We gave it a B-
Is it me, or have the Gallaghers been too well behaved this season? I know that might seem crazy to say considering Lip sent a cocaine pizza to a recovering addict and V tried to have Svetlana deported, but that’s amateur hour compared to the past seven seasons. And yes, while it’s good that this family is growing up and maturing, I miss the days of Frank stealing prosthetic legs and Carl strapping drugs to little Uncle Chuckie!
“The Mis(Education) of Liam Fergus Beircheart Gallagher” steers us a little back in that direction, even if it’s for a good cause. The thief Carl caught at the end of last week’s episode wasn’t handed over to the police or let go with a stern warning. Instead, Carl has him locked up and detoxing in the basement for his “crime against America.”
The criminal is chained up, and he’s still not the person being most harmed in the Gallagher house. That distinction goes to Lip, who’s having more rough sex with Eddie. “I’m a s—ty little lady,” he says under physical pressure.
Thankfully, there’s no violence going on in the kitchen. It’s a big day for Frank; he got a promotion at work and he’s moved into his spiritual 40s. “Men in their 40s soar in their career and bang the parents at their kids’ school,” he opines. And if his interaction with a mom named Bev at Liam’s school is any indication, he’s well on his way to the latter. She’s turned on by the fact that he works with his hands, so he suggests she stop by his store. “She knows a renegade when she sees one,” he tells Liam. “Also, she thinks I’m teachable. Women love a long-term project, especially when it involves the improvement of a man.” I can’t think of a more long-term project than Frank Gallagher.
Carl takes a break from playing hostage-taker to go for a run with Ian. He might be a dedicated soldier and great torturer, but Carl’s a terrible runner. They make a stop at a church that Trevor hopes to rent to house the kids from the Youth Center. Later, Ian joins Trevor for a meeting with a donor named Quentin, who quickly agrees to fund the rental. It’s not until they’ve left that Ian realizes why he recognizes the man. Quentin was a notorious customer at the gay club where Ian use to work. Let’s just say he had a thing for accessible bathroom stalls and turtlenecks.
Trevor and Ian aren’t the only ones taking notice of the abandoned, run-down church, which happens to be in Fiona’s neighborhood. It turns out that her boss Margo owns the building, and she suggests that Fiona should buy it. Our burgeoning entrepreneur can’t swing it, but she isn’t thrilled with the idea of a shelter taking it over since it will conflict with her attempt to raise the neighborhood’s profile. Apparently, an art gallery was previously interested, and with Mel running in a similar circle as them, Nessa suggests Fiona ask her to get some info. Mel forces Fiona to grovel and apologize for “being a megac—t.” Even after Fiona obliges, Ms. Blond and Bitchy says no.
Fiona’s not just asking for favors — she also grants one. Carl is desperate to get his job back at the diner after learning he’s lost his scholarship to someone who’s actually Native American. “Comanche bastard took my scholarship money,” he tells his sister. He rebuffs her suggestion that she lend him the money, offering instead to empty and clean the grease trap (it’s even worse than it sounds).
Now freed from the risk of deportation, Svetlana has returned to the Alibi, where she and V are being very cold toward each other. V becomes angered upon discovering that Svetlana is taking half of the bar’s earnings and not splitting it three ways. Since her “Russian hour” brings in more money, Svetlana thinks she deserves more, which Kevin kind of agrees with. Speaking of “Kentucky fried redneck,” Kevin is all in on his newly discovered Southern culture. He’s still learning though, judging from the fact that he dresses like a cowboy and is confused about whether it’s collard greens or colored greens.
Lip takes a break from getting beat up during sex to visit Brad and his new baby, who’s currently feeding on his mom’s breasts. “I’ve been around babies and boobs a lot,” says a comfortable Lip. Consumed by being a new dad, Brad insists that Lip get an interim sponsor. After some rough motorcycle sex with Eddie, which leaves him looking like he went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, Lip begins wondering if he wants something more than just rough, casual hookups.
Despite’s Frank guidance, Liam failed his latest test. But his father disputes the result, claiming “cultural bias.” He’s got a point, because writing in “sniffed” for “____ the glue” isn’t necessarily wrong. When tucking his son in that night, Frank plays the role of loving father by reading to Liam, though he quickly goes off book for a lesson on needing to take advantage of the way people at the school look at them. Frank does that just that when Bev comes by hiss work to update him on the PTA’s mission to eliminate cultural bias from the curriculum. She becomes increasingly turned on the dirtier his hands get, leading to them having sex in the warehouse. Who would have thought that getting clean, being a good father, and getting a job would be the greatest thing to ever happen to Frank Gallagher? (Recap continues on page 2)