“Shameless” 3.03 Recap: “A Bag of Chips and a Ginger Snap”

At this point, the Gallaghers are as much of a Sunday tradition as a hangover. (Or church, whatever.) While this week’s episode felt a bit like filler, it was still at least the booze-soaked, scam-pulling, child-endangering kind of filler that only Shameless can provide. Let’s dig in!

After an intro shot of a sleepy household that delivers two servings of side-butt (thanks to Lip and Jimmy), Fiona (Emmy Rossum) gets out of bed, still stressed about the money situation. She goes downstairs and finds V (Shanola Hampton) wide awake on the couch – she’s of course stressing over the fact that Kev’s almost-ex-wife showed up out of nowhere. V points out that the house is quiet, so Fiona screams to wake the dead. (And even Carl.)

Speaking of screams that wake the dead, over at the Jackson house, Sheila (Joan Cusack) and Jody (Zach McGowan) are still struggling with baby Himey (nee Jaime). Jody makes coffee using a diaper liner as a filter, which is enough to put me on Folgers Crystals for a few weeks. Nanny McFrank (William H. Macy) swings in – drunk as a skunk – and takes the baby away to his vaccination appointment. Which of course takes place here:

Frank asks bartendress Kate for a thumbtack and some whiskey – he dips the former in the latter and stabs the baby with it. Oh my goodness. He justifies his actions by saying that AIDS came from vaccinations, not “homos” or hetero monkeys. Which makes it all better, right? He notices a news story on TV about a charity giving a boy dying of cancer a basketball signed by his favorite team, and Kate and Tommy wonder aloud how much that basketball must be worth. Frank’s hamster wheel starts its first squeaky revolution…

V goes home to find that Kev (Steve Howey) stayed up all night printing divorce papers off the Internet (can you really do that?) and waiting for her to come home. Aww! His wife comes down wearing next to nothing and she remarks that his bed smells like English Leather – Kev’s favorite cologne, thanks to their shared former foster father. They reminisce and V looks supremely pissed. She reminds Kev that there’s a notary coming at 2 for those divorce papers, so they better get signing. Also: this chick is totally after Kev.

Debs (Emma Kenney) and Fiona are at the grocery store, where Debs gets into a heated argument with the cashier about coupons. The cashier also seems a bit perturbed by her manager, who keeps insisting that she go on break. She up and quits right there, throwing her smock on the ground and giving Debs the opportunity to sneak a few free cans of tuna into their bags. Fiona follows the manager into the break room to ask if she can have the cashier’s job, and he makes some not remotely subtle references to “deli meats” in response. She flat-out asks him if he expects her to blow him for the job, and he pretty much confirms this.


On the way home, a grody guy on the bus pleasures himself while staring at Debs until Fiona notices and chases him away. They file a police report when they get home, and Mandy (Emma Greenwell) is alarmed to learn that either of the Gallagher gals rides the bus without a knife. The cop is nice and kind of hits on Fiona, which reminds me: Where the heck is Tony? Doesn’t he still own the house next door? What, since he moved to GCB he can’t visit every once in a while? Fiona tells Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) about what happened at the grocery store and she decides that she’s going back to take the perv down. Jimmy is supportive, but adds, “Don’t… blow anyone.”

Cheryl (that’s Kev’s wife’s name) asks how Kev broke his ankle, and V says he fell in the tub “like some old Florida Jew.” Fiona pops over to ask V if she can borrow her video camera to shake down the pimento loaf pervert.

Lip, meanwhile, decides to look up the sex offender registry to try and find the guy on the bus that exposed himself to Debs, and he’s alarmed to learn that their neighborhood is teeming with perverts. Um… has he not been watching for the past two seasons? Mandy offers to teach Debs self-defense, and Lip calls Jimmy out on his cagey behavior lately – but Jimmy won’t talk.

Frank takes Himey to the Make-a-Wish-type charity he saw on TV to make a plea for a handout, and is only momentarily thrown when the lady there points out that they only grant wishes to dying children. He recovers quickly: “It’s my other child that’s dying!”

Back in the nabe, Lip raises a mob to go after one of the pervs that recently moved in – some dude named Blake Collins. When they knock on Blake’s door, a pretty young lady who could be a lighting stand-in for Amy Adams answers – turns out she’s Blake Collins, and she had a rather infamous affair with one of her young students while she was a teacher. She insists that she’s done her time and that it was a one-time love affair, but Lip vows to take her down anyway. As they leave her house, Mickey sees a girl he knows next door and he calls out, “Hey, wanna f*ck?” She does. Lip tells Ian (Cameron Monaghan), “I hope you’re wearing a raincoat.” Yikes. I hope he’s wearing a full wetsuit!

Lip also lets slide that in his opinion Kash was just as big a perv as Blake, because of Ian’s age. Wait ’til he gets a load of Lloyd! No, that’s not a euphemism.

Back at home, Frank tells Carl (Ethan Cutkowsky) that Carl has cancer – and that he caught it from Grammy. Oof! He then proceeds to shave Carl’s head (well, most of it) – Lip interrupts and Frank tells him he’s treating him for lice. Lip is impressed: “Since when do you… parent?” Carl whines, “I’m gonna look like a penis!”

Lip visits Blake’s house, posing as jailbait who wants to trim her hedges. No, that’s not a euphemism – at least, not yet. Later, he takes a break from landscaping to ask for a drink, taking his shirt off as he does so. She offers, “juice box?” He lays the dumb teenager act on pretty thick – but not as thick as the peanut butter that Blake tells him to bring into the bedroom. Oh my! Do choosy pedophiles choose Jif?

Jimmy takes Estefania (Stephanie Fantauzzi) to get a wedding dress so that they can photobomb actual wedding parties and take fake wedding photos:

Okay, I continue to hate this storyline, but the photobomb scene is actually kind of funny.

At the Kash & Grab, Ian is working the register and Mickey is loitering – no wait, he’s actually selling drugs. Good to see he’s at least keeping busy. Ian foils a drug sale to a twitchy young kid, and just then Lloyd (Harry Hamlin) drops by for “a bag of chips and a ginger snap.” He asks Ian out on a date.

By the way, what the heck are those things Mickey is standing next to in that photo? Giant pieces of toast?!

Ian rubs it in Mickey’s face as revenge for banging the neighborhood girl, and Mickey – who briefly blocks Lloyd’s exit from the store – asks if they go on picnics and other very gay stuff like that. Ian answers, “No, we don’t picnic – we just f*ck.” What, is he saying most people’s picnics don’t involve public sex? Then what’s the point of the blanket?

Debs, meanwhile, makes friends with Kyle – Kev’s wife’s kid who may or may not be his – after clocking him while practicing her self-defense. Later, they smoke cigarettes (Debs!!??) and she mourns the fact that all men are pervs (let’s not forget lady teachers!) and says that she might become a nun. Kyle tells her she’s too pretty to be a nun and they share a kiss. Debs’ first? It’s kind of sweet – so it’s bound to end in tears.

Speaking of lost innocence, Lip is getting a peanut butter hummer from Blake – who pauses to smear Nair on his downstairs hairs and wipe him bald as a pre-teen.




But of course not enough to get him to actually pack up his Nutter Butters and go home.

V and Fiona shake down the manager, with a distracted V getting him to demand sexual favors on tape during her interview (“I got it all on tape – he nasty!”). When they get home they find out that Kev didn’t show for the notary, and Kyle tells them that Kev kind of freaked out when he learned that he might be his dad. V looks very happy to learn this. She tells Fiona that Kev’s the first good man she ever loved – before him came Apollo and Spider, which sound like perfectly sane names to me. She says she can’t fight for him, and Fiona goes outside to talk some sense into Kev, telling him that if he and V can’t make it, nobody can. Cheryl sticks her nose in and Fiona closes by telling Kev that he may be a lot of things, but he’s not dumb – and this is just dumb.

At the Fountain – which is apparently Chicago’s most openly gay restaurant – Mickey looks on jealously as Ian and Lloyd enjoy gay lunch. He intercepts them as they leave, and Lloyd proposes that Ian bring his boyfriend home with them. Mickey doesn’t like being called “boyfriend” and he punches Lloyd and kicks him while he’s down, and only stops when Ian karate-chops him in the throat. Ian keeps Mickey off of Lloyd but then they both have to bolt when a crowd starts to gather – we then see Ian laughing with Mickey as they make their escape. That’s pretty lousy, Ian.

Lip is having a picnic on Mandy’s grassy knoll, using the peanut butter trick he picked up from Blake. She notices that he’s not hard and spots his “manscaping”. She’s not happy that this lady got her man stuck to the roof of her mouth, and she storms out. Uh-oh.

At dinner, the kids notice Carl’s mange, and he tells them that Frank got him into a summer camp – we know that Frank bullied the woman at the charity into kicking another kid out to give Carl the spot. Debs spells “KYLE” with her peas. Kev comes by to tell V that he could never leave her, and he is only giving Cheryl the time of day so that he can get to know his kid – he doesn’t care about her in the least. V cries, and it breaks my heart.

Everyone laughs and Cheryl walks in, and of course asks if they’re laughing at her. Fiona says “Yes” and Cheryl calls Kev a “stupid sh*t.” (She also mentions that she went through their drawers and found all their sex toys, leading Debs to ask, “What’s a dildo?”) V calmly takes off her earrings, asking, “What did you say?” Cheryl says that not only is Kyle not Kev’s, he’s not even hers – it’s her sister’s kid. V launches herself across the breakfast nook and pins Cheryl against the washing machine, and then BITES HER.

It’s amazing.

V pins her to the couch and makes her sign the divorce papers. Kyle stays behind, which means he might be around a while.

Mandy visits Blake to tell her that she’d better move the hell out of the neighborhood – TONIGHT. As encouragement, two of Mandy’s brothers are currently digging a grave in Blake’s front yard – for her. Mandy warns, “Tick-Tock, kid f*cker.” Ouch. Later, we see Blake leave, and Mandy takes a payoff to let someone bury a body rolled in a rug in the grave. Oh. My. God. That’s gonna wreak havoc on the resale value!

In closing, Fiona cries at how screwed up the world is, and she tells Jimmy that she trusts him. FORESHADOWING METER PINGING IN THE RED.


All in all, a decent ep – but not one that really moved anything along too much. I’m okay with it mostly because it meant that they could focus a little on V and Kev, which is always welcome – and I’m glad that they resolved the Cheryl thing because I much prefer my Kev and V to be spanking each other in racially-charged amateur porn than fighting. The Milkoviches continue to terrify me on a primal level – every single one of them. Frank is as Frank does, and they really need to give Sheila something to do other than sleepwalk and cry. And is it just me or is the whole Ian/Lloyd/Mickey storyline kind of taking forever? I think another shot of GI Ginger’s rear infantry would help speed things along quite nicely, don’t you?

I’d give it seven out of ten Old Styles – most of them earned by Shanola Hampton.

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