“Shameless” Recap: “The Urban Gentry: Moneyed Lesbians”

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In this week’s Father’s Day-set Shameless, the Gallagher girls stumble upon nuggets of self-awareness while Frank pursues his been-making dream and shares ominous warnings about the looming gentrification of their neighborhood. Plus: Homophobe funeral protestors! Let’s dig in.

Frank (William H. Macy) gives a sip his terrifying beer to some kid, and it makes him crap his pants. Is Frank basically brewing Four Loco in bacon flavor? He trades the pint for a weed brownie and the instantly wasted kid starts crowing at the sunrise. Frank joins in.

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is off house arrest as of this morning – but since it’s a Sunday and the parole office is closed, she uses a screwdriver to take off her cuff. Um… I don’t think it works that way, Fi. Lip (Jeremy Allen White), meanwhile, is starting his demolition job with Tommy on a Sunday so that they won’t have to worry about those annoying city inspectors telling them where to dump their toxic waste.

Kevin (Steve Howey) and V (Shanola Hampton) try to calm down the girls and Kev points out that it’s Father’s Day, which V clearly completely forgot. She barges into the Gallaghers’ to get supplies for pancakes. They offer frozen toaster waffles. V wonders if the fact that she’d rather be at work than with her “spawns of Satan” makes her a bad mother. Fiona assures her that compared to Monica, she’s a saint. Fiona gets her cuff off.

Tommy tells Lip that he gets to pick up cement and put it in the Bobcat and Lip asks if he gets to drive the Bobcat. The answer is no. Lip gets a sext from Amanda and Tommy takes his phone away for being a worksite hazard. Guess this isn’t gonna be as much fun as he’d expected.

Fiona goes to AA and a girl talks about how she won’t be calling her father on Father’s Day because he has a restraining order. Probably a wise move. She sits with Sean (Dermot Mulroney) and shows him her bare ankle. Such Victorian flirtations! He doesn’t think it was a good idea for her to take off her own monitor.

Carl (Ethan Cutkowsky) tells Debs (Emma Kenney) that he wants to become a wheelchair gigolo and Debs tells him that if he loses his virginity before she does she’ll kill him. There’s a knock at the door and it’s a weepy guy looking for Frank – turns out he’s somehow related to the liver donor. They aim him toward Sheila’s and slam the door in his face.

At Patsy’s Pies, Sammi (Emily Bergl) tries to get Fiona to let her cook a Father’s Day meal at their house. Fiona has an annoying family at one of her tables but she keeps her cool as she meets their constant demands and reminds Sammi how horrible a father Frank is to all of them. Sammi notes that Fiona is way too young and pretty to be so cynical. The awful, very large people stiff Fiona on a tip and she follows them outside to find out why. They tell her she was slow, and she lays into them about being fat and rude. The woman slaps Fiona across the face and suddenly Sean is there, pinning the guy up against the wall and telling him to apologize to Fiona and never walk down this street again. He does. Fiona’s lip is bleeding but she’s too floored by Sean’s act of heroism to notice.

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Ian (Cameron Monaghan) gets dressed in his military uniform to go to a funeral for a fallen soldier, and Mickey (Noel Fisher) decides to go with him.

At the pool, Holly ignores Deb and flirts with Carl. Yikes. Debs falls hard – like, slo-mo hard – for a boy whose girlfriend throws a soda at him for screwing anything that moves. We need to have a talk about your standards, Debs.

At the park, Kev watches Svetlana breastfeed her baby and apologizes for looking a her boobs. Svetlana tells him that having your nipple bitten is like having a shark bite your nutsack, because… she’d know? She wishes she could bash her baby’s head in with a hammer. Good thing this isn’t a Mother’s Day episode! She asks who is helping V with the baby, adding that while her husband doesn’t pitch in much, Orange Boy helps her out. She offers to breastfeed the girls and does so, right there on the bench. Okay, this got weird real fast.

Fiona and Sean bicker and flirt about the incident in the alley, with Fiona admitting that his alpha male routine turned her on, and him reminding her that she’s still on probation, ankle monitor or no.

At Sheila’s, Chuckie has made a rather sad Father’s Day sign and hung it on the fence. An excited Sheila (Joan Cusack) tells Frank that realtors came by with “two very clean lesbians” and offered them double the market value of their house, but Frank is distracted by a plate of cookies. (Were they meant to entice the lesbians? They definitely looked like lesbian cookies.). He also says that the realtors are clearly looking to scam them. Sheila turns a hose on Sammi when she comes out to wish Frank a happy Father’s Day, pretending it’s an accident. Accident? No. Amazing? Yes.

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At the military funeral, Westboro-esque protestors shout “God kills soldiers ’cause America loves faggots!” from the perimeter. It takes Ian about twenty seconds to lose it, charging at the protestors and pulling a cross-shaped grave marker out of the ground to beat them with. Remember to put that back! Mickey tries to slow him down but ultimately it’s the military officer officiating the funeral who tells Ian that if he doesn’t cool it, he’ll have to report this to his commanding officer, noting his last name. Uh-oh. Mickey eventually convinces Ian that they can do far more damage to the asshole protestors if they go home and come up with a plan. Ian finally backs down. This is gonna be good.

Sheila insists that this realtor thing wasn’t a scam, and Frank tries to figure it out, calling for Sammi, to Sheila’s dismay. He asks her why “two dykes” would offer double the house’s value. Sammi says that the Tribune named their neighborhood “up-and-coming” and Frank gets it, saying that despite their genitalia, the lesbians are “the man” and are trying to push all the poor people out of their homes. Sheila thinks they should cash in on it and buy an RV to get away from Sammi. Frank compares gentrification to the Holocaust and says they’ll eventually end up in a camp atop a toxic waste site being handed smallpox blankets. There’s a knock at the door and Sheila thinks it’s more lesbians. It’s the guy from earlier, who turns out to be the man whose son’s liver Frank is now ruining. The guy invites Frank to a dinner that they are holding for all their son’s organ recipients. Oh my god. Frank asks what they are serving, and decides that prime rib is worth going for. Sammi tries to weasel in on the invite but Sheila gives her the bum’s rush. Their passive-aggressive routine is more fun than it should be.

Debs tries to chat up the boy at the pool but she has ice cream all over her face. He sees that there is a group of mentally handicapped adults nearby and assumes that she is with them, yelling that he thinks that one of theirs wandered away. Debs, mortified, jumps in the pool.

Fiona serves the rock band guys at the diner, who notice that she’s no longer wearing the ankle monitor and insist that she come to their show. Okay, I’m officially calling dibs on the guy with the black beard who reminds Fiona’s admirer, “Dude… we eat here.” They say that Fiona’s “man” can come too but she says Sean is just her boss.

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Back at home, Svetlana and Kev discuss parenting methods. This is too strange for words. She says “letting them cry it out” is “necessary evil, like waxing pussy.” Svetlana tells him that she’s renting her uterus out like a youth hostel. Kev says it’s nice getting to know each other and she says he needs a haircut – he says V likes it long. Debs comes by to ask if he can fish a rat out of their pool, because she’s done with the public pool for the summer. Svetlana asks what’s up and Debs asks her – a professional – how attracting guys works, because porn hasn’t really taught her anything.

Sheila haunts Frank as he fiddles with his still in the basement, imagining all the places they can go with the money from the house, all of which will get them away from Sammi, whom she admits to absolutely hating. Frank says he hates her too, but he will not be a part of the destruction of their neighborhood. He wants to stay and launch his beer, but she throws a hissy fit about wanting to see The Burning Man, even though neither she nor Frank actually know what it is.

At Casa Milkovich, Mandy (Emma Greenwell) asks what’s going on as Ian searches for automatic weapons and grenades. Oh my. Ian asks Mandy’s boyfriend for “armor-piercing ammo” and he tells Mickey to “get his bitch in line.” Ian wants to burn down the church and Mandy and Mickey discuss what to do – Mickey is against calling Fiona, who will just send Ian to a shrink.

End-of-day at the work site, which Lip somehow survived. They agree to meet for a drink at the Alibi and Lip keeps it together just in time to get out of sight, where he collapses.

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Sheila and Sammi bicker about going to the organ donor dinner and Frank tells Sammi to go get Chuckie and they can join them. As soon as she’s in the trailer, he grabs Sheila’s hand and they run for it. Sammi breaks into Sheila’s house and finds the business card for the organ donor guy. She lets Chuckie in to take a dump on the coffee table.

Mandy – dressed in her Sunday best – finds Lip hosing himself down in the street. She asks if he’s got a girlfriend and tells him to come by her work if he wants to hang. He tells her she looks pretty. Here we go again! Mandy goes to the church, saying that she needs to talk to the pastor. They check her for weapons you know, just like at any church. Mandy tearfully tells the pastor about how her brother chose “faggotry” over the Lord, flirting with him all the while. Yeesh.

Fiona goes to another meeting, and Sean is there again, too. She tells him she really likes him and asks him to go to see the band with her, as a date. He asks if he can answer after the meeting is over. During the meeting she rubs her foot up and down his leg, and he gets up and leaves. She follows, thinking it’s a booty call, but when she gets outside he’s gone. Huh. Is he maybe a sex addict and this is all not a good thing for him?

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Frank compares scars with the other organ recipients, who hilariously have name tags saying which organ they got. Wow. The donor’s dad tells them all that David died fighting off a home invasion. His wife, Laura comes by and he introduces her to “David”. Then Sammi shows up with Chuckie. Great. At dinner, Sammi interrupts the donor to say that this is her first Father’s Day with a dad. Frank drinks wine and Laura tells him that he’s not supposed to drink with a donor liver, but Frank says that he can make this liver last up to a decade if he paces himself. The Lungs says, “Well fuck that, then – anybody got a smoke?” So. Wrong.

Ian and Mickey plan their attack with a few young guys I don’t recognize. One of the guys agrees to do… something… for his country. Oh dear – are they gonna Bait Bus the pastor? Mandy comes home, saying that he’s on his way, and the brave guy takes a big swig of vodka. Yup.

Svetlana puts a condom on a cucumber and asks to see Debs’ “seductions face”. She gives her some tips and pulls out scissors to do for Debs what her mother did for her. Should we be frightened? Later, Kev comes home and Svetlana has cut Debs’ hair and put makeup on her, and she shows him her seductions face. He barks, “Put your tongue back in your mouth!” He says Fiona is gonna flip and asks why there’s a condom on the cucumber. Svetlana asks him who wears the testicles in their family, him or V?

Fiona finds Lip passed out and wakes him up – he’s a mess but he gets up to go to the Alibi. Fiona calls V to invite her out dancing, and when she comes downstairs and Sean is there. He says that he can’t do anything with her, because she’s dangerous. He says the meetings save his life every day and chaos follows her around. He’s a junkie junkie and he finds her addiction to chaos extremely attractive, calling her his “drug of choice”. He says could have beaten that guy to death for not tipping her – and he can’t do that kind of thing, because he has a son to raise. Fiona says she’s not just chaos – she’s changed for the better. He asks her to keep coming to the meetings but not to sit next to him anymore, and leaves. Ouch.

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V comes home and freaks to find Svetlana’s boob in her baby’s mouth – but it’s nothing compared to her reaction to Kev with a shaved head. (Can we all agree that it’s a vast improvement? He was starting to look like a well-fed Andrew WK.) They argue about letting Svetlana (“a hooker”) breastfeed their children, and Fiona walks in just then to see Debs all tarted up. She loses it, and Svetlana smartly mutters, “Time for baby’s nap – bye-bye!’ and hits the road. Nice! V is seriously pissed: “You fed our baby hooker’s milk and you shaved your head – who the fuck are you?!” Yikes – she really did like that hair. V cries. Fiona drags Debs away, telling Kev he made a bad move.

Mandy tells the pastor to look away as she “puts her mouth on him the way God wants her to”, and sure enough, the guy from earlier takes over as all the kids pull out their cameras and take photos.

Fiona drags Debs home and Carl tells her that she looks like a hooker, which she takes as a compliment, because Carl thinks hookers are hot. Ha! Debs and Fiona argue and Fiona smartly plays nice, telling Debs that her haircut looks good and asking her to go with her to the show (once she removes most of the makeup). Debs is clearly thrilled, and she agrees.

At the Alibi, Frank measures glasses and tells the demolition crew that they’re tearing down a building so that a Whole Foods can go up in its place. He says their neighborhood is being threatened by The Urban Gentry: “moneyed lesbians”:”They move in, they take over.”

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Sheila contemplates the turd on her end table, and screams to raise the dead. Later, she intercepts a drunken Sammi outside the trailer and says that as her stepmother she feels it is her responsibility to tell her that people – including Frank – don’t like her because she is needy (and also annoying, and slutty, and a bad mother). She gives Sammi Chuckie’s turd – in a Ziplock! – and goes home, leaving a visibly distressed Sammi standing there holding poop. I almost feel bad for her.

Debs gets into the club without getting carded and she and Fiona dance to the pretty awful band. A guy creeps on Debs and Fiona shoves him away, barking, “Hey – 14 will get you 20!” The singer pulls Fiona on stage and she dances with him, Debs looking on in absolute admiration. The creeper guy returns and Fiona jumps down to punch him in the face. He punches her back. The lead singer jumps down to punch the guy and Fiona and Debs make a spirited run for it, laughing all the way. Outside, they stop in front of a derelict-looking building to catch their breath, and Debs marvels at how much fun that was. Fiona looks over at her, looking like a lady of the night and loving it, and realizes that she really is a chaos junkie, and she’s leading Debs down the same path.

At the demo site, the guys gather around a sign and marvel that Frank was right: an organic coffee bar is going to be built there. Frank says, “Told ya!” and crows at the sunrise.

SCENE

Notably Absent: Carol

While nothing major happened this week, a lot of important smaller shifts occurred. Fiona’s realizing that trouble follows her everywhere and that she might be setting up Debs for the same was a nice moment. Her scene with Sean in the kitchen was also great – Dermot Mulroney really nailed the push-pull of being attracted to someone who is bad for you, and I hope Fiona doesn’t throw him off the wagon. I’m a bit upset that the show is messing with Kev and V, but bringing Svetlana into the fold was so awesome that I’m almost willing to forgive the (hopefully temporary) relationship peril for the new parents. Mickey and Ian continue to amaze (even if their blackmail scheme was a bit bush league for these guys), and the flip of Mickey now being the grounded one who needs to keep an eye on Ian is a refreshing change. I can’t wait to see what the Gallaghers have in store for the hipster invaders (will we ever get to see these “clean lesbians”, I wonder?) and am mildly curious as to whether Lip will choose his shiny new college life over manual labor and scams. Oh – and if I never need to hear that band again, it would be too soon. I prefer my bearded bad boys sitting in a diner booth, thank you very much.

In all, I’d give it seven out of ten Old Styles:

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