Sunday, May 13, 2018

Don't Stand So Close To Me

Season 22, Episode 71
First aired 8 May 2018

We’re back after a week in which we had a very special guest star in the form of Daniel O’Donnell, and like the last very famous guest star Francis Brennan, I don’t know who he is. Unlike Frances Brennan, however, I am pretty sure Daniel O’Donnell is not Gordon Ramsay’s father. Anyway, we were treated to famous singer/actor/chef/something Daniel O’Donnell as part of the grand opening festivities of the shop, which has been open for 8 months. We won’t go into the part where Vince made up the whole thing about having a celebrity lined up, presumably figuring it would all work out because either a) the entire town would forget about it or b) a famous celebrity would happen to wander through at the desired time while carrying giant ceremonial scissors. Clearly years of living with Caitríona has started to erode Vince’s brain. More excitingly, Caitríona got arrested twice in one day, once for starting a catfight in the street with Bobbi Lee and once for being a complete wagon to Dull Tony, who unfortunately for her is a police officer.

We open at the B&B, where Niall informs Fia he has a date today and she turns various shades of purple because it’s not with her. He thinks she’s flustered by this news because she can’t imagine him dating anyone other than her mother, but of course Fia does not give two shits about Vanessa and instead has been batting her eyelashes so furiously in Niall’s direction lately he should start wearing safety goggles. To throw him off the trail, such as it is, she makes up a story about how she’s got a date today, too, with a young lad named, errr, George Glass, but she’s sure Niall doesn’t know him because he’s from, umm, two towns over. Niall isn’t sure he cares about any of this, but he tells her that any lad who’s going out with a girl—nay, woman—like Fia is a very lucky boy indeed, no matter how theoretical he may be.

At the shop, David is trying to have a conversation with Tadhg about what a coincidence it is that they’ll both be at the reading of Maggie’s will today, but Tadhg is less interested in discussing local events than in calling David a loser idiot. It’s nice that Maggie’s lawyer was able to schedule the reading of the will for when David is supposed to be on the clock, hereby extending his streak of not delivering a single piece of mail to 17 days. If he had gotten off his arse to deliver Maggie’s asthma medicine, none of this would have happened. Anyway, Máire appears, magnetically drawn here by someone talking about death, which allows Tadhg to tell them both to mind their own business at the same time, thereby increasing his efficiency by 100 percent. Máire sniffs that he should be up at the cemetery tending to Maggie’s grave, which has been overtaken by briars, music festivals, and camper vans full of hippies, and he accepts this advice about as graciously as you’d expect him to, i.e., by telling Máire to shove it up her arse.

Tadhg wanders off, stopping to launch a glancing blow across Caitríona’s bow on his way out, and then she starts carrying on to Vince about how unfair everything is and how she’s totally innocent of parking her car on the sidewalk and then tearing up her parking ticket and throwing it at Tony’s hat, even though we all saw her do it and then act proud of herself. O’Shea is standing nearby perusing the latest issue of Grim Police Hairstyles, and she wanders over just as Caitríona announces she’s going to write a scathing exposé about how you get unfairly arrested if you attack a policeman and tells her to knock it off and that rather than bitching and moaning she should try apologizing to Tony and hoping he’ll drop the charges. Of course, being Caitríona means never having to say you’re sorry, so she sniffs and hmphs a lot, moderating her tune only slightly when all O’Shea’s talk of a court case causes nearby Maeve to start whining and wetting her pants. I suppose the thought of your mommy going to jail is scary, even if your mommy is Caitríona, which is why you should never let your children watch Orange Is The New Black.

Over at the community center, Fia is trying to explain to Adam the Jan Brady-style “I also have a date!” charade she’s attempting to pull on Niall. Adam’s opinion is that this entire thing is ridiculous, but since his BFF Fia here has already stepped deep into this particular turd, he’ll give her some advice on how to make Niall jealous really embarrass herself. Adam has spent the entire season powerlessly bobbing around like a bored cork in the ocean, so it’s unclear whether he actually thinks this Fia/Niall nonsense is a good idea or if he’s so excited to finally have some agency over something that he’s throwing a stinkbomb into this mess just to see what happens.

At Gaudi, Gráinne is trying to teach David how to count but gives up after three tries. A haon, a dó, ah forget it. She frets that they only made €427.50 during their fundraiser for Mo, whereas she was hoping it was €5000. Well, the trick is to round it up to the nearest 5000. She gathers up the money and says they’ll just have to think of another way to make the money, such as terrorizing the country by embarking on a seaweed-and-karate-based armed robbery spree. That last part is implied.

There’s some boring real-estate stuff in which Awful Ferdia tries to convince Noreen they should buy a rock quarry instead of a house, which we will care about later, but not right now. Then we cut to the B&B, where Fia is desperately sewing an outfit to wear on her imaginary date while Laoise stands around being annoying. She asks Fia isn’t she supposed to be working on Imelda’s crocheted bikini right now, and instead of asking Laoise if there’s some particular reason she’s here, Fia explains that she rushed through Imelda’s tat so she could work on an outfit for herself. Well, the important thing is that this is all for charity. Imelda shows up to collect the outfit Fia was supposed to have altered, and when she points out that it does not seem to have armholes or a head hole, Fia yawns that that’s the style nowadays and, in fact, she saw an almost identical outfit on TV the other day covering Dot Cotton’s dining room table. Imelda insists on paying her even though this whole thing was a prize in a raffle, and then she leaves, looking satisfied with her new upholstered muumuu. Of course this will all go pear-shaped later when she tries it on and it explodes, but that’s what happens when you entrust your valuables to an unlicensed influencer.

Over at the radio station, Gráinne and Amy explain to David, who is STILL NOT WORKING, that they’ve decided to hold a crap auction on the radio to raise money for Mo. I’m not sure how you hold an auction on the radio, but OK. Mo wanders through and gives her approval, because she knows Gráinne is unstoppable and besides, her only other option to make money is to start harvesting Colm’s organs while he sleeps and selling them on eBay. She’s pretty sure she remembers from biology class that you can live without a brain, although it’s possible she’s thinking of tonsils.

Across the restaurant, John Joe stops choking on a fish bone long enough to tell Colm he’s decided he’s going to buy the quarry we heard about earlier using the loan el Banco de Ros na Rún was going to give him to buy the gas pumps, but Colm says he’s not sure they’ll still lend him the money because “a lot has happened since then.” I wasn’t aware of a worldwide economic crash in the past seven days, but OK. Colm runs into Caitríona on his way out the door and ribs her about being a fugitive, so she puffs up and says she’s proud of what she did and she’s making a stand for all the people who have thrown things at police officers before and also not gotten away with it. She’s practically Amnesty International. Vince arrives and the two of them try to encourage her to just pay the fine and drop it, but she’s so high up on her soapbox she can’t get down. Colm escapes and Vince quietly tells her she needs to think about what all this is doing to Maeve, who cried all the way to school today over this. I’d cry a lot if my mother were Caitríona, too. She says that she’s doing all this for Maeve, as some kind of inspirational display to her and Malala and all the other little girls around the world that they too can park on the sidewalk all day, punch a passerby, tear up a parking ticket, and throw things at a police officer. If Maeve doesn’t grow up to be a James Bond villain it will be a miracle. We’ll call her Gluefinger.

Back at the B&B, Fia is applying her lipstick with a trowel when Máire comes home and tells her she was just hanging around at the cemetery, as one does, and noticed that Maggie’s grave has been fixed up beautifully. There’s a waterslide and everything. Fia of course does not care about graves unless Niall is lying on them naked, but she feigns vague interest until Máire changes the subject to how she knows the boy Fia is going on her imaginary date with and approves of him because he goes to mass every day, even the days when there isn’t one. He finishes every bite of his wafer like a good boy, too. Fia giggles evasively, and this whole storyline is incredibly creepy and suggests that she has suffered a recent head injury that we didn’t hear about.

Niall is waiting for his date at Gaudi when Fia totally coincidentally shows up in what appears to be a red 1970s Bob Mackie utility space-jumpsuit with a black leather straightjacket over it. She’s like Sandy at the end of Grease on top and Cher on the bottom. She stops at the bar long enough for Adam to encourage this nonsense some more, and then Niall comes over and tells her he’s not familiar with the sort of thing he’s seeing, but he’s sure it must be clothing. I’m paraphrasing. She’s all, “Oh! Niall! I didn’t see you there!” and then fishes for compliments like a deep-sea trawler for a while, and it’s all too embarrassing to watch, much less talk about. Fortunately we are spared because at this point Niall’s date shows up, who Fia informed us earlier is named Fionnuala and is some slut from the crèche. He goes off to greet her and Fia gives her the evil eye and then smirks a lot at how devious she’s being with this master plan to do exactly the same thing she’s already done to Niall once before.

After the break, during which we wonder if Pádraig and Sam fell off a cliff during the weekend camping trip to the Aran Islands they never returned from, we get a scenic tour of the quarry John Joe is trying to buy, which mostly seems to be a flooded mud pit with a rusted bulldozer floating in it. We then return to Gaudi, where Fia has taken advantage of Niall’s trip to the toilet to go conveniently tell Fionnuala The Slut, “Hi! I’m an impressionable young girl aged 17-25 who your date got pregnant while we were drunk and also he was dating my mother. Have fun!” Niall returns to the table zipping up his fly and so on, so Fia leaves Fionnuala fuming and glaring at him and then returns to the bar to report to Adam how this is all going exactly as the article in this month’s Teen Homewrecker said it would.

At a table, Tadhg is harassing Maggie’s attorney to hurry up and read the will, but she tells him and David they’re waiting for one more person, who may or may not be Daniel O’Donnell. In strolls Pól the teen tearaway, who has travelled back in time to 1985 and stolen his new hairdo from one of the Housemartins, and it appears it is not happy hour again.

Meanwhile, Maeve is at the shop whining to Caitríona that she doesn’t want her mommy to go to jail, because she knows she’d semi-accidentally kill Vince within the first 10 minutes of being left in his care and Caitríona would be stabbed to death by her cellmate the first day and she doesn’t want to be an orphan. Caitríona starts to protest that she’s innocent, but then Maeve grabs a nearby O’Shea and announces that she heard that if Caitríona apologizes, all this unpleasantness will go away. Well, at least the unpleasantness that is not part of Caitríona’s DNA. She rolls her eyes and retches but eventually chokes out an insincere apology between throwing up a lot, and O’Shea tells her that’s very nice, but it doesn’t change anything and the court case will go forward. Ha ha!

Back at the reading of the will, Tadhg looks bored and annoyed while David gasps and faints over the fact that Maggie left him €5000 to plant parsnips and coca leaves because he told her one time he was interested in doing something at the polytunnel other than get shot. Too bad it didn’t occur to Maggie to leave anything to poor Gráinne, who was the only person in town other than Tadhg who gave a crap about her. David takes this opportunity to start soliloquizing about the time St Augustine of Hippo got shot in a polytunnel, which causes Tadhg to snap at the lawyer to shut up and read faster so he can leave. This is Pól’s cue to announce that he needs to take a break to go flirt with Fia at the bar, which is annoying to everyone, including Fia. He mumbles that he barely recognized her, what with her being dressed as Wonder Woman and all, but she says she’s too busy to talk right now because she’s on a date with a guy at another table who’s also on a date with someone else. Just as Pól tells Fia that he’s the one who’s been trimming the bushes on Maggie’s grave into topiary seals balancing balls on their noses, Niall comes over and gets 2 inches away from his face and starts yelling at him to buzz off and stop causing trouble. This is the most unappetizing love triangle since Edward VIII, Wallis Simpson, and all those Nazis. Pól and Niall start fighting, and of course Fia is eating all this up, especially when Fionnuala The Slut gets annoyed and storms out. It seems Fia’s terrible plan is going exactly the way Satan told her it would.

The lawyer, who shockingly is neither Dee nor Malachaí, announces that Maggie has left all her money to Tadhg, who pretends to be surprised, but then stuns everyone by revealing that she’s left the house to Pól. She’ll regret that when he tries to find a way to smoke or snort it. Tadhg decides he’s going to contest the will on the basis that he doesn’t like it, but the lawyer basically tells him that unless he can produce a previously unknown relative, he can go eff himself. Snerk.

Gráinne is annoying people at the pub to bring their old tat to Mo Aid, and she grabs Cóilí Jackie, who’s down from Insanitytown where he lives, and says he must have some antiques, what with his being incredibly old and all. He’s yucky and offers his services as a gigolo, and I suppose Gráinne finally getting pregnant as the result of a paid liaison with Cóilí Jackie would be quite a season finale. She tells him she appreciates his offer but she doesn’t think anyone would like to pay to have sex with him right now, and therefore she recommends he buzz off and come back with some old shite they can sell for 50 cents.

Fia, who is in full Lolita mode at this point, has brought Niall back to the B&B, where she suggests they try to recover from the exhaustion of picking Liam Óg up at the crèche and then walking half a block by drinking an entire bottle of wine together. Oh, FFS. He protests weakly but then proceeds to start chugging the 2-liter glass of wine she’s poured him, and they commiserate about their failed dates with Fionnuala The Slut and Jimmy The Hypothetical. Niall sends some mixed messages and I have no idea what’s going on in his head right now, but it’s quite clear what Fia wants since she’s saying things like, “As Mamó always says, ‘Always get an age-inappropriate DILF who’s in your kitchen drunk and then sex him up.’” He says grossly, “I haven’t been with anyone since your mother and I broke up,” and then looks meaningfully at her. Yes, yes, it’s very upsetting that you haven’t had sex in three weeks or whatever, but there is a whole world of Internet porn out there to keep you occupied that won’t involve any participation from Lolita Óg here.

At Tigh Thaidhg, Gráinne and Bobbi Lee are going through a box of filthy old rubbish that Cóilí Jackie has donated, which includes a teakettle with no handle on it, a toaster that is on fire, and a blue-and-white vase that gets special attention and is clearly going to turn out to be from the Ming dynasty. Tadhg arrives in a mood, only about 40 percent of which is because David is following him. He starts insulting everyone, and David explains that this situation may seem strange, but he was over at Maggie’s once when she was very ill and it seemed she and Pól were genuinely close and he was taking care of her. He loved her so much he resisted the urge to say “I told you so” after she forgot to fill her prescription and nearly died for the third time. Tadhg rants that Pól doing CPR on Maggie after every meal doesn’t give him the right to own her house, and it’s clear that this battle is going to go on for a while. The entertaining part is that Bobbi Lee’s interest is clearly piqued when she hears that Pól is now a homeowner, and I therefore predict a Pól/Bobbi Lee wedding by the end of the season.

Back at Salome’s School for Girls, Fia and Niall have finished the entire bottle of wine and are staggering around the kitchen drunk. She “accidentally” pours the last glass of wine on the crotch of her jumpsuit and then commands him to grab a rag and start blotting, as one does, and then they start kissing. Fortunately he comes to his senses after only about eleven minutes, and once he manages to extricate her tongue from his mouth, he shouts that this can never happen again, ever. EVER! He storms out, and she looks simultaneously stricken and aroused (straroused?), and while we like both Niall and Fia, this is super-gross and we need Father Éamonn to come in and put a stop to this by telling them they’re brother and sister.

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