“Shameless” Recap: “Are There Snacks?”

Oh sweet mother of mercy what a show. Sorry that this is late coming, but I was busy yesterday catching up on the earlier-than-expected third season of Game of Thrones – I’m proud to report that the 3,284 dueling clans of that dirty-haired epic have nothing on the destructive power of the Gallagher family. I’m in it for the laung haul!

Let’s begin.

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) tells Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) that he looks like a baby rabbit when he sleeps. She’s still maneuvering the whole “moving to Ann Arbor” thing, and her latest solution involves her getting a job there and moving with all the kids. Jimmy is SO into the idea.

Downstairs, Mandy (Emma Greenwell) wakes up Lip (Jeremy Allen White), who slept on the couch, to tell him she wants to get to school early so she can steal tater tots from the cafeteria for Mickey’s wedding. There are so many things wrong with that sentence that I don’t know where to start. Lip is clearly scared of her, and not just her wedding catering skills. Ian (Cameron Monaghan), meanwhile, is “staying home from school” again. Lip tells him to steer clear of Mickey’s family – and when Mandy asks Lip for help setting up the VFW for the wedding, Ian jumps at the chance. Lip says he can’t make it and Mandy is of course thrilled at the news.

Frank (William H. Macy), meanwhile, wakes up on the subway, where a homeless guy tells him, “Get off my lawn!” and says that “by the law of bodily fluids,” this is his car. The pinched noses and scowls on the other passengers confirm this, and Frank insists he’s not homeless. Later, he ambushes Carl (Ethan Cutowski) to complain about how his mom beat him and ask for Carl’s help getting into the house. Carl says he’ll sneak him into the van.

Fiona asks Mike-nee-Evan-Chambers-from-Greek (Jake McDormand) about possible positions in their Michigan office, and he tells her he’ll ask around. He then invites her – hastily adding andyourdoctorboyfriendanddozensiblings – to a weekend retreat at his parents’ summer compound.

While on a diaper run with Liam, Jimmy gets a Mom 911 call from Estefania (Stephanie Fantauzzi) – who has broken a heel and wants Jeeeemy to come feeeeeex it and also have sex with her. He tells her the line is for emergencies only. Beto hands him his mail, pointing out that he read his enrollment confirmation from the Michigan medical school. Uh-oh.

Lip asks Kev (Steve Howey) for advice about Mandy, and lets slip that Mandy pasted Karen with the car. Kev kicks into Kenobi mode, telling Lip to get the hell outta dodge – and most importantly, out of the way of Mandy’s Little Red Corvette.

Mandy, meanwhile, is at the VFW, which is festooned in the most half-assed way imaginable with a hand-made sign that says “Mickey + Svetlana 4Ever”. Aww. Ian asks her about Svetlana and she says she’s nice and quiet and skinny, which is odd because “he usually bags fat chicks.” I hope she had that written on the cake!

Fiona invites V (Shenola Hampton) and the baby to move with them to Michigan in front of an increasingly panicky Jimmy, who gets another Mom 911 call and runs off to work. Fiona asks Debs (Emma Kenney) and Carl if they want to go camping and Carl says he’ll go if he can shoot racoons. She drops the news about possibly moving to Michigan and Carl says that they can’t leave Frank behind in the cold – Fiona wisely points out, “His thick layer of bullsh*t will keep him warm.”

Fiona then intercepts a call for Jimmy from Michigan about a studio apartment he’d inquired about. Uh-oh.

Over at Chez Jackson, Jody (Zach McGowan) brings home Karen (Laura Slade Wiggins), who is… not quite all there. She notes, “This place is nice,” so clearly she’s got serious brain damage. She slurps down a whole smoothie without knowing what it is, then falls asleep. She’s effed in a major way, and the realization dawns on Lip’s face. Sheila (Joan Cusack) breaks the awkwardness by pointing out, “She seems nicer, though!” Okay, she does have a point. Jody says that he has family in Sedona who live near “healing vortexes” that maybe they can go stay with. Bless, Jody. Bless.

Fiona confronts Jimmy at the Coffee Beanery about the apartment and he throws back in her face that she never consulted him about becoming legal guardian to the kids. She says he knew what he was getting himself into, and he says he didn’t plan on ending up a houseboy in a slum. Ouch. She doesn’t like her home being called a “slum” and she tells him he can find slumplace else to live.

In the van, Frank tells Carl that Fiona is a nosy bitch who holds a grudge, when family is supposed to be forever. He reminisces about his first heist with his dad when he was Carl’s age – they blew all the money on a hotel room and room service. Carl mentions that his foster gays had lots of stuff and he knows the security code, and Frank perks up.

Sheila asks Karen if she remembers who Himey is and she does – “the mongoloid?” Sheila schools her that “we can call him a retard – we’ve earned that right.” Earned that wrong, is more like it. Karen asks “Where’s Jody?” several times and eventually he shows up with a tray of food, with Himey in a baby harness, to complete their adorably damaged family portrait. OMG, this is terrible, but this f*cked-up family actually kind of works, doesn’t it? Well done, Shameless.

Carl plays sick to stay home from camping, but Ian is actually sick – of the hungover variety. Fiona asks Lip what’s going on with him and he tells her Ian will talk when he’s ready. Mandy then rapes lip in a puddle of Cheerios on the kitchen floor, hissing, “You belong here with me, not with that f*cking vegetable.” Oh boy. Remember all that character rehab they did on her? Strike that, reverse it. Nobody commits sexual assault on a Big G cereal and gets away with it. Those are whole grains! Lip hides in the bathroom and calls Kev for help. Mandy barges in to get his thoughts on her wedding outfit (she thinks her dress makes her look like a drag queen) and she can tell something is up.

Carl draws up a map and worries that the cops will somehow find them, but Frank pooh-poohs everything, pointing out, “Cops’ll see these faggots and not give three wet farts.” Such an evolved point of view, particularly from a man who not two days ago was the new face of the gay rights movement. (Oh yeah – what the hell happened with that?)

At the campsite, Debs enjoys a potato sack race while Mike – holding a red plastic cup, which makes it even harder to resist calling him Evan Chambers from Greek – chats her up. Later, they both drink too much and he reveals that he has never been to a strip club and he might actually be a decent guy. They make out.

Nando takes Jimmy to dinner to grill him about Michigan and Estefania – and then drops the bomb that she is currently in INS holding and is being deported.


At the VFW, Ian barges in on Mickey (Noel Fisher) taking a smoke break with his ugly-ass neon-blue carnation boutenniere, and Mickey insists, “Just becasue I’m gettin’ hitched doen’t mean we can’t still bang.” They go for it. Later, Mickey tells Ian he just has to do this marriage thing and then they can go for round two, and Ian says he can’t be serious. Mickey tells Ian to grow the f*ck up – but Mandy interrupts to drag Mickey to the altar.

Svetlana looks really pretty, poor thing. Ian pounds straight vodka at the bar.

Carl and Frank rob the foster gays.

Fiona and Mike go at it in the tent, with her very nearly giving him one of those lap dances they were talking about earlier. Just as they’re about to round another base, Fiona freaks out. She spazzes and says she can’t believe what she’s doing, and Mike says she’s using him for revenge, not that he minds. He then pulls his pants down below his hip to reveal a very sexy torso and the name “Eve” tattooed on his hip. It’s his ex-wife, as of last week. He says he might get something tattooed over it. Any suggestions? “Casey Forever”? “Even Stevens”? “Seven and the Ragged Tiger”? Fiona asks him how he knew it was over, and he asks her the same thing. Frowny-face.

Jimmy panics, essentially begging for his life as they drive him to an undisclosed location.

Lip visits Karen. Sheila has made cupcakes, because soon Jody is taking Karen and Himey to live near the healing vortexes. With Karen, he reminisces about old times together vandalizing and fornicating in public, and all she can think about is, “Are there snacks?” She says she can’t feel anything anymore. I’m sorry, hon, but you never really could. He cracks and tells her that Mandy did this to her, and she did it because of him. Karen remembers Mandy, but because she can’t make new memories due to the brain damage, she immediately forgets what he told her.

“Are there snacks?”

At the wedding, Lip shows up and confronts Mandy – she admits that she did it for him, she did it all for him. But now she’s moved on to a new guy – “I just swallowed his load in the bathroom, wanna taste?” Oh god, honey. The first step toward self respect is a roll of Breath Savers. Ian – totally wasted by this point – starts yelling about how life’s even worse when “the guy you love – or the guy you’ve been f*cking marries some commie skank.” This seems to register with Mandy before Lip drags Ian out of there. In all, the Chicken Dance was probably the high point of this affair.

Beto drops Jimmy off at a big boat in the dark harbor, telling him to man up and get on. Jimmy wants to call Fiona, but Beto won’t let him – he throws his phone into the lake. Jimmy gets onto the Slice of Life, where Nando waits for him.

Lip drags Ian home to find Carl getting hauled off by the cops – turns out his security code was his alone (it spelled his name) and they’re arresting him. Lip puts up a fight, and Frank – sleeping in the van – wakes and hears the scuffle. He comes out and takes the fall for the whole robbery. Wow. Ian asks what the hell just happened, and Lip says, “Hell just froze over.”

And of course, Fiona breaks down and calls Jimmy – when she gets his voicemail she apologizes and tells him she loves him.


Boy. So Mickey is married (though i bet we haven’t seen the back of him – well, okay, we have, but you know what i mean – yet), Karen is brain-damaged and heading off with Jody, Mandy is about to explode, Frank is going to jail, and Fiona loves Jimmy again but is now going to think he ran off again when in reality he is either kidnapped or dead (my guess is they will keep us in the dark until next year). Not a bad penultimate ep. Having Frank commit his first noble act on behalf of his son on the eve of an apparent medical scare is pretty brilliant – will they redeem the unredeemable after all? I give it eight out of ten Old Styles:

How about you?


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