Across town, Laoise, whose sudden new hairdo features a lot of highlights and looks completely fab, is looking at a photo of herself with Peadar. Micheál and his same old haircut wander in and comment that they can’t believe it’s been two years since he died. That does seem hard to fathom! As they reminisce about his passing they start making out, as one does, and we get our first Réailtín sighting of the year (hurrah!) when she strolls in and starts rolling her eyes and making barfy faces like Mr. Yuk, whom those of us who were American children in the 1970s remember warning us that poison tastes bad and therefore we should hold our noses while drinking it. Anyway, Micheál advises her to shut up and eat her breakfast, which gives her an opportunity to point out that he wouldn’t have to feed her or watch her being sullen all over the place all the time if he’d send her to boarding school like she wants. Hmm, if that’s the upside maybe he should send Laoise to boarding school, too. He ignores her and heads off to the lipstick factory or wherever he works, at which point Laoise tells Réailtín she’ll be moving back in soon, but that it’s a secret so she can’t tell anyone. Réailtín’s response is basically, “Don’t worry, I don’t have anyone to tell because I don’t have any friends here and am miserable, unlike at boarding school, where I would be popular and happy.” I tend to think of being sent to boarding school as punishment, which is why when my coworkers complain about their annoying, out-of-control children, I always suggest they send them to an out-of-state military boarding school. Because she is The New Girlfriend trying to win brownie points, Laoise agrees to have a word with Micheál on Réailtín’s behalf instead of telling her to knock it off and go to school like she would’ve last season, or telling her to go jump off a bridge as she was always telling her nemesis Fia.
Over at the community center, Caitríona and Adam are discussing
At their place, Mack informs Dee that a big box has arrived for her in the post, which is obviously going to turn out to be a DNA test, but which she claims is a box of vitamins. He’s satisfied with this explanation because vitamins are a thing he has heard of, so he shrugs and goes back to drinking a cup of tea or whiskey or chocolate milk or whatever he drinks. This seems like a lot of charade for nothing since Mack would shrug and go back to watching Top Gear even if the box said “SECRET DNA TEST” in big letters on the side, but OK. Dee conveniently notices that he’s left his toothbrush on the kitchen counter again, because brushing his teeth in the kitchen is apparently a thing Mack does with some regularity, so he offers to return it to the bathroom, where he presumably washes dishes. She says she’ll do it herself and sends him hobbling off to wherever he goes during the day, and once the coast is clear, she grabs his toothbrush and the SECRET DNA TEST, stopping to pop her birth-control pill along the way.
New hairdos abound at the shop, where Frances’ is poofy and windswept, as if she’s just wandered in from a Beyoncé video, and Tadhg’s is hard to describe, so we are going to call it “geometric.” (Actually they both look fine, especially Frances.) He mocks her budding romance with Cóilí Jackie, which fizzled amidst a lot of awkward gulping (her) and threatening to disrobe (him) last week while I was unable to recap due to being hurricaned. She tells him to stick it in his ear, and he snickers with glee like the delightful little pixie he is.
In someone’s living room, Dee has conjured Jay into existence and is apologizing ominously for what she’s about to do as she puts on some surgical gloves that were apparently designed for a giant. Wait, is she about to produce a needle and draw blood or something? What kind of SECRET DNA TEST is this??
After the break, the dramatic placement of which supports our feeling that Dee is doing something more medically intrusive than swabbing poor Jay’s mouth, we’re at the shop, where a buoyant John Joe is explaining to a feather-haired Vince that Caitríona is intimately involved in the quarry’s business for some reason now and that it seems they’ll be back to work soon. Vince thinks this is iontach, but David, who now has the haircut of one of the Housemartins circa 1986, has been blatantly eavesdropping while slinking around the shop nervously. Oh, God, please let David’s storyline this year be that he has developed kleptomania!!! Sadly, it seems he’s just been looking for an opportunity to insert himself in this conversation and tell John Joe he’s happy things have worked out in spite of all that half-hearted protesting he did last week, chaining himself to the front of Apache Pizza and so on. John Joe hisses that he’s not going to forgive David that easily for what he did, so then there is a debate between those two great life philosophies, “let bygones be bygones” and “kiss my ass, jerk.” Just then John Joe gets a phone call from Tom the foreman, whose full name may or may not be Tom Foreman, stating that he and “the lads” have decided they’re not going to do any work until they get a load of back pay, and when John Joe whispers into the phone that he doesn’t have that kind of money right now, Tom Foreman hangs up on him. Well, time for Katy to go spelunking in the heat vent again.
Across town, Katy saunters into Tadhg’s kitchen defiantly and then acts aggrieved when he tells her to beat it. She’s brought him some takeaway from Gaudi as either a peace offering or as a way of finishing him off once and for all, but he tells her where she can shove it and tries to throw her out again. She says that they need to sit down and sort this out once and for all, as if there are factors to this other than the fact that she stole a lot of money from him. In the course of the bickering, she mentions that John Joe’s builders are demanding back pay before they’ll go back to work and then strides off, causing Tadhg to look dyspeptic into the middle distance as she goes.
Laoise arrives at the Korean taco truck or wherever Micheál works to deliver cups of tea or bourbon. She launches into a soliloquy about how mature Réailtín is, not at all like the girl in the miniskirt we saw throwing up vodka and Red Bull on the side of the school last year, and then casually mentions that the poor lass really misses someone named Sinéad we have never heard of, but who is apparently her BFF and now attends Father Dougal’s School For Precociously Wayward Or Waywardly Precocious Girls in Bray or wherever. Micheál’s response—as with all of Réailtín’s problems—is that she’ll get over it, adding that she should try concentrating on her studies and also being less stupid all the time. The sad thing is that Micheál is actually one of the better parents on this show. Laoise eventually admits that she’s been sent here as a secret agent of international spy agency R.É.A.I.L.T.Í.N., but now that her cover has been blown, she’ll have to bite down on her cyanide molar to evade capture. I’m paraphrasing.
Back at the abandoned quarry, John Joe is leaving voicemails for Dee, who as you may recall is a world-famous quarry lawyer, but of course she’s busy spinning Jay in a centrifuge to isolate his DNA and can’t come to the phone right now. Tadhg appears from behind a puddle and then there is a lot of discussion about the intricacies of this year’s rock harvest in various EU regions and so on. Tadhg offers to give the lads their back pay so they’ll get back to work, and then produces a folded packet of paper with a list of names of people who need large quantities of rocks at low, low prices. They pass the paper back and forth, slapping each other in the chest with it a lot, and they agree to go out for a nice dinner and a film and then see where things go. It’s possible I’m only semi-paying attention to this.
Back at Berni’s, everyone is having a lovely conversation about what a good man Peadar was, which gives Berni an opportunity to call Fia a bitch again. Niall points out that Berni is one to talk, and she asks him what that’s supposed to mean, and they bicker across the table for a while. Ordinarily Bobbi Lee would eat this squabbling up and somehow broadcast it on the radio, or at least put it on speakerphone so Pádraig and Adam can listen in, but because it’s Peadar’s Mass Day thing, she tries to create a distraction by offering to pour everyone a nice cup of tea or take her top off. That last part is implied. When Niall argues that he’s just trying to make a good life for his son, Berni deals the lowest low blow by pointing out that it’s too bad he didn’t try to make a good life for his stepdaughter rather than jumping into bed with her. Those of us who are old enough to remember the “Mortal Kombat” videogame are all screaming at Niall to FINISH HER, but Máire interrupts and threatens to have various heart attacks and whatnot if they don’t knock it off, thus putting a momentary stop to the hostilities, like when the Bloods and the Crips call temporary ceasefires to have Thanksgiving dinner together.
John Joe has come to visit Tadhg, which lets him lament the fact that he can’t have a minute’s peace without some Donegal idiot parading through his kitchen. There is quarry talk, and John Joe accepts Tadhg’s offer to pay David to eat a rock and let Caitríona film it or something. We will probably have to care about the details of all this at some point, but not right now.