Monday, June 25, 2018

Kicking and Screaming

Season 22, Episode 81
First aired 12 June 2018

We open the penultimate episode of the season with a shot of Bloody Peatsaí lying unconscious on the living room floor, having tripped over a pile of septicemia and hit his head. Well, slán, a Pheatsaí. We then cut to Keane’s, where Adam takes a break from selling bondage gear or whatever they do there to call Laoise an old drunk, which gives us hope that the old Adam may be returning, but sadly it turns out he thought she was Peatsaí. It’s unclear whether she’s more annoyed about being called an old drunk or about being mistaken for Peatsaí. Anyway, she’s here looking for Micheál, who of course never sets foot in the place anymore, and then asks Adam if he’s got any empty boxes she can use for her upcoming move. The old Adam would’ve rolled his eyes, asked, “Do I look like an effing box factory?” and then stolen her wallet, but because he is the Caring, Sharing Adam of 2018 he tells her he doesn’t think he has any boxes right now, but he’ll be happy to bring her some later. The line between Adam and Ned Flanders is getting uncomfortably fine.

Laoise runs into Máire as she wanders down the street and asks if there’s any news from Fia. We are initially confused by her giving a damn about anyone other than herself, particularly her longtime nemesis Fia, but she quickly makes it clear she’s expressing concern for Fia’s well-being facetiously and is actually using this as an opportunity to talk shit about what a spoiled little madam Fia is. Remember when Laoise wasn’t grindingly negative all the time about everything? I miss that. Máire explains that Fia is off travelling around Europe or Asia influencing people, places, and things right now, which presumably involves shouting “Stay fierce!” at inanimate objects as she falls in a canal. After 17 more minutes of dragging Fia through the mud in absentia, Laoise decides to tell Máire that she and Eric are moving in together, which gives Máire an opportunity to faint a lot about living in sin and getting the milk for free and how 10 out of 9 people who live together without being married die of carbon monoxide poisoning within the first 72 hours. Laoise is surprised by Máire’s disapproving and tut-tutting, having apparently never met her before, and then they wander off in different directions. Thus ends another successful Ros na Rún social interaction.

We return to Peatsaí’s floor, where he is roused briefly by the incessant ringing of his phone before resuming the nice nap/coma he is taking on his face. Across town, Laoise has brought her world tour of sourness to the community center, where she has a brief argument with Bobbi Lee over nothing and then embarrasses herself by taking about the ghetto blaster in her polytunnel, which is either the solution to a very strange game of Clue or the filthiest euphemism of all time. Micheál puts down his phone, which he has presumably been using to fire Adam, and Laoise breaks the news that she’s moving out tomorrow to shack up with Eric. You can see Micheál’s face fall another tier with each bit of that sentence, and after Laoise leaves to go home and pack, which we’re sure will consist of a single sad box with a houseplant sticking out of it, Bobbi Lee says to no one in particular that she certainly seems to be in a big hurry FOR SOME REASON, as if this move has something to do with Laoise being unexpectedly pregnant. Micheál tells her to hurry up and get back to work, but she chuckles that she’s never a) hurried up or b) gotten back to work in her whole life and isn’t about to start now, demonstrating once again why Bobbi Lee is our spiritual guide in all things.

Out in the street, Mack is peering into the hood of his van wondering if the engine is supposed to be on fire like that, and please make note of the fact that Katy is standing five feet away from him watching him do it, because it will be important later. By “it will be important,” I mean, “it will be important to our wanting to smack Katy.” She’s trying to load a gigantic but clearly empty box into the back of her car, and when Mack wanders over and asks if she needs help, she is annoying and defiant for no reason and then explains that the box contains Jay’s new bed, which she has to return to the shop because it does not exist. This is why it’s always worth it to pay extra to get furniture that exists on this vibrational plane. She furthermore explains that the shop won’t take it back if she doesn’t return it today, demonstrating why you should never buy anything from Worst Return Policy In The World & Sons, and he finally offers to take her and the empty box in the van since it appears her car is not a Tardis and therefore cannot accommodate something that is larger than it is. She struggles a while longer and then, after she watches him closing the hood of his clearly broken-down van, admits she is unable to fold this bed in half and therefore needs his help after all.

Back at the exotic-animal warehouse or wherever Adam works, John Joe is yelling because the elephant he ordered last week still hasn’t arrived. Adam explains that Peatsaí probably screwed up yet again, what with the two of them being the two most incompetent employees in Europe and all, and offers to ring Peatsaí and ask about it, or perhaps look through the various cabinets to see if the elephant has been misfiled. In response John Joe throws a hissy fit and then stomps off, stopping along the way to show off his complaining skills to Laoise, which is a little like trying to impress Bono with your smugness skills. Adam, who has had all of this he can stand for one day, rolls his eyes and metaphorically snatches the weave off Peatsaí’s head as he picks up his phone and calls Septicemia Headquarters to see if he can tempt him to get his effing arse into the feckin’ shop today.

On a nearby floor, Peatsaí lolls his head around and tries to reach for his ringing phone again, but he is thwarted when his arm falls off.

Somewhere along the scenic Wild Atlantic Or Pacific Way, Mack’s van breaks down beside the road, and as he pops open the hood and wonders if the family of raccoons living where the engine should be is a contributing factor, he gets a phone call from Adam asking if he knows where Peatsaí is. This is the most interest anyone has shown in Peatsaí since he was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for six consecutive years in the 1970s. Mack hangs up on him after huffing that he hasn’t got time for this right now because he’s busy preparing to be yelled at a lot by Katy. Right on cue, she sticks her head out the window and asks what’s wrong in an annoyed and petulant manner, and it seems it’s going to be a long day for everyone, including us.

Micheál and Réailtín arrive home to find Laoise packing a single sad box of belongings. Réailtín is very upset to discover Laoise is moving out, and as much as the writers have turned Laoise into a chronically sour wet-blanket grouch, the two of them are very sweet together in this scene, and Réailtín’s obvious love for her suggests Laoise must have some redeeming qualities we never get to see. (To be fair, the two of them had a lot of good scenes together this season and, really, all my favorite Laoise moments this year involved Réailtín.) Réailtín decides that, since it’s their last night together until Laoise and Eric break up next week and she moves back in, she wants to make them a nice dinner. She sends her dad off to buy a bottle of wine, and then amusingly clarifies that she means a nice bottle, not the two-for-€2 swill he usually buys. It’s very poignant to think that, after Laoise moves out tomorrow, Réailtín will have to find someone else to barf vodka-and-Red Bull on.

Back in Ballybreakdown, Mack has climbed so far into the open hood of his van that only his feet are visible, so Katy decides this would be a good time to sashay out of the car and be rude about how long this is taking. When he fumes that he’s doing the best he can, she stomps off and rings her dad to complain that stupid Mack’s stupid van broke down on the way to stupid Galway and that he’s a big eejit who should, you know, stop kidnapping her and trying to do her favors. She continues talking shit about how stupid he is for a while and then hangs up, which gives him an opportunity to mock her in his best faduda accent, which is pretty much my favorite comedy thing Mack does, and then slams the hood shut and disappears back into the car, leaving her standing there looking aggrieved and exasperated.

A furious Adam arrives at Peatsaí’s, and while we are probably supposed to assume the door was unlocked, I prefer to imagine Adam breaking the door down with a flying karate kick. Hilariously, upon finding Peatsaí lying on his face in the middle of the living room, Adam shows no concern whatsoever that something bad may have happened and instead assumes that Peatsaí is just an old drunk who spends most of his time passed out on the floor. It gets even better when, after Peatsaí doesn’t respond to any of his annoyed yelling, Adam goes over and starts kicking him. Clearly this is something he’s imagined doing for a while and is excited to finally have his chance. After about 11 minutes of kicking his lifeless body, Adam starts to suspect that something may be wrong, so he gets down on the floor and starts shaking him by the shoulders and yelling, “Wake up!” This is turning into that Uma Thurman revival scene from Pulp Fiction, except with less of Adam dancing the Batusi with Samuel L. Jackson.

After the break, Katy and Mack are sitting in the van arguing over nothing, which makes us nostalgic for the days when Katy and Jason used to sit around arguing over nothing. He fumes that he almost had the motor fixed before she called John Joe, as if her phone call somehow interfered with the repair process, and then she starts screaming in disbelief about how he knew the van was having engine problems and yet he offered her a lift anyway. Now let’s all remember together that earlier in the episode Katy STOOD THERE AND WATCHED HIM WORKING ON THE VAN, so we don’t know how she even has the nerve to now stand here and act surprised and victimized about how he tricked her. It’s a good thing the end of the season is fast approaching, because I think Katy needs a holiday and a reset. Mack suggests that if she doesn’t like it she can always strap the bed to her back and start walking, and then they argue some more. She says she’s a victim, and he says she’s rude and selfish, and their faces keep getting closer and closer until he leans in and kisses her. It seems she kisses him back, and then she looks surprised and he looks sheepish. This is why the hard shoulder of the R336 is often called “The Most Romantic Spot in Ireland.”

Back at Chez Head Injury, Adam is on the phone telling Mo what’s happened, and just as we get annoyed with him for having called 1800-MO instead of 999, he tells her he’s already called an ambulance. So we probably owe him an apology, although the fact that his immediate reaction to finding Peatsaí unconscious on the floor was to kick him for 14 minutes instead of checking to see if he was OK maybe cancels that out. Anyway, he pleads with Peatsaí not to die and so on, and my hope is that all this is an elaborate hoax by Peatsaí to fake his own death for the insurance money.

Over at the pub, we are reminded that Annette works there by the fact that she stops sweeping the floor long enough to ask Micheál if he wants to go to the movies tonight. He stammers that he can’t because Réailtín is making a special dinner for him and, errrr, NOBODY ELSE, and if he misses it she’ll kill herself or whatever the kids are doing these days. Tadhg chases Annette off and then he and Micheál bicker for a while as they do, with Micheál postulating that not a day goes by that Tadhg doesn’t break some employment law and Tadhg responding that he heard “the vegetable lady” is running off with Columbo. Snerk. Meanwhile, Annette’s ex-husband Seán has wandered in and is watching all this disapprovingly, so Tadhg goes over and tells him he needs to supervise his woman more closely or else she’ll join the sheik’s harem permanently. Seán calls Annette over to argue with her, and then there’s a bickering free-for-all for a while, the gist of which seems to be that Seán has decided he wants Annette back now that someone else is showing interest in her, like when a toddler has completely forgotten about some toy until he sees another child playing with it and then it’s suddenly the only thing he wants in the entire world.

Outside, John Joe has played some role in returning Mack’s van to the street outside Gaudi, and after he glares at everybody for a while, he stomps off. Mack then tries to talk to Katy about what happened, but she replies that nothing happened and also she is too busy and important to be having this conversation and furthermore she doesn’t know who he is and no habla inglés. Just as Mack is about to shout something down the street like, “HEY, KATY! IT’S ME, MACK! LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW WE JUST MADE OUT IN MY VAN!!!!!”, Dee appears. She seems to be in a good mood and is pleasant to both of them, which of course annoys the shit out of Katy because she’s only happy when Dee is miserable, which means she just needs to be patient for two days. Mack wanders off and Katy explains snottily that Mack is an idiot who lured her into his deathtrap of a van even though he knew it was going to break down and possibly fall through a wormhole to the Andromeda Galaxy, and Dee very accurately responds that it sounds like Mack was actually trying to do her a favor and that perhaps she should shut her whine-hole and stop being such an ungrateful brat all the time.

Mo and Colm arrive at the infamous Hospital Corridor Of Doom And Educational Leaflets, where Adam tells them that things don’t look so good for Peatsaí, what with his being an old drunk who was on the brink of death even before the fainting and kicking. The old Adam would’ve then gone to search the hospital for unlocked drug cabinets, but the Caring & Sharing Adam instead goes off to get them some coffee and maybe nurse an injured bunny back to health. Unsurprisingly, Mo blames herself for all this, and secondarily blames Colm, which is also not surprising in any way.

Annette emerges from the pub toilets carrying her plastic tray of cleansers and poos that look like celebrities when Seán stops her and starts…I’m going to say “flirting,” I guess. He confesses that it bothers him to see her with another man because he always thought they’d end up back together. After all, every town needs a low-rent Bonnie & Clyde, and it seems Fia and Adam have abdicated that role. He’s still in love with her, he continues, and furthermore he feels bad about the way he’s treated her and their 4-6 children. Throughout this conversation there’s some odd editing, or else Annette has the amazing ability to nod the front of her head while the back of it remains perfectly still, and then they bond over the happy and romantic memory of the time they went to the zoo and saw two dinosaurs getting married. It’s possible I’m only semi-paying attention to this. They share a laugh over how little Joey got his head stuck in a giraffe and little Mary-Frances-Bernadette got eaten by a sea otter and little Seán stole the till from the gift shop, and they decide that they can make more happy memories like this together by getting back together, at least until they break up again off-camera twelve seconds after this scene ends.

At their place, everyone agrees that Réailtín’s dinner of spaghetti-hoop kebabs was delicious. Laoise says she’d better go finish packing, because her potted fern isn’t going to jump into that one sad box by itself, and Réailtín says it’s their last night together ever, so they should spend it doing something special, such as everyone watching her get drunk and then throw up in the dishwasher. She could also accuse Micheál of killing her mother again! The phone rings and it’s Eric, presumably ordering Laoise to get her sweet can over there and make him a sandwich in his usual charming manner. She wanders off to listen to his nonsense, and then Réailtín, once again demonstrating she is the only one in this house who has any sense, hisses across the table that this is Micheál’s last chance to tell Laoise how he feels. He replies that it’s too late, and his only hope now is that Laoise has a heretofore-unknown identical twin sister he can hook up with instead. He concludes that he’s never going to tell Laoise how he feels about her and that’s that, hmph, and he orders Réailtín to keep her gob shut about it. I find it absolutely unbelievable that Réailtín wouldn’t have told Laoise about all this a long time ago, but she rolls her eyes in vague assent, because extreme eye-rolling is the only reasonable response to this storyline at this point.

A doctor has arrived at Peatsaí’s bedside to X-ray his blood and give him a C-section, and she explains in increasingly grim detail that he has septicemia and typhoid and a variety of other ailments. Mo, Mack, and the other assembled onlookers proceed to do the thing I absolutely love on this show when anything medical is involved, which is they respond to the doctor’s grave warnings by repeatedly asking variations on, “But he’s going to be OK, right?” So there’s a lot of the doctor saying things like, “He’s pretty much dead” and Mo and Mack responding, “But that’s not serious, is it?” So anyway, the short version of all this is that Peatsaí’s days are numbered, which just goes to show you should never go fishing with Mack, because if the blood poisoning doesn’t kill you, Adam will.

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