Tonight’s Shameless feels like it may have taken place in an alternate universe. Frank actually doing something good for his family? Fiona coming out on top after what seemed like the world’s worst investment move? With the exception of more poor decision-making from Debbie and Lip, this hour almost made you feel like things could finally be looking up for the ‘ol Gallagher clan. Let’s get into episode 8: “You Sold Me the Laundromat, Remember?”
As usual, let’s start with Fiona. She’s out of money to put into the Laundromat, so she’s taking a DIY approach to fixing up her new business. Much of this episode is spent watching her pull up moldy tiles with a spatula. Etta’s dementia seems to be getting worse, and she initially thinks Fiona is a homeless person squatting in her Laundromat. Once Fiona reminds her she bought it and Etta has $80,000 in her bank account, Etta goes on a pretty epic shopping spree, buying things like giant TVs and hot tubs for which she ultimately has no room. Lip also stops in, asking Fiona about a shift change but still kicking her when she’s down about her current disaster of a situation.
Fiona becomes increasingly more hysterical, having to turn away deliveries of Etta’s insane purchases while the ceilings around her are literally collapsing. She eventually steals and hides Etta’s credit card, later using it to buy the new tiles she needs.
Fiona’s reunion with Kevin was one of the best parts of the episode. Kevin is distraught in his own right, trying to deal with the fallout of Svetlana’s recent shadiness and his inability to keep trusting her. In this episode alone, Svetlana stole Kevin’s “t-tty van” to get insurance money, started a new home business making fake passports, and let her “aunt” rent out the apartment above the bar — none of which Kevin was told about. Kevin also feels like V might be “p-ssy-whipped,” as she keeps making excuses for Svetlana despite her obviously questionable behavior. So Kev goes to Fiona for advice.
He explains the whole situation and says that despite everything, “you know us better than anyone,” and promises to help Fiona with the Laundromat in the process. When he’s done filling her in on recent events, Fiona is hesitant to give her honest opinion but does anyway at Kevin’s behest. “I never ever trusted Svetlana,” Fiona says. “I was raised by a con artist, and I know one when I see one.” She admits she regrets not speaking up when Svetlana and V got married, and blames Svetlana for turning V against her (which, let’s be honest, isn’t totally true — Fiona was a pretty selfish a-hole to V without Svetlana in the picture), but she wishes she had said something sooner because she misses V every day. It was nice to see Fiona let down her stubborn armor and admit the truth for once this season!
Kev appreciates the honesty. Things manage to get worse in the Laundromat and Fiona has a serious breakdown, so Kevin recruits the patrons at the Alibi to help them, promising free drinks for a week in exchange. V has the nerve to stand up to him about this, saying he never talked to her about it, so Kevin brings up the many recent things no one talked to HIM about, either. It’s so great to see Kevin standing up for himself!
The patrons from the Alibi, Frank included, get to the Laundromat and take over, bringing their own tools and expertise in laying tiles. Frank even congratulates Fiona on buying the Laundromat, calling it a good investment. Trevor shows up with Ian and also extends his congratulations. Now Fiona’s feeling proud of herself, like it wasn’t such a bad idea to put her up family’s home for a loan to buy a dilapidated Laundromat. Hint: It still was.
Fiona hugs Kev and profusely thanks him for all of his help, and Kev says he just needs one thing — to crash on her couch.
NEXT: The case for Lip Gallagher