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'Shameless' recap: 'The Defenestration of Frank'

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Cliff Lipson/Showtime

Shameless

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-MA
seasons:
6
run date:
01/09/11
performer:
William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum
broadcaster:
Showtime
genre:
Comedy, Drama

Is this power struggle between Lip and Fiona tearing anyone else apart, or is it just me? They’re so great as a team when they’re on the same page, but from the looks of tonight’s episode, they won’t be seeing eye-to-eye anytime soon. This week also featured a big reveal from Svetlana, an engagement for Debbie, and Frank’s latest scheming finally coming back to bite him. Let’s dive into “The Defenestration of Frank.”

Fiona decides to give herself a reward for all her hard work and buys an A/C unit for her bedroom. She tells Lip she thinks Debbie is overreacting about DCS and that Franny/Harry won’t be taken away from her, but she can’t help Debbie being dramatic.

Fiona gets to Patsy’s, which is very busy with a lunchtime rush, and tells Sierra she was looking at properties. I guess it’s safe to say she’s taking the Tinder-Finance guy’s advice to heart and is looking to make an investment (except for that small tidbit of not really having enough of anything to invest).

A cat runs into Patsy’s and it’s one of Etta’s, so Fiona runs it over to the Laundromat. She talks to Etta and they basically have the same conversation they had last week — the “suits from the North Side,” yadda yadda yadda, now Etta has a week to think about letting them buy her out of her lease. Fiona offers to buy the lease instead; she says she’ll get a $100,000 loan, buy the lease for the Laundromat, and let Etta continue living in her apartment upstairs. No problem! Etta agrees.

Fiona finds out she can only get a loan for $80,000. She offers this to Etta, who’s initially surprised because she doesn’t remember their conversation from the day before. (Let’s just acknowledge something right now: This transaction has bad news written all over it, and it’s about to get worse.) Fiona reminds her what they talked about, Etta claims she remembers, and she signs her lease over to Fiona for $80,000. Fiona now owns the Laundromat and technically, its upstairs apartment, too.

Giddy as all hell, Fiona skips over to Patsy’s to tell Lip. Lip’s reaction is basically, “Okay?” and asks what she put up for collateral to get a loan for $80,000. Fiona casually says “the house,” like she can’t figure out why she wouldn’t have done so. It’s such a smart decision, right? Lip looks furious and asks why she would do something like that when the house belongs to everyone. Fiona counters with “Well, it’s in my name,” and some BS about how she’s going to turn the business around even though she knows nothing about running a Laundromat. This exchange quickly turns into an argument about who between them makes worse decisions, and Fiona once again brings up how Lip blew his grant and got kicked out of college.

Their exchange continues in the episode’s final minutes, when Lip says “It’s not too late. You could still back out of that loan…” In response, Fiona just stares him down.

NEXT: Fiona’s desperate to prove herself

[pagebreak]

WTF, Fiona?

There are a lot of elements at play here. First, Lip is right. It seems less than smart for Fiona to assume that because she was able to bring the diner some business, she has enough experience to make a profit off a Laundromat with an increasingly senile woman as her business partner. I think the direction both Chad and Tinder-Finance guy were going in when they said “Owning something makes money” is that, perhaps, you make some money to own the thing first. I’m not sure a financial advisor would recommend putting up your family’s home as collateral for anything, let alone to acquire a loan so you can purchase a Laundromat, when you don’t really have any other money. Fiona’s really rolling the dice on this, but the outcome will affect everyone. And if the house technically belongs to Carl — and everyone is paying to live there — shouldn’t they all have a say in this deal?

Secondly, why is she rushing into this? Why is Fiona in such a hurry to suddenly prove she’s capable? She’s trying so hard to get back at Lip and show (everyone, but mostly him) she’s going to make something of herself. Yet at the same time, she’s looking for Lip’s praise and support every step of the way. No matter how frantic or selfish her actions, she keeps looking to him for a pat on the back.

Finally, up until this point, Fiona had all but accepted Lip was the “smart one” and had even helped him recognize his potential. Everyone had seemingly come to this realization and they were fine with it — ultimately, the Gallaghers are a team and Lip being smart would benefit all of them. Fiona has ruined a few good opportunities before (the cup company, maybe?) and Lip has picked up her slack, too (Liam getting into Fiona’s cocaine comes to mind). So why is she now determined to not only compete with him, but also to continually throw his mistakes in his face?

Neither Fiona nor Lip are innocent in this battle, that much is clear. But it would behoove both of them to work together and at the very least, respect each other — before things go completely off the rails (which they most certainly will).

Lip Service

Other than fighting with Fiona again, Lip was all over the map this episode. The wire-fraud scheme he’s running with his college buddy takes effect, and Lip checks with his company’s cybersecurity to see if they noticed his hack. They didn’t, so Lip decides to up the ante the next day and skim even more money from the system.

Shortly after, Lip returns to the office to see that both the FBI and the DEA have taken over. His cybersecurity buddy seems to think this was definitely the final nail in the coffin for the company — this time, they won’t be opening up a new shop. Did Lip get any money from his hack? Will he get caught? And is he screwed professionally now? We’ll have to wait and see.

In other Lip news, he and Sierra are having sex on the regular now. But after hearing her brother refer to Lip as Sierra’s “new boyfriend,” he gets weird. He wants to make sure things are casual and not at all serious, but he’s becoming suspicious their relationship might mean more to Sierra.

Lip confronts Sierra about this, which both annoys and insults her. She admits she feels comfortable around him, but she’s not looking for him to be her son’s new dad. Eventually, Lip apologizes and admits he doesn’t want to “get back into old habits” with relationships — and that he’d very much like to continue things the way they were, if she’ll let him.

NEXT: Karma comes calling for Frank

[pagebreak]

Frank Gets What’s Coming to Him

Frank is instructing all of his homeless brethren minions on how to be better beggars. When they go out to work the corners, he accepts new gifts (e.g. furniture) from local churches and organizations, and then resells them for money he mostly pockets. Frank has a nice stash of cash in his bedroom at the “homeless shelter” — as well as his own grill, steaks and food in a personal mini-fridge, and a closet full of drugs and alcohol, all to himself.

New Lip starts to ask where the money goes when they’re out working the streets, and Frank puts on a big show getting angry about being questioned. However, New Lip later overhears Debbie say Frank’s ripping everyone off and tells the others. When Frank returns to the shelter, the rest of his “family” have invaded his room and angrily throw him out a window.

Debbie’s Dinner

Debbie plans a dinner at Neil and Sierra’s house, where she’s been living. She doesn’t invite Fiona, but asks for Carl, Ian, and Lip to come. She planned to take this time to announce her and Neil’s engagement, but Sierra makes a comment about her and Lip disapproving of their relationship before Debbie has a chance.

Debbie goes on to defend herself, saying she and Neil have a really good situation and she’s more than happy to be Neil’s caretaker indefinitely. They seem to have struck up a nice partnership and she seems to really care for him — trying to help him be a bit more appropriate in social settings, making him dinners, getting him dressed. He also likes Franny/Harry and helps Debbie with her.

Later, Debbie looks to Frank and Fiona to sign the papers allowing her (as a minor) to get married. Frank refuses, but shockingly, Fiona obliges.

The Truth About Yvon

Svetlana’s motives become increasingly questionable by the week, and tonight was no different. Kev thought he saw Svetlana and her father, Yvon, having sex when Svetlana claimed she was going to the bank. After some further questioning and investigating, Svetlana admits to both Kevin and V that Yvon is not her father. He’s actually her husband from Russia. The plot thickens!

What Everyone Else Is Up To

Carl got a scholarship to military school, but is getting cold feet. He’s nervous about hazing, and later thought he had a chance to get back together with Dom when she kissed him out of the blue. Dom’s dad stayed on him about still going to school, though, and went as far as to take Carl to Dom’s new boyfriend’s house (dang, this girl is a real player!). After receiving some encouragement from Fiona, Lip, Ian, Debbie, and Dom’s dad, Carl ultimately decides to attend the school. I’ll sure miss Carl and Dom’s dad’s scenes together, and I hope he’ll be back.

Ian is still struggling with his feelings for Trevor and can’t quite figure out how to act around him. After a hard day at work where a woman died in front of him, Ian felt like the only person he wanted to tell was Trevor, so he went to his apartment. They start to make out but realize they’re both “tops,” so sex wasn’t going to work. They laugh, but will this be the last we see of Trevor?

Were you surprised by Debbie’s engagement? Are you tired of Fiona and Lip’s bickering too? Weigh in in the comments! 

Honorable Mentions

  • The scene featuring Fiona, Ian and Lip enjoying her A/C unit, hanging out, and talking about the latest in their lives and sexcapades. It’s always fun to see them getting along like friends, and these actors have very real chemistry.
  • “You know she’s got gonorrhea, right?” —Carl to Dom’s new boyfriend
  • Just about everything Neil said this episode, including telling Fiona “You have a good ass, it makes up for your small tits!”
  • “Why you babble like someone who has stroke? Make sense, please.” —Svetlana to Kevin, when he approaches her about what he saw
  • “It was like…getting waterboarded, but in a fantastic way.” —Lip
  • “I singlehandedly solved the homeless problem in this country!” —Frank
  • “I want to grow up to be a man. I definitely can’t learn that from you.” —Carl to Frank
  • “Gallaghers are a lot of things, but no one says we back down from a challenge.” —Fiona

Episode grade: B-

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