We see someone pulling a suitcase down the street, and it turns out to be…Katy! It would’ve been more of a surprise to see her if her presence in the new opening credits hadn’t made it clear that she would be back eventually, but still. She barely recognizes the place, what with all the new high-rise buildings and the fresh coat of paint on the plastic ice cream cone outside the shop, but her apprehensive looking around and the fact that Jason is not there raises one giant question for us all, which is: How quickly can Dee arrive and start fighting with her?
Pól is sitting around the café like a creep when Fia shows up and starts arguing with him. He tells her that this has nothing to do with her and is just between him and Niall, which of course makes no sense, and then she pretends to grab up her purse and announces she’s going to go report this blackmail plot to the Gardaí, but this charade immediately unravels when he tells her to sit down and stop embarrassing herself. She feebly pretends that these shocking allegations are untrue, but he tells her he overheard her and Evan talking about it at Gaudi yesterday, so she can knock it off. At this she changes tack and pleads that if he tells people about this, her life will be ruined. I think that ship may have already sailed, but OK. In the course of the bickering we discover that Pól thinks Fia and Niall are in a relationship now, and is clearly jealous about it, and furthermore explains that the totally legitimate and non-disgusting reason he’s doing this is that he wants some money. Well, as long as he’s got a good reason. He promises her that if Niall gives him €1000 he’ll never ask for another penny again, which of course none of us believes for one second, and then he looks downtrodden and wanders off, because this is clearly all very hard on him.
After we all finish throwing up, we cut to Gaudi, which is another place in the village where people throw up. Katy hasn’t even taken her scarf off and is already being a complete pill to Pádraig, who says that if he’d known she was coming back, he would’ve plucked the hair out of the butter and scraped off the mushrooms that are growing on the bar. After she finishes making faces that demonstrate that she’s NOT HIDING ANYTHING, THAT’S FOR SURE, she starts complaining about the fact that there is a 6-foot-tall pyramid of toilet paper right inside the front door. Pádraig’s explanation is that he discovered you get a better deal on it if you buy 1000 rolls at a time, and while we understand that the customers at Gaudi go through a lot of toilet paper for some unknown reason, we see Katy’s point. Adam arrives and helpfully puts in his two cents, which causes Katy to roll her eyes a lot and ask what the hell he’s doing there and, more important, why he’s talking to her. She rakes the two of them over the coals for a while, and then does a matinee performance of It’s A Good Thing I Came Back with bonus scenes from Don’t Ask Where My Husband Is during the interval.
Back at the café, Niall seems to be transforming into a werewolf, growling his lines from somewhere in the vicinity of his small intestine and clawing at his hair until he looks like Lindsey Buckingham circa 1979. TUSK! He’s frustrated that Fia’s diplomatic mission to the Republic of Pól was a failure, although to be fair, it was always a bit like sending Paloma Faith to negotiate with Kim Jong-un. He sneers that he wishes they’d told Vanessa about this in the first place like he wanted to, and she tells him she’s tired of his whining and to just shut up and give Pól the money. When you don’t have eleven cents to your name, it’s easy to tell someone else to produce €1000 out of thin air and give it to a blackmailer to clean up the colossal mess you made. Niall says he’s not giving Pól a cent, because as soon as he spends this €1000 on comic books and bubblegum and heroin, he’ll be back with his hand out for more, but Fia counters that Pól totally promised he wouldn’t do that, and she believes him. This is as convincing an argument as last episode when she told Niall the reason he can’t possibly be Liam Óg’s father is that it’s not possible, but not to ask any follow-up questions. There is back-and-forthing, and she finally pleads with him that a single payment—of a thousand bloody euros, mind you—will make all this go away forever. Also, Niall is wearing a terrible plastic necklace that he is far too old for and that looks like something a douchebag would buy from the gift shop at the Honolulu Hilton because he is, like, totally into Hawaiian culture now.
Back at Gaudi, Mt. Bog Roll has disappeared, and Tadhg and Maggie are flirting with each other as usual. If this storyline doesn’t end with Frances wearing Maggie’s skin as a coat, preferably to her coronation as Ms. Ireland’s Villagiest Village, I shall be very disappointed. Anyway, Tadhg says he’s thinking of popping into Maggie’s “again tonight” to watch “another film,” which makes us very curious where he’s been telling Frances he keeps disappearing to for hours at a time every night. A Dyspeptics Anonymous meeting, I guess. She tells him she can’t tonight because she needs to stay home and practice wetting herself with Christmas delight before tomorrow night’s Toy Show, but that she’s going for a walk after lunch and he would be permitted to join her. I realize my love for Frances is probably coloring my feelings, but Maggie is really starting to piss me off. He’s unsure, but then she tells him she just might walk down to the bridge they used to have sex under years ago, and he folds like a house of cards. Ugh.
At his place, John Joe is joyfully throwing around baby Jay, whom we had forgotten existed, and asks Katy why she didn’t tell him she was coming home early, because he wasn’t expecting her till the 14th. He seems to be seeing Jay for the first time this visit, so we’re unclear what Katy did with him while she was out pulling her suitcase down the street and then arguing with Pádraig over toilet paper. Perhaps Katy had decided to make him checked baggage so the giant duty-free Toblerone could be her carry-on and he got misrouted to Gatwick. Anyway, she says it was a last-minute but non-suspicious decision to come home early, and explains that Jason is super-busy with the restaurant, bar, or cocaine ring they’re running in Tenerife and couldn’t get away. Well, the important thing is that they’re still together, and we’re sure the fact that Cuán stayed home with his overworked father while Jay came home with his mother is in no way meaningful. Despite the extreme fishy smell coming off this story, John Joe is very cute with the baby, and we’re sure Katy’s looking stricken in the background is because Ryanair gave her food poisoning and nothing else.
It seems to be reunion day on Ros na Rún, because minor felon Seán pops into the café, where he unhappily runs into Colm, who crosses his arms and puts on his angry face, which isn’t that different from his regular face, really. Fia sits down at another table, having been summoned by Pól so he can tell her that none of this is personal, which is perhaps the stupidest thing he’s ever said, and then asks her if they can still be friends, which immediately surpasses the previous thing as the new stupidest thing he’s ever said. She says “maybe,” on the condition that he keep his side of the bargain, and I’m really hoping she’s agreeing rather than telling him to feck off because she’s trying to stay on his good side and not because she actually has any interest in being friends with this doorty doort bird. He asks her what she even sees in Niall, and she retorts that she doesn’t see anything in him, and that they only slept together one time three years ago. Oops. She immediately realizes what she’s done and starts trying to distract Pól with the tricks that work on Liam Óg such as jingling her keys and playing “got your nose!”, but he’s too busy struggling to do the math in his head and eventually realizes this timeframe means Niall is the babydaddy! He freaks out and starts screaming “bastard” this and “frig” that, which is also his reaction when he can’t finish the junior crossword, but she hisses that if he wants to be friends with her, he’s got to keep his mouth shut.
Over on the sex bridge, Maggie is practically standing in Tadhg’s pocket and reminiscing about how the last time they were in this spot, she was threatening to go back to America, but then he asked her to stay. She brazenly takes his arm and leans into him, spewing some nonsense she knows will wrap him even more tightly around her little finger, but then he panics when he sees someone approaching who looks an awful lot like Mo. Oh, come now, there are much more exciting people than Mo who could find out about this first.
Maggie and Tadhg seem to have run all the way back to her house, because he’s completely out of breath. I guess they abandoned the car back on the Martian tundra. She’s making fun of him because the person he thought was Mo turned out to be some other random jogger, but he’s feeling pensive, saying that once again, just like 40 years ago, they’re living a lie, having to hide their relationship from everyone. Oh, boo hoo. She reminds him that there’s nothing to feel guilty about because they’re not doing anything wrong. Right, that’s why you haven’t told Frances all about it, because there’s nothing wrong with any of it. Maggie is such a phony. Sensing that Tadhg is having serious doubts about all this, she starts pulling his strings again like the master puppeteer she is, and of course the lesson here is that you should never trust Americans, because we are terrible.
The family reunion is complete as Dee and Mack have dropped by John Joe’s to pay tribute to the visiting royalty. Katy and Dee pretend to be happy to see each other, but also passive-aggressively talk shit about each other’s respectively secret and terrible weddings while smiling, and when Mack asks when Jason will be arriving, Katy is evasive and suddenly becomes very interested in the bottle she’s feeding Jay. Dee, meanwhile, is only interested in one thing, and that’s whether the prodigal daughter expects her flat back, because as we have all forgotten, she and Mack are living there now. Katy first tortures them by saying yes, she’d like it if they could be out by the end of the day today, and after they finish throwing up and then fainting into it, she laughs and says she’s kidding: this is only a quick visit and she’ll be staying with John Joe. Heh. I do enjoy it when the Daly sisters torture each other. Dee pretends to laugh at Katy’s funny funny joke, but you can tell that behind her smiling eyes she’s trying to figure out the best way to get a laxative into Katy’s food immediately.
At the pub, Mack is demonstrating how he broke up the fight between Niall and Pól earlier by grabbing Vince by the collar and shaking him vigorously, and judging by the startled look on Vince’s face, this reenactment would’ve gone better if Mack had warned him it was coming. Tadhg harasses Vince for a while, because he hasn’t seen him since the spring and has a backlog of insults stored up, and then an annoyed Frances appears and asks Tadhg where he’s been all day. He makes up a story about how he was at Nando’s doing that internet challenge where you drink a quart of each of their sauces in less than 5 minutes, but she’s not interested in his excuses because not only did she have to cover for him until Bobbi-Lee deigned to show up, but then she got in big trouble with Labhrás because she was late for her job at the community center. Yes, every day at 3 o’clock sharp she has to give Labhrás the Heimlich maneuver as he chokes on a grape, and he gets very cross if she’s even five minutes late. Maggie looks on, content in the fact that her antics aren’t hurting anyone, and when the subject returns to Pól, she puts on her best Snow White voice and says she can’t believe he’d do such a thing, because he’s ever so nice, and even introduced Niall as his friend! As usual, Gráinne cuts through the crap by telling her the explanation is that Pól is insane, and then Maggie remembers that she is a lifelong crusader for the homeless and suggests the town do a Christmas fundraiser to collect money. If we’re trying to raise money to buy Pól a one-way ticket to Siberia, put me down for $20.