“Shameless” 2.04 Recap: “Fiona Gallagher Boned My Daddy”

Them pesky Gallaghers from Shameless are back with more sun-soaked chaos, with this week’s shenanigans centering around Debs’ festering loserdom problem and Frank’s increasingly tenuous tenure at Sheila’s place. The episode was light and fun, but managed to sandwich a good deal of angst between a few impressive pickle-shots and a bang of a capper. Let’s dig in!

It’s Cheerio-peppered bedlam at Debbie Day Care, which drives Debs (Emma Kenney) to duck into the powder room to decapitate a Barbie in a fit of caregiver’s rage. (That powder room gets quite a bit of action this episode – is it the first time we’ve ever seen it? They’re getting their money’s worth on that set!) There’s a knock at the back door, and a blond with a baby asks for Fiona. Debs thinks it’s a potential client, but I’m more convinced it’s Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan) from True Blood. ’Cause it is.

Debs wakes Fiona (Emmy Rossum) for the new client intake, but when she gets downstairs the crazy blond goes at her with a bat (baby still strapped to her chest, mind you) – turns out it’s Lucy Jo Heisner (wife of Craig, with whom Fiona had momentously bad sex last episode) and she ain’t happy. She chases Fiona down an alley, howling like a polecat the whole way.

Frank (William H. Macy), meanwhile, comes into Sheila’s kitchen for breakfast but ends up getting a plateful of Jody’s (Zach McGowan) sausage instead. (As Jody points out while standing nude in the kitchen, “You gotta air it out.”) Now THAT is how you do full-frontal male nudity, folks!

Turns out Sheila is out trying to make her way to the beauty salon. Jody makes Frank eggs (still nude) and Fiona runs in and hides under the table. Frank joins her and they laugh that she’s turning into her father, and Frank points out that she’s always getting into trouble because she always “picks pussies”. Fiona texts this pearl of wisdom to Craig. Suddenly the breakfast meat arrives again, right in Fiona’s face: “You want some eggs?” I think we’ve got all the huevos we need for today, Jody – but thanks.

Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Karen (Laura Wiggins) are in the van rolling joints to sell to children from the ice cream truck. Ah, youth! When they finish Lip takes his shirt off, assuming that they’re going to have sex – but Karen says no and reminds him that she’s engaged. He says she doesn’t even know Jody, and she replies, “I know enough to know he’s enough.” She says she hopes that they can still be friends and they notice that Carl has installed a shrine to Megan Fox on the van’s ceiling.

Speaking of Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), he’s made a new friend named Little Hank who has his own housesitting business. Currently he and Carl are chugging airline-sized liquor bottles from a client’s stash when said client – who is a little person – comes home unexpectedly and of course runs them out of the house for raiding his bar. On the way out Carl notes, “I thought you were kidding about the midget thing!”

Back at home, Kevin (Steve Howey) is in the above-ground pool trying to talk Ethel (Madison Davenport) into joining, but she won’t without her “swimming costume”. Kev gives Fiona a hard time about her Craig problem, pointing out that if she keeps it up all the guys will have to “run their dicks through the dishwasher”. Hey – maybe that’s what Jody was up to? I hope he remembered to add the no-spot rinse!

Fiona notices that Debs has a huge rash on her arm and takes her to Veronica (Shenola Hampton) for a diagnosis. During the appraisal she admits to calling Steve. No bigs! Oh, and it’s a stress rash from Debs having to deal with all the daycare kids. I know of a Barbie who would support that diagnosis.

Carl and Hank steal saltshakers and bras from a sweet old man’s house, peeing on his plant on the way out. I’m starting to gather that they aren’t licensed housesitters.

In town, Fiona is trying to talk Debs into having a pool party to help her cut loose a little, when suddenly Lucy Jo zooms past and nails Fiona in the face with some kind of iced beverage (“SLUUUUUUUUUUUT!”). Fiona notes, “At least it’s chocolate.” Eeew – what? Anyway, this show is basically turning into Glee only with less singing and more full-frontal male nudity.

Back at Sheila’s, Lip tries to get dirt on Jody from Frank, who is panicking about Sheila’s almost having made it to the Alibi. (We also see SheilaJoan Cusack – at the beauty salon, loudly telling the lady under the dryer next to her that “THIS IS BETTER THAN SEX!”) Lip advises, “No one trades an MVP”, but Frank thinks that he can scare Sheila into wanting to stay at home again. Jody walks in wearing a towel, which he promptly drops in front of Lip. Lip asks him out for a beer. Hey – straight guys, they’re just like us!

At the playground, Kev is coaching a bunch of kids in basketball, and Ethel clearly has eyes for a young black kid named Malik. The two of them bond over the fact that they are both 15-year-olds with babies. Eesh. What, don’t kids trade Pokemons anymore?

Back at Sheilas, Frank is systematically breaking things so that he can then fix him and appear indispensable.

Fiona and V take the train, and we see that Lucy Jo and her kids standing on the sidewalk below the platform with a banner that reads “FIONA GALLAGHER BONED OUR DADDY” . Fiona is unfazed by the display, but understandably concerned that Debs has no friends.

Lip and Jody are at the Alibi (Jody: “Weird, Karen’s phone number is written in the stall!”), and Lip wastes no time stealing Jody’s wallet and phone to try to find out more about him, but all he finds is a photo of a dog wearing pearls. What that WHAT? Karen stomps in and demands that Lip give Jody’s things back, and when Lip kisses her, she pulls away. Lip says that she deserves better and she says she really doesn’t. Ouch. She also calls Lip a “retard” and he says that “that dyke chick from Glee says it’s not okay to say that word.” Double-ouch. And aside from the rather insensitive “that dyke chick” part, ANOTHER Glee reference? I’m betting even odds that by the time this episode is over, SOMEONE will be going to Sectionals.

Jasmine (Amy Smart) swings her boozed-up hooker behind by the house to see Fiona – or, rather, to do coke off of Fiona’s kitchen counter and use her shower to wash off last night’s high-roller trick. She tells Fiona that Richard is coming back soon and he’s rich so Fiona should have sex with him. Fiona, don’t take advice from a woman who just admitted to having slept on a boat last night.

Upstairs, Ian (Cameron Monaghan – hey, remember him?!) is doing math and Lip is reading a background check he had done of Jody, which pulls up nothing more than a restraining order … in the wrong direction. Looks like Jody might be as clean as his junk.

Downstairs, Debs is teaching the daycare kids “The people on the bus all smell like pee” while Ethel flirts with Malik while sitting in what is likely several years of spilled cereal on the kitchen floor. Ethel has to step away to help Deb with a particularly onerous diaper situation.

Sheila, meanwhile, is taking Karen wedding dress shopping. Jody calls Sheila “Mom”, which is kind of adorable, really.

Fiona is in the kitchen when a brick with “HOME WRECKER” written on it comes through the window. She tells Carl that he should come to the sleepover tomorrow (his reply: “Sounds gay.”).

Frank goes to the Alibi and steals Stan’s gun (a Luger stolen off of a dead Nazi) from behind the counter. He then goes to find Mickey (Noel Fisher), who is shooting cardboard cutouts under the train tracks, to ask for ammo. Mickey tries to tell Frank that they don’t even make ammo for that gun anymore, but Frank steals a single bullet and jams it in the clip anyway and runs off. Wait – are Ian and Mickey still knocking Chucks? Now that Mickey doesn’t look like Pigpen all the time I’m actually much more interested in seeing him and the Ginger GI have a go at it (romance, that is – eyes up here!).

Anyway, Frank gets Sheila and/or Karen in his sights, pulls the trigger, and shoots his own eye out. Ha! Should’ve listened to the gay kid. At the bar, Frank commiserates about his injury with a one-armed guy.

Debs, meanwhile, is determined to ask some girl named Holly to her sleepover, and enlists the help of a young nerd named Simon (we know he’s a nerd because he wears glasses and plays chess). Holly turns out to be an extremely trashy girl who looks to be about 16 and has based her signature look off of the film Sucker Punch. Debs asks her to come to her party and when she finds out that they can watch an R-rated movie and Lip will be there, she accepts.

At home, Lip and Ian are prepping for the party while watching a show about pole dancers. Ian confirms that he’s still gay and Lip says that he might plant naked pics of Liam on Jody’s laptop. Fiona decides that Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down is a bit too risque for a couple of 4th graders, but then V pops in with the bad news that they both have to work a private party at the club the next night anyway, so Fiona won’t be able to attend the sleepover. Fiona goes into the Powder Room of Utter Despair, and calls Steve. She leaves a message on his voicemail inviting him to Debs’ party.

Next door, Kev tells V that Ethel is hanging out with Malik and V responds, “I don’t want her dating that black kid,” leading Kev to call her a racist. She says she just doesn’t like that particular black kid and his baby, not all black kids. But Kev is adorably amused that Ethel has brought out her “momma bear”.

Ian picks the absolutely wretched Nightmare on Elm Street remake as the sleepover movie, which means that he and I are officially OVER. Carl comes in with some intel on Karen, whom he is apparently tailing for Lip. Ian tells Lip it’s probably for the best that he’s not with Karen anymore anyway, and they get into an argument. Carl mentions that he got his first woody in history class, when they learned about Marie Antoinette getting her head cut off. Budding psychopaths say the darnedest things!

Over schnitzel, Sheila mentions that she is now within a half-block of making it to the Alibi, so Frank pretends to be sick to get her to stay in (it doesn’t work). When she leaves, Jody comes in asking if Frank wants to play Husker Du? (what’s with all the odd European references in this scene, btw?). Suddenly the door opens and the one-armed guy from earlier stumbles in covered in fake blood and yelling about a bus accident. Jody runs out and Frank tells his friend that his performance was great, but it was the wrong audience.

Turns out Debs’ new friend Holly is indeed 15 and still in the 4th grade. And she looks like a Bratz doll come to horrible, shimmering life. For whatever reason, Debs takes an instant shine to Little Hank (who looks like he needs vacuuming) and has nothing but scorn for Simon, who clearly digs her. Hank, meanwhile, sniffs Holly’s hair and says it smells “like cigarettes and coconuts”. Upstairs, Lip is having crazy, ass-against-the-wall sex with Mandy (Emma Greenwell), each with their hand over the other’s mouth. He decides her talents could be used elsewhere, and sends her to seduce Jody.

Fiona is walking home when Adam (James Wolk) pulls up, hammered, in his convertible. She drives him to her house.

Carl wants to duct tape a sleeping Holly and put her in the van (they really aren’t pulling any punches on the whole Ted Bundy, Jr. gag, are they?), but she gets up to go to the bathroom and tries to seduce Lip by crawling on top of him in his bed. He wisely kicks her out immediately, so she goes home. Debs is furious, telling Lip, “You could have just done her so my party woulnd’t have sucked.” Good point.

Over at Sheila’s, she’s ready to go to the Alibi at the crack of dawn but Frank (still sporting an eye patch from when he TRIED TO SHOOT HER) reminds her that “his shift” doesn’t start until noon. Oh – she thinks he WORKS there? HA! Instead, she puts her foot up his ass. Like, literally – piggy by piggy. It’s certainly one of the stranger scenes of late, but just hold on.

Adam wanders into the kitchen in his boxers – SO CUTE – after having slept it off on their couch. There’s a scene going on but I’m distracted by the patterns in his chest hair. Oh, right – Craig (Taylor Kinney) and Lucy Jo show up so that Craig can apologize to both Fiona and Lucy Jo together, and Fiona excuses herself to the Powder Room of Perpetual Sorrow once again – this time to have a panic attack, laugh hysterically, and then cry. Or as I call it, “Monday Morning”.

Outside, Kev, V, Lip and Debs are playing chicken in the pool when Karen shows up. Lip gets out to greet her and she thanks him by knocking him over and kicking the crap out of him. She tells him she knows he sent Mandy to seduce Jody – which didn’t work, btw – and that Lip had better stay away from her AND her baby. Baby? Oh my. Lip is clearly concerned that it’s his, but am I right in thinking that Liam is the only male on the show who is NOT in the running to be the father?

But the best has been saved for last: Sheila leaves to go to the Alibi, and Frank grabs the duffel he has stashed in the coat closet, clearly resigned to the fact that this gig is up. But when Sheila pauses on the sidewalk to read her map, AN AIRPLANE WHEEL CRASHES INTO THE SIDEWALK immediately in front of her. Finally, something terrifying enough to trigger her agoraphobia – she runs screaming back into the house, and Frank utters a “THANK YOU” to the heavens.

Oh, and the Gallaghers’ front door now reads “HUSBAND F*CKER”, btw.

Oh – and SCENE.

Overall, a pretty fun episode. Seeing Debbie Pelt Britt Morgan once again play a jealous lady with a flair for the dramatic was pretty fun – and it was actually touching to see Fiona crack under the pressure like that. I’m alarmed at how many slutty underage girls are apparently incubating in the South Side – they’re like bedbugs with lines of credit at Hot Topic. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Nothing makes for better television than close-up pickle shots and airplane wheels.

I’d say it earns an ice-cold eight Old Styles:

So that’s just my opinion – what did you think of the episode? Do you think Steve (Justin Chatwin) will be back next week? (I do, and I hope he brings Julia Duffy with him.) Does Veronica seem distracted and possibly unhappy? (I do.) Do you think the baby is Lip’s? (I do.) And do you agree that we REALLY some more Ian time?

In 2003, Brian launched the world's first website devoted to horror film from a gay perspective (CampBlood.org), mining an untapped (and occasionally unintentional) source of entertainment and bringing together a huge and colorful population of gay horror fans and filmmakers. When he's not pulling skeletons out of closets, Brian writes reviews for horror megasite Bloody-Disgusting.com, general film site Freezedriedmovies.com, and can be found on the ever-informative RottenTomatoes.com. Brian is also a filmmaker, having produced, written, and directed two shorts (the dark romantic comedy An Apple a Day and the eerie suspense piece Two Story House) that have played at film festivals worldwide and left audiences generally uneasy. A born-and-bred Midwesterner, Brian studied Mass Media and Film at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (I know – crazy, right?) before fleeing the district for the warm and occasionally stinky shores of NYC. Brian is a proud member of the Online Film Critics Society, loving husband to illustrator Andy Swist, and benevolent overlord of their two cats.