There’s lots of love going around for several Gallaghers this episode, which featured more heartwarming moments than we’re used to in Shameless. Plus: Liam has more lines than he’s had in the entire series so far, and Fiona starts to see the negative aspects of her spur-of-the-moment investment. Diving into this week’s Shameless “You’ll Never Ever Get a Chicken in Your Whole Entire Life” in 3…2…1…
Let’s kick off with Debbie and Lip, since both of their stories are overlapping with the lives of their significant others — Neil and Sierra, respectively. Debbie’s in a panic as she prepares for the NCFS inspection, tries to get married, attends her required parenting class, and quits high school, all in one day. She’s taking zero sh-t from anybody, Sierra included, since technically Sierra and her son, Lucas, are living in Neil’s apartment. She’s on a tight schedule, and the first item on her agenda is quitting school.
Once she does this and successfully takes the GED in the morning, she heads to the Laundromat to beg Fiona to go to the courthouse with her. Debbie thinks being married will look more stable to DCFS, but Fiona isn’t concerned with the urgency since she has her own crisis to attend to. Debbie and Neil leave without Fiona’s assistance and attend the parenting class together, getting home in time for the DCFS inspection.
Later that night, Debbie and Neil share a really sweet moment while she gives him a bath. Debbie vents her anxiety about the DCFS meeting and Neil comforts her, assuring her the meeting went well and everything will be fine. She appreciates his honesty, and he tells her he loves her. She returns the sentiment, and Neil pulls her into the bathtub with him. Whether Debbie likes it or not, she really may have acquired Fiona’s caretaker gene — she’s fiercely devoted and loving when she wants to be.
Lip had a similar moment tonight with Neil’s sister, Sierra. We know Lip has some complicated issues with women — whether it’s competition with Fiona or his freak-out at Sierra last week for getting “too comfortable,” Lip can’t quite strike the right balance with the women in his life this season. This episode makes it clear his freak-out may have been less about Sierra’s comfort and more about his own with her.
Lip and Sierra make plans to get together after work. Professor Youens shows up at the diner to tell Lip the university provost granted his request to appeal his case. Lip did not request an appeal, but Professor Youens did it for him (for some reason, he really, REALLY wants to help Lip). Lip, of course, is resistant and doesn’t plan to go to the hearing even just to clear his record, but Sierra encourages him.
Later that night, Lip arrives at Neil’s apartment in time to see Sierra send her son out with his father, Charlie, a recovering addict. Sierra’s trying to make nice with him in an effort to give Lucas some stability as well as to get the child support he owes her. Sierra and Lip have a great time together on their date, as they discuss Lip’s “sobriety” and play games at an arcade. Sierra is distracted, though, and keeps checking her phone in case anything happens regarding Lucas. Eventually, she gets the call she was dreading: Charlie left Lucas somewhere by himself.
NEXT: Fiona’s surprised maintaining a business costs money
Sierra and Lip leave their totes adorbs photo-booth session and drive to where Lucas is. Sierra is distraught; she keeps apologizing to Lip for the evening turning into anything but “casual” and venting her frustrations with Lucas’s dad. She wants to get Lucas home and asks Lip if he could get home himself, but he comforts her and tells her no, he’s going with her for the night. Aww! I have so much love and hope for these two…as long as Lip doesn’t screw it up.
Determined to immediately turn a profit from her
shiny, new, somehow still-standing investment, Fiona puts up a sign advertising the Laundromat as “under new management” and offering a deal: two loads for the price of one. Shortly afterwards, a patron informs her one of the washers is leaking onto the floor.
Etta is barely lucid as she tells Fiona who to call to fix it, and also makes it clear she never opens her mail — including the check Fiona gave her. (I’m starting to wonder whether Etta just imagined the “suits from the North Side” who were coming in.) Once the repairman arrives, he lets Fiona know the washer will cost around $3,000 to replace and there are several others that need replacing, too. He also smells gas in the back and advises her to call the gas company.
She does, and apparently the gas line is at a level for a leak. They’re surprised the whole building hasn’t blown at this point; Fiona needs to get a plumber in there to fix the issue.
Meanwhile, Etta is literally eating cat food.
Finally, a plumber shows up and tells Fiona he’ll need $1,700 to fix the leak. She immediately goes over to Patsy’s and takes the cash out of the safe. Just then, one of the waitresses tells her Margo is eating there again, so Fiona goes to her seeking advice. She tells Margo all about her investment, and admits owning a small business is costing more than she expected. The guidance Margo gives her: “Don’t do it,” along with the old adage “You need money to make money.”
“Most people don’t understand what it takes,” Margo says. This isn’t quite the encouragement Fiona was looking for. She decides to take down her signs and rip up the still-uncashed check she wrote Etta.
Later that night, Fiona tosses and turns thinking about her decision. She’s questioning her plan of action, considering the road blocks she encountered all day. In the morning, she decides to stick with the Laundromat after all and deposits the check at the bank herself.
You have to appreciate Fiona’s stick-to-it-tiveness. She won’t let Margo or Lip tell her no… But I do wish she wasn’t doing this with her family’s home on the line.
NEXT: The words Frank has never heard before
Poor Liam, a consistent yet somehow still throw-away character in this show, finally gets a real arc when he learns he can’t go to first grade. He’s more excited than any Gallagher has ever been to go “learn stuff,” but the local public school has closed due to dwindling enrollment. Liam goes to Frank (in the process of trying to set fire to his homeless shelter) for help.
Frank and Liam discover that after a new private school moved into the neighborhood, the wealthier residents sent their children there instead. The closest public elementary school Liam could attend is a half-hour away. Frank takes it upon himself to break into the private school and spend some time shaming the children, teachers, and parents there. Eventually, the school’s principal invites Frank to her office for “tea and imported Guatemalan chocolates.”
Frank and the principal reflect on their own days in school, as well as the changing neighborhood. She offers Frank a spot for Liam to attend the private school — for free.
At the end of the episode, after proving he was able to show an ounce of empathy for someone other than himself, Frank was rewarded with Liam’s “You’re a good dad!” remark, as the first-grader heads off to school in his fancy new uniform. I think I even saw a tiny tear in Frank’s eye?
What Everyone Else Is Up To
Kev, V, and Svetlana are now working to get Yvon out of their lives. It’s a confusing situation — if Yvon and Svetlana are technically still married, then V and Svetlana are not. (This would likely pose an issue in the adoption process, though that hasn’t been mentioned in a few episodes.) Svetlana insists she’ll do whatever it takes to return them to happy thrupple status. At one point, she returns to the Alibi bloodied and roughed up, and proclaims Yvon is officially gone from their lives. She won’t explain how or why; she just says he’s gone. Later in the episode, not knowing exactly what happened makes V and Kev question whether they should continue having sex with Svetlana.
Ian and Trevor recoup after finding out they’re both “tops” last week. After some flirting and chatting, they agree that if they still want to have sex they’ll have to compromise, so they have a discussion about boundaries. Both are hesitant to be “bottoms” in this case, but they decide to give it a go – after shouting/rapping DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” at each other and smoking weed. They flip a coin and decide Ian’s going to be bottom first. We later learn that all went well between them, and they’re both happy about each other’s performances.
What did you think about episode 7? Let me know in the comments!
- “We’re gonna grab food; I have the day off. You wanna come and stick your foot in your mouth some more?” —Ian, after Lip accidentally insults Trevor
- “Yo, Yvon, what’s up brother? I’m just putting away some clean plates…” —Kev trying to look busy around Yvon
- “AND you are not ADA compliant, Fiona, so get a handicap ramp out here. The disabled have dirty clothes, too!” —Debbie, making her presence known at the Laundromat
- “You’ve got your hands full there, huh?” —The washer repairman re: Debbie
- “I’d go into cardiac arrest if I worked here.” —Professor Youens on Lip’s coworkers, Sierra in particular
- “Excuse me, why aren’t you going to the public school? Afraid of being exposed to regular kids?” —Frank approaching kids at play
- This exchange at the gate of Liam’s replacement public school, watching children walk through metal detectors:
“This where I’m gonna learn math, science, and spelling?” —Liam
“…Probably not.” —Frank
- “Ghost cock, ghost cock, ghost cock!” —Kev