“Shameless” 2.05 Recap: “If She Charges By the Load, So Can We!”

After last week’s Worst Sleepover Ever, Shameless picked up the pace a bit this week with an episode filled with surprise reveals, misunderstandings, and of course the requisite levels of booze, vomit and sex. All in a day’s work!

We start things off on a yacht, momentarily confusing my Sunday night Showtime-watching self into thinking that this is actually Dexter. My confusion is doubled when the group of seafaring revelers snag the catch of the week: a corpse! Ah, but this isn’t the work of the Lake Michigan Butcher – it’s the thawed-out remains of Eddie Jackson.

Ethan Cutosky and Emma Kenney

Back at Gallagher House, Carl (Ethan Cutosky) has rented Frank’s room to a hooker known as Double-Bag Bev – a name she didn’t get from working at the grocery store. We also get a flash nightmare of Carl as a drug mule about to swallow a condom full of some kind of narcotic. [SHUDDER] Carl and Li’l Hank (Nicky Corba) try to drill a hole in the bathroom wall so that they can charge kids to watch Bev shower, but Fiona (Emmy Rossum) insists, “No peepholes!” Richard calls to ask Fiona to a wedding, and Bev interrupts the call to ask, “Got any Vagisil? I’ve been scratchin’ under the hood all night!”

Over at Sheila’s, Frank (William H. Macy) apparently puked on the porch (and himself) and Jody (Zach McGowan) and his enormous penis had to clean it up. Jody has also made scrambled eggs and bacon bits for “Mom”, who is still shell-shocked from the whole airplane-tire-from-the-sky thing. Frank knocks on her door and Sheila (Joan Cusack) passes him a full bedpan that looks more like a salad bowl. He tells her that Eddie’s body was found in the lake and she takes it well. Not.

Jody goes into the bathroom to break it to Karen (Laura Wiggins) that her dad is dead, but she’s more interested in getting Jody’s pants off. Which she does. He eventually gives up on breaking her the good/bad news and lets her go to town.

Debs (Emma Kenney) grills Carl about Li’l Hank and learns that he’s into knives and swords and all the things that any self-respecting budding Dahmer is into. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) eats Cheerios and waves to let us know that yes, he is still on the show and among the living. When Lip (Jeremy Allen White) tries to talk Debs out of going for Hank, she tells him, “The heart wants what the heart wants – you should know that better than anyone.” Touche, Li’l Ginge.

Meanwhile, the hooker is hogging the washing machine, which irks Fiona: “If she can charge by the load, so can we.” HA! Okay, that was good, Fi. Then she smacks Lip for knocking up Karen (a guess she’s making based on odds) and tells him that she’s not taking care of another kid.

William H. Macy

Back at Sheila’s, Frank fake-cries to try to get her to tell him where Eddie’s money and financial records are. Sheila, thankfully, is too much of a mess to pick up on his cues.

Veronica (Shenola Hampton), meanwhile, schools Ethel (Madison Davenport) on the various nicknames for crack that she will no doubt be offered at the playground. When she finds out that Ethel is going to said playground with Malik, she is concerned. She also learns that Kev lied about coaching a game the night before – is he stepping out on her?

Back home, Deb is whored up in makeup and bathing in Fiona’s perfume in the hopes of attracting Hank. It’s like Toddlers and Tiaras: Unsupervised.

Frank stops by the Alibi Room, then realizes that he’s going to need an alibi of his own when the cops come sniffing around about Eddie. He takes his pint to go and runs.

Fiona borrows some crazy pumps from V to go with her stolen dress for the wedding, and she asks why V has turned the house upside-down. Fiona says there’s no way Kev would cheat on V, but V shows her a badly-written love note on a napkin that she found in Kev’s pocket. This has Three’s Company “misunderstanding” written all over it, no? I can’t wait until she overhears Kev having trouble opening a jar in the next room and thinks that he’s boning the meter man.

William H. Macy and Jeremy Allen White

Frank lectures Lip on the fact that neglect is the greatest gift that a parent can give a child. Ugh. Ian won’t be a fake alibi for Frank either, as it might compromise his West Point application, which is currently his only reason for living, apparently.

Ethel and Malik have a date that consists of pushing their respective babies around in strollers (kids these days!) and Ethel reveals that she was held down by her sister-wives the first dozen or so times she and her husband tried to have a baby. Malik is understandably horrified.

V and her new ’do drop by the Alibi to see Kev (Steve Howey) and catches him lying about the game the night before. Uh-oh.

Emmy Rossum

Richard picks Fiona up at a luxury building that isn’t hers (she gave him Adam’s address) and “lends” her an amazing diamond necklace to go with her dress.

Back at home there’s talk of an Independence Day BBQ, even though it’s August. Turns out this party is in honor of a neighborhood woman who killed her abusive husband with a nail gun in his sleep. Charming! Deb asks Kev for advice on getting guys’ attention.

Sheila, meanwhile, is excited about turning the basement into a nursery for Karen’s baby (oh – Karen just told Lip that she and Jody are already married, btw), and has even picked out a Baby Lo-Jack for the kid. I don’t know what that is but it sounds kind of awesome. Meanwhile, Frank decides to try to get an alibi from a pro: Mickey’s dad.

Robert Gant

At the fancypants wedding, Fiona notices Barbra Streisand’s name among the guest name cards. As though on cue, none other than out actor Robert Gant (heeeeyy!) appears as a rich straight friend of Richard’s. Richard says, “Fiona Princeton blah blah blah” and since Gant’s character also went to Princeton he grills her on dorm names and she probably gets something wrong, otherwise this wouldn’t be the scene from Pretty Woman that it is clearly trying to be. Gant looks great, btw. Where you been, boo?

Frank gets arrested, finally, and pegs the detective as a lesbian (sorry, “Bulldyke”, in the local parlance) but his alibi is a moot point when she shows him the video of him and Karen having sex. Whoopsies!

V trails Kev and follows him to a fancy building where he meets a blandly attractive white girl. She tries to follow them but is locked out. Babydaddy Lo-Jack!

Richard and Fiona flirt upstairs in the fancy house in front of pictures of old white dudes and their urologist (“Gerald Ford was hung like a bear” is a sentence I never really needed to hear, but thanks) and she kisses him right before running down to catch the actual wedding.

Holly the Sucker Punch stand-in stops by the house to get her panties back (what? is this chick delusional?) and Debs, with her face painted like a RuPaul’s Drag Race reject, somehow talks her into coming to the BBQ as a double-date. God, this is really disturbing.

The cops let Frank go. Whah?

V seduces Kev when he gets home … and as soon as he’s naked, she handcuffs him to a chair. He’s initially excited but practical (“If you’re gonna sit on my face, I have that sinus thing.”), but that turns to concern when she lays down butcher’s paper (“For the blood”) and grabs the garden shears. She demands to know who he’s banging, but he swears he’s just getting tutored to read, because he can’t. Somehow I believe him. And I do recall a scene early last season when Lip mentioned that he did Kev’s taxes for him every year, which supports his illiteracy claim.

Frank is apprehensive about returning to Sheila’s, but he learns that Karen actually confessed to raping him while he was zonked on horse pills (which was actually the case). Sheila: “I’m so sorry my daughter raped you!” He runs into Karen in the hall and it turns out she took the heat because she thinks Frank killed Eddie, whom she hated. Even Stevens!

Back at My Best Sugardaddy’s Wedding, Robert Gant calls Fiona on the Princeton lie and accuses her of being an escort, so she immediately admits to Richard that she lied about Princeton, gives him back the necklace, and bolts. Well-played! He chases after her.

Cameron Monaghan and friend

Back at home, Carl opens the door for the Colonel from a few episodes ago – he thinks he’s a john for Bev (Ha!) but Ian arrives to speak with him. Turns out he’s there to hand-deliver a West Point application … for Lip. Whoopsies!

Deb gets makeup tips from Mandy (Emma Greenwell). What, were all the local raccoons busy? Her dad walks by, sees Debs, and asks, “Who’s your friend?” Good Godric this show is screwy.

Ian is doing pushups (don’t let me interrupt!) when Lip comes home. Ian is furious that the Colonel thought Lip was interested in West Point all along, but Lip insists he just didn’t have the opportunity to explain yet that he was asking on his brother’s behalf. I believe him, but Ian is furious. After Ian calls Karen a whore, they fight – in the shower, so it’s a bit pornier than maybe it should be – and Ian has the chance to knock Lip’s face against the tub, but doesn’t. He leaves Lip in the shower, snarling, “I’ll make West Point on my own.”

Nicky Corba and Emma Kenney

At the BBQ, Carl is swatting at a pinata shaped like a man with “DAD” written on it. Hello, central metaphor! Nice of you to join us – the cooler’s over there.

Looks like Frank was right – the detective IS a lesbian, and she’s at the BBQ with her hot girlfriend. She tells Frank she’s gonna get him.

Debs, meanwhile, is making the moves on Li’l Hank but he’s wasted. She stops him from choking on his own puke (atta girl!) and he gives her the flowers he got for Holly. Ah, you romantic schemer!

Meanwhile, Jody can’t get the gas grill to light so he puts his face right up to the grate as he tries the pilot. OMG I TOTALLY THOUGHT HE WAS GONNA BURN HIS FACE OFF because hot damn if I haven’t lost an eyebrow or two doing the same stupid thing myself.

Holly hits on Lip with this gem: “I got a morning after pill from my sister.” Forget the dowry, kiddo – this one’s a keeper!

Back at Kev and V’s, Veronica is ready to apologize, having ambushed Kev’s supposed lady friend and realizing that she is, indeed, a reading tutor (the moment when an embarrassed V quietly puts her hoop earrings back in and walks away is priceless). She drops her robe to reveal that her impossibly hot bod is dotted with Post-It notes with the names of her body parts written on them. Awwww – see, she’s helping him learn to read! She is also responsible for making my husband bark “FUNBAGS!” in a fit of hilarity.

Lip deliberately provokes one of the sons of the lady who went to jail for the nail gun thing, and he gets the tar kicked out of him. He seems to enjoy it.

Malik tells Ethel at the barbecue that his dad (who is in prison) is gonna “take care” of Ethel’s husband. We see exactly what that means: he stabs the guy in the shower. While violence is never the answer here at the Ricki Lake Show, I gotta say – good for him.

Richard drops Fiona off at her REAL house and notes that it looks like the house he grew up in. He really does seem like a decent guy. But just then someone walks down the steps of the house next door – it’s Steve (Justin Chatwin)! He asks a stunned Fiona if she has seen Tony and she manages to say “no”. As he gets into the car he tells her that she looks great. She, as Madonna might say, is “cuntstruck”:

During the credits, we see Karen at her father’s grave, which is spitting distance from a tire shop. She looks around, drops her panties, and pisses on the stone. Oh for the love of Handi-Wipes.

Overall, I liked this episode. We got some movement on a few of the storylines (Eddie/Karen/Frank/Sheila/Jody/Lip), Fiona’s ill-fated Princess Day actually showed her strength in the face of potential humiliation, and I’m a sucker for anything Kev and Veronica. Debs in makeup was terrifying – on the one hand I find her character extremely troubling this season, but on the other I give the show credit for spending so much time and attention to a young girl’s development, which is pretty tricky stuff that you don’t really see that often.

On the other hand, I’m getting increasingly peeved at the sidelining of Ian. It seems all he does anymore is he walk through twice an episode to shower, say the words “West Point” and argue with Lip. What’s going on between him and Mickey? Does he have any friends? Is he still working with crazy Linda at the Kash and Grab? They’d seriously better give him something to do soon.

Oh – and hats off to whoever was in charge of maintaining the continuity of Frank’s episode-long vomit stain. The devil is in the details!

I say it merits

What’d you think of the episode? I’ve been hearing some folks around the Net saying that they think this season is weaker than the first – I don’t disagree entirely, but I do think that the season is finding its pace and laying groundwork for some larger arcs. And I haven’t been bored yet, anyway. You?

Writer-filmmaker Brian Juergens launched CampBlood.org, the world's first website devoted to horror films from a gay perspective, in 2003.