Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Scream If You Want To Go Faster

Season 24, Episode 72
First aired May 7, 2020

Welcome back! Let’s journey together, through the magic of Ros na Rún, to a time when we could eat in restaurants, speak to people in the street, and most of us could go out in public without always accidentally kissing Mack, Katy. Yes, it’s the village of Ros na Rún in The Before Time, when sneezing in someone’s face was met with good-natured laughter and nobody worried much about coughing, unless of course they were Maggie. 

We open this episode, directed by all-around good egg Eamonn James Norris, in the Daly kitchen, which this season has been the scene of 50 percent of all screaming and 90 percent of all screaming the word “faduda.” The other 10 percent is a mobile circle one meter in diameter that follows Katy around. Dee flounces into the kitchen where John Joe and Mack are attempting to operate a kettle and a coffee cup, respectively, and we can tell she’s in a good mood because her ponytail is swinging so bouncily that it’s sweeping the pictures off the walls. Mack looks afraid, which is of course always the sensible response to watching Dee enter a room, and she brightly explains that she’s printed out their tickets to Australia, which she sticks on the fridge. He asks why she’s printed them out given that nobody under the age of 900 does that anymore, and her non-answer is, “We’re leaving in a few days, so why not?” She and her ponytail exit, and you can tell by the intensely brooding look on Mack’s face that the toast he’s holding is about to get the buttering of its life. Another reasonable question might be where Dee obtained actual airline card stock on which to self-print her tickets, but I digress.



Over at the flophouse, the population of which has grown so rapidly since our last recap that it is now the third largest city in Ireland, Sorcha’s mother is anxiously suggesting places the two of them could go today instead of her doctor’s appointment, such as a couples root canal at Tayto Park or to have their skin burned off with lavender-scented sulfuric acid at Loinnir. Sorcha replies supportively that she knows her mother, whose name is apparently Sadie but whom we will always think of as Bettina, is nervous about going to the doctor, but reminds her gently that they’ve been waiting a long time for this appointment, and that everything will be OK. It would be more OK if the town doctor were still sexy Easter Island head Dr Tiarnán, rrowr. Sorcha has been lovely during this storyline, which is kind of a bummer, because she was a lot more fun when she was a complete snot whose main function was to annoy everyone with her stank attitude and problematic jam.



Across town, or possibly next door—who knows?—Micheál and Angela are standing at his kitchen table discussing their plans to go visit their infant daughter Saoirse’s grave. Before her recent return, my Angela knowledge came entirely from the first half of Season 1 (available on YouTube!), when her role consisted of standing behind the bar disapproving vaguely of Tadhg. Now, however, it seems she had affairs with Micheál AND John Joe, and had children with both of them, and suddenly she is a lot more interesting. Anyway, she and Micheál are sharing a sad, tender moment as they look at the teddy bear she’s bought to put on Saoirse’s grave, accompanied by a note signed “Mammy and Daddy.” Of course Laoise is magnetically drawn into the background just as Angela lays her hand on Micheál’s arm, much like Tadhg and his ability to materialize from behind a stop sign or teacup when there is someone to mock. Hilariously, Laoise is, as always, carrying a giant box of vegetables, presumably because the producers think we won’t recognize her otherwise. She glares suspiciously at them for a while, but they are completely unaware of her presence until she slams a sprout down on the counter to get their attention. Micheál is surprised because it seems he had forgotten she lives there, and she asks them what they were looking at, which elicits a lot of “nothing” and “I was looking at Venus/a cow/a ghost” nonsense. Laoise says she thought it would be nice if the three of them went to lunch, especially someplace with tables right at the edge of a third-floor balcony with no railing, but they say in a TOTALLY NON-SUSPICIOUS MANNER that they both have places to go, such as a friend’s house the distant Andromeda Galaxy Nando’s. Angela leaves, and then Micheál leaves half a second after she does, and Laoise’s expression suggests somebody is about to find out the nutritional value of a parsnip consumed rectally.



Back at the flophouse, Sadie laments that people treat her as if she’s weird, and Sorcha takes her hands and tells her she’s not weird, she’s just unusual, like finding an onion ring in your french fries, or an anaconda in your McFlurry. She explains that the doctor will be able to help her, but only if they tell him/her about Sadie’s sleeping patterns, mood swings, and elaborate thieving. That last part is implied. As further bribery, Sorcha holds up what is either a very long floral skirt or a very short floral tube dress and tells Sadie that she noticed her eyeing it the other day and that she can wear it if she wants to. At this, Sadie brightens up considerably, and Sorcha disappears upstairs to find a matching floral lipstick, but while she’s gone, Sadie ends up looking through Sorcha’s purse, as one does, and finds a piece of paper on which Sorcha has listed “Mom’s Behaviors,” including “depression,” “anger,” and what the subtitles call “a lack of sense.” Well, if Sadie wasn’t depressed and angry before, she will be now.

At the café, Mack is on the phone loudly begging Katy’s voicemail to call him back because they have things to discuss, which of course causes Dee to appear behind him. He hangs up, and after he finishes wetting his pants in fear, he awkwardly mutters that he and Katy have things to discuss, such as whether they want to be buried or cremated once Dee is through with them. Máire saves Mack’s life by wandering over and presenting them with a variety of holy relics she has acquired for their trip to Australia, such as a St Christopher’s Medal and the thighbone of St Evonne of Goolagong, patron saint of Vegemite. She continues that she’s not one to stick her nose into other people’s business, at which point everyone in the café does synchronized spit takes, but she can’t help but wonder if Mack and Dee would be better off staying in Ros na Rún, with all its mod cons such as a bus stop and hot and cold running David, as opposed to moving to Australia, where everything has recently appeared on a TV show beginning with the words Earth’s Deadliest. Dee is shooting daggers at both Mack and Máire at this point, so Berni, who is not in the mood to clean up after a double homicide today, drags Máire away with promises of a treacle cake that needs an exorcism. Dee asks Mack if he’s changing his mind about going to Australia, and he non-answers that of course Australia is a country that is also a continent, whose capital is possibly Australia City and whose chief exports are Minogues and Outback Steakhouses.



Sorcha emerges from one of the eleven floors that make up the upper reaches of the flophouse to find Sadie missing. While all the rest of us would have immediately checked to make sure our wallets were still there, Sorcha instead looks under the couch cushions and behind the curtains while yelling “Mom!” a lot, eventually discovering the List Of Mom’s Wacky Symptoms lying on the counter and realizing that Sadie/Bettina has fled the jurisdiction.

At Gaudi, Nathan answers yet another call from Andy, telling him he’s sick of being harassed and that if Andy doesn’t knock it off, he will stop accepting calls from unknown numbers like he should have done six months ago. He hangs up and Sorcha bursts in squawking about how Sadie is missing. He immediately starts assembling a search party, noting that Fiach luckily has the afternoon off, because when you think of people who totally give a shit about anyone other than themselves, you think of Fiach. Hopefully everyone’s BFF Michelle is available, because in addition to being a millionaire and having spent a year in command of the International Space Station, Michelle was on the 2016 Olympic Mother-Finding Team. Nathan and Sorcha run off to hop in his mystery-solving van, and then Mack arrives to have a fight with Katy. However, she surprises us all by being reasonable and suggesting he come visit Jay this afternoon to spend some quality time with him and to say goodbye, either because Mack is moving to Australia or because Katy is planning to remove Mack’s brain and implant it into a robot she has built out of a coatrack and some saucepans that will be hers to command forever. First command: DESTROY DEE!



Elsewhere, Micheál and Angela get out of the car and walk into the cemetery arm in arm, somehow not noticing Laoise screeching up behind them screaming “You Oughta Know” along with the radio, which, strangely, is actually playing “Eternal Flame.” 

Over at the beach, scene of many of David’s greatest near-death experiences, Sorcha and Nathan are wandering around looking for Sadie and burying each other in the sand. He ignores another phone call from Andy, and when Sorcha looks meaningfully at the menacing sea, filmed today through an Ingmar Bergman filter, she asks him if she thinks Sadie may have…you know. Gone surfing? Nathan assures her that he’s, like, 70 percent sure that Sadie wouldn’t drown herself, at least not this close to the season finale, but Sorcha isn’t so sure. He points out that at least Sadie still has some sense, unlike Jude, who has no idea what’s going on, and then Sorcha volunteers that if anything has happened to Sadie, it’ll be “karma for the state we left [Jude] in.” Ruh-roh! Before Nathan can ask politely through his rakishly charming mop of hair what the actual eff she is talking about, the phone rings, and it’s Fiach, reporting that he’s found Sadie, or at least 51 percent of her, which constitutes a success.



Back at the cemetery, Laoise interrupts Micheál and Angela to point out that this is not in fact Nando’s, so what’s with the lying? She looks at the gravestone and asks who Saoirse is, and Angela and Micheál quietly tell her that Saoirse was their daughter. 



We quickly cut to Noreen’s living room, where she is yelling a lot at a recently arrived Mack, although as usual he can only understand about half of what she’s saying so he is mostly just confused. She asks if Dee knows he’s here or if he’s sneaking around behind her back once again, and yells some more about his all-Daly Impregnation World Tour, T-shirts from which would be the best Ros na Rún merchandise ever. Katy arrives with Jay in tow and tells Noreen to stop screaming about sex, because she wants Jay to learn about it the same way she did: by watching the video for Samantha Fox’s “I Wanna Have Some Fun.” She throws Noreen out of her own house, which is a pretty good trick, and then Mack gets down on the floor and starts playing with Jay, kissing his head and calling him “My son,” which is beautiful and heartbreaking.



After the break, during which we all wash our hands a lot and take our temperatures with meat thermometers because they’re the only kind we own, we are back at the flophouse, where Fiach is trying to keep Sadie occupied until Sorcha returns. He could always kill some time by inviting Máire over to count down the top 100 things she thinks are wrong with society. (Number one: “Fair City on too often.”) Sorcha flies in and hugs Sadie so hard her head almost pops off, but Sadie isn’t interested in seeing her, complaining that she never thought her own daughter would be the one trying to ship her off to the nuthouse by keeping a list of all her eccentricities. There is back and forthing, which Nathan keeps wanting to interrupt by asking Sorcha about that Jude comment, but Fiach eventually drags him away, presumably to do something that is vaguely skeevy, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, nor would you want to.

Mack and Jay are still on the floor playing with Jay’s cars, as well as the bulldozers and army men Mack carries around in his pockets in case there’s a slow moment during his workday. Katy interrupts to say it’s time for Jay’s dinner, and Mack offers to leave, but she tells him she can give it to him if he wants, asking Jay if he’d like his daddy to feed him. Awww. Mack wonders what could’ve been if he’d known Jay was his son sooner, but Katy tells him they should look forwards, not back. He points out there’s not much future to look forward to with Jay given that he’s leaving for Australia in a week, but Katy tells him she’d like Jay to have a relationship with him, and with Bláithín, too, if it’s OK with Mack. I’m guessing Mack will be fine with that, but Dee may be at home right now training Bláithín to go all Kill Bill any time she sees Katy or Jay. 



Outside, Micheál and Angela have apparently chased Laoise all the way back into town. Angela excuses herself when it becomes clear they are going to have a fight in the middle of street. The lobby of the community center is apparently not available because somebody else is already having a very private argument that should really take place at home there. Laoise accuses Micheál of lying when he said Angela was Just A Friend, but he swears that it’s true, and that they just happened to have a baby together, as friends do. She can’t believe he’d keep such a secret from her, and his excuse is that Angela didn’t want him to tell her. Yes, when in doubt, tell your partner, “Sure, I lied to you, but it’s only because my ex-girlfriend—who is now living with us—told me to.” It’s a good thing Laoise isn’t carrying her usual box of vegetables or else Micheál would be becoming some kind of half-human, half-asparagus hybrid right now. Furthermore, he explains, he spent many years hiding the fact that Saoirse was his daughter because Angela was still married to Tadhg at the time. Wait, did Tadhg think Saoirse was his? What is going on here? Anyway, Laoise can’t believe that Micheál would have an affair, although she seems to have no trouble believing any of the other stuff from his checkered past. There’s an exciting moment where it looks like she’s about to step in front of a moving car, but she doesn’t, and then she storms off hissing that she doesn’t even know him. Wait till she finds out he spent all of Season 1 making out with a nun on a fishing boat.



Then suddenly we’re at Micheál’s house, where Angela has very quickly packed her bags and is headed for the door when Laoise bursts in and starts laying into her. Hilariously, Micheál’s response is to ask in a completely surprised manner, “Oh, you’re leaving??” Hee. Angela is basically like, “Well, I’ve caused enough trouble here, so I’d better hit the ol’ dusty trail,” and Micheál insists some more to no one in particular that they are Just Very, Very Good Friends. Laoise announces that she doesn’t care if they had TEN children, the part she’s pissed about is that Micheál didn’t bother telling her, at which point Angela says that she didn’t want Laoise to know because she figured she has a big mouth. SNERK! Before Laoise has a chance to grab a handful of Angela’s hair and pull her to the floor, Angela hands them a voucher for a camping weekend on Craggy Island and says she’s going to go stay with Máire until she goes back to Scotland at the weekend. I’m sure the entire nation of Scotland just felt a chill run down its spine. Laoise is very much in favor of this plan, and tells Micheál to help Angela with her bags, resisting the urge to add “and don’t knock her up between here and next door.”

Mack finds Dee, who is dressed as Batgirl, post-jazzercise at the community center. You can tell I am old because I remember when jazzercise was a thing. He tells her he’s been visiting Jay, and has come to the decision that he can’t go to Australia, which elicits the kind of shocked “Cad é?” from Dee that means someone is about to be kidnapped, sued into oblivion, or institutionalized against their will.



At the door to the B&B, Angela is complaining to Micheál about how Tadhg forged her signature to cash in their joint investments to pay off Frances. (Got that?) Micheál tells her she should stay and fight, but she figures he’ll get away with it because he always does, and besides, she’s got to get back home to Mánus, whose name unfortunately rhymes with “anus” when she says it. Just then Tadhg himself materlializes, and in the course of the squabbling, Angela finds out that Tadhg cheated on Frances with another woman and now is left with no woman at all, apart from the TG4 weathergirl he is stalking. Suffering a rare defeat, Tadhg slinks away, and as they arrive at the door and Máire joins the conversation, Micheál explains that Tadhg left Frances for a woman named Maggie. Angela is surprised because she had assumed that Frances is just, you know, a cheap gold-digging floozy who got tired of Tadhg’s rippling muscles and jumped into bed with Malachaí’s washboard…forget it, I can’t finish that sentence. Micheál and Máire clarify that Frances was heartbroken when Tadhg ended the marriage, threw her out, and moved Maggie into his bed faster than you can say “Whatever happened to Niall?” Angela asks who this Maggie person was, and when Máire explains that it was Maggie Ní Chatháin, the headmaster’s daughter, we can hear the gears grinding and see the light bulb come on in Angela’s head and HOLY CRAP SHE KNOWS TADHG HAD AN AFFAIR WITH HIS SISTER.



And now, one of the best scenes I have ever seen on this show. Dee is thundering around her kitchen screaming at Mack that she’s sorted out everything about the move—a flat, Bláithín’s school, learning the difference between Austria and Australia—and she can’t believe that NOW he’s decided he doesn’t want to go. They start yelling at each other, with poor, befuddled John Joe, who was probably in there trying to take his heart medicine, literally stuck in the middle wondering what the hell is going on. Mack says he has responsibilities in Ros na Rún, but she screams back that he has a responsibility to Bláithín, and that he knows that leaving is the best thing he can do for his family: the family consisting of him, Dee, and Bláithín! He says he has a duty to both Bláithín and Jay, and she yells, “And what about me?! Do you even care about how I feel after everything you’ve done to me?” At this point they are both up in each other’s faces, and they’re consuming all the oxygen in the room, and it’s stunning. He screams that Bláithín and Jay are equally important to him, and that he can’t parent them both if he’s in Australia, so he shouts that they are NOT going, rips the plane tickets in half, and storms out of the room, leaving Dee sobbing in John Joe’s arms. It really is an amazing scene, and given how laid-back Mack usually is, seeing him this out of control really is shocking, for Dee and for us. Whoa.



Back at Sorcha Arms, things have settled down, and she tells Nathan she’s given Sadie a horse tranquilizer and sent her home to get some rest. Boy, will they have a lot to talk about when she wakes up in three days! Nathan not-at-all casually mentions that Sorcha really seemed to get agitated when he mentioned Jude, which is kind of a pattern with her, so: WTF? She makes up some excuses, explaining that when she thinks about Jude she imagines what it would be like if it happened to her mom, and also that she is stressed about the recent scandalous disqualification on RuPaul’s Drag Race and also worried about, like, whichever Korea is the scary one. Nathan is skeptical, what with this being a total load and all, and asks her what she meant when she said if something happened to Sadie it would be karma for what happened to Jude. Also, he points out, she said “we,” so who was with her the night Jude got injured? She suddenly remembers she needs to root around in the bottom of her enormous purse for something, and also that she is choking and the kitchen is on fire, but he will not be deterred. He says she can trust him, and that she’d probably feel better if she let whatever is bothering her out. At this point we black out and have trouble hearing because we are screaming as she confesses that she was in the car that ran over Jude! Nathan is shocked, and asks who was driving, and she admits…it was Briain! 



OH, SHIZZ! There are about six huge plotlines that are about to get REALLY REAL between now and the first week of June and it is going to be insane! Buckle up, grab a pillow to scream into, and let’s watch together!


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