“Shameless” Recap: Rites of Passage

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On this week’s Shameless the Jimmy finally hit the fan, for better or for worse. And speaking of for better or for worse, three couples – Fiona/Gus, V/Kev, and Mickey/Ian – had their relationships put to the test, to wildly different results, including a possible babynapping. Let’s dig in!

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) wakes to guitar music – is it on the soundtrack or is Gus hovering just out of frame? She looks at her wedding ring and smiles. She finds Gus (Steve Kazee) not plucking his acoustic, but rather shooting up between his toes – she asks if it’s heroin and he assures her that it’s insulin. She didn’t know he was diabetic. They play The Newlywed Game and when he asks her favorite Eagle, she answers “Bald”. Like, for Thanksgiving dinner? Gus’s favorite color is blue – please adjust your Pinterest boards accordingly. He’s a little concerned that she hasn’t told her family that she is married yet – he mentions it jokingly, but it probably really does bother him. She says they can go together today to tell them. His beard has really grown in.

Mickey (Noel Fisher) wakes up Ian (Cameron Monaghan) to talk, but Ian just wants to have sex. Mickey’s… brother? interrupts and tells them that there’s a wanted poster of Mickey at the dry cleaner’s because Mickey beat him up. Mickey is concerned about not being able to run a business inconspicuously but Ian takes his mind off of his worries by reciting The Canterbury Tales in flawless Middle English. Okay, just kidding – he distracts him with oral.

Sammi (Emily Bergl) tells Chukki that they’re gonna get a nice new trailer from paw-paw. Good luck with that. Their trailer is half-torched and the crapper is full, so she goes to empty it. While she’s dumping it out, a man comes along and tells her that she needs to clear off the lot – he’s the owner’s real estate agent. She asks what it would take for him to look the other way and he replies, “more than an A-cup, baby.” Ouch!

Frank (William H. Macy) sleeps on the Chez Gallagher couch as Debs (Emma Kenney) asks Fiona where she has been lately. Fiona says she has news to announce that night. Debs points out that “Gallaghers don’t do announcements at dinner – blackouts, suicide attempts, but no announcements.” Someone’s been keeping a journal! Sammi comes in looking for Frank and Fiona tells him that he has to go. Sammi tells him she needs that insurance money for her new trailer, but he insists it takes time. When she tries to call the insurance company he says that the money is coming that afternoon – he wanted to surprise her with a new trailer. Oof. She runs off, excited. Debs points out that there’s no room in the backyard for a trailer, and Frank points out that there’s no trailer. Frank complains that they have no bed for him and says he’s going to find someplace else to stay. Debs could care less.

Down the block, the babies are crying again and when V (Shanola Hampton) gives one of them a pacifier, Kev (Steve Howey) says that pacifiers are bad for babies. He says one of his t-shirts always calm them down – and it does. Kev says this is really about V’s dancefloor O and reminds her that he forgave her for that. She says that the only way to settle the score is for him to cheat on her – “handjob only!” He resists but eventually agrees, but only for her benefit.

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Tommy razzes Lip (Jeremy Allen White) at the work site about his Miami girlfriend. Suddenly a worker plummets off the roof, and Tommy points out that this happens regularly because Jose never remembers to clip in his safety harness. They send Lip up to finish the job.

Carl suits up in his Dockers in an alley behind the Zen Coffee and tries to memorize his proper drug portions. His boss – the surly kid – tells him to get to his corner before he “smacks him with the claw hammer” and Carl cheerfully replies, “Let’s go sell some yayo.” Oh my god.

Frank knocks on the door of the liver donor’s father, Wade. Frank pretends to misremember a lunch date they have, blaming it on the meds. Wade lets him in and asks if he can “touch David” and Frank lets him touch the surgical scar. Might wanna wash that hand before making sandwiches, Wade. As Frank raids the fridge, Wade says that he thinks that Frank got David’s soul along with his liver, and points out that Frank immediately sat in David’s seat – the one he was shot dead in. Frank says that Wade and his wife must be lonely and offers to stay the night. Classic Frank.

Debs returns to the gym and chats up her new boytoy with the arms, who trains her and tells her to take note of the other lady fighters, who all look like they are carved from granite.

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Patsy’s is swamped and Sean (Dermot Mulroney) asks if Fiona can pick up a double that week – and then asks about her “shotgun wedding”. Fiona asks why he’s constantly giving her shit and he points out that she’s not wearing a ring. The other waitress, Jackie, drops an entire tray of dishes – Sean tells Fiona that her custody hearing is that afternoon and she’s nervous. Fiona goes outside to comfort her and give her family court tips. Jackie is worried that her daughter would rather be with her foster family but Fiona says she’s a good mom and has been clean for six months.

Wade goes to the attic to look for the baseball mitts so they can play catch, and Frank takes advantage of the moment to search David’s room for contraband, muttering he’s never known an altar boy who didn’t keep something hidden. He finds a porno and a joint under the mattress. Hallelujah!

Mickey visits the demo site to complain about how Tommy is helping to destroy the neighborhood and get Tommy’s bet on the next game – he’s back to being a bookie again. He asks Lip about Ian’s “doctor shit”. Lip is concerned, and Mickey gets uncomfortable and leaves.

Fiona gets a visit from her big tipper, who was in Tokyo, on jewelry business. She notices Fiona’s wedding ring, and Fiona says she hopes it’s not the last time she sees her. She leaves the $100 and bolts. Later, Sean gives Fiona a big tray of baked ziti for her family dinner and she has to admit that she doesn’t know if Gus likes ziti. Okay, we get it – those two crazy kids got hitched too soon!

Kev chats up one of the Lisas at the playground – OMG he’s trying to get a handjob from one of the lesbians. Priceless! He says she has a cute kid and she pulls out her pepper spray, saying, “Stay away from my son.” He insists that he’s just there for a handjob. He continues to dig himself in deeper until she sprays him in the face. He screams his face off. It is hilarious.

Debs visits Ian to get muscle-building advice and he says steroids are the only way to go, as long as she doesn’t mind an “enormous clitoris”. She asks how much they cost and he tells her she must be kidding. Oops. Think before you speak, Ian.

Carl still can’t get his prices right, though now he’s at least erring in the other direction. His supervisor calls him “Beaver” and tells him he’s on thin ice.

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Ian dances like a salmon swimming upriver (in gold hotpants) at the club, and an older guy asks his name. He offers him lots of money for something, and Ian says that it’s against the club rules to turn tricks. The guy says this is different and asks when he gets off. Uh-oh…

Debs and Carl hatch a scheme about starting a catfight to make money. Carl sells odds for Debs in a fight with the girls, adding that they’ll pay extra if the girls make out first. Debs declines, and instead walks up to the girls and picks a fight, and then beats the shit out of them. Okay, this was funny once, but now it’s getting disturbing. Also disturbing: the person in the background of the above photo and whatever is going on in their bathing-suit area.

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Frank comes in wearing David’s jersey, to Wade’s delight. He asks if Frank will call him “dad” and just then his wife, Laura, comes home, and is noticeably troubled. She wants Frank out. Later, Frank pretends to sleep as Wade tells him he has to leave.

Mickey goes to get Ian at the club and the musclepup at the bar says that Ian left an hour ago and tries to hit on Mickey. Mickey beats the crap out of the guy, taking out his anger at Ian for possibly cheating on him. Later, he storms into the Alibi and tells a prying Sammi to leave him the fuck alone. She offers to do it with him behind the dumpster and he says no thanks: “Not my type.” When pressed, he reveals that his type is “redhead, batshit crazy, and packing nine inches.”

Debs gets home covered in blood and Fiona is concerned for a hot second: “As your legal guardian I’m obligated to say violence is wrong, but those bitches deserved it.” She is interrupted by a call from Sean, who is concerned that Jackie never came back to work after her hearing. Fiona runs out to meet him at the girl’s apartment. When they get to Jackie’s apartment she is unresponsive on her bed, with a needle in her arm.

Gus arrives at the house with flowers and Chukki tells him that Fiona isn’t there.

Kev is chatting up a girl at Richard’s Bar but he can’t stop cockblocking himself by talking about his kids. She shows him a picture of her own daughter and he gasps in the most adorable way. They go to leave and he stops to tell her that he’s married but his wife gave him a handjob pass and a direct order to use it. The girl replies, “I have a hand.” Ha! In the car, the talk is all bad handjob metaphors and Kev is VERY into it.

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Lip crashes into the Alibi and picks a fight with Mickey, who’s still pissed off about how Lip helping to gentrify the neighborhood. Mickey says he’s gonna make the Southside even shittier so nobody will want to live there. He dares Lip to join him, and of course Lip has to step up. They visit the coffee place where Mickey’s bro says they make “those non-fat faggocinos – no offense, bro.” They snort… something, but Lip declines. They pull out machine guns and shoot the hell out of Zen Coffee and laugh that they’ll need to do some more work before they open. Lip never pulls the trigger, and Mickey calls him a “college bitch” and the Milkoviches leave without him as the cops arrive. Lip hides in a dumpster, much to the chagrin of the dumpster’s resident rat.

Frank comes into the living room shirtless to find David’s mother crying on the sofa. He tries to get her to have a drink with him but clearly would be fine going solo. He talks about loss in his own life while staring at the liquor cabinet, saying that there are things to fill the void: “drugs and pills.” Oh dear. She jumps his bones. Just keep away from the liver and it won’t count as incest!

At the hospital, Fiona defends her marriage to Gus to Sean, and lies about knowing Gus’s middle name. They move on to talking about Jackie. Sean says that it was his son who found him on the kitchen floor in a pool of vomit. He was five. Damn, Mulroney is good.

Kev comes home and tells V that he cashed in his handy-j chip and she starts to cry. He loses it, reminding her that this was all her idea. She says it was a bad idea – “like putting a Band-Aid on a stab wound.” She’s scared for them. Most nights she doesn’t want to come home – she didn’t expect things to change so much when they had kids. The babies start to cry and Kev goes to tend to them and she says that they are fine and if he goes upstairs she is leaving. He goes upstairs. Gah.

Fiona comes home to find the flowers the next morning and tells Lip about Jackie. Lip says he’s going back to school early. Probably not a bad idea. She tells him they will miss him and seems concerned that he’ll never come back. He asks what her big announcement was, jokily asking if she’s married. She admits that she married Gus, and Lip doesn’t even know who that is. He asks if she’s happy and she gives him a tentative yes. She tells him not to tell the kids – she wants to do it herself. God, this scene feels like they are never going to see one another again. They hug for a long time, which makes it worse! She says, “Don’t be a stranger” on the way up the stairs and Lip looks around the house like he’s never seen it before, or never plans on seeing it again.

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Laura pours Frank coffee and whispers, “I can still taste you.” Ugh. No amount of Listerine will get that aftertaste out, honey.

Debs applies a new temporary tattoo to her arm and Sammi comes in and asks for aspirin. Debs tells her that there is no trailer – or money – and never will be. Now that Sammi has been lied to and let down by Frank, she’s survived the “Gallagher rite of passage.” Sammi barges into Wade and Laura’s house and attacks Frank with a knife, but Wade deflects her, beaming to Laura, “I saved him this time! I saved our son!” An exasperated Laura responds, “Then I fucked our son!” Frank loses Sammi halfway down the block. Gotta keep up, Sam!

Mickey asks Ian where the hell he’s been and who he left the club with. Ian throws him a wad of bills and tells Mickey he did a porno for $600. Mickey looks crushed. Ian says “the guy I did the scene with said he was clean” and Mickey is horrified that he didn’t use a condom. He tells Ian he’s “sick” and tells him to pack his shit, because he’s going to either a hospital or a psych ward. He pins Ian against the wall and Ian gingerly removes his hand, saying that he didn’t know how important this was to him. He asks to take a shower and Mickey lets him. Oh come ON, Mickey – oldest trick in the book! Sure enough, Ian is gone. And he took the baby with him?! In Mickey’s car? WTF?

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Fiona is at work and Gus comes in. He says he couldn’t care less about dinner and asks if her friend is alright. God I love this guy. Fiona admits she’s scared shitless about their marriage because he makes her “so fucking happy.” The doubting part of her won’t shut up. He says he feels the same way – there’s no guarantees. They agree to make it the “biggest, most fun fucking mistake we’ve ever made.” She kisses him goodbye and she sees her big tipper sitting in her booth, not noticing that she’s sitting with someone else. She smiles, “Hey – you came back after all!” Steve/Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) replies, “I did.”

SCENE

Notably Absent: Svetlana, Sheila, Mandy, Amanda

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Hmmm. Part of me thoroughly enjoyed this episode, while another part is a bit “meh” on the season overall and not terribly excited about this whole Lazarus Jimmy thing. I’m holding on to hope that his return will end up being more of a drive-by than anything else, because Fiona is drowning in hot gentlemen callers as it is and there’s really no room for him. So while his popping up at Patsy’s was obviously a big moment for Fiona (who wasn’t even under the impression that he was dead, as we were for all last season), I am far more interested to see where the hell Ian went with Mickey’s baby, whether or not V actually just walked on on Kev and the girls, and about a dozen other open questions. Steve Howey takes MVP of the episode for his hilarious attempts to meet V’s demands – they really should give him more to do more often.

Anyway, I’d still give it a solid eight Old Styles:

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What did you folks think? Sound off in the comments!

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