A snowless (holy continuity editing, Batman!) montage of the usual Boston street scenes gives way to Elka inside of the firehouse, tidying up her room and telling us, "My dad and my brother are coming to visit me this weekend. They're just going to spend some time with me, check out my living quarters, and meet my roommates." And thus all dramatic action for the next half-hour (if by "half-hour," you mean "eighteen minutes of montage-filled, faux-ska-drenched, so-glad-I-decided-to-do-this-rather-than-Twin-Peaks-today minutes") has now been set inexorably in motion. The time has come in the Repressed Catholic Girl Story Arc for the visit from Creepy Controlling Father, who will ride into town on the lofty breeze of his decisive moral convictions to try and reassert the precepts of Basic Good in the Universe to his increasingly wayward daughter. It would have benefited Julie from New Orleans greatly to have checked this tape out of the expansive Bunim-Murray viewing library, lest she think her visit with her father had any real chance of going well. Then again, this tape must have gone missing from the B-M archives some time ago, seeing as the producers crafted that exact same story arc at the exact same point in the New Orleans season as they did back in Boston. And there's no way they would have done that on purpose more than once.
Elka continues from room to architecturally confusing room, cleaning like a madwoman and clearly bearing in mind that essential first commandment of Captain Catholicism's Holy House Visiting Dictum, "Thou Shalt Not Leave Dainty Pier One Throw Pillows on God's Holy Product-Placed Rugs." She notes a cheesy-as-all-get-out wall hanging depicting two Xena-like naked tree-dwelling women, one with wings and a tail smooching a leggy (and similarly naked) blond. She observes that it "has to go." Word. I wasn't, in fact, aware that "right-wing conservatism" had become synonymous with "all things tastefully decorated throughout the universe," but if my further research on the matter proves this hypothesis to be true, I'll see all you good country folk on Sunday morning. And at least we know why there wasn't any snow in the opening montage for the first time in fifteen episodes: it's difficult to maintain cold weather patterns when Elka and her morally wayward roommates are already in the process of burning in Hell.
On her way to Emotional Manipulation International Airport, Elka voice-overs, "I feel good when I talk to my father and I sense that he understands me. And I don't think he understands me just yet, so I still have a lot of talking to do with him." Eh? Was that a palindrome? The stock footage plane whose last mistake was depositing Timber on New England soil in last week's episode now delivers unto Boston Elka's father and "Brian," who The Squiggly Hip Font of Character Introduction helpfully alerts us is "Elka's brother." Elka hugs her dad and then turns around to spot Brother Brian. She hugs him noncommittally and asks how their flight was, and he stares in terror at her and chokes out, "I am now on television, and believe I have just soiled myself." Actually, he just says, "it was a little rough." He seems a little nervous.
A camera follows behind the cab at O.J.-chase-speed, and since there was no microphone in the car, we are treated to a conversation that I'm sure took place at a completely different time, in which Elka informs Captain Catholicism that she wants to get her eyebrow pierced: "Either that or my nose." He offers a demoralizing "no" in the vicinity of eight times, ambiguously telling her, "You can pierce the back of your head, underneath the hair there, somewhere." And for someone with such entrenched religious convictions, that suggestion sounds more than a little on the "satanic ritual" side of the ol' Great Piercing Spectrum, wouldn't you say? And say, Dad, where was your heaven-sent fashion consultant when you reached into your closet that morning in Brownsville and thought, "Daddy's gonna be on the TV. Daddy's gotta look good. So for Daddy, it's gotta be the patterned sweater vest."