Hey, all, Welcome to this week’s Shameless recap. Ready, set, go!
Frank wakes up at what looks like the aftermath of a Hawaiian-themed frat party, but inexplicably does not have an apple in his mouth.
He gets word that he has some settlement money coming his way from one of the many scams he has cooking, and heads down to his lawyer’s office, which also doubles as a daycare for kids … and dogs (which is absolutely brilliant. I can see it now – rows of dishes filled with Mighty Dog and strained peas, and the floor littered with chew toys and Zweiback.)
The lawyer is played by Alex Borstein, who’s best known for Family Guy and Mad TV, but I’ll always remember her as the victim of deadly face cream in the classic Catwoman. She also wrote this, and a few other episodes of Shameless.
She tells Frank that he has cash coming from the city for the “injury” he suffered when a train door closed on his foot. There’s just one catch – both he and his ex-wife Monica have to sign the papers together. So does this mean we’ll finally get to meet the mythical Mother Gallagher?
We soon get the answer when Frank heads over to Sheila’s house and asks her to call a number, pretend to be a spokesperson from a grocery store and ask for “Monica,” and tell her that she won $100 dollars and a giant teddy bear. Especially a giant teddy bear.
Monica agrees to show up for the money and the giant teddy bear, especially the giant teddy bear, and Frank hitches a ride with Kev and is waiting when she arrives. Unfortunately, Monica shows up in a semi with her lover Roberta, who goes berserk when the store doesn’t have a giant teddy bear to give them, and Monica has to plead with her not smash the manager with a shovel. The two of them together are a bad women-in-prison movie. Or a bad roadshow of Desperate Living
Sensing this might not be the best time to reunite with his ex, Frank decides to stumble away. Not fast enough, though, because Monica sees him in the rear view mirror, and she and Roberta begin their pursuit.
Frank and Kev hightail it over to Sheila’s house, but Roberta and Monica follow, and burst in demanding a pound of Frank’s flesh … and a giant teddy bear.
Monica (played by Chloe Webb) and Frank begin to argue about why she left (he turned her into an “emotional cripple”), and he accuses her of abandonment. Watching Chloe argue with an obnoxious, wasted asshat definitely brings back memories of Sid & Nancy … but with more dysfunction.
After suspecting last week that Steve has been cheating on Fiona, Debbie decides to play junior detective and she tracks down the Chicago address that was in Steve’s cell phone.
She knocks on the door and is greeted by Steve’s mother (Julia Duffy, from Newhart and one unfortunate season of Designing Women). She doesn’t know who this “Steve” is, but thankfully her son Jimmy comes in and is … surprised to see Debbie.
Debbie runs off, and when Steve catches up, he tries to explain that, yes, his family is rich, but he’s a rebel, and he doesn’t want to do what’s expected of him, and that … stealing cars makes him … more real than becoming a doctor … or something. Of course, none of that explains the Oedipal creepiness in his relationship with his mom.
Debbie warns him that she’s not going to sit by while he hurts Fiona, but he insists he’s serious about the relationship. How serious?
He bought her a house
He takes Debbie back to the neighborhood and shows her his gift, which is a slightly less dumpy version of the craphole they’re living in. Debbie agrees to keep Steve’s secret for now, but proving she’s no dummy, also requires gifts and offerings to keep her mouth shut.
Kev and Veronica are preparing for a visit from Ethel’s son Jonah and Child Protective Services. Kev has the best line of the night when he looks at the earplugs in V’s hand and says, “You’re not planning to put those in my ass, are you? Cause I might have a hard time fishing them out.”
Jonah visits, and Ethel is so happy to see him that Kev asks the CPS woman how difficult it would be to foster him, as well. She replies that they do try to keep young mothers and their babies together, so it appears that Kev and V’s house may soon be overflowing with love.
Veronica is thrilled.
Lip and Ian have another nice scene together, discussing Lip’s finances and why James Franco was the only good thing about the movie version of Eat, Pray, Love.
Lip needs money to take Karen to see Florence and the Machine, whose music is unfamiliar to me, but whose lead singer chose a memorably atrocious outfit to wear on the Oscar red carpet.
Anyway, Ian generously gives Lip the last bit of his money. We need more scenes with the Gallagher brothers.
Lip still needs money, and there’s one last place he hasn’t tried. Unfortunately, the Bank of Debbie has shut down, but it does give him and Fiona time to discuss Steve’s ass.
Luckily, when Lip turns to Steve for a loan, Steve offers him a quick and easy job. He can make $200 dollars to drive the follow car during Steve’s next theft. It begs the question, “Is Best New Artist Grammy Nominee Florence and the Machine really worth a possible jail term?” I can understand Bieber tickets, possibly Esperanza Spalding, but …
Okay, I have to be honest. I was all set to write off this week’s episode as a jumbled, over-the-top mess … until the last ten minutes. That’s when all hell breaks loose, in a good way.
Debbie rushes home to tell the family that Monica is over at Sheila’s house. When Fiona tries to ask her for details, Debbie screams, “What difference does it make? You’ll be in moving in to that new house Steve bought you!” Whoops. Faced with the prospect of seeing the family matriarch again. Ian runs off to Mickey’s house. He begs to be with him, and Mickey agrees to meet him at the Kash & Grab.
Mickey and Ian are going at it in the storeroom when Kash comes in, jubilant that Linda is finally pregnant, which means he and Ian can start fooling around again.
Kash sees them together, Ian notices him staring, and Mickey has to crane his neck a little further, but he sees Kash as well. For a moment all three are frozen in place. Awkward! Then Mickey pulls his pants up and runs out.
Kash still hasn’t spoken a word when Mickey comes back in the store, defiant, and tells him, “Yeah, you’d better keep your f**king mouth shut ,” and then to add insult to stick-a-fork-in-your-eye-but-you-can’t-unsee-it injury, he grabs a Snickers bar and starts chowing down, saying, “I like ’em sweet.”
Obviously, Kash’s entire existence is represented in that peanut-packed stick of chocolate and nougat, and to see Mickey defile it has driven him over the edge. He pulls out the handgun and shoots, first taking out a generic bottle of sauce (because Kash has always felt generic inside), then shoots a bag of potato chips (because Kash has always felt … like … a potato that’s been … sliced and deep fried … inside), and then he shoots Mickey in the leg.
Ian leaves and runs over to Sheila’s house to find Lip on the front steps. he tells him that Kash shot Mickey, but he’ll be fine, and he just wanted to get out before the cops arrived.
He asks what’s going on with Monica, and Lip tells him that as screwed up as Frank is, Monica is even worse.
They go inside and listen to Frank and Monica bicker some more, until Monica finally says that she and Roberta have decided to take Liam with them. Frank is furious, until Roberta tells him that if he goes along with it, Monica will sign all of that settlement money over to him. Frank suddenly changes his mind.
Fiona is not having any of it, however. She tells Monica exactly what each kid has been able to accomplish without their mother’s help. Monica says “I may not have been there for them, but I’m here now. It may be too late to make things right with you, but it’s not too late with Liam. And it’s not too late with Debbie. And it’s not too late with Kyle. I mean Carl.”
She starts crying, and asks Debbie and Carl to forgive her, and says she wants to be their mother again. Being kids, they relent, and hug her.
Fiona feels betrayed, and decides that she’s had her fill of this whole damn family! She basically tells them all to wipe their own
asses noses and water down their own milk, cause she’s outta here!
Steve finds her later, walking in the snow, and caries her away, presumably to their new castle.
As I said, the final ten minutes saved this episode for me. Kash finally found his balls, which should make the Kash/Ian/Mickey triangle very interesting.
As for the rest, the Steve/Jimmy stuff is … straining credibility. And Monica can take Liam, as well as Carl and Frank, please.
What did you think?