Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Daly Extra

Season 22, Episode 61
First aired 3 April 2018

We’re back after a mini break during which there were a couple of unrecappable episodes. By “unrecappable,” I mean “if I had recapped them in my usual fashion, I would go to hell.” So I will just tell you that the important things that happened are that Sonia ramped up to a Level 12 Assfactory, but it turns out the man she caught Pádraig in bed with was her brother, which caused us all to laugh heartily enough to almost make up for the intense, continued misery she’s caused us for months now. Berni moped around a lot about Briain because she was really looking forward to making his Easter basket and hiding eggs in the garden for him to find, and when she finally decided to try calling him, he told her to buzz off and leave him alone. O’Shea and John Joe flirted a lot, meaning they will probably give birth to a bunch of children with hereditary bad backs, and somebody probably died, but I CAN’T SEEM TO REMEMBER WHO.

Anyway! That was then and this is now and “turn, turn, turn” and so on. I hope they replace Maggie with that giant plastic ice cream cone in the opening credits for the rest of the season.

We open with Tadhg standing outside the pub in the rain trying to sweep a puddle, which seems like a totally well adjusted thing to do, that’s for sure! Next he’ll be trying to wipe reflections off the windows. He pauses to look meaningfully at the “Ó Direáin & A Chlann” sign and then leans on his broom for a while wondering whether the picture of the chicken will go to the left or the right of it when the pub becomes a Nando’s next season.

At the café, there is ongoing Starsky & Hutch police drama with Úna and Colm. It’s nice that they can bond over this, what with her being a detective and his having spent a lot of time in the back of police cars. It seems Yucky Aidan is threatening to make up evidence that Úna made up evidence or something, but it’s hard for me to pay attention to the ins and outs of this because a) I only saw the first two Police Academy movies and b) I AM SITTING WITH MY BACK TO ÚNA. As in, my broad shoulders, strapping back, and rippling hoodie are literally in the chair right behind her throughout this scene. Sadly my back is to the camera so you never see my face, or any indication that I have one, which is even more tragic because it means you can’t see my quality “pretending to talk” acting, which consisted of my mouthing sentences like “I think the salad will be fine as long as the cat tunes the piano by five” and then shrugging into my cup of coffee. On the other hand, you can see my husband’s face across the table, and he was totally just phoning it in by mouthing “fa-fa fa-fa fa-fa,” like Maggie Smith in the final season of Downton Abbey.

Anyway, Mo, who you may recall has decided that Colm and Úna are having an affair, walks up just as Úna is whispering to him “You’ve seen it before,” so she gives them a look that makes it clear she’s imagining the “it” Úna is referring to is her nipple or her unmentionably placed Bucks Fizz tattoo. There is some light awkwardness, during which Úna and Colm act as suspicious as possible, which shines some light on why neither of them has had resounding success in their careers as detective and criminal, respectively. They make up some nonsense about how Mack’s snoring has been keeping Úna awake, which makes it sound like Dee has installed bunk beds in the hall for them to sleep on, and then Colm announces that she won’t have that problem tonight since he doesn’t snore. Confusingly, it seems Úna is moving in with Mo for a while, because when you’re trying to keep a nonsense secret from someone, the best thing to do is spend as much time with them as possible. Mack breezes past me into the scene, straining the limits of how much hunkiness a single frame of film can contain, and then when Mo, Colm, and Úna repeat the seafóid about the snoring and the Smurfs coming out of a spaceship and whatnot to him, he brilliantly just looks blankly at them for a while without saying a word before telling Mo they’d better hit the road if they want to make her hospital appointment. The two of them head for the door, but as she leaves, Mo turns back for a moment and thinks about how fortunate she is to know the cool guy at the table behind Úna. It’s possible she may actually be trying not to imagine her mother and her boyfriend having sex.

Out in the street, Tadhg and his broom are still propping each other up, which makes him look like a tripod. Frances stops by and tries to have a heartfelt conversation with him about the funeral, but it’s interrupted by Máire, who’s here to tell us that Liam Óg has returned from Australia with a serious case of jet lag and also, presumably, a hilarious accent. And speaking of hilarious accents, it seems there’s about to be a Daly family reunion, because Katy and Jason are due home today as well with their four-to-six children who are now named things like Pedro, Pedro Óg, and All-You-Can-Eat Gazpacho. Then she turns the conversation to Poor Maggie for absolutely no reason until Tadhg chases her off with the broom, at which point Frances asks if he’s OK, which is a relative term when applied to Tadhg even at the best of times, which this is not. She offers to bring some homemade falafel and sashimi or whatever over later since Katy and Jason will be famished after the journey, forgetting that they will have filled up on €11 bags of crisps on the Ryanair flight from Tenerife to Ros na Rún via Warsaw, and he does his usual “I’m fine!” routine before storming off. Meanwhile, in the background it seems there is a giant white plastic dog outside the wig shop or wherever Micheál works, which we assume Réailtín will probably throw up on later.

We return to the café, where Úna and Colm are still discussing the fact that Aidan is trying to ruin her career. Sadly it appears the handsome gentlemen at the table behind her have finished pretending to drink their coffee and left. My theory is that the tall one wanted to make a quick exit before Berni returned and beat him to death for some of the things he’s written about her over the years.

Máire arrives home with a bounce in her step and a bag of pastries in her hand, which causes Laoise to complain a lot, even by her standards, especially when she finds out Máire brought home croissants instead of her usual salt licks because they’re Fia’s favorite. Well, thank God Fia is back, because Laoise hasn’t had anything to moan about in her absence. Remember when we used to like Laoise? I miss that. And right on cue, IT’S FIA! Hooray! She enters the kitchen speaking Australian, and looks very sparkly indeed, as if Kylie Minogue fell down a sequin mine. When Máire starts fretting that she forgot to pick up apples while she was at the shop, Fia offers to pop out and pick them up for her, asking her to keep an eye on Liam Óg if he happens to wake up before she returns. Máire is happy, Fia is happy, and Laoise of course is a spitting cobra, because of course it’s JUST LIKE FIA to shirk her responsibilities in favor of bopping off to run a thrilling errand for her grandmother involving a bag of cooking apples. For God’s sake, Laoise, even Dot Cotton lightens up and has a little fun every once in a while.

We have a brief shot of Tadhg looking through Maggie’s remembrance book thing, running his fingers over Frances’ name, and then we cut to the shop, where a sighting of Bobbi-Lee and Fia in the same scene is almost more existential joy than we can handle. Bobbi-Lee informs us that Fia has apparently become an internet star while she’s been away, and while you might assume it’s something involving her falling down a flight of stairs while eating an Ariel 3-in-1 Pod, it seems it’s actually some fashion thing. Bobbi-Lee calls it a vlog, but Fia clarifies that it’s a channel, actually, because apparently those are different things. As usual, however, Bobbi-Lee has no time to get bogged down in details because she’s had a brilliant idea. The last time Bobbi-Lee had a brilliant idea it ended up with her dead in a forest, but OK. Hilariously, you can see Fia take a breath and brace herself for wherever this is going, and of course Bobbi-Lee’s suggestion is that Fia turn her or whatever into The Bobbi-Lee Show, which would consist of Bobbi-Lee singing, Bobbi-Lee being interviewed, and Bobbi-Lee falling down a flight of stairs while eating an Ariel 3-in-1 Pod. To her credit, Fia tries to respond graciously, at the beginning at least, explaining that she’s really “an influencer,” which I guess is a thing, and that her show is therefore more about influencing things than about The Bobbi-Lee Variety Crapfest. Bobbi-Lee ignores her and keeps trying to steamroll over her, but just as Fia says she doesn’t think her viewers would be interested in country and western and Bobbi-Lee is about to reach over and rip her face off, Adam arrives, and he and Fia hug each other and jump up and down a lot. It now seems that between Bobbi-Lee and Fia, our Adam is going to become the subject of a Gay BFF Jealousy Triangle, which I am officially declaring is a thing. Hopefully it won’t end with him asking Máire to hold his booze while he climbs up that CGI clocktower and jumps off it again.

Out in the street, Colm and Úna are still talking about the time she found a cheese & onion crisp in her bag of Monster Munch or whatever. She says she’s going to go request a transfer out of Aidan’s division, but she’s too incapacitated by fainting and throwing up to drive, so Colm volunteers to cancel the nice lunch he’s planned with Mo so he can take Úna to wherever “there” is. Of course all this piss-poor, non-sneaky sneaking around is to keep Mo from finding out that Úna and Aidan have broken up and then getting upset about it, which I think overestimates how much Mo cares about Úna’s love life by about 700 percent.

It’s a tepid family reunion upstairs at the pub, where Bobbi-Lee brings Katy, Jason, and Cuán in to say hello to Tadhg. He coolly shakes Jason’s hand and ignores Katy and Cuán, asking instead where the other kid is, because he is pretty sure Jason has reproduced at least twice. Katy explains that they left Mack Junior out in the car unattended, demonstrating that she’s maintained her excellent parenting skills while they’ve been away. Bobbi-Lee excitedly offers to take Cuán, who you may recall is her grandson, out for the day, but they act as if she’s a kidnapper who’s offering him candy out of her windowless van at the playground and make up a bunch of excuses why he shouldn’t go with her, such as his needing to finish his ballet homework and his fear of rhinestones. Eventually happy grandparents Bobbi-Lee and Tadhg take him downstairs to teach him how to make a martini or whatever, which gives Katy and Jason a chance to start arguing about nothing and for him to make it clear that he hates her. He suggests that he and Cuán stay with Tadhg and that she and The Other One go stay at John Joe’s, or alternatively on the surface of the sun, and then the two of them bicker endlessly. Well, they held out for a good ninety seconds, which is probably the most we can expect from them.

Mo and Mack arrive home from her chemo appointment expecting to find Colm and the lunch he’s made, but instead the place is empty and purple, like Prince’s house. (Too soon?) Just as she’s starting to fume, he rings her to tell her that he’s off at a hotel showing Úna his penis or something else that sounds bad but probably isn’t, because it’s how these two operate. Mo looks annoyed, because this is a side effect of chemo the doctors didn’t warn her about.

Over in the Giant Plastic Ice Cream Cone District, Caitríona strolls by in a hat that appears to be from the Huggy Bear Collection, clearly on her way to her new job as a pimp, just as Katy arrives to give John Joe besos y abrazos y tortillas and so on. She breaks the news that they’ll be staying with Tadhg rather than Chez Daly for a few nights, and while John Joe is disappointed, having forgotten what it’s like to spend any time around Katy and Jason, he quickly perks up and says as long as they’re back for good and he’ll get to see his grandson every day, he’s happy. Katy promises him that he’ll be tired of them before long, and I think I speak for us all when I say we’re about halfway there already.

Frances arrives at the pub to pick up Áine and take her to her carjacking lesson, but she whines that she wants to stay there tonight because she’s hardly seen Cuán and Cuán Óg at all yet, and besides, having all the windows open is really starting to get the smell of incestuous adultery out of the place. There’s back-and-forthing, and eventually Frances relents, and it’s nice to see her and Tadhg exchanging looks that aren’t dripping with hate for a change, especially since we now have Katy and Jason to do that, anyway.

And speaking of seething hatred, the Dalys have commandeered Gaudi for a family lunch, dinner, or whatever time of day it is. Katy, John Joe, and Dee are reminiscing and sharing laughs, which makes us suspect they’re drunk, while Jason sits across the table sulking like a big stubbly-headed baby. When the conversation turns to that time a clown kidnapped Katy and Dee and held them in an underground bunker for three years or whatever, Jason flees to go talk to Pádraig, because even in his current, Sonia-addled state, he’s an improvement over the Dalys. It’s a shame Jason chooses this moment to wander off, though, because Katy and John Joe then start doing hilarious impressions of Mack and his bonkers excuses that are kind of uncannily accurate. Right on cue, Mack enters and says exactly the kind of thing they were just making fun off, and they all laugh because they are completely plastered at this point. It’s nice to see Dee looking so happy, though we’re sure it won’t last long. Across the room, Pádraig and Jason have a Sam-related conversation about how difficult truths always come out eventually, which causes Jason to glare ominously across the room to where Mack is bouncing Jay on his lap. The fact that Jay is enjoying himself rather than being a miserable sod suggests he is actually Mack’s kid, as does his lush five o’clock shadow, which was the envy of the Tenerife crèche, even among the swarthy Spanish babies.

After the break, we’re still at Gaudi, where David and Gráinne are having a confusing conversation about how tomorrow they are going to have to swap bedrooms with Pádraig because of some arrangement that makes no sense. I have no idea what this is about, but we’ll care about it later, I guess.

At the B&B, Fia is making fun of Adam’s new job at the banana plantation or whatever Keane’s is. It’s backbreaking work, but on the plus side, Adam gets to take home as many Carmen Miranda fruit hats as he wants. He asks how things are going with Fia and Vanessa, to which Fia replies that, as Adam knows, mothers be crazy and so on. Right, because Vanessa is exactly as terrible as Adam’s mother. She reveals that Niall has returned to Donegal, and that apart from cashing his child support checks, she has no contact with him AND NEVER WILL, EITHER. Snerk.

Gráinne and David have joined the Daly family dinner at Gaudi, and the conversation has inevitably turned to what an idiot David is, and secondarily to the Dalys’ hilarious, incomprehensible accents. Mack does an impression of them that’s at least as good as the impressions they were doing of him earlier, and everyone has a good laugh except Jason, who’s sitting there shooting daggers at everyone and acting like a complete prick. Eventually he can’t take it anymore and goes home, but only after suggesting that Katy stay a while longer because she’s having fun, and also because he hates her.

At the shop, Fia is buying a box of nappies when Laoise, who we’re sure is buying her nightly crate of wine, decides to harass her about being a lazy slapper who takes advantage of Máire all the time, such as leaving Liam Óg with her while she swans around buying diapers like Lady Rockefeller. Oh, FFS. Fia points out that Laoise seems a lot more worried about Máire now than she did when she moved out so she could bang her various boyfriends around the clock, and adds that none of this is any of her damn business anyway, so if she’s got something to say, she can shove it up her polytunnel. Go, Fia!

Back at Gaudi, Katy is regaling the group with tales of her fabulous life in Tenerife, with its swimming pools and movie stars and Are You Being Served? dubbed into Spanish on BBC Cuatro. It was harder for Jason, she admits, because he was always off working, and also really missed Maura and Daithí. Mack volunteers that he thinks they’re mad for leaving the sun and sangria for Ros na Rún, with its sideways rain and Berni, and when he and John Joe head for the bar to argue over the bill, Dee sidles up to her sister and asks why they really came back. It’s hard to tell whether this is loving sisterly girl talk or an attempt to dig up the dirt Katy is obviously hiding, but since it’s Dee, I suppose it can be both. Katy makes up some nonsense about their lease being up and Catalonian unrest and Spexit, which of course Dee doesn’t believe one bit of, so she gets up and wanders away so Katy can have some private time staring sadly into the middle distance.

At the pub, Áine asks Tadhg if she and her mom can move back in now that Maggie is coughing up in heaven. He says no, but before she can put up a fight, a black cloud of despair in the shape of Jason arrives, so she flees. He sits down at the table for a lovely father-son chat, which immediately turns into a conversation about how awful the Dalys are, both individually and as a group. Jason, whose hair is at an unfortunate length right now, asks Tadhg some questions about Maggie, and then says that he misses Lee. He adds in a not-very-veiled manner that he hates Katy and that hooking up with her was a mistake, which of course anyone who had ever seen this show could have told him a long time ago, and then basically says he wishes he had the courage to leave the horrific nightmare that is his life with Katy and follow his dreams. Presumably that involves faking his own death by jumping out the window of a chip van as it plummets into the ocean and then starting a new life running a SIM card shop at the Bali airport.

At their place, Mo is pretending to be asleep on the sofa while Colm talks quietly to Úna on the phone for the fiftieth time today, and then we cut to the pub, where Bobbi-Lee asks the assembled barflies whom they think will inherit Maggie’s fortune. Frances? Caitríona thinks she’ll leave it all to Tadhg, which excites Bobbi-Lee because she hypothesizes that in this scenario Cuán might eventually get some of it. True, but on the other hand, it will be difficult for Bobbi-Lee to put on a wig and dark glasses and convincingly present herself as Cuán at the bank. Mack points out that if Tadhg gets it nobody else will ever see a penny of it, and then Laoise speculates that some previously unknown relative will appear out of the woodwork and claim the money. Well, Laoise does know a thing or two about previously unknown relatives appearing out of the woodwork. Of course, Tadhg has emerged from the “secret” door behind the bar and has been standing there listening during this entire conversation, but somehow none of the barflies can see him even though he’s standing right there. It feels like those implausible Shakespearean shenanigans where nobody can see the protagonist because he’s hiding behind a teacup or when two characters who look nothing alike are somehow completely indistinguishable because they are wearing the same color shirt. Anyway, Tadhg shockingly doesn’t go ballistic and throw them all out of his pub, suggesting that he’s finally realized than in a town of only 20 people over the legal drinking age, a publican needs to be careful about barring folks left and right.

Upstairs, the TV is blaring as Jason sulkily catches up on the past twelve months of Maura and Daithí. Katy arrives, brightly plops herself down next to him, and starts kissing and hugging the side of his head, which causes him to shrug her off and look at her disgustedly as if she’s a giant tapeworm. She points out that their four-to-six children are all asleep, presumably out in the car, and that Tadhg is downstairs, so now would be a good opportunity for the two of them to, you know, rock the casbah. Now he looks at her as if she’s a giant horny tapeworm and hisses at her that she’s drunk. It’s quite an accomplishment that he can say anything given that he appears to have just thrown up in his mouth. He announces that he’s going to bed, and is less than thrilled when she offers to join him, especially when she complains that it’s chilly and she wonders if Tadhg has an extra electric blanket. At this he starts a big fight with her for no reason, snotting that she’s the one who wanted to come home from warm, sunny Spain, so she’s not allowed to complain about being cold no matter how many of her toes fall off. She whines that the reason she wanted to come home was that he was neglecting her, leaving her alone all day with the four to six kids, whom she can’t even talk to anymore because at this point they only speak Spanish. They argue about nothing for a while, and she complains that he didn’t even speak to her family while they were at Gaudi’s, to which he basically replies, “Yeah, because they suck.” Sadly she storms off downstairs before he can throw Mack in her face, either literally or figuratively, and then he glares angrily into the middle distance, which is his only friend now. Remember back when we were all rooting for Katy and Jason to end up together? Yeah, me neither.

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