Monday, May 27, 2019

The Godfather Part IV

Season 23, Episode 75
First aired May 21, 2019

We open today’s tale of vague thuggery and pointed bitchery at Caitríona’s, which coincidentally is Europe’s primary exporter of both of those things. She’s not there, though, apparently off on a bad-will tour of the county, but Vince and Michelle are. Normally this would make things more pleasant, but Michelle is skittish and distracted, and though Vince tries to be sunny and cheerful, she and her glum ponytail are having none of it. You can tell things are bad because she didn’t even have the energy to put on her headband today. I was starting to assume it was tattooed on, really. Eventually Vince leaves, having failed to recruit Michelle to sub for him today as Caitríona’s personal social worker, and then Michelle gets a text from Andy demanding his money or he’s going to start breaking her everything. She looks scared and then goes over and dramatically locks the front door. Another option would be calling the police, but we’ll go with this, I guess.

Over on Daly Estates, Cóilí Jackie and Noreen have come to visit Dee, presumably separately since we can’t imagine she would allow him in her car. She’s being all sweetness and light, thanking him for saving the baby’s life by helping Dee give birth in that ditch and so on. If he really wanted to be helpful he would’ve told her it would be a lot easier for the baby to come out of she weren’t sitting up, a problem he rarely has with his cows. I will give you a moment to picture a vertical cow standing on end like a child’s drawing rotated 90 degrees before we proceed. Anyway, Cóilí Jackie appears to be understanding about 30 percent of what is being said, which is pretty good for a non-Donegal character in a scene full of Dalys, and everyone is having a lovely time until he brings up the fact that Dee’s asked him to be Bláithín’s godfather, at which point Noreen develops a sudden case of diarrhea face and stops talking for the first time ever.

At the pub, Bloody Peatsaí is being lecherous, handing Mo and Colm a list he has compiled of wealthy single women he wants them to human traffic to his bedroom as payback for organizing their wedding. He really is The Greatest Generation.

We cut to the pharmacy, where Máire is handing Briain a prescription while loudly announcing to everyone in the store that thanks to this drug, his bed-wetting days will soon be over. Of course Evan is standing around smirking at this, because despite all his nonsense about “football,” his fulltime job since his return is hanging around smirking at everything. He makes a snide comment as Briain exits, but Briain shoves a potato in his tailpipe by hissing, “They’re for your grandmother,” leaving Evan looking sheepish. You know, Evan, you could avoid these kind of awkward situations by not being a complete dick all the time. Máire decides to hold Evan hostage by banging on about nothing, which we might consider instant karma, and when new boss Rory, who looks a lot like Iolo from Pobol y Cwm, tries to interrupt her ask her something work related, she blows him off because “working” is item #18 on her list of priorities while at work. She talks for another eleven minutes and when she finally pauses for breath, Rory informs her that he’d like her to stay late tonight for a “review,” which makes her nervous since it causes her to realize she hasn’t done any work since 1977.

Chez Daly, Noreen and Dee are arguing about Cóilí Jackie’s suitability or lack thereof as a godfather, and we get the impression this has been going on for some time. Noreen says Dee has gone overboard with this gratitude thing, because while CJ is “a nice man” (?), he’s not godfather material, by which she means he’s not the sort of person you would want to be in the same room with, like, ever. Dee seems surprised by this, so Noreen reminds us all of the time Cóilí Jackie went into the community center with a gun and threatened to shoot everybody, and—even worse—suspects he doesn’t own a suit! Well, that’s the last straw. Dee says she doubts Bláithín cares about the suit, and furthermore, which of us hasn’t daydreamed of going into the community center and shooting up the place every now and then? They bicker for a while, and eventually John Joe, who has been sitting there doing a crossword and trying to blend into the wallpaper, volunteers that Noreen needs to stop making excuses and just admit that she doesn’t want Cóilí Jackie to be the godfather because she’s afraid he’ll embarrass her at the christening, especially since Bláithín’s godmother is going to be famous wagon Geena Kennedy, the worst person on earth. Noreen sputters a weak denial, but Dee asks her in a remarkably restrained tone to please keep her nose out of it. Well, I’m sure that’s the last we’ll hear of this.

Briain returns home from a morning of running errands for Berni just in time for her to ask him to stay with Jude all day, feed her tiny meals every 10 minutes following her inscrutable and often contradictory dietary restrictions, and do multiple loads of laundry while he’s at it. He reminds her that he’s got an appointment in Galway at 1:00, and besides, he just spotted Evan hanging around the pharmacy scratching his arse and staring into space, but Berni begs and flutters her fringe at him until he submits, at which point she flits off and he looks aggrieved.

And now in the storyline that’s driving me up the wall, Michelle is on the phone with the bank telling them she needs to make a tiny withdrawal of €250,000, preferably in tens and twenties. This is, of course, part of Andy’s ongoing extortion campaign, which she should’ve gone to the police or at least told Vince about, you know, THE SECOND ANDY BROUGHT IT UP. There are a lot of things I enjoy about Michelle, and I find the actress enjoyable, but this whole Andy thing I find MAD. DEN. ING. Anyway, she is stunned and annoyed when the bank asks her questions about her request, such as “Buh?” and “Guh?”, and it seems this may not be as easy as she thought it would be. She should send Sorcha down to the bank to knock everybody out and steal all the money.

Elsewhere, Jude is being peevish and argumentative with Briain about everything, including the fact that she can’t be expected to eat toast again today because she just had it yesterday. Oh, dear. Briain is very patient with her until he can’t take it anymore, so he gives up on trying to get her to eat something and starts working on the next item on his drudgery checklist, the laundry. He notices he’s left his belt in his jeans in the basket, so as he takes it out, Jude starts screaming and cowering in fear, leaving Briain utterly confused. I mean, even more than he is usually confused at both acute and broad existential levels.

And now, this. Back at the Dalys’, Noreen has lured Cóilí Jackie into the kitchen to convince him not to be Bláithín’s godfather and, if that doesn’t work, to murder him and put him down the garbage disposal. As he coos over the baby, Noreen points out that being a godparent is a very expensive proposition these days, since the current gift schedule is €700 per lost baby tooth, €4900 per birthday, and an all-expenses paid trip to Tahiti for First Communion. This all comes as news to poor Cóilí Jackie, who remembers when the special gift for your First Communion was not being spanked the entire day. Noreen actually claims that Dee’s godparents, the Awful Kennedys, actually set up an effing trust fund for her quinceañera or whatever, and I swear I am not even making this up, although hopefully Noreen is. Having not laid it on thick and yucky enough already, Noreen continues that Bláithín’s godmother Geena Kennedy will probably give her the deed to the Empire State Building and a functioning time machine for her christening, hint hint, and Cóilí Jackie is clearly starting to wonder what kind of world he has stepped into here. The answer is: a world in which Noreen is terrible.

Bobbi Lee arrives at Berni’s to take over Judesitting, and as soon as she gets both feet inside, Briain understandably zooms out the door at 400 mph. Jude asks for Bobbi Lee’s assurance that he’s gone, and then starts begging her that when she sees Andy later, she’s got to tell him not to come around, because his father is angry and has been beating everyone with his belt.

Michelle is, stupidly, involved in a long debate over the phone with Andy, explaining that the bank says they can’t give her €250,000 in cash today. He’s over in Recycle Pod Park, which is taking a break from being the location in which David gets beaten up to host this nonsense. Andy is furious and yells menacingly into the phone a lot when she reports that she can only withdraw €5000. They argue for a while, and he finally demands that she meet him tonight with €5000 in cash at the abandoned factory, and this is all getting a bit Scooby-Doo for me. Michelle’s only hope is that the old prospector has set up a slide projector of a scary ghost to frighten investors away from the abandoned factory because he wants to turn it into a mill.

After the break, we’re at Gaudi, where Máire is asking Laoise’s cobweb-covered skeleton if it thinks Máire talks too much. Because this is Laoise, she’s basically like, “Oh, yeah, you’re the worst,” so Máire starts fretting that she’s going to lose her job. Laoise replies that this is rubbish, since the more Máire talks, the more the punters buy, making it a sort of pharmaceutical ransom scheme. This causes a light bulb to come on somewhere in the vicinity of Máire’s head and she announces she’s got a plan, which is of course the only thing in the village more terrifying than Bobbi Lee announcing she’s got a plan.

Back at the Dalys’, Noreen casually folds laundry as she continues to describe the utter financial ruin Cóilí Jackie will bring upon himself if he becomes Bláithín’s godfather. Just as she gets to the plague of locusts, Dee arrives and brightly offers him a cup of tea. This is the most cheerful we’ve seen Dee since Katy got arrested for that DUI. Cóilí says he’s got to go, and by the way, he’s decided he doesn’t think he’s going to bother being Bláithín’s godfather because he’s too old. He leaves, and Noreen, who’s in butter-wouldn’t-melt mode, muses that he probably decided being godfather would cost too much. A disappointed and confused Dee points out that it wouldn’t cost him anything, at which point Noreen gives a “you know, bitches be crazy!” shrug and announces she’s got to go to the toilet, so, whatevs.

At Gaudi, Berni is trying to broach the topic of Evan getting off his backside and helping with his grandmother every once in a while, but he’s being a complete asshole about it and petulantly asks if Briain put her up to this. Oh my God, Evan really is the worst. He claims he’s flat out over at Máire’s, as evidenced by the fact that we have not seen him without a cup of tea in his hand in the past month, but eventually Berni harasses him into grudgingly agreeing to help in a vague, unspecified way at an undetermined point in the future, possibly in an alternate timeline. Someone better point out to him that leaving a flaming bag of dog doo on Berni’s doorstep does not constitute helping.

Máire and Laoise are at the pharmacy preparing to launch Máire’s harebrained scheme, which falls somewhere on the spectrum between “Fred and Barney” and “Lucy and Ethel.” Máire has decided that they are going to hang around at the counter until Rory walks past, at which point she is going to announce loudly that Laoise’s grand total is €14,000 or similar and Laoise is going to exclaim, “Golly, Máire, I wouldn’t have spent so much if it weren’t for you! Can you see that I am serious?” Then, presumably, Rory will throw a big funfair in Máire’s honor that will end with her riding off in a flying car with John Travolta. In practice, this involves a lot of Máire ignoring Peatsaí, who is standing there begging for his insulin or whatever, until Rory is in the exact position, as if he’s Carrie at the prom and needs to be right under the bucket. He walks past, Máire and Laoise put on their little play, Peatsaí storms out in a huff, and Rory seems completely oblivious to the entire thing, leaving Máire looking dejected. So, do we think Rory is relatively normal, or does his beard signify that he is a secret psychopath? We have three new characters—Michelle, Rory, and Bláithín—so the odds are at least one of them will turn out to be an axe murderer. Place your bets!

Speaking of Bláithín, Dee has summoned Cóilí Jackie for a followup discussion on the godfather thing. She asks again why he changed his mind, and he repeats that he’s too old, cheerfully adding that he’ll be dead by the time Bláithín is a teenager. Possibly sooner if she turns out to be the axe murderer! Dee uses her expert lawyering skills to extricate the truth about Noreen’s role in all this and then narrows her eyes ominously, clearly trying to figure out how she’s going to swap out Noreen’s blood pressure medicine with amphetamines.

We get a Gráinne sighting over at Gaudi, where she’s telling Mo and Colm about all the no-longer-secret plans Peatsaí’s lined up for their wedding, such as singing waiters, a juggler, a duck that plays the piano, and Heather from Fair City. Mo and Colm, being perhaps the closest thing to normal human beings we will ever see on this show, think all this sounds terrible, especially because they do not watch Fair City. They leave and then Gráinne’s new BFF Michelle wanders past acting shell-shocked and incoherent, which of course Gráinne does not notice because she lives with David and Pádraig and at their house “shell-shocked and incoherent” is considered a good day.

Back at Berni’s, she confusedly tells Bobbi Lee that Jude is still going on about someone trying to hit her, but Bobbi Lee tells her to ignore Jude’s ramblings because it’s just as likely something she saw on TV or on the back of a cereal box. Briain arrives and signals that he is Extremely Tired by attempting to wipe his entire face off in a way I have never quite seen before, and then Berni asks him how Jude was earlier. He volunteers that she was afraid he was going to hit her for some reason and then narrates the story of the laundry basket and the belt, at which point Berni realizes that Jude must’ve thought Briain was her abusive dead husband. Instead of explaining the story like any normal person would, of course, Berni snots, “You and your damn belt!” at Briain, as if he would have ANY REASON to know about any of this, or like she’d told him the whole story and yet he was swinging his belt around in the air over Jude’s head while singing “Whip it! Whip it good!” just for laughs. There is mild arguing, and then Berni announces that she’s going to take Briain off the Judecare rota for a while, as if this is a punishment, and furthermore, she wants him to stay someplace else tonight to avoid upsetting Jude. Even Bobbi Lee can’t believe Berni is throwing Briain out over this, but she wisely keeps her mouth shut and smiles noncommittally as Briain fumes.

A meeting has broken out at the pharmacy, which mostly consists of Máire rattling off to Rory a list of all the ways in which she is a terrible employee. I guess this is called a preventive strike. Rory has no idea what’s going on, a state he will find himself in a lot in the coming months, and eventually assuages her concerns by saying he’s not firing her, but instead wants to get her advice on how things might be improved at the pharmacy in her opinion. She looks very pleased, and clearly this means that future customers will have to be able to rattle off a list of saints in alphabetical or chronological order before she’ll hand them their pills.

Over at the abandoned factory, Michelle hands Andy an envelope full of money and tells him she won’t be able to get the rest for a fortnight. Jinkies! He threatens her a lot and tells her yuckily that he’ll be keeping a close eye on her, and while this is actually fairly gripping because of the quality of the performances, logically if you tug at the threads it all falls apart pretty quickly, so we’ll move rapidly on.

It’s dinnertime at the Dalys, which means it’s time for a fight to break out. Noreen is carrying on about the dress and hat and thigh-highs she’s going to wear to the christening, and then Dee interrupts to ask her how she could be so terrible. Before Noreen can ask whether she means in general or about something in particular, Dee and John Joe tell her they know all about her Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? antics with Cóilí Jackie. She tries to change the subject by accusing them of ganging up on her, but Dee is having none of it and declares that Cóilí Jackie is too going to be Bláithín’s godfather, and if Noreen is afraid he’ll embarrass her in front of the Kennedys, the apparent royal family of Donegal, she’ll just un-invite Bloody Geena. Just then there’s a knock at the door and it’s Cóilí Jackie, whom Dee has invited to join them for dinner. This is probably partially to try to smooth things over with him, but knowing Dee, it is probably mostly to really stick it to Noreen, and judging by the sick expression on Noreen’s face, it seems to be working.

Across town, Vince tells Michelle that Caitríona has gone for a girls’ night out. We are unaware of any local girls who would want to spend an evening with Caitríona, but OK. Maybe Geena Kennedy. Anyway, this suits Michelle fine, because she wants to have a private word with him. She says she’s very grateful to him and Caitríona, but mostly him, for letting her stay there, but that her previously unmentioned BFF Sophie has just broken up with her boyfriend and/or fallen down a well, so she’d really better go to Dublin to look after her. Vince sadly says that these things must be done sometimes, and it’s unclear whether he is referring grimly to taking care of a suffering friend or going to Dublin. Michelle adds that it’s likely she won’t come back to Ros na Rún, EVER. He immediately assumes this is because of Caitríona, because she’s usually the reason people leave town and never come back, but Michelle clarifies that, no, it’s because of some unclear reasons involving imaginary Sophie that it’s best if Vince doesn’t ask any questions about. He seems genuinely sad, but says he understands, and on the plus side, Dublin isn’t that far away. OR IS IT? Ruh-roh!

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