Caitríona is on the brink of death on her sofa, a situation we fear will continue for some time. I swear she was limping on her other ankle last episode, but am not going back to look, so I am just going to say she has a migrating fracture. Vince, who is slowly realizing that his new full-time job is playing indentured servant to the roiling cosmic vortex of angry neediness that is Caitríona, Stockholm-syndromes that six weeks on the couch will do her good, because she needs a break from bossing people around and making them do her work for her. She frowns and complains a lot, and then Vince assures her that she doesn’t need to worry about the salon because Gráinne is on the case. Yes, once Gráinne remembers a) where the salon is and b) that she works there, she’ll be totally on top of things. He’s about to leave to go pick Maeve up at her parole officer’s when It Begins: Caitríona whines that she needs him to hand her her laptop because it’s “out of reach,” by which she means, “if I extended my arm half an inch, I could reach it, but, well, I’m Caitríona, so: no.” I should point out it’s also on the side with the good arm, so there is really no excuse for this. Anyway, it’s been nice knowing you, Vince. The next time we see you, your skeleton will be picked clean.
At the pub, Berni and Bobbi Lee’s faces are two inches away from each other as they whisper conspiratorially about Briain, who is at a nearby table. Is he pretending not to see them blatantly talking about him, or is he really, really dumb? Answers on a postcard to:
Back at the café, Gráinne has enlisted the help of noted legal expert Tony, assuming he’s been in court a time or two after accidentally running over a pedestrian in his squad car or police-brutalitying a tourist who’s stopped to ask him for directions. He claims he’s too busy, spending ten minutes telling her he doesn’t have time to give her thirty seconds’ worth of advice, and then starts carrying on about this amazing new trainer, who he’s heard used to play for a Z-list Australian mini-golf team but, somehow, has not heard also used to boink his girlfriend. I was going to say I’m not sure I believe nobody would have told him about Berni and Briain’s past in in a town in which a new exercise class is the most exciting topic of conversation in months, but then again, I don’t get the impression anybody gives a crap about Tony other than Berni, and she’s questionable. I have doubts about the logic of all this, but I will allow it because it enables the side-splittingly funny face Gráinne shoots at Berni when she shows up just as Tony burbles that he can’t believe he’ll get to train with the Brian McDonagh. Gráinne had fallen behind Dee and Adam in the Hilarious Facial Expression contest lately, but this one instantly catapults her back into first place. Berni makes up a story about not being able to go to class today because, errr, the café is on fire, so Tony wanders off and Gráinne declares all this ridiculous. Gráinne is a lot more fun when she’s not being so wholesome and worried about being biodegradable and whatnot.
At the hospital, all the Dalys and their hangers-on are sitting in the Corridor Of Doom And Fighting except Katy, and it appears they’ve been there for a while. Even Terrible Ferdia has graced us with his presence, which we’re sure is a great comfort to John Joe. A nurse wheels the patient in, having hosed him off in the parking lot or whatever, and then Katy shows up. Of course Dee finds this inherently annoying, and she’s even more pooed off when Mack—who is still on crutches, mind you—gets up and offers Katy his seat, which she immediately takes. OK, Katy, when the person with the severed hip and broken skeleton rattles himself into a semi-standing position to offer you his seat, you don’t take it just because you’re tired. Katy’s Parade of Self-Absorption continues when she takes Ferdia’s vending-machine sandwich from him and starts eating it, explaining that she’s starving because she didn’t get a chance to eat after spending all day in an effing restaurant, and Dee really looks like she’s about to reach over and pinch Katy’s head off. She points out that Katy’s only now bothered to show up and has already gotten a seat and a meal, and of course Noreen takes Katy’s side, but before the weave-snatching can start, John Joe mentions the €10,000 that Ferdia and Noreen loaned him for the quarry a while ago, which we had forgotten about and which, it turns out, comes as news to Ferdia. Noreen takes this as her cue to hustle John Joe down the hall to have his oil changed and spark plugs tightened, leaving Ferdia sputtering. Well, I’m sure that’s the last we’ll hear of this.
Vince rushes home in response to Caitríona’s text pleading for “urgent help,” which turns out to be a request for a cup of tea and a biscuit. When he expresses mild dismay, she turns on him and reminds him that she wouldn’t be here lingering pitifully on the border between this world and the next if it weren’t for him and his stupid panto, so he relents and goes to make the tea. She looks pleased with herself, and because this is Vince, he probably won’t even spit in it, which is the kind of thing that simultaneously makes us like him and want to throttle him.
Jazzercise is complete over at the community center, and Tony is banging on to Briain about how great the workout was and how next time he’ll bring his girlfriend. Briain could not possibly be less interested in any of this until Tony mentions that his girlfriend is a) hot and b) Berni, which gets a rise out of him. Use your imagination as to what you think that entails. Tony wanders off, which is really the only way he ever exits a scene, and Briain frowns. So much for his foolproof-yet-vague plan!
Vince is making dinner for Caitríona, which consists of 11 pounds of irregularly chopped vegetables, when Gráinne arrives carrying a bouquet of flowers and a box of Ferraro Rocher, the chocolates you give when you want to look like you’ve really pushed the boat out but actually do not like the person. She blows smoke up Vince’s ass for a while and then reminds him that since he was the panto director, he should be responsible for 50 percent of whatever damages Caitríona wins in the court case against them. He has no idea what she’s talking about, but then, because his life is a gaping maw of endless despair, he decides to have a little fun by stringing her along a bit, declaring that Caitríona has already had Dee over for a legal consultation. This causes Gráinne to turn fifteen shades of diarrhea and she heads for the door. He lamely attempts to tell her he was only joking, but to no avail. This is one of those situations that is completely unrealistic but necessary for this kind of storytelling, I suppose, because in real life Vince would spend two seconds shouting, “I’m only kidding!” after Gráinne as she runs off, but instead he is COMPLETELY UNABLE TO STOP HER and she runs off assuming she is about to experience financial ruin. I mean, even more than her and David’s baseline ruin.
At the shop, Berni tries to tell Bobbi Lee that Niall is obviously having sex with Vanessa, but Bobbi Lee gets a call from her agent and zooms off. Berni then notices Briain over on the toothpaste, rat poison, and baby food aisle doing my absolute favorite thing in the shop, which is walking down the aisle putting whatever is on the top shelf in his basket. We haven’t seen that in ages and my God, I’ve missed it. She goes over and tries to make conversation with him about how she depends on Head & Shoulders to fight her dandruff and leave her hair smelling like chemicals too, but he’s not interested. He grabs a pack of maxi-pads, the final item on his shopping list, and storms off to the till, and she doesn’t know what to do with herself, so she wanders over to the refrigerator case and starts intently studying a package of lunchmeat, which is simultaneously incredibly sad and the funniest thing I have seen all year.
Bobbi Lee comes flying into the pub shouting about her dead battery, by which we assume she means her phone, but with Bobbi Lee, you can never be sure. She really does have more problems with her phone than anyone else I’ve ever seen, including my 79-year-old mother, whose iPhone was once found to have 1,407 open browser tabs. As she plugs it in behind the bar, Tadhg decides to read the New York Times’ review of the panto, specifically the part that declares Caitríona the star of the show and the most convincing psychopath since David Schwimmer on Friends. Before Bobbi Lee’s outrage can get fully cranked up, though, her agent calls and offers her something that she seems very excited about until she asks “how long?,” at which point she looks crestfallen. There is a Grindr joke here, but this is a family-friendly site, so I’m going to let you make it yourself.
At the pub, Bobbi Lee is distracted and ignoring the customers, so it’s business as usual. When she wanders away, leaving the bar unattended, Berni asks Niall what’s going on between him and Vanessa. She accuses them of doing all sorts of things, which he denies, but he doesn’t have a good answer when she asks why Bobbi Lee didn’t know Vanessa was coming back to town until, like, she woke up and found her in the bed between them. Just then Bobbi Lee wanders back downstairs and tells them her ambivalently exciting, or excitingly ambivalent, news: she’s been invited to sing on a cruise, which Niall declares “deadly.” Yes, especially since the ship is called Titanic II. The bad news is that she’ll be gone an extremely, extremely long time, and we all assume she’s been invited to be the singer on the first cruise to Mars or something. It turns out it’s only three weeks, which is nothing considering we’ve regularly seen Bobbi Lee skiving off work by claiming to have three-week-long periods. They both tell her she should do it, but she seems disappointed that Niall isn’t begging her to stay and threatening to die without her, especially when Berni points out that it’s ALMOST as if he’s trying to get rid of her and then skips away.