Black Books

Season 3 Episode 3

Moo-ma and Moo-pa

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 25, 2004 on Channel 4

Episode Recap

Scene opens with Bernard entering the shop from the kitchen, and sitting at his desk. He listens to the messages on the answering machine, all for Manny. He deletes them one by one. They are friendly, inviting Manny to a party, suggesting he brings Fran but not Bernard.

Manny enters the shop. Bernard complains at him as soon as he is in the door, saying that he needs him for the weekend, as it is going to be very busy. Many responds that he was hoping to go and see some friends actually. Manny asks if anyone has called, and Bernard lies and says no, not a soul.

Manny complains that no one calls him anymore. Fran enters with news - she bumped into Paul and says she has been invited too. Manny is blank. Fran says it is to the barbecue party (one of the deleted messages). Manny reiterates that no one has called here. Fran notices that the answering machine is flashing. Bernard tries to stop her playing the message but she goes ahead anyway.

The message is from Manny's mother saying they are coming to stay for the weekend. Manny looks panicky. His mother gives a very precise arrival time. Manny asks Bernard if it is OK for them to say, he says no. Bernard continues to panic.

Fran has a word with Bernard by pulling him by his hair into the kitchen. She realizes that he has been screening Manny's calls so blackmails him into letting Manny's parents stay. She agrees to stay and help too, even going so far as to put that it will be fun in writing for Bernard (who remains deeply skeptical).

Bernard lets Manny know they can stay. He thanks him but then panics even more. Neither Fran nor Bernard have much luck calming him down.

Cuts to later when Manny is desperately trying to clean up with devices strapped to his head and feet. He continues to panic about cleaning before his parents arrive. Fran enters and reveals a secret about tidying - just cover it with an Indian throw. They then proceed to cover various parts of the shop with throws - though Bernard draws the line at letting him throw one over him too.

Manny asks Bernard to be nice. He cracks his knuckles and sings Chattanooga Choo Choo. Both of which annoy Bernard - and Manny explains that his parents do both those things.

Manny asks the time and as Fran responds, his parents enter the shop. They greet each other. He continues to panic, and ushers them out again. Fran brings them back in.

Cut to the kitchen where they are sitting having tea - at a table covered in an Indian throw! Bernard has his back to the table. Manny's parents display their annoying habits.

The conversation that follows reveals that Manny has embellished his life in his letters home - he told his parents that Bernard was making him a partner in the shop and that Fran was his girlfriend! Manny looks very sheepish. Bernard eats his teacup.

Manny shows them to his room (he is sleeping on the sofa). Fran and Bernard confront him about what he has told his parents, and he explains. Fran agrees to play along, so long as there is no kissing.

Cuts to the interior of a restaurant, where Bernard, Fran, Manny and his parents are looking at the menu. Clearly Manny is paying, as he tries to get everyone to order something cheap - the garden salad. Fran and Bernard peruse the wine list, interested in something expensive.

Manny's dad begins a rambling story, with no real direction. Bernard drops his fork and disappears under the table where there is a bar! He orders a drink.

Manny's dad continues his story and Fran joins Bernard and persuades him to come back up. Manny's dad is still talking.

Manny's mum talks about babies. Fran goes back under the table. Bernard joins her and makes her go back up.

Fran and Bernard order lots of wine. Back at the shop, his parents offer to pay for some of the meal, but Manny (who clearly wants them to) says no.

Manny's dad take Manny and Bernard into the shop, leaving Fran alone with Manny's mum.

In the shop, Manny's dad is telling another rambling story.

Back in the kitchen, Fran and Manny's mum are talking rather uncomfortably about her 'relationship' with Manny.

Back in the shop, Manny tries to impress his dad with stories.

Manny's mum and Fran come back into the shop. Manny's parents encourage Fran to stay on the couch with Manny, and then go to bed. Bernard goes to bed, wary of what he might overhear from Manny's parents.

Next shot opens with Fran and Manny asleep under a duvet in the shop, with customers browsing around them.

Manny parents are already up, having opened the shop. They have done some cleaning. Manny's mum has washed Manny's and Fran's clothes together, but had to wash Bernard's seperately.

Bernard's voice is heard coming from the kitchen, wondering who tidied his room, shaved him and washed his clothes. When he enters the shop - all his clothes are now white! and he looks tidier than we have ever seen him before.

Bernard tries to persuade Manny's parents to go out and explore London, maybe see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - he even offers them money, but they decline, saying they would prefer to stay with Bernard, Fran and Manny - all of whom look aghast.

Scene cuts to the shop later, and Bernard is back in black. Manny's parents are showing off pictures of him as a child. Fran and Bernard try to go to bed but as it's only 1pm, Manny gets them to stay. The parents continue to drive Bernard and Fran mad.

Fran and Bernard take Manny into the kitchen and threaten Manny to try and get him to make his parents leave within the hour.

Manny returns to the shop, and suggests they go but they say they want to stay until Wednesday. Manny concurs and then returns to the kitchen, and lies to Bernard and Fran, telling them his parents have gone.

Manny's dad comes into the kitchen and then back into the shop - Manny tries to block Bernard's and Fran's view of him. Bernard attacks Manny once more.

Fran, Bernard and Manny return to the shop. Fran and Bernard have packed his parents bags.

Manny is honest with his parents, but his parents are very understanding. He still asks them to go, and Fran and Bernard take the bags to the door.

His parents agree to go, but lay a guilt trip on Manny. Manny suggests he come and visit them. Bernard gives him a week off. Manny's parents leave happy.

When Bernard reminds Manny he now will have a whole week with them, Manny starts panicking again. Bernard and Fran start cracking their knuckles and singing to annoy him.

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