Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Bleakest Link

Season 22, Episode 68
First aired 26 April 2018

We’re back after a brief break that mostly consisted of Katy and Jason fighting a lot and Ferdia being an asshole all the time. Now that you’re all caught up, today’s episode opens with Katy and Jason returning from their delightful half-price holiday that famous philanthropist Ferdia gave them at a hotel that was being dynamited the following day due to its fatal levels of ambient uranium. They are, of course, greeted at the pub door by Mack, drawn here by his irresistible magnetic attraction to Katy’s uterus, and his complete obliviousness to toxic awkwardness. Katy suddenly remembers she needs to be somewhere else and Jason picks up exactly where he left off before their minibreak, i.e., glaring at the back of Mack’s head. In case you missed it, this is all because the Hello Kitty DNA app on Katy’s phone revealed there is a 0.0% chance Jason is Jay’s father and also a 94% chance Katy and Dee will not be speaking to each other by the end of the season.

Over at the NoneFM studios, Caitríona is rattling off a list of work she will take credit for after Amy does it. This includes doing a live broadcast from the cabbage-and-USB-cables aisle of the shop, supervising a group of student interns who will be surprised when they get here and discover it is not actually RTÉ Radio 1 as they were told, and, if time allows, photocopying their bottoms and mailing them to Máire. Amy starts making her usual “I have made terrible life choices” face but is interrupted by the arrival of Gráinne, who’s here to ask if they’ll make an announcement on whatever garbage show is on right now about tonight’s fundraising table quiz for Mo, Incorporated. Caitríona smiles and says yes, which means “yes, unless it requires me to exert one iota of effort,” but Amy says she’ll take care of it by having Bobbi Lee make an announcement on her show, which is the only program on this station anyone listens to.

Across the room, Tadhg arrives and starts yelling at Frances that she’s practically emptied their joint bank account and he’s not happy about it. Well, maybe you should’ve looked up the meaning of the word “joint” before now, maith an fear. She asks him to keep his voice down, because she has never met him and is under the impression he cares what anybody thinks. He screams some more, and she hisses that life is expensive, especially now that she and Áine have developed a taste for tiaras, but that if he doesn’t want all their personal business to be on the radio, perhaps he’d like to go in the other room and discuss this calmly over a nice bowl of diamond soup.

Back at the pub, Gráinne has done a study to determine the most awkward duo she could possibly assemble to help her get the place ready for the quiz and has, of course, landed on “Jason and Mack.” The runner-up was “Frances and Zombie Maggie.” They’re moving tables around and Jason is resisting the urge to shove the prizes up Mack’s arse while Gráinne frets about this and that and announces she’s going out to ensure attendance will be respectable and mandatory. She heads off to begin taking hostages, which gives Mack an opportunity to invite Jason to be on his team, which will be called “People Who’ve Slept With Katy.” After some hemming and hawing, Jason and his pecs accept because they will come in handy in the music round and also if there are any questions about the latest DNA-testing technology.

Mo and Colm are at the shop buying this month’s issue of Rural Quarreling magazine when Bobbi Lee arrives and immediately spills the beans about tonight’s charity pub quiz, which nobody had bothered telling Mo is about her. It’s remarkable Bobbi Lee can stand up considering how far in her mouth her foot is. If this radio thing doesn’t work out, she can always audition for Cirque de Soleil. Vince does a desperate “ixnay on the aritychay” hula in her direction while Colm silently poos his pants, but as usual Bobbi Lee will not be deterred and continues banging on about it until she’s sure there’s no recovery from it and then flounces off. By this point Mo is giving Colm one of her patented death stares, which they could use to drill a tunnel under the seafloor to America. He decides to throw Gráinne under the bus by pointing out that it was her idea and that if Mo’s going to kill anyone it should be her, but the look on Mo’s face tells us there’s going to be plenty of murdering to go around.

Back in the middle of the community center, where all intensely private conversations take place, Tadhg tells Frances he’s not going to pay one penny of her personal bills. She reminds him she’s the mother of one of his plethora of children, and there’s back and forthing until she finally tells him they’ll just have to let the court decide. He finds this prospect hilarious, so she hisses that she’s tired of struggling and being tied up by Áine every day while he’s off floozing around sleeping with his sister and then finding her dead like he hasn’t got a care in the world. He tells her to buzz off, and she says she knows her rights, and in fact she’s going off to do some human trafficking right now to ensure that noted barrister or solicitor Dee will take her case.

Upstairs at the pub, Jason is doing an amazing job of genuinely looking like a lonely, wounded child instead of the surly shaved-head hunk we’re used to. Katy bounces in, giggling over some nonsense as if there’s nothing going on, but Jason numbly fidgets with a cuddly toy that, from this angle at least, looks terrifyingly like a squirrel that’s been run over by a car. She innocently asks him what’s up, and even though his silence this time appears to be due to shock rather than crabbiness like all the other times, she starts yelling at him anyway. It’s clear he’s finally broken, but she either refuses or is too self-absorbed to see it, so she crosses her arms and rolls her eyes a lot and acts like a snotty ice queen. He argues that both Mack and Jay deserve to know the truth, plus it will give Dee the chance to completely lose her shit, which is always fun to watch. Katy, on the other hand, argues that what would be even more unfair would be for him to tell the truth and get her in trouble with everybody. They both make good points. Jason volunteers he knows of what he speaks because of his own surprise-daddy reveal, reminding us that the only reason he ever found out was that he fell off a building into a tractor or whatever and needed blood. Katy stupidly insists that nothing like that will ever happen to Jay, but Jason points out that she can’t predict the future, and also that as a child born out of wedlock on a soap opera, there is a 100 percent chance Jay’s parentage will be shockingly revealed one day due to a crisis of a medical nature. Katy’s basically like, “Well, we could always just let him bleed to death,” but Jason vows that if Katy doesn’t reveal the truth, he will.

And now, in one of the other possible-murder storylines of today’s episode, Gráinne is setting up for the table quiz when Mo comes busting into Tigh Thaidhg with fire in her eyes. Well, it’s been nice knowing you, Gráinne. Fortunately, because they are BFFs, Mo extends the courtesy of yelling at her rather than immediately grabbing a fistful of her hair and yanking her to the ground for a thorough kicking. She asks Gráinne how she could embarrass her and make her a public spectacle, but Gráinne replies that she was Only Trying To Help, a phrase that I am pretty sure Bobbi Lee has trademarked and therefore earns royalties every time somebody says it. Colm, who’s been trailing along in Mo’s wake, tries to calm her down, but Mo ignores him and spits that she’s not going to accept a penny of this because she’s no pauper, even if the money is going directly to the hospital anyway. Furthermore, she insists that Gráinne find some actual charity to give the money to, such as the Society For People Who Have Been Yelled At By Mo, and then storms out after ordering Gráinne to never make a saint of herself on Mo’s behalf again. Ouch.

Upstairs, Katy is crying a lot and blaming Jason for everything that’s happened except for the part where she pulled Mack onto the floor and rode him, which she’ll admit she shares partial responsibility for. It was Jason’s idea to lie to everyone, it was Jason who refused a DNA test in the first place, it was Jason who made up an imaginary DNA test, it was Jason who nailed Tadhg into a coffin and set the building on fire, and so on. He says, “Yeah, but…” a lot, but every time she interrupts him before he can enlighten us on what his excuses are. It’s OK, they probably wouldn’t be as interesting as Mack’s UFO invasions and sharknadoes anyway. Once she’s worn him down with all the crying and interrupting, she switches her technique to guilt, narrating that he loved and cared for Jay all this time and now all of a sudden it’s AS IF SOMETHING HAS CHANGED SOMEHOW and she asks, “What happened?” Look, I know things have been hard to follow lately without my recaps, but you’d think she of all people would remember the whole Dial-A-DNA thing. He says he just wants to do the right thing by telling the truth, so then she carries on for a while about how putting all this out in the open now would ruin Jay’s life. Given that at this stage of development Jay has no idea what the hell is going on around him, I might argue that it’s better to tell him who his father is now rather than waiting till he’s 12 or 26 or 47 and needs a brain transplant because a windmill fell on him. Eventually Katy gets around to the thing she actually cares about, which is that her family will never forgive her if they find out Mack is Jay’s father. Of course by this she means Dee will murder her a lot, but in a way that is allowed under EU law, such as having Katy declared a fossil-fuel pollution site that must be converted to clean hydroelectric power by being thrown in the ocean. There are 77 more minutes of back and forthing, and then she announces that if he reveals this secret, not only will it destroy Dee and Mack’s marriage, but it will end his and Katy’s, too. For some reason he looks stricken over this despite the fact that he’s spent the past six episodes hating Katy and going around town asking everybody the best way to break up with her.

After the break, during which we learn that Ariel 3-in-1 laundry pods now come in low-calorie and gluten-free varieties, it’s pub quiz time and everybody is trying to find a way to arrange the chairs so Caitríona can’t be on their team. Besides the fact that she’s unpleasant, the last time they did one of these she just wrote her own name down as the answer to all the questions. Gráinne frets to Colm that Mo is a no-show and she can’t stand being on the outs with her, and then to no one’s surprise Bobbi Lee spots the microphone and commandeers it. It seems she’ll be our host this evening, but as you would expect, she has no ethical qualms about winning any prizes in spite of this and in fact places an order with Gráinne listing the prizes she wants most. Hee. Gráinne snaps, “Just do your job, Bobbi Lee!,” another one of those phrases they should just print on T-shirts to save the various employers around town time and breath, and then we’re off!

Back on the set of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Jason says he doesn’t believe Katy will end their marriage over this, but she says yuh-hunh, she totally will, so nyaaah. He volunteers that Mack deserves to know about Jay because he may be the only child he ever has, which seems doubtful considering Mack’s super-fertility, and Katy counters that they’ve already told, like, 4000 lies over this, so what harm will 10,000 more do? They both make compelling points. Eventually she crosses her arms and puts on her evilest eyes and most menacing voice and delivers an ultimatum that begins with, “If you open your mouth about this…”, and given how crazed she looks we—and Jason—are all expecting something along the lines of, “I will literally murder you,” but then she ends it with, “I will never forgive you,” which hardly seems like much of a threat at this point. Katy, I love you, but when you’re delivering an apocalyptic ultimatum, you really need to figure out what the end of the sentence is going to be before you start it.

Back at the pub quiz, Amy has had the bright idea to start the whole pub playing a drinking game in which every time Bobbi Lee says “honey,” you drink. I hope the hospital set has an alcohol-poisoning ward we’ve never seen. There are questions of local interest such as how far back in his head Adam is physically capable of rolling his eyes (answer: 180 degrees) and what century Tadhg was born in (answer: go to hell), and there is a lot of “honey”-induced mirth, and it really is like the best Late Late Toy Show thing ever.

We rejoin the argument upstairs just in time to hear Katy announce that she and Jason never should’ve gotten married, which of course everybody in the world except these two already knew, and then he gets indignant when he thinks she doesn’t love him anymore in spite of the fact that he’s spent the past six weeks making it clear he doesn’t love her. He says he can’t live in the same town as Mack if he’s expected to keep up this lie, so Katy tells him in a completely blasé fashion that he should just leave then. He can’t believe she’s asking him to leave his home even though he’s always hated it there, and when he asks what he’s supposed to do about Cuán, she casually says, “Take him with you,” as if Cuán is a jacket that Jason forgetfully leaves at home when he pops out to the shops sometime. Blah blah blah, it’s all very well acted but well-trod ground, and she announces that the only story she cares about is her own, which is the best thing she’s said in at least a season and a half, and then informs him that she’s fine with cutting him out of The Katy Chronicles if it means keeping Dee and her parents in it. Then she switches tactics again and begs the back of his head to take her back and tearfully threatens to die and so on. It’s a good thing she’s not saying any of this to the front of his head because it does not look very sympathetic right now.

Tadhg is standing on the pavement outside the pub when Mo strolls by, and they argue for a while about the pub quiz and eventually he brings Séamus into it, which is the nuclear option when having any conversation with Mo. Furthermore, he tells her to stop being so stupid and to go inside and take the damn money. Well, I guess that’s settled.

There’s more Katy and Jason, during which he numbly agrees to leave Ros na Rún and take Cuán with him, and then we’re back to the pub quiz, where Bobbi Lee informs us that she is the answer to many of the questions, but it doesn’t matter because everyone is drunk. Mo arrives and, to Gráinne’s relief, decides to wink and make up rather than grab her by the arm and sling her through the window like Wonder Woman.

Back upstairs, Katy and Jason are saying goodbye to the various children with whom they are parting ways, and when she says she’ll be moving in with her dad soon, Jason asks her to stay a while to look after Tadhg, who is half-crazy these days and needs supervision. I mean, even more than usual. She agrees, which is hopefully the first step in her gradually moving the entire Daly family into the pub so slowly Tadhg doesn’t notice, and there is more hugging.

Downstairs, it’s prize-drawing time, but Gráinne yanks the box of raffle tickets away from Bobbi Lee just as she’s trying to figure out how she can win all the prizes herself without it looking suspicious. John Joe wins a fashion consultation with Fia that he gives Imelda, who will look great in a crocheted bikini and leopard-print headband, and David wins a gift certificate to Loinnir, because he doesn’t get enough seaweed crammed in his various orifices at home. Mo takes the microphone and thanks everyone for their generosity and says it will really help her out, so it seems all is well among the non-Katy-and-Jason people for the moment.

Outside, Jason is loading his crap in his car and explaining to Tadhg that he’s leaving in the middle of the night because there won’t be any traffic. Tadhg actually seems quite emotional about his leaving, which is a nice surprise, and then he goes inside to choke on a peanut or whatever in privacy. Katy materializes and they hug and stare at each other awkwardly, and then he gets in the car and drives away without either of them saying a word. Everybody would be much less surprised about this if they’d noticed that they took Jason out of the opening credits seven months ago.


  1. THANK YOU for these recaps! I am laughing my ass off.

  2. I'm so glad you're reading and enjoying them! GRMA, Eliza!


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