Friday, September 6, 2019

Sometimes You Feel like a Nut, Sometimes You Don't (Season Premiere)

Season 24, Episode 1
First aired September 4, 2019

We’re back for another season of thrills, chills, and windmills in our favorite Connemara crazytown, Ros na Rún! You may recall that before we left for the summer, all hell was breaking loose: Briain and Sorcha had sex as foreplay to get them in the mood to hit-and-run Jude; Andy, in the role of Che Guevara, extorted tremendous amounts of money from Michelle; and Vince, Caitríona, and Maeve went to Tayto Park! Oh, also a screaming Katy got hauled off to the mental hospital in a police car while foaming at the mouth and clawing at the glass. So, a typical Thursday in Ros na Rún.

We open at the hospital, where Katy is sleeping off the six to eight tranquilizer darts it took to get her into the bed in the first place. It’s nice that they gave her a bed with linens that have clearly never been used before and in fact still have the straight-out-of-the-package creases in them. She starts muttering Jay’s name and then wakes up to look confusedly around the room, calling out “Jay!” again, although I suppose it is also possible she is trying to ask someone, “Cad é mar atá tú?” but loses consciousness halfway through the question.

Back in town, Mack drops Jay off at the crÁeche and then a radiant Dee takes his arm and they stroll happily across the road, with baby Bláithín in her stroller, and Dee has that classic I-just-gaslighted-my-sister-into-an-asylum glow about her, that’s for sure.

We cut back to the hospital set, where they have dumped Brídín Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh out of the bed and quickly shoved Treasa Ní Cheannabháin into it. Briain stands outside Jude’s hospital room looking traumatized. Jude looks moderately traumatized as well, though it’s unclear whether it’s because she’s just been hit by a car or because she’s got a crying Berni all up in her face.

Chez Caitríona, Michelle is sitting at the table fiddling with her arm, which is bruised and scratched from being semi-tied up by Andy during her sort-of kidnapping. It does look quite painful, although she should be grateful she’s not in various bin bags scattered across the country given that she did the two absolute stupidest things you can do when dealing with a lunatic who’s blackmailing you: 1) meet him in the middle of the night at a Scooby-Doo-type deserted factory/old mill/abandoned funhouse on the outskirts of town and 2) get into a car with him. Clearly that headband is cutting off the blood flow to her brain. A text pings into her phone and she looks alarmed because she assumes it’s more threatening nonsense from “Gearóid,” but then breathes a sigh of relief when it’s just a picture of little Maeve tying Vince to a rollercoaster track at Tayto Park.

Out in the street, Andy is on the phone arguing with somebody at the hospital, who refuses to give him any information about Jude’s condition. He yells at her for a while before telling her to go screw herself, and then angrily ends the call and looks around to find himself at a mechanic’s or impound lot or other car-related location. He could probably get a good deal on a car with a missing mirror and a Jude-shaped dent in the hood. “Motivated seller!”

And speaking of, back at the hospital Briain is on the phone with someone who tells him that his car is currently located in a field somewhere. Before he can ask questions, such as “Who is this?” and “How did you get this number?”, Berni appears, thanks him for being such a swell guy who hardly ever kills her mother, and suggests he pop in to see Jude. Yes, Briain and Jude together is always a winning pair. Briain suddenly remembers that he is supposed to be in Dublin muscling Leo & Matt’s machines and tries to make a swift exit, but Berni stops him so she can ask him rhetorically what kind of monster would run over an old lady and leave her by the side of the road. Probably someone with a permanent ten-o’ clock shadow and an epic chin cleft. I’m just batting around ideas. Before he can incriminate himself, which he will have to save for about 10 minutes from now, she volunteers that she blames Sorcha for all this, what with her being a longtime wagon and all. Briain agrees that Sorcha is DEFINITELY to blame for all this, and is also a total liar who’d best not be believed NO MATTER WHAT she might say in the next few weeks, and then Berni vows to find whoever did this and make them pay. This is no empty threat, because as we all know, Berni is an expert at punishing people for playing any role in her life whatsoever.

At the shop, we get our first Bobbi Lee sighting of the year, so all is right with the world. She and Máire are gossiping about Poor Jude, and Máire reflects philosophically about how this proves how fragile life is. One minute you can be out for a simple midnight walk along an unlit winding road, and the next your granddaughter can be slapping you in the street for interrupting her having sex on the floor of a filthy squat. Bobbi Lee has no time for this theological lesson and shares the breaking news that the Gardaí hauled Katy off last night, and just then Tadhg appears from behind a Flake bar and demands to know what’s all this about Katy. They have really got to put a bell around his neck.

John Joe wanders into Katy’s room for a visit, and she immediately goes semi-berserk with excitement, anxiety, and possible amphetamine withdrawal symptoms. He tries to make inane happy talk about how they removed fist-sized gallstones from Noreen and, even more exciting, Bianca is back on EastEnders, but Katy frantically insists that she doesn’t want Dee anywhere near Jay. John Joe has clearly tried to brace himself for this, but even so, you can see the anguish on his face when he realizes his daughter does not seem to be any better, and even worse, continues to hold on to her Dee=Monster theory. He tries to distract her by describing Noel and Prue’s latest GBBO outfits in great detail, but she will not be deterred, and instead starts rattling off all the things she’s convinced Dee has done to her. They all sound preposterous but are, of course, absolutely accurate. He finally snaps and says this sounds crazy, and then Katy starts screaming that Dee is the one who’s crazy and then bursts into tears, which is of course exactly what a crazy person would do. This is all just too, too delicious.

Back at their place, Dee announces to Mack that she’s found Jay’s favorite teddy, which is clearly brand-new and has never been touched by a child. You can tell because the white bits are still white and because it doesn’t stick to Dee’s hands when she tries to put it down. Mack tells her she needs to get some rest because she’s had a difficult couple of days, at which point she remembers that she should probably act upset about her sister being hauled off to the you-know-where, or at least smile and dance less. She puts on her saddest face, but instead of telling Mack how terrible it is that poor Katy is so unwell, she instead accuses Katy of saying a bunch of awful things to her, which include, in this order: 1) “You look frumpy” 2) “Dad doesn’t like you” 3) “You have no friends” and 4) “Mack doesn’t love you.” I like how alleged frumpiness is the first terrible thing Dee can think of, and we won’t discuss the fact that #3 is true, so…. Anyway, #4 makes Mack furious, but before Dee can accuse Katy of setting fire to Notre Dame, Tadhg materializes and says, brilliantly, “What’s all this I hear about you having Katy committed?”

Out in the street, we have a D-story involving Máire’s long-lost friend Colleen, which is facilitated by David and Gráinne’s usual incompetent meddling. We vaguely remember something about this from the end of last season, but because it did not seem to involve Máire developing super-powers or having a long-lost identical twin named Fláire, we promptly forgot about it. Anyway, we will find out later this episode that Colleen has died, and this all seems very much like the type of storyline that is designed to either introduce a new character or write out an old one, so we will probably have to care about this later, but not right now.

Meanwhile, O’Shea runs into John Joe and says that she’s not going to tell the Gardaí about walking in on Katy trying to swallow 180 kilos of pure Colombian cocaine in a series of colorful balloons or whatever. He thanks her and asks if she’s got time for a coffee, but she declines because she’s very busy right now, what with there being two cases going on. Until David confesses to one or both of them, she has no time for niceties like coffee.

We see Mack arriving at Katy’s hospital room for a chat, and then quickly cut to the pub, where Cóilí Jackie is gossiping with Bobbi Lee about the various goings-on. Bobbi Lee, who is wearing a necklace I think we can safely call “a statement piece,” shushes him when Tadhg walks in, but fortunately for Cóilí Jackie, Tadhg is busy leaving a voicemail for Jason which includes the best line of the episode: “God only knows which of these fadúdas will be the next to go crazy.” Snerk. He hisses into the phone that if Jason cares what happens to his son he’d better get involved in this mess pronto, but of course Jason, like all Tadhg’s various children, has extricated himself from Ros na Rún permanently, which is the natural reaction to having Tadhg for a father.

Back at the Mariah Carey “Exhaustion” Ward at Spiddal General Hospital, Katy is babbling nervously to Mack while tidying up the room to make it look less like someplace a crazy person would live, untying the sheets she’s knotted together to climb out the window and kicking the Dee voodoo dolls under the bed and such. Just as she’s about to demonstrate how she totally thinks she can run up the wall and do a backflip like in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, he interrupts her. He’s not here for a social call, he explains: he’s here to yell at her for telling Dee he doesn’t love her. Katy denies having ever said this, and then they argue for a while about who’s the crazy one. At one point Mack says, “I know that our relationship is kind of weird, I will admit that,” sealing his nomination in this year’s Understatement of the Year Awards, and eventually Katy tells him this is all Dee’s way of seeking revenge for the fact that…Jay is his son! Eep!

After the break, we’re back at the scrapyard, where we discover that Andy’s car, which he left on the shoulder when he found Jude lying in the road, has been impounded by the police because it’s their policy to search any abandoned vehicle, even if it doesn’t have a Jude-shaped dent in it. Andy casually asks the mechanic when he might be able to get a few of his possessions out of it, such as, say, his Plastic Ono Band CDs or a bag with €250,000 in it, and the guy says it’ll probably be back in a few days, after the Gardaí finish their investigation. Andy better hope O’Shea assigns Incompetent Tony to search this car or else there’s no way the Gardaí are not going to find a quarter of a million euros in small bills under the seat.

Back at the hospital, they have removed the camera from the pore in Mack’s face into which it zoomed dramatically just before the break. He and Katy are still arguing, and he accuses her of making up this babydaddy thing just to try to break him and Dee up. She asks him if she’s making it up, then why did Jason leave? I mean, the obvious answer from Mack’s perspective would be, “Because you’re crazy?”, but then she asks a better question, which is why Jason suddenly stopped having any relationship whatsoever with Jay. He doesn’t have an answer for that other than a weak, “He’s busy, I guess?”, at which point Katy writes her email address and password on a slip of paper and tells him to log in to her account and he’ll find the message from proving that Jason is not Jay’s father. Mack points out that even if this is true, Katy is a total ho and therefore anybody could be Jay’s father. They argue for a while longer and finally Mack concludes that all he knows is that Katy has gone crazy and then storms out, leaving her grasping the sides of her head and roaring in frustration. She is really, really good in this episode.

Over at the gas station, Briain tells Sorcha he’s going to confess to Berni re: the hit and run, but she points out that they would get in big trouble, which would put a big crimp in her jam-making and elder-abuse businesses. They press pause on their conversation when O’Shea stops to tell him that she’d like to talk to Jude ASAP to ask if she remembers anything. After she drives off, Sorcha says they must not have much to go on if they’re depending on Jude’s memory to crack the case, but Briain worries that they’ll find pieces of the mirror in the road or in Jude’s abdomen and be able to trace them back to his car. She explains that as long as his car is sitting in that field in rural Bavaria, nobody will know it’s missing a mirror, but he wonders how much longer he can make excuses to Berni about why he’s walking everywhere all of a sudden and his car is nowhere to be seen. Well, he could accuse Adam of stealing it, which would buy him at least a few weeks and get Adam back to the jail cell WHERE HE BELONGS. Sorcha says she’ll call around to a few scrapyards and find a mirror for a blue 1966 Reliant Regal or whatever Briain drives and that it’ll be as good as new by tomorrow evening, but until then, he just needs to cool it. The fact that he responds to this by furrowing his brow so violently it sucks her earrings off suggests to me that this is unlikely, but OK.

Michelle is jumpy and agitated at various places around town, and then we see Mack parked outside his house staring at the slip of paper with Katy’s email address and password. Boringly, her password is jay2017 and not something fun like ihatedee69. Inside, John Joe is moping around, and Dee tries to cheer him up by reminding him that, sure, Katy is probably going to have to have a lobotomy, but on the plus side, she’s ordered the boxing channel for him! This does not seem to cheer him up as much as Dee had hoped, presumably because John Joe is more of an MMA fan. Mack arrives and she tells him that Bláithín had a full day of smiling and looking at shapes and so on, and that she wishes he could’ve been there for it. Just then the baby starts fussing upstairs, and he says he’ll go get her, because he’d hate to miss a single minute with her. Dee smiles brightly and trots up the stairs, but Mack pauses long enough to look ambiguously in a variety of directions, suggesting that checking out the Instagram account Dee has created to document Bláithín’s dirty nappies will not be enough to ease his troubled mind.

Briain arrives at the hospital to drop off Berni’s charger, which is sadly not a euphemism, and she asks him to sit with still-unconscious Jude while she goes to scream at nurse or whatever. He protests but eventually gives in, but as we see him going into her room, down the corridor we see Andy’s crazy beard, and 10 seconds later Andy’s face, appear around a corner! Briain sits down beside Jude’s bed and takes her hand, and out in the hallway, Andy sneaks up to the doorway just in time to overhear Briain tell Jude, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Well, it’s a good thing Andy is a reasonable and forgiving kind of guy.


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