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Entertainment Weekly

TV Recaps

Shameless recap: 'F--- Paying It Forward'

Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

Posted on

We gave it a B

Shameless

1/9/11 - 1/1/70

type
TV Show
genre new
Comedy, Drama
Cast
William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum
Network
Showtime
seasons
8
Rating
TV-MA

Many wild things have happened at the Gallagher household, but “F— Paying It Forward” manages a first: turning it into a strip club. Instead of siblings and deadbeat dads, Lip finds himself surrounded by naked women. Psych — Lip wakes up erect with Liam at the edge of his bed playing with action figures. “Another stiffy?” asks his brother. TMI, Liam. TMI.

Elsewhere in the house, Debbie is back and unloads a feisty rant on Fiona about why she’s allowed to stay there. It’s all cool with Fiona, especially since she needs Debbie’s help getting her druggie resident’s head unstuck from a fence at her building. But before the sisters and Franny can leave, Fiona looks like she’s seen a ghost. It turns out Debbie isn’t the only person returning. Liam has let Sean in.

Yes, Fiona’s drug addict ex-fiancé played by Dylan McDermott Dermot Mulroney is back. She ignores him, and Debbie scolds Liam for “answering the door for douche bags.” “You don’t need him, Fiona,” assures Debbie. “You’re a strong, independent woman just like me.”

Someone has been breaking into houses in the area, so a neighborhood watch has formed. Carl isn’t a fan of a “club of George Zimmerman-type of p—ies who aren’t trained for military action.” The military man is determined to find the perpetrator, especially since a veteran was among those robbed.

Liam shares the news of Sean’s return with the rest of the Gallagher men. Frank, who exposed Sean’s relapse on Fiona’s wedding day, has decided to forgive him. “This is a test of our family’s spiritual growth,” declares the patriarch, who says he’s now entered his “symbolic 30s.” They sure do grow up so fast.

Now with a job, cell phone, and bank account, Frank has decided the next item on his to-do list is to become a good father to his “bonus round,” a.k.a. Liam. The reformed man wants to know what he can to do to be a better dad, leading Liam to mention how other kids have trust funds. “I’m afraid I smoked up that one already,” Frank replies. As he drops Liam off, Frank plays Prince Charming as a mom’s heel breaks. He fixes it and slips it back on her foot. She seems very intrigued by him.

Kevin from Chicago, born Bart from Kentucky, has made the journey down to his homeland with V and the kids. “It’s like one of those movies where the black folks die first,” cracks V. They’re greeted by Kev’s Aunt Ronnie, who upon meeting V says, “You’re just like your brothers, love the dark meat.” Once inside, Kev gets the rundown on his family: mother ran off and dad died. Ronnie says they didn’t mean to leave him at that gas station; they got confused and didn’t realize until it was too late.

V has her reservations about her new family, which she shares with Fiona. “They’re nice and they’re racist — it’s f—ing confusing,” proclaims V over the phone to her friend, saying she might have to go “Django on their ass.” I’d watch that remake.

Meanwhile, up in Chicago, Fiona has her own man problems. Not only did she forget to meet Bahir and give him his keys, but on her way there, Sean appears again, wanting to talk over dinner. Lip comes outside to play the intimidating brother role, even though if anyone needs protection, it’s probably Sean. After letting Bahir into his new apartment, Fiona catches Nessa up on the Sean drama over wine coolers. Confessing she “went dead inside,” Fiona says she still has feelings for her ex. Nessa suggests she tell Sean she’s going, only to then stand him up. Classic Vanessa Abrams move.

Originally intending to heed Nessa’s advice, Fiona ends up meeting Sean at the restaurant. “You deserved better,” he tells her, to which she responds, “You’re f—ing right I did.” He’s sorry, one year sober, and wants to pay her back for the wedding. “You destroyed me,” she says. “I loved you, a–hole. F—, I probably still do.” Yikes, this is awkward, because he doesn’t want her back. He actually got married and just wants to make amends. “Am I a f—ing step in your rehab?” she screams, throwing the money at him and storming out.

Brad and Lip’s meal at the diner is going slightly better. The conversation today is centered on how Lip “can’t even get laid in my dreams.” Brad suggests a no-strings relationship, which is a solid suggestion since Lip already has his eye on one of the waitresses. While she “would love to jump his bones,” she says she can’t do that to Sierra (doesn’t he know the diner code is waitresses or dishwashers?). This leads to Lip trying his luck on Tinder. After matching with a girl, he goes to meet her at a bar, where he’s immediately uneasy. She’s drunk, and when they kiss he can taste the alcohol on her lips. He smartly leaves. (Recap continues on page 2)

One of the Gallagher men does end up spending the night in the same bed as a girl, but ironically, it’s Ian. Geneva from the Youth Center got cut by her drug dealer and went to Ian for help. He stitched her up and let her crash on their couch for the night. Yet Ian woke up to find her in his bed with no pants on. “You switching teams?” jokes Lip upon seeing the young girl leave. When the brothers get downstairs, they find Fiona, who has been up all night drinking, smoking, and making a list of promises that Sean made to her. “His f—ing wife stole my life,” she declares. “I think she owes me a finder’s fee.” I mean, he did try to pay you; maybe that’s what the money was for.

Big news on the Franny front: She took her first steps! But Debbie is bummed because she was at work and missed it. As she tries to get her daughter to do it again, Frank recalls being there for each of his kids’ first steps. Normally, I wouldn’t believe him, but he says Debbie’s were at the police station and Liam’s were as he almost got hit by a train. That sounds about right. Carl and Debbie aren’t as easily convinced.

Frank’s attempts to win Dad of the Year continue as he attends his first PTA meeting. He quickly volunteers to work at the upcoming car wash to show Liam some hard labor. As the rest of the dads are preoccupied with their cell phones, Frank rants about the state of the man. “We are a generation of lost masculinity,” he proclaims. “And we’ve got to start getting it back. No matter if you’re straight or gay — and some of you look pretty gay. No matter if you stick it in the front or you stick it in the rear, for the love of our sons, we’ve got to stick it in there like a man.”

And that leads perfectly into Lip’s pursuit of a lady friend. Eddie is sick of hearing about it, so she orders him upstairs, where they proceed to have sex, which includes both choking and slapping on her part. Who could have predicted that? Oh, that’s right, I did. Well, not the choking and slapping stuff.

The apple doesn’t fall from the tree as Frank (yes, Frank) has caught the eye of the moms at Liam’s school. During the car wash, Frank and Liam get in water fight that ends with a shirtless Frank sprayed with water, which doesn’t cool down the ladies. “Now that’s a man,” says the one he helped with her shoe. She tells him she’d love to show her “appreciation.” Frank Gallagher, sex symbol.

Another Gallagher man is having his own relationship drama. Trevor’s pissed that Ian allowed Geneva to spend the night, calling it “inappropriate.” After learning that Ian got her interested in a junior firefighter program, Trevor apologizes and asks his ex to help him find housing for the kids at the center. Just to be clear, his bedroom doesn’t count.

Back in Kentucky, Kev’s family has a big get-together for him to meet everyone. While he arm-wrestles with his brother Biff, Kev learns that his aunt was lying and his dad did leave him on purpose. Ronnie insists they figured he’d be better off. “You’re the one that got out,” says Biff. “You won.” Originally hurt, Kev actually feels bad because he’s the successful one in the family, which may include KKK members, as the girls run out of the house with hoods on their heads. Um, might be time to head home.

And Fiona could probably use some of that patented V advice right now, because she’s sitting outside Sean’s hotel. At the first sign of a woman, Fiona jumps out of the car and starts screaming at her about how horrible Sean is. Slight problem: That’s not Sean’s wife. Sean and his real wife appear, but not before the lady starts beating on her own husband.

While the story doesn’t sound funny, the Gallaghers all have a good laugh about it when Fiona recounts the incident for them. Frank and Liam soon arrive home to join the party, with Franny walking toward her namesake, leading to Frank holding her up Lion King-style. “Holy s—, he really is Saint Francis,” says an amazed Ian. The fun gets interrupted when Carl hears that his trap has worked and the neighborhood criminal is caught out back. “I’m your worst f—ing nightmare,” Carl tells the criminal. But you’re my f—ing favorite, Carl.

The most shameless character of the week: Is it me or has everyone been on pretty good behavior this season? Well, besides selling meth and sending cocaine pizzas to drug addicts. Let’s go with Lip for trying to come between waitress friends!

What did you think? Do you miss the old Frank? Are you enjoying this season so far?

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