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'Shameless' recap: 'South Side Rules'

Lip is torn between Helene and home, Ian lashes out, and Sammi makes an unforgivable decision.

Posted on

Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum
Comedy, Drama


Mickey has moved in as Ian’s permanent caretaker, but they can’t seem to get intimate—which, to Mickey, is totally understandable, given Ian’s pill side effects. He’s an exemplary nurse, knowing exactly which medication does what, but the nursing is going uncheered by Ian.

At the diner, Ian zones out completely while collecting dishes, and in a frightening moment he puts his entire hand on the boiling hot grill, scorching it. When he arrives home with a cheap wrap around his hand, Sammi is there to greet him—despite her proud declaration that morning that she isn’t a Gallagher and no longer participates in the household business. Still, she gives him first aid, and he opens up about the military and the people who are looking for him after he went AWOL.

After a nap and a visit from Frank (who hasn’t had a conversation with Ian in months), Ian decides to storm out of the house, insisting that a concerned Mickey either come with him or stay behind. He leads Mickey to the baseball field where they once boned, and when Mickey shows more concern about Ian’s hand and his beer-medication combination, Ian flat out punches him in the face.

“I don’t need a f–king caretaker, alright?” shouts Ian. “I need the shit-talking, bitch-slapping piece of south side trash I fell for.” Mickey’s over-protection has taken its toll, and now Ian just wants the tough love that he always received from Mickey. They proceed to get into a huge, bloody fight—but it’s exhilarating in only the way that a Gallagher-Milkovich playground brawl can be. They shotgun beer. They laugh. It’s the first time in a long time that Ian’s felt anything.

Hours later, they’re drunkenly singing “Love is a Battlefield” as they arrive back at the house. A gleeful Ian, trashed on just one beer, suddenly comes to the realization that they’ve never been on a real date with proper clothing (like collared shirts) and restaurants (like Sizzler). Mickey and Ian exuberantly decide to go change clothes and go on a date… but their plan is interrupted by Sammi, who’s waiting inside the house with the U.S. Army.

It’s painful to watch as a finally happy Ian gets taken away, with Mickey—and Fiona, who’s just arrived in time to be shoved aside by the military—watching from the sidelines. They turn to Sammi, who’s solemnly standing on the porch. “It’s a shame when someone you love gets taken away, isn’t it?” she says gut-wrenchingly.

And I throw everything I own at my television because life is unfair that way.


Life with her abdominally gifted boyfriend Derek is going well—so well, in fact, that Derek and Debbie are on the same page when it comes to sex. They decide to have it that very night, at Debbie’s house, after a dinner thrown by Derek’s family (they’re having BBQ!).

In a smart move, Debbie requests Fiona’s help in going to Planned Parenthood so she can get birth control. Fiona initially discourages it, but Deb reasons that she’s been dating Derek longer than Fiona was dating Gus before they got married. BOOM. LOGIC. So Fiona makes the appointment, and they get Debbie some birth control pills from the clinic.

Here’s where things get sticky for Debbie (and viewers watching, worrying that Debbie is going to do something really, REALLY self-destructive). The doctor tells Debbie that the pills won’t work for 48 hours, so she’ll need to use alternate protection—read: condom—if she does have sex.

That would be cause enough for concern, but then we arrive at Debbie’s conversation with Derek’s de facto sister-in-law at the family BBQ. She tells Debbie about how she had her child and was quickly accepted into Derek’s family—an escape from her own nightmare clan. Debbie is, shall we say, intrigued at the idea of choosing her own family…and that night, when she and Derek start having sex, she eschews a condom and lies that she’s already on the pill. As a result, America collectively scolds her and sternly thinks DEBBIE because maybe she’ll hear our concerned plea to not purposely get pregnant if it’s in italics. (She also says “I love you” and Derek says “That’s so sweet,” which is a bigger red flag than a Clifford-sized bandana.)

NEXT: More bad decisions…