Lip’s downward spiral has been swift but devastating. Regardless of how you might have felt about his relationship with Helene, there’s no denying that there were no real symptoms of imminent self-destruction prior to Amanda’s dissemination of Chekhov’s nude photo. I wonder if we can consider their breakup to be the trigger to all of this, even despite the epiphany he experienced about the true dynamics of their relationship while getting a, uh, foot massage from his grandmother. (I’m still suffering about that.)
In any case, “Paradise Lost” was Lip’s undoing. And as his life collapsed like a house of cards, Debs brought a new Gallagher into the world. And she named him after Frank. Is Debs a malevolent fertility witch? Why would she do that? Anyway, let’s go back to the beginning.
In a meeting with Professor Youens, we find out that midterm grades are due and that the head of the department is asking after them. Lip says the department head needs to chill out, and Youens realizes that his overfamiliarity has created a monster. He tells Lip that, actually, when the department head says that grades are due, grades are due. So…get grading. A bit taken aback, Lip promises to get them done.
It’s also time for Lip to interview for that internship for Fancy Science Thing I won’t pretend I remember or understand, and he’s prepared not at all. “I gotta sell myself to ask for free?” Well, as Youens tells him, he needs to start thinking about his career and not how much a job pays: “Get your s— together.” (Honestly, though, not everybody can afford to work for free for a whole summer, even when bolstered by loans and scholarships, so getting one’s s— together does not necessarily mean forgetting about the very real need to, well, eat. But I digress.)
Because he’s charming, though, his interview goes great. Lip seems like a lock for the position, except…
He gets fired from his job at Kappa Beta Thingy because his binge-drinking blackout led him to urinate on literally everything and everyone. Lip’s boss alerted the student council, and now he has to undergo mandatory counseling — both individual and group — or face expulsion. Gallaghers are fine with talking about their problems, right?
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Next time we see Lip, he’s asking Youens if he can crash in his office for the night while he figures out his next steps. However, Lip never did grade those midterms, and Youens is pissed. Youens tries to put his wayward TA in his place, but Lip goes volcanic: He calls Youens out for publishing a paper that lifted his ideas, but Youens insists that Lip got credit…as a research assistant. “You’re taking a s— in my mouth and saying you bought me dinner,” Lip says. Of course, this is the way things work in academia, but to Lip, “It’s f—ing bulls—.” And it is! But bosses taking credit for your work is not limited to academia. It’s an unfortunate side effect of making your way through the “real world,” something Lip has never really done. As a Gallagher, he’s been in the s—, that’s for sure, but he’s probably not even registered to vote. “You’re smart,” Youens tells him, “but grow the f— up.”
Lip reaches his limit, and calls Youens “a drunk has-been coasting on an outdated reputation, thriving off other people’s work. No wonder your kid wants nothing to do with you.” Good job, Lip!! I can relate to nothing more than a character constantly getting in their own way, but this outburst might have cost him literally everything. Youens is still a highly respected academic, and he has all the power in the world to ensure that Lip doesn’t get that internship or any other. Plus, if Lip doesn’t attend counseling — and history indicates he very well might not — he won’t even get his degree. Lip, you’re killing me.
NEXT: Debs gives birth! V and Svetlana get married! Frank nearly loses a finger to a blowtorch!