“Shameless” 2.10 Recap: “Stick It in the Wrong Milkovich?”

The creme brulee really hit the fan this week, what with missing, illegally-imported boyfriends, car crashes, incest pregnancies and a garbage bag full of drugs messing up the otherwise perfectly normal and generally uneventful lives of the Gallagher clan.

Let’s dig in!

William H. Macy and Chloe Webb

Frank (William H. Macy) and Monica (Chloe Webb) wake up Carl (Ethan Cutowsky), Debs (Emma Kenney) and wee baby Liam so that they can all watch a bootlegged DVD of Paranormal Activity 3 together. You know what they say: The family that emotionally scars toddlers together stays together.

Speaking of scary movies, it looks like we skipped Halloween – there’s mentions of Halloween candy and shots of shriveled Jack-o-Lanterns (with cigarettes), and Fiona (Emmy Rossum) mentions that it’s November. Turns out that after last week’s cliffhanger, Monica kicked Terry Milkovich’s ass and since then has been doing a relatively decent job of momming things up here at the house. Steve (Justin Chatwin) comes over and tells Fiona that he’s importing Estefania’s boytoy Marco in the hopes of using him to get rid of her.

Jeremy Allen White

We cut to Ian (Cameron Monaghan), who is repeatedly leaving Mandy voicemails in a panic – and it looks like his panic is merited, as her dad has trashed the Kash & Grab. (He still thinks that Ian is the father of the Pop Tart in her underage oven.) Lip (Jeremy Allen White) visits Ian and we see it cross his mind that he might be sperm donor behind his brother’s torment after he realizes that Ian didn’t actually “stick it in the wrong Milkovich.”

Over at the Jacksons’, Sheila (Joan Cusack) hides behind an enormous box (from Amazon – get your mind out of the gutter!) to avoid talking with Jody (Zack McGowan). She’s whipping up some creme brulee for the priest, who is coming by later with her second hospice patient.

Over at Veronica and Kevin’s, Veronica (Shenola Hampton) is stocking up on pregnancy tests – seems that despite plenty of tries, they haven’t gotten pregnant yet. V doesn’t think the problem lies with her, noting: “I’ve had so many abortions the next one’s free.” Gotta love customer loyalty programs!

Monica goes to make pancakes for Frank and – GASP – finds the Squirrel Fund in the Crisco can. She brings it to Frank and they RUN DON’T WALK to a drug dealer with it. “Snort or swallow?” “Both!” Atta girl.

Meanwhile, Estafania’s Marco is missing – the container that Steve was smuggling him in didn’t arrive as planned. I’m starting to wonder if between this and Dexter, Showtime doesn’t have some kickback deal with the Container Shippers Union. Anyway, it leads to an amusing game of Marco No Polo in the shipyard.

Monica, Frank, and Liam score coke, a beat-up car, Oxy, and benzadrine (the Oxy was Liam’s call, I bet) and then Frank gets mad that Monica didn’t score any K and she leaves him by the train tracks. Just like old times!

Lip visits Mandy (Emma Greenwell), who is hiding out at the house of a very pretty lady, and yells to her inside that she needs to call her dad off Ian. A shattered bottle tells him either yes or no – not sure.

Fiona, meanwhile, uses all her free time (what with Monica making sandwiches for the kids and all) to try to take the club manager up on that job offer – too late, it’s gone to someone else. All she has available is a management job – and since Fiona hasn’t managed or done budgets or inventory (I can already see where this one’s going, having caught a single episode of Roseanne back in the ’90s), she walks away.

Monica and the most terrifyingly perverse kitten hand puppet I’ve ever seen pick up Debs and take her doll shopping. Meanwhile, Frank almost gets picked up by a pickup full of illegal day workers, who of course take off just before he can jump on and laugh at him. He yells “F*cking NAFTA!” after them.

Jody, meanwhile, is welding a sculpture of some kind of demon ostrich out of forks in the empty lot next to Sheila’s. No idea why, which is just why we love him.

Inside, the priest drops off Sheila’s first real hospice “customer”, a deaf ex-junkie prostitute named Reuben, who was recently shot in the throat by his pimp. Good gravy. Sheila tries to confess her recent indiscretions with Jody to the priest (who couldn’t be less interested) and eventually yells very loudly, “HI, REUBEN! I’M SHEILA!” Reuben responds by using his finger to plug his tracheal bypass hole and gurgling out some fluids. Oh dear God.

Cameron Monaghan

Ian sneaks into his own home – turns out Terry came for him at school. When Monica learns that Ian wants to go to West Point and is upset that he just bombed a trig test, she drags him to the recruitment center to enlist. Mother of the Year, judges?

Estefania gets a spray-tan, Lip tracks a boat. I get another drink.

Turns out the Army – who entices young men to enlist by letting them play first-person shooters in the recruitment office – won’t take Ian until he graduates high school. Monica responds to this news with a racist, offensive rant about the military, closing with, “F*ck you, we’re goin’ to the Navy!” … which is the next desk over.

Veronica gets the bad news that she’s not likely to ever have a baby because of PIL – wait, that’s Public image Limited. No, must be PID. No idea what that stands for, sorry. But I’m pretty sure Johnny Rotten wasn’t involved. She shuts down about having kids, pretending she never wanted one to begin with, and Kev (Steve Howey) punches a hole in their gorgeous Jonathan Adler wallpaper. He admits that it hurt. I COULD NOT LOVE THEM MORE.

 Emmy Rossum

Fiona, meanwhile, is in her GED class (one of the few plot threads from the season that hasn’t been dropped – yes, I’m talking to you, Jasmine, the kid that Carl paralyzed, Officer Tony, Robert Gant’s rich friend, and Li’l Hank). She asks her teacher if she could be doing more and he tells her to consider community college – she could work toward a degree while working full time.

Sheila, ever the gracious host, asks Reuben if he wants her to kill him. He doesn’t. She then decides that creme brulee is a close second, but can’t figure out how to feed it to him without it just gooping out of his throat hole.

Frank comes home, furious at Monica for dumping him on the side of the road, and she tells him that she wants to have another baby. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA. We also learn that Debs was conceived on cocaine, and Carl on ecstasy – no, wait, Liam was ecstasy. I’m guessing Fiona was ludes and Lip was rubbing alcohol?

Speaking of, V comes over with a box of wine (CLASS) to get wasted with Fiona – lucky for her, Steve cancels the date that Fiona didn’t realize that they had. Pay attention, because this particularly hilarious device will return.

Ian is packing heat at the K&G, which gives Lip the idea to plant a gun at Terry’s to violate his parole and get him sent back to the clink.

Meanwhile, Jody has the World’s Smallest Tambourine stuck on his toe and is playing it and a bongo while singing “Against All Odds” to Sheila’s window. Wait – why is he still outside? We haven’t seen Karen all episode.

 

The morning after her Franzia-fueled heart-to-heart with V, Fiona goes running (in split-screen, at dawn), like her mother suggested. Yeah, this is gonna last. 

Lip and Ian break into the Milkovich hovel to plant the gun, but Terry comes back. Great plan, guys. Lip makes a Season One escape (the kind where he’s caught in freeze-frame mid-leap) but Ian is cornered by Terry and his gun – until Mandy pulls a shotgun on her dad. Turns out … GULP … her father is the father.

Yeah. Gross.

In lighter baby-making news, Kev and V agree that they can adopt if they can’t have their own kid.

Estefania calls Steve “Dead Man”, which can’t be a good thing to hear from the daughter of a drug lord.

Monica comes home screaming about the Rug Doctor she rented, which can’t be a good thing coming from a drug addict.

Ian tells Mandy that he’ll help her raise money for the abortion of the baby that her dad fathered – because he COMES HOME DRUNK AND THINKS SHE IS HER MOTHER – and she cries and hugs him. Okay, know what? My life may suck pretty bad sometimes, but it sure as hell don’t suck incest rape bad. Please let Mandy turn out okay.

Sheila asks Reuben if he has a last wish, and he gives her a Gene Simmons tongue. Eesh. Gotta say, though – for a junkie he’s got pretty decent teeth, no? Turns out Jody can sign (OF COURSE), and he learns that Reuben HATES creme brulee and would like a cake … and to make sex to Sheila. You and him both!

Fiona goes back to the club and makes her case for getting the manager job, and the hiring lady gives her a shot.

Ethan Cutowski

When making up signs for Mandy’s fundraiser, Carl calls it a “Fun Razor” because people will want to come if they think someone is going to get cut. Atta girl. Oh, and there are cookies everywhere because Monica is CRAZY.

To illustrate, Monica lets Carl drive. He crashes into another car and they get arrested. Luckily, the cop is a decent guy and tells Lip that he told his captain that Monica was driving under the influence (CLEARLY) and Carl just has a concussion – which might actually be an improvement, who the hell knows. Kid’s nuts.

Sheila honors Reuben’s last wish: heroin. And a vanilla cake, which she puts in the blender so she can pour it into his throat-hole. Just another day at the Jacksons’! Oh, and she and Jody PROBABLY do it again.

Lip comes home to get bail money for Monica and discovers that the Squirrel Fund is empty. He of course immediately accuses Frank, whose pockets are as empty as his heart. Fiona comes home from work and Lip spazzes out on her, telling her that she’s ruined everything by trying to work a thankless job in nightclub management and now their lives are over. When she sees that the money is gone, Fiona makes this face:

It’s enough to break my brittle, gay little heart.

“I thought it would be different this time!”

“How’d that Kool Aid taste going down?”

The house is a mess, and her despondent, strung-out mom won’t answer her. Fiona kicks the crap out of the washing machine with her Fancy Nightclub Manager Heels and cries, then takes off her jacket and starts to clean the place up. Ouch.

After the credits start we hear someone yelling “Get me out of here!” – it’s Marco. Last we heard from Steve he was in Florida, so why is it snowing?

SCENE.

Great episode, in my opinion – it was a solid reminder of how the show is able to balance laugh-out-loud funny, over-the-top antics with legitimately disturbing, definitely not-funny things like incest, drug addiction, and mostrously poor parenting. It’s the small moments – like the flat look on Carl’s face as he watched his strung-out mom screaming in the police station, or Fiona’s moment of despair at the end before she went back to work on the kitchen – that make this show more than a celebration of bad behavior and remind us that these people are more real than we might want to believe that they could be. The fact that the kids’ money is gone is devastating – it’s almost too upsetting for me to put into words.

Plus, Chloe Webb continues to AMAZE at every turn – her rollercoaster portrayal of a person who cares deeply but is utterly unable to keep herself from destroying everything around her is completely heartbreaking. I’m very interested going into the last two eps of the season.

So – bottom’s up!

That’s just one guy’s opinion – what did YOU think of the episode? Is the season overall working for you? Snort or swallow?

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