Season 24, Episode 28
First aired December 5, 2019
It’s the morning after the hen party, and we open with a close-up of a pile of vomit on the sidewalk that Máire is trying to sweep up. Dee walks by and nearly spews again at the sight and smell of it, and also the fact that she’s clearly the one who did it. She keeps trying to walk away, but Máire wants to have a quivery-voiced conversation about the general Sodom & Gomorrah-ness of it all. We knew this would happen if they let the gays get married. Eventually Dee gets recruited to push the vomit around with a broom as Máire repeatedly reconstitutes it by pouring water on it, which involves Dee having the dry heaves a lot plus many tight shots on the pile of sick so we can appreciate how realistic it is. OK, special-effects crew, we get that you put a lot of work into concocting this, or perhaps you all just took turns barfing on the pavement to see whose read the best on camera, but STOP SHOWING IT TO US.
Elsewhere, a hungover Mo, one of many people we will see today looking like they’ve been dragged backward through a hedge, staggers out of her bedroom and checks her phone, on which she finds a text from Bloody Fiach asking her how her head is. (If you have ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race, you are laughing at that question.) She quickly deletes it, and the look on her face makes it unclear whether she is just starting to remember what happened with him last night or remembers it in appalling, terrifying detail. Either way, it seems picking hot-pink boa feathers out of every nook and cranny of her body and home is not going to be the worst thing she has to do today.
Over at the pharmacy, we get a tight shot on the many beestings on Laoise’s arms, and they too are very realistic, although fortunately not as, uhhh, chunky-looking as the “I don’t remember eating corn!” pile of puke from earlier. She complains to Máire that the cream Micheál got the other day isn’t helping, so she’s here for something stronger, such as a kilo of cocaine or a rotary saw to cut her arms off. Of course in Máire’s expert opinion these stings look like they are from those Africanized killer bees we were all afraid of in the ‘80s, so she starts rattling off a list of all the ways Laoise could die from them, such as septicemia, nuclear ringworm, and space diarrhea, and suggests she go to a doctor immediately. Laoise complains that she was having hot flashes and dripping sweat all night (IF ONLY WE KNEW SOMETHING THAT CAUSES THOSE SYMPTOMS), so Máire one-ups her by saying she didn’t get any sleep, either, what with all the drunk jezebels throwing up and screaming on their way out of the café all night, Dee. At this moment Tadhg teleports into the background accompanied by his telltale cloud of smoke and stench of brimstone, sees the opportunity to drop this week’s sworn enemy Pádraig in it again, and tells Máire she ought to call Berni and complain about what’s going on at her otherwise lovely establishment, which is like the café on Fleabag, except with mice in the kitchen instead of guinea pigs in cages.
Back at their place, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Colm appears with a greasy breakfast burrito he’s bought Mo to combat her hangover. It would’ve been cheaper to just stick a chopstick down her throat, but OK. Next they have the first of several Exchanges In Which Mo Thinks Colm Knows She Kissed Fiach Last Night But It Turns Out He Doesn’t, which for convenience’s sake I will refer to in this recap as Uh-Ohs. So, there is an Uh-Oh, but Mo avoids it for now.
Dee and Sonia, who are apparently friends now, are having a conversation over at the café about what a good time Dee had last night, and how awesome she is in general. Dee keeps banging on about how ar dóigh the party was, which I am enjoying because it keeps reminding Sonia, whom I hate, that there was a party and she wasn’t invited. Eat it, Sonia! Pádraig agrees it was a success, though he worries that the noise and carry-on might have bothered the neighbors. Sonia reasons that there’s a commotion every night when Tigh Thaidhg closes, and when Áine leads a high-speed chase through the streets in a stolen hearse firing a handgun wildly into the air, and therefore the neighbors can suck it. Pádraig likes this explanation, and we admit it’s not bad, though we are still operating under a general principle that Sonia can suck it.
At Gaudi, Fiach is late, so everybody is talking about how useless he is. You know an establishment is in trouble when Bobbi Lee is the good employee. Mo arrives, also looking for Fiach in all the wrong places, and Mack asks her a few leading questions about whether Mo and Fiach were together last night, which sends her into a strop and she storms off. By the way, Mack is wearing some kind of black-purple-brown hoodie thing that he should wear more often, rrrowr, in case the wardrobe department is reading this.
Back at the café, Caitríona gets a call from Maeve’s agent and starts shrieking into the phone that something is, “Iontach! Iontach!” I’m going to guess the doctors have determined that the quantity of Nutty Pops Maeve consumed at the audition is not fatal after all, despite the mercury they have in them. Vince muses to Frances that Maeve doesn’t even want to be in the stupid commercial, but that Caitríona is obsessed with it for some reason. I’m guessing the reasons are a) money b) bragging c) bossing people around and d) wearing outfits. Frances tells Vince that Áine also wanted to go, but that she put her foot down and didn’t let her, ha ha. Furthermore, she says, she’s encouraging Áine to concentrate on sports, because it’s not healthy for a child to be interested in clothes and make-up. Notice there is no mention of schoolwork in there anywhere. Given that we are living in the age of social media influencers, whatever the hell they are, there are probably more people in the world making a living putting on makeup in YouTube videos than playing camogie, but OK. Caitríona returns with the news that Maeve has made the shortlist, and she’s obviously a shoo-in for the part even though it won’t be officially announced for another hour. Yes, I’m sure they need to coordinate the announcement of the new Nutty Pops girl with RTÉ, Telemundo, Al Jazeera, SkyBingoTV, and all the other major news outlets to ensure maximum coverage.
At Gaudi, Laoise comes staggering in from the toilets fainting and clawing at invisible insects on her skin while screaming, “That dingo ate my baby!” Micheál sadly notes that this has been happening to her more than usual lately, and that she should probably go see a doctor just to be on the safe side because he loves her and is worried about her. Laoise, of course, can’t believe Micheál would say something so horrible to her, so she starts a big fight with him. It ends with them sitting in icy silence refusing to make eye contact with each other, their default state, which is also why their application to be on Gogglebox Ireland was rejected.
In the shop, Dee, Pádraig, and Nathan are discussing what a fun drunk she is, and there is a lot of genial laughing that goes on two seconds too long as Tadhg enters and everybody scrambles to hit their marks for the next part of this scene. By the way, I am predicting that Nathan is gay and here to be a love interest for Adam, following up on my successful prediction two seasons ago that Briain was gay and here to be a love interest for Pádraig. Anyway, Dee points out to Tadhg that Studio 5.4 is going to give Tigh Thaidhg a run for its money as the trendy nightspot in Ros na Rún. Stupidly, rather than slinking away quietly, Pádraig decides to poke the bear by antagonizing Tadhg about how the people have spoken, and they want someplace classy, sophisticated, and without raccoons living in the toilets. Tadhg responds that people certainly are talking about Studio 5.4, mostly Máire, who’s been complaining about the noise and the vomit and is totally going to complain to Berni about it.
Fiach, who looks like he’s been rode hard and put up wet, has finally deigned to show up for work at Gaudi, so Tadhg and Áine berate him until he wanders away. We discover that Áine has been cast as the new Nutty Pops girl, following in the esteemed footsteps of Saoirse Ronan, Sinéad O’Connor, and Mary Robinson. She wonders if Frances will be mad that she and Tadhg went behind her back, because she has never met Frances before, but Tadhg assures her that once Frances sees the €5,000 paycheck, she won’t have anything to complain about. I mean, Frances is no Laoise, but I still expect she will be able to find something to complain about in this situation.
At the other end of the bar, Mack is gently interrogating Fiach about his whereabouts last night, and Colm is there as he always is, because if there’s one place a guy wants to hang out all the time, it’s twelve inches away from his fiancee’s ex’s smirking face. Fiach casually mentions that he was with Mo, actually, and boy, was she drunk. Mack tries to defend her by saying we all do things when we’re drunk at our hen parties, such as dancing saucily or having sex with our fiancee’s sister on her living room floor and getting her pregnant before having her sent to a mental hospital. Colm agrees, but before he and Mack can smash a folding chair over Fiach’s back wrestling-style, Fiach smirks that Colm won’t be happy when he finds out what Mo did last night, wink wink, ooze ooze. I sense an Uh-Oh coming.
Pádraig arrives at the pharmacy and presents Máire with a bouquet of flowers, apologizing profusely for the noise last night and complimenting her on her flattering black smock, which looks like something the Virgin Mary herself would wear if she worked in a pharmacy. Máire is easily bought, so she’s giggly and delighted, which I guess means no emergency satellite call to Berni in France, where she and Briain are doing it inside a hollowed-out baguette right now. Frances remembers she’s supposed to be running Áine’s gym bag over to school, so she picks it up off the counter, and out falls…an empty sack with a dollar sign on it and a map of all the ATMs in the area! No, no, of course it’s the script for the Nutty Pops commercial, which we assume contains lines such as “Is maith liom Nutty Pops!” and “Ithim Nutty Pops sa chuisneoir roimh an bportán!” It’s possible I am auditioning to write content for the Duolingo Irish course.
At the pub, Mo is leaving Fiach a voicemail saying she needs to speak to him desperately when in storms Colm, and he looks mad. We have a grand Uh-Oh in which he angrily hisses that he was just speaking to Bloody Fiach at Gaudi and demands to know what the hell Mo was thinking last night! This has progressed from simple Uh-Oh to massive Scooby-Doo-style Ruh-Roh!
After the break, we pick up where we left off, and there is a weird shot in which Colm is speaking to Mo as if she’s in front of him when we can clearly see that she is actually beside him. Love and prolonged exposure to Fiach do that to a guy, I suppose. Mo starts spinning and apologizing, but before she can mention the kiss, she discovers that Colm is actually angry that she invited Fiach to the wedding. She looks relieved, because now she doesn’t need to pull a tire iron out of her purse and murder both Colm and Fiach with it. Well, not today, at least. She agrees that she was out of line and promises to go un-invite him, and while she can’t promise she’ll try not to make out with him again, she can promise she will try to try.
Frances arrives at Gaudi, and boy, is she mad. She announces to Tadhg and Áine that she went all the way down to the school only to be told that Tadhg had gone earlier and taken her out of class for a day of, I don’t know, doing each other’s hair and talking about boys. Some manner of skiving, that’s for sure. They look noncommittally guilty, so she demands to know what the hell is going on here, and also what this Nutty Pops script was doing in Áine’s school bag. Uhh, composting? Tadhg suddenly loses the power of speech, leaving his daughter twisting in the wind, and eventually she chokes that they were going to tell Frances as soon as Áine got the part…which just happened! Frances says this is all delightful, but that Áine will be doing this commercial over her dead body, and also the dead bodies of everyone within a 5-mile radius. Tadhg points out there is a lot of money to be had here, but Frances tells him there are things in life that are more important than money, at which point his brain shuts down and goes into a hard reboot because this does not compute.
At the doctor’s office, Laoise rattles off a list of her symptoms, including the fact that she’s so cranky all the time that nobody wants to be around her. You don’t say! Sadly for us, the doctor on call today is not sexy Easter Island head Tiarnán, who we guess is off judging Ireland’s Got Dancing, but instead a female doctor who may or may not be the one who diagnosed Andy with African Hydraulic Fever years ago. Laoise continues listing symptoms such as having hot flashes, being dizzy, mood swings, not having her period anymore, etc., and eventually the doctor interrupts her and hands her a pamphlet called “So You’ve Never Heard of Menopause.” Laoise says she can’t possibly be going through The Change since she is only 42 (?), but the doctor says it’s very common, and a quick blood test will tell them for sure. Laoise looks downtrodden, and I think I speak for everyone when I say: please let this actually be menopause and not that Laoise is pregnant.
Over at Gaudi, Áine is begging Malachaí to have a word with Frances about letting her do the commercial, pointing out that Frances listens to him a lot more than she does to Tadhg. Of course it is completely unlike Áine to play two grown-ups against each other. Malachaí says it’s not his place to come between Frances and Tadhg over parenting stuff, and Áine complains some more, and then he tells her that a first step would be apologizing to Frances for lying to her. Áine’s CPU struggles to process this input stream for a second, and then she agrees, so she and “Mal” (as she’s now calling him, at least loudly when within earshot of her father) toddle off to the community center in search of Frances.
Over at the bar, Tadhg is trying to yell at his employees, but Fiach gets a phone call from Mo and literally walks away while Tadhg is in mid-sentence. Well, that was pretty ballsy. Tadhg shouts at him to come back, but he’s long gone, so he tells Bobbi Lee that they need to come up with some ways to compete with Pádraig and his pop-ups, especially now that he’s found out Máire isn’t going to complain to Berni after all. Tadhg says they need to do something modern, which Bobbi Lee unsurprisingly interprets to mean “get some bales of hay and some gingham in here and sing Reba McEntire songs.” Tadhg doesn’t even dignify this seafóid with a response, and talk turns to the possibility of movie night. Also, there is an extra in the background who is extremely handsome and built and making it difficult for us to concentrate. They could just charge people €20 to watch him dance on the bar.
Fiach strolls into Tigh Thaidhg smirking so hard that if this were an airplane, the oxygen masks would drop down. Mo asks him what the hell he’s been playing at today, and he looks pleased with himself and casually reminds her that they kissed and it was go deas. Ewww. When she doesn’t respond, he continues pushing his luck by wondering aloud if a little doubt is creeping into her mind about marrying Colm, especially since the Fiach Express is just sitting here in the station waiting to derail off a cliff into the ocean. She hisses that she loves Colm and nobody else, and there is back-and-forthing, and eventually she tells him he’s not invited to the wedding anymore. He saunters off looking pleased with himself, and she asks him earnestly to not say anything to Colm. He says he won’t open his mouth and does the “zip my lips and throw away the key” gesture, and we are really hoping this will end with Mo losing her temper and knocking Fiach into next week, preferably sooner rather than later.
There is a moody shot of Laoise staring sadly at the sea, and then we cut to a delighted Caitríona bursting into the shop telling Vince she’s got amazing news. He guesses that Maeve must’ve gotten the part since that’s all Caitríona has talked about for the past three weeks, but she poo-poos it by saying, “No, she didn’t, but that doesn’t matter.” Snerk. The exciting news is that something called “Gnéithe Gnó,” which I guess is either a magazine or a new prescription drug for narcissistic personality disorder, wants to do a feature on her for its Christmas edition. I suspect most magazines wrapped their Christmas editions back in July, but OK. Vince acts as excited as he can considering he has constant whiplash from trying to keep up with her whims and notions, and she starts carrying on about how she’s going to have to get the house in tip-top shape for the photo shoot, hiring a cleaner and buying a bunch of classy new Christmas decorations and hiring a real, live refugee family to stand in the corner doing a nativity scene. She’s thinking Greek or possibly Romanian, so they will look dark, but not too dark. As an afterthought she says she’ll put Maeve in the pictures with her, not because she gives a crap about what Maeve wants, but because tiny children looking adoringly at mammy are terrific props in any photo shoot. She starts ranting about how ridiculous it is that Áine got the part, and how now she’s going to have to see Tadhg’s smug face being smug everywhere, but Vince starts bugging his eyes out on stalks and she realizes Frances is standing right behind her, fortunately before she has time to start rattling off a list of all Áine’s deficiencies.
And speaking of our favorite little con artist, she has tracked Frances down to the shop and comes in to make nice with her, saying she feels so, so awful about lying to her and batting her eyes so hard she almost blows Frances’ hair extensions out. She apologizes for hurting Frances and vows she’ll never do it again, ha ha, and Frances eventually accepts her apology and they hug. Stupidly, Áine then immediately asks if Frances will help her review her scripts tonight, and Frances turns 11 shades of puce and informs her that no matter how profusely she apologizes, there is not going to be any commercial, and that’s that. She storms out, and Áine is left standing there in disbelief over how her airtight master plan could’ve possibly gone wrong. Well, your first mistake was taking James Bond hostage and toying with him until he managed to escape rather than decapitating him immediately. Must try harder!
At their place, Vince is sitting very still in hopes Caitríona won’t be able to see him if he’s not moving, like a shark. She’s thundering around the place yelling at the cleaner on the phone and then banging on about how she’ll cancel all the appointments in Loinnir tomorrow so she can drag Maeve in for a full overhaul, including a leg lengthening, breast implants, and a head transplant. Maeve will be the spitting image of Nigella Lawson by the time Caitríona is through with her.
Across town, Micheál has put a lot of effort into preparing a nice dinner for Laoise, but she’s come home so late that it’s gotten cold and wolverines have broken in and eaten most of it. He asks if she went to the doctor, and she snaps that she did, and that there’s nothing wrong with her, so SHUT UP. She yells at Micheál for a while and is a complete wagon, and then storms off to the bedroom. Well, on the plus side, Micheál didn’t have a chance to break the news to her that one of the wolverines ate Réailtín.
Back at the pub, Mack joins Colm at the bar and says to Mo that he heard Fiach is invited to the wedding now. Colm corrects him, telling him that Fiach wasn’t invited, and then briefly was, but now isn’t again, SO THERE. Mo chimes in that inviting him was a drunken mistake, but that everything is settled, and that’s that, and also SO THERE. The camera zooms in on Mack looking apprehensively stubbly over the top of his pint glass and then…oops, that’s the end of the episode. Well, that was a strange ending. Anyway, I guess the lesson here is that Fiach, Sonia, and Laoise need to be loaded into a rocketship and shot into space. That’s what I got out of it, anyway.