representing Ireland in the Eurovision song contest with the back of her dress tucked in her pantyhose. Berni retorts that maybe she likes mooning all of Europe every day, but Máire is in full witches-of-Macbeth mode and explains that Berni is a complete embarrassment to the family in a wavering whooooo!/scary ghost/haunted house voice like she’s putting a curse on her. She dematerializes in a burst of pursed lips and too many scarves, and while Berni is busy rolling her eyes, Briain suddenly develops severe diarrhea face, which is nothing new for people in the café, but in his case it is because of an alarming text he’s received and not because of the lasagna soup.

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.

Downstairs, Briain bursts in and starts yelling at Amy, who’s having a friendly drink with Caitríona. OK, now this show has jumped the shark, because no one would ever choose to go have a drink with Caitríona. Anyway, he shouts at her that the Aussie-rules sex video has gone viral, and she says she doesn’t know what he’s talking about because she didn’t post it. Evan appears out of nowhere and piles on, snotting that he can’t believe she’d do such a thing after days of him encouraging her to do it, and she suggests that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern here should ask Caitríona, who is currently climbing out the window, if she knows anything about this. Well, the important thing here is that Adam will end up losing his job somehow.

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.

Maggie is pacing when Tadhg appears in the mirror like Freddy Krueger. She asks him where he’s been and if he’s all right, though it’s clear the answers are “clawing at his hair all night” and “not really,” respectively. He pours himself a glass of turpentine and tells her there’s something he has to tell her: they can’t be together anymore! Also that it wouldn’t kill her to do a little tidying up while he’s out.

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 kitchen, Maggie is looking grim, even by her standards, and Tadhg won’t make eye contact with her. They’re both speaking in Máire’s haunted-house voice from earlier, which is making this feel more like the Halloween episode than the Halloween episode did. She says he must not feel well, as evidenced by his crazy talk and the fact that he looks like Albert Einstein after being struck by lightning, and he replies that Father Éamonn has told him some things about her that made him realize he doesn’t want to be with her anymore. For example, she once showed her ankles to Patrick Pearse on a tram. Tears rolling down her face, she whispers that she can’t believe what he’s telling her and asks again what this is all about. Err, Brexit?

O’Shea returns to the gas station, where John Joe is still doing the backstroke across the top of her car, and hands him the medicine she’s picked up from the pharmacy. Remember when Janice was on this show? Presumably she got sucked into the same black hole that swallowed Uncle Pest. Anyway, the medicine which we assumed would be tablets turns out to be some sort of cream that John Joe than starts slathering all over his back as if it’s Coppertone and he’s on the beach in Ibiza, and then when O’Shea decides she’ll just change her tire herself, she throws out her back, too, because old people are hilarious, ha ha. We haven’t seen so many back injuries in a single episode since that time Berni and Briain installed that leather sling in their kitchen.

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.

Mo returns to Gráinne’s post-chemo and finds she’s whizzing up what appears to be a puke smoothie of the sort Úna kept threatening to make her drink. As Mo explains that things were quick and easy at the hospital, Gráinne blorps the disgusting smoothie into a glass while Mack tastes the various ingredients and spits them on the counter because they are yucky. Mo sips the sludge and manages a weak smile, spewing up less than Mack has so far in this scene, although to be fair, I’m pretty sure at least one of the things he ate was a dishwasher tablet. Gráinne offers to buff Mo’s chakras and align her struts and so on, but first she accuses Mack of spraying bad chi everywhere, which is coincidentally orange-scented and features three times the cleaning power of your old liquid dish detergent. She throws him out and goes to fetch her yin-yang dispenser while Mo shudders and pours the rest of the moss smoothie down the sink, which you can hear screaming if you listen closely.

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.


  1. I laughed so much when Amy ran out of the room after Berni slapped Caitríona.
    This episode almost, ALMOST made me feel bad for Maggie (that's how much of a jerk Tadhg can be, he even makes me feel bad for HER), but then I remembered all the shit Francis and Áine went through because of her... and yeah. Slán.
    Speaking of Francis and Áine, wonder what's going to happen now! I really hope she doesn't take Tadhg back.

    1. Yes, wasn't the look on Amy's face just as she ran out of the room hilarious?? One of my favorite Amy moments ever. I'm torn on whether I want Frances to take Tadhg back. I do really like them together, but I'd also like to see her make him twist in the wind and do some serious begging for a while before taking him back on a probationary basis. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Ag magadh faoi Ariel - maith thú!

    1. That commercial is so bizarre! It's like they've kidnapped a group of Broadway dancers and sent them to an Ariel forced-labor laundry camp.

    2. I have to disagree. That ad makes me want to do laundry.

    3. Of course the problem is that, after that ad, doing laundry in real life will inevitably be highly disappointing! Although at least it's not as threatening as the tattooed baby on the motorcyle from the Fairy liquid commercial.


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