Season 23, Episode 1
First aired 4 September 2018
And we’re back! After a long, hot summer of ennui, existential despair, and hot meaningless sex, Ros na Rún has finally returned to bring our lives meaning, and also Bobbi Lee. We begin with a helpful “Previously on Ros na Rún…” montage to remind us what was going on 3 or 12 or 72 months ago on the last episode. For some reason it spends an inordinate amount of time reminding us that Frances had to set up her meeting with the still unspellable, unpronounceable hidirghabhálaí at the B&B due to intricate scheduling problems at the community center, most of which involve Labhrás being a dick, but we are also reminded that Laoise agreed to marry Eric, but rather tepidly, which is really the only possible way to agree to such a thing. Oh, and also Dee went crazy and kidnapped Jay and possibly threw him into the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.
And now for new excitement! First of all, we’re in HD now, which our new title sequence takes advantage of by being blurry and high-speed and showing us that Ros na Rún is a very modern place in which people’s elbows and crotches zoom in and out just like ours, except in high-def and as written by Sonia Ní Oibicín. Katy and Mack are still running around town in circles, and my goodness, they must be tired since they’ve been doing it nonstop since June. On the plus side, it’s excellent cardio, which is why 9 out of 10 doctors recommend having your sister kidnap your child as part of any weight-loss regimen. Tadhg has joined them to “help,” by which I mean yell at them for being incompetent and blame everything on the fact that Katy is from Donegal. So, it’s exactly what you would expect. When Mack volunteers that this happened because he left the front door open, which of course he didn’t, Tadhg grabs him by the neck and starts throttling him Homer-Simpson-style, and after Katy pulls them apart they all run off screaming in opposite directions. As they say, it takes a village to kill each other while looking for a missing child.
Meanwhile, down at the shore it’s a lovely day at whatever this stone structure Dee has driven to is. It seems to have been designed to provide convenient parking when you need to throw someone in the ocean but are in a hurry, once again demonstrating that Ireland is more advanced than the rest of the world at everything. We don’t see her or Jay, though, suggesting they have perhaps popped into Spiddal for a falafel, and then we quickly return to downtown Ros na Rún, where there is running in circles screaming, already in progress. Katy is relieved to see Tadhg pull out what is apparently the only cellphone in the village and assumes he’s using it to call the cops, but she and Mack are dismayed when they discover that he is instead calling Jason in Dublin to tattle on them. It’s just as well because obviously the local police are busy at all times arresting Pádraig for something Sonia has accused him of doing, such as Living While Gay. After some light arguing, Tadhg assures them that he’ll call the Gardaí to report their incompetence as soon as he’s done ratting them out to Jason, so Mack runs off to recruit local childcare experts such as Adam and Peatsaí for assistance while Katy resolves to stand firm in the middle of the street and cry a single dramatic tear.
Over at the B&B, Frances puts down her phone, having been unable to reach Tadhg, and explains to the mediator that she’s sure he must be on his way since he certainly wouldn’t agree to a meeting and then refuse to show up. Honestly that sounds like exactly the sort of thing Tadhg would do, but it’s unclear whether the mediator even speaks Irish because she just seems confused. She looks at her watch and frowns a lot, and then slips into a coma when Frances offers to go ahead and start the PowerPoint presentation she’s put together to explain why she deserves half the pub, which is the natural reaction to any PowerPoint presentation no matter how many star-wipes and Dilbert cartoons it has.
Back at Hostage Point National Recreation Area, Dee is standing by the wall alternately staring at the sea and re-reading the DNA results. She’s annoyed when Jay starts wailing from inside the parked car, which is why you should always roll up the windows and/or blast cheerful music during a kidnapping situation, so she storms over to him and hilariously demands, “Why are you looking at me??” Dee really is the best. When she opens the door Jay stops crying, after doing a bit of juicy coughing that suggests they might want to make a quick stop at the pediatrician’s after this, and then he gives her some hilarious side-eye and glares at her like, “You didn’t think this through AT ALL, did you?” She looks anguished, but then picks him up and tries to soothe him by patting him and bouncing him, and it seems this has all gone a bit out of control for our Dee, which is why you should never kidnap a family member without at least reading some informative Wikipedia articles about it first.
Local reporter Amy has taken a break from
Back at the beach, a sobbing Dee continues to crouch beside the car blowing her nose into the DNA test while Jay looks on impatiently, as if he has somewhere else to be. For a second I thought he was in the driver’s seat and imagined how brilliant it would be if he managed to start the car and then back it over Dee, but then remembered that everything is flipped in metric-type cars and he’s actually sitting in the passenger seat. If I were a writer on this show, this totally would’ve ended with Jay backing over Dee and then leading the Gardaí on a high-speed chase down the M6. That would get us on Gogglebox for sure.
Meanwhile, Amy is following Caitríona around town reading her a Reddit article about things that might be polluting the river, such as Gaudi’s new gazpacho sandwich or Berni’s stank attitude, but Caitríona and her aggressive ponytail tell her to cram a ham in it because they’re too busy pretending to care about Áine or Réailtín Junior or whoever is missing. As everyone else in town continues to run around in circles screaming “Jay!” at the various buildings, Amy stops Gráinne to ask her if John Joe’s quarry is the one down by the river, and when the answer is an annoyed “Is é,” she looks pleased with herself, sure that this will win her that Nobel Prize in Journalism her story about Briain’s fraudulent gayness didn’t.
Back at John Joe’s, which today joins the proud ranks of local buildings that have served as Missing Child HQ over the years, Tadhg is insulting Katy for being neglectful and Mack just on general principle. John Joe arrives, which causes Katy to start a new round of crying and screaming, this time accompanied by a lot of whipping her hair around. Katy, your hair is lovely, but it will never be as magically luxurious as Dee’s, so sit down. John Joe tries to get her to calm down and maybe sit down for a nice relaxing episode of Ross Kemp Versus The Entire Bolivian Army, but she cries that she can’t sit around being screamed at sexily by Grant Mitchell when her little boy is out there “cold and wet.” Yeah, possibly colder and wetter than you are even imagining.
Back at the B&B, the idirghabhálaínighenaífeadalúnaithe bids Frances adieu, generously offering that this has only been about 90 percent a waste of everybody’s time. On the plus side, this meeting has only cost Frances €800. Once she’s alone, she whips out her phone and rings the law offices of Snatchem, Drownem, & McGillicuddy and leaves a message for her lawyer, barrister, or solicitor Dee saying that she wants an angry letter sent to her ex-husband immediately, and possibly also a flaming bag of dog poo.
Over at Kidnapping HQ, we all breathe a sigh of relief that everything will be OK because crack superintendent Imelda O’Shea is now on the case. By “crack superintendent” I mean it’s possible she smoked crack on the way over here. She suggests that Katy and Mack shouldn’t beat themselves up over Jay running away because they left the door open, because it’s much more likely a deranged ax murderer broke in and killed him. This does not make them feel better for some reason, so Tadhg helpfully reminds everyone that Katy is a terrible mother in general, not just today. Suddenly a dazed-looking Dee appears in the doorway carrying Jay, who is surprisingly alive. In fact, he seems fairly content until Katy starts screaming his name and clawing at him, and then he starts wailing as he’s handed over to his mother, possibly because someone pinches his leg out of frame during the handover.
After the break, during which we watch the same advert for Smithwick’s three times, Jay is still crying despite the fact that Mack is handing him toys and making delightful faces to try to distract him from the fact that he’s just been pinched. When Dee nervously explains that she found him alone at the playground, Katy is skeptical, by which I mean she starts screaming that none of this makes any sense because a baby couldn’t go so far on his own without being noticed and also that Dee is a total bint. Before a nervous Dee can choke out a response, though, O’Shea volunteers that this is all too common, and that in fact 120 percent of Irish children under age 2 are eaten by bears on playgrounds every year. At this, Katy refocuses her attack on Dee, this time as “Why didn’t you call me?”, and while of course this time Katy happens to be right about Dee, we are still annoyed that her default response to any exterior stimulus whatsoever is to blame Dee. Katy really is a pain sometimes. She continues berating her sister for a variety of stupid reasons, and just as Dee narrows her eyes and sets her jaw and looks like she’s about to snatch up the entire house, drive it to the pier, and throw it in the ocean, Noreen interjects to say that she understands that Katy’s upset, but none of this is Dee’s fault, so she needs to knock it the eff off already. Everyone argues with each other a lot, and Tadhg blames all this on the fact that the Dalys are a bunch of idiots from Donegal, at which point O’Shea leaves, but not before she and John Joe bat their parts at each other coquettishly. Mack puts his arm around Katy and acts very parental towards Jay, which causes Dee to look stricken, because if you didn’t know otherwise, you really would assume that Mack and Katy are the couple here and Dee is the spinster aunt who happens to be in town for the Miss World Hair pageant.
Across town, or next door, or wherever these places are in relation to each other, Micheál has arrived at the radio station to yell at Bobbi Lee over her antics. If there isn’t a word in Irish that means “to yell at Bobbi Lee over her antics,” there should be. She pretends not to know what he’s talking about, telling him to calm down or he’ll give himself a hernia, but he retorts hilariously that he’ll give her a hernia when he reports her to “the board” (which probably consists of local power players such as Amy and Liam Óg) and they sack her. In case you’ve forgotten, last season Bobbi Lee broadcast Michael’s confession about his confusing love for Laoise over the air, which resulted in Eric preemptively proposing marriage to her. Our favorite multimedia cowgirl first professes ignorance, and then claims it was an accident, and then says it’s not her fault because a comet hit the “on air” button and also it’s her first day, but when he doesn’t buy any of these excuses, she decides to blame her arse, which I swear I am not making up. They bicker for a while, and eventually she scoffs that she has no idea why two men are chasing after Laoise anyway considering she’s always got a load of muck under her fingernails and parsnips in her hair. I think it’s more puzzling why Laoise’s got two men chasing after her considering she’s the town’s sourest wagon, but OK. Bobbi Lee needs to get back to work because the 47-minute version of “Whiskey in the Jar” she’s been playing is coming to an end, so she puts her headphones back on, leaving Micheál standing there looking anguished.
Various Dalys and their hangers-on have arrived at the pub, including Dee, who’s being led around by Mack like a zombie in a fabulous raincoat. Amidst all the commotion, she manages to ask Mack why he was alone with Katy in the first place considering he’d told her he was going to visit Bloody Peatsaí, but before he can answer, John Joe makes a big production out of having to go to the toilet and flirt with O’Shea, whose shift apparently just ended or else is now blatantly drinking on the job. Dee tries to drag Mack home, because she is not in the mood for any of this and wants to go have a nice cup of tea before dismembering him in peace, but he says after the day he’s had he needs a drink, plus everybody seems to be mad at him, so he needs to try to smooth things over by getting them all drunk and possibly roofieing them.
Across the pub, John Joe emerges from the toilets to find himself ambushed by Amy with a conversation that is so brilliant I am just going to quote it directly:
AMY: John Joe, your grandson was found.
JOHN JOE: He was, thank God.
AMY: That’s good. Can I ask you a few questions about your quarry?
He’s confused, of course, because this is not a conversation that makes sense in any way, so she clarifies that she’s interested in doing an exposé about how he’s polluting the entire county that could result in financial ruin, lynching, and possible jail time for him, and she’d really appreciate his cooperation. For some reason he does not think he would like to help her with this right now, so instead he swallows hard and hopes for a distraction, such as Jay getting kidnapped again.
Over at Micheál’s, Laoise is symbolically laying her key down on the table and giving the place one last look, which we note is also Very Symbolic, and then Eric wanders in to ask her what’s taking her so long, because he’s left the car running. This demonstrates great personal growth on Eric’s part because last season he would’ve just laid on the horn and screamed out the window for her to get her knockers out there already. Máire arrives to congratulate Laoise on her engagement, and while she doesn’t explicitly point out that she and Eric will still be going to hell for living together before marriage, it’s implied. She fusses over the fact that Laoise isn’t wearing an engagement ring yet, causing Eric to make up some nonsense about how he wants Laoise to pick out her own, and then they make plans to celebrate the engagement in the pub sometime soon. Laoise seems as excited about all this as she would be about being told she’s got to have to have 3 colonoscopies a day for the next 90 days, but eventually she gathers up the last of her junk and they head out the door, giving Eric a chance to perform his patented henpecked husband routine for no particular reason, as he is wont to do.
There’s a quick cut to John Joe’s, where he’s complaining vaguely to Noreen about something the bank either did or didn’t do, and then we’re back to Micheál’s, where he arrives home to an empty house, so he and Laoise’s ex-key sigh a lot and look sad together. He really needs something to brighten his day right about now, such as Réailtín coming home and vomiting eleven kilos of cocaine onto the kitchen counter.
Dee and Mack arrive home, and it seems her crazy is shifting into a different gear that will take shape as we cruise to this episode’s finish. She volunteers that things like Jay’s mysterious disappearance really put everything in perspective, and Mack sighs sadly and agrees, comparing it to the seafóid with Peatsaí’s finger, which of course Dee couldn’t give two shits about. Using her years of legal education, she sneakily asks a few entrapment-y questions to try to figure out if Mack knows he’s Jay’s father, such as “Everybody in here who’s Jay’s father, raise your hand!”, but of course he doesn’t know so this gets her nowhere, like many of her life choices. Eventually he launches into a long, meandering story about him and Jason and a hurley and a flying donkey and so on from when they were 3 or 8 or 27, the gist of which is that Mack had to confess to Jason that he’d broken his hurley, and it all came flooding back to him today when he worried he was going to have to confess to Jason that he’d also broken his Jay. Well, he could’ve always told him that Jay went off to live on a nice farm with other Jays. He seems very sad indeed, so Dee sits down beside him, puts her arm around him, and makes comforting sounds into the top of his head, such as, “Shh, it’s OK” and “Don’t worry, I will find a way to destroy you soon” and so on.
Across town, John Joe tells Noreen that he knew there was a small hole in the rock tank or whatever at the quarry and that he’d tried to fix it, but the sellotape apparently didn’t hold. Noreen is skeptical that the small amount of cyanide or whatever that’s leaking out of said tank could pollute an entire river, but then he confesses that, OK, the entire lagoon is also full of oil, which could also have something to do with it. He asks rhetorically what would’ve happened if he’d been responsible for Peatsaí dying—I imagine some kind of parade, or at least a trophy—and Noreen says he better get his arse up to that quarry and get that tank patched pronto before Amy or the Irish Times or Irial the TG4 weather guy goes over there and blows this story wide open. He admits he doesn’t have the money to fix it, so she says she’ll ask Ferdia for the money. John Joe is torn, because on one hand he doesn’t want to be responsible for the death of everyone in Co. Galway, but on the other hand: Ferdia. It’s an understandable dilemma. He says he doesn’t want feckin’ Ferdia to know about this, but she protests that if this gets out, it’ll give him and his quarry a bad name, such as Get Your Rocks Off With John Joe Daly, Inc.
Back at their place, Dee is still studying the DNA test results, or possibly trying to figure out what the hell Áine’s crayon squiggles on the back are supposed to be, but quickly shoves it in her pocket when Mack emerges from the other room. Why don’t any of these people ever take their coats off when they come inside? He apologizes for being sentimental and cuckoo earlier, and she says supportively that they both need some relief after the stressful day they’ve had. Uh-oh. He ignores this and says he hopes Jason doesn’t bite Katy’s head off when she tells him about today, which gives Dee the opportunity to roll her eyes hilariously and spray some Haterade across town in Katy’s direction, and then he starts musing philosophically about how kids will break your heart and keep you awake all night with worry and tie David to a radiator and steal his car, but you’d still do anything to keep them safe. He adds that he’s not trying to drop any hints about having a baby, but the beautiful, lustrous gears are already turning in Dee’s beautiful, lustrous head, and so she sits down beside him and says the words he’s been waiting years to hear: “Let’s go to Disney World!” No, no, she says, “I think we should have a baby!” He looks confused, and she smiles angelically, and the important thing is that her alleged desire to reproduce is TOTALLY GENUINE, and not at all driven by a need to screw with Mack’s head, get attention, or shove something sharp up Katy’s arse sideways.
Thanks for posting - I've been looking forward to your recap as much as the new series!ReplyDelete
Wow, thanks for saying that, Karen! Recapping the show is a ton of work and sometimes I wonder if it's worth it or if anyone is reading them, but it's comments like this that keep me going! Thanks for reading and please come back and comment more often! :)ReplyDelete
NEVER STOP RECAPPING! It is totally half the fun (or more) of studying Irish!ReplyDelete