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