We gave it a B+
Emmy Rossum, Fiona herself, directed “Frank’s Northern Southern Express,” which serves as her second time behind the camera on the series and one of the season’s best installments. The entertaining episode begins with Fiona waking up to mayhem (not exactly abnormal in the Gallagher house). The doorbell is ringing nonstop; Franny is crying; and Lip’s banging on the bathroom door because Debbie won’t open up. When he does finally get in, he finds his baby sister taking approximately her millionth pregnancy test of the morning. The thing is, they all say negative, which she refuses to believe, as she doesn’t trust “the slut candy,” a.k.a. the morning after pill. To calm Debbie down, Lip offers to take her to Planned Parenthood.
Once they clear out, Fiona gets naked to shower, only to scream when she discovers Brad sleeping in the tub. Lip and Debbie rush in, with Lip telling his off-the-wagon sponsor he can’t stay at the house anymore, while Debbie asks him, “Did you watch me pee, pervert?” People watching other people pee continues downstairs when Fiona finds Carl and his new girlfriend Cassidy in the bathroom. How do I know they’re officially dating? Well, her “All Carl’s” underwear was one indication.
The doorbell was for Frank, whose new business is booming. In the backyard, he has a large group of foreigners seeking refuge in Canada. “I want you to know, just because you look like terrorists doesn’t mean you should be treated like them,” he declares. “Until America can distinguish between good brown people and bad brown people, it’s my goal to get you all safely across the border into Canada.” Since school is out for the summer, Liam has been tapped as his father’s assistant; his tasks include finding “one illegal from each banned Muslim country.” Meanwhile, in the front yard, American citizens are lining up to submit their orders for medicines they want smuggled back.
Meanwhile, the clean-up of the Youth Center’s new housing has begun, even if Ian’s still plenty bitter about Fiona essentially stealing the church from them. He’s soon got bigger problems, though, when he learns that one of the kids tried to kill himself after his parents brought him to a gay conversion church. Trevor and Ian pay a visit to Jamie, who looks to be in rough shape. He gives his friends the rundown on the church, prompting Ian to tell him, “You don’t need to be saved.” I’d say the people who need to be saved are those behind the church, since Ian’s surely coming for them.
In lighter news, Kevin’s mission to have a more dominant personality is going really well. He’s getting sex and breakfast on command from V, while also finally being able to stand up to Svetlana, which even turns him on. “I’m making myself so hot,” he admits. This new development clearly has Svetlana worried about her place in the bar and at home.
Debbie’s freak-out over her presumed pregnancy continues at Planned Parenthood. She’s come a long way from when she’d scold Fiona for suggesting an abortion during the first time around with Franny, considering the unemployed teenager has already decided that’s the route she’ll go here if need be. While waiting for his sister, Lip encounters a familiar face in Charlie — you know, Sierra’s ex and former addict, whom Lip sent a cocaine pizza to. Charlie’s there because he knocked up another girl when he and Sierra were supposedly separated. He hasn’t told her yet, something Lip insists Charlie has to rectify (not sure I’d take advice or demands from my romantic rival).
Strolling right into Nessa and Mel’s apartment, Fiona vents about her home situation: “Every day I wake up to screaming or crying or f—ing or someone doing crazy s—.” To be fair, she’s often doing many of those things there. The burgeoning entrepreneur insists she can’t afford to move out, prompting Nessa to suggest she move into the vacant apartment downstairs. After Nessa and Mel rush off to the fertility doctor, Fiona makes herself at home, putting up her feet and pondering life on her own.
Frank, some immigrants, and a goat are on their way to Canada, and the Gallagher patriarch isn’t just a mode of transportation, as he also tries to play a game that will help these people get to know each other. Unfortunately, Frank doesn’t get them over the border easily. They must make a long journey through the woods, during which Frank speaks very highly of their soon-to-be new land. “Healthcare for all,” he shares. “Marriage equality for gays. Legal hookers for the asking.”
The immigrants perk up even more at the mention of Justin Bieber, so much so that they all sing “Baby” during their hike. The sing-along is slightly delayed by one of the customers passing out, but she’s okay; Frank just needed to cut open her burka. It’s quickly back to “Baby,” and then some Celine Dion. The trek ends when they arrive at “Freedom Falls.” Frank passes off the travelers to his Canadian partner, and after getting the medicines on his list, he returns to his car.
Still in need of that shower, Fiona goes to use Mrs. Cardinal’s former unit, which hopefully doesn’t have any drunks sleeping in the tub. Fiona’s enjoyment of the peace, quiet, and solitude leads to a solo underwear dance party that gets interrupted by Ford letting himself in to pick up some tools he left behind. After she gets dressed, he mentions how he’s restoring an old home and offers to show her a few historical buildings on the South Side (the man knows that ladies love architecture).
Their tour ends at the house he’s staying at and currently working on. He invites her to lie down on his bed and look at the painting on the roof. This is romantic as hell, so she starts kissing him, only to realize he’s not returning the lip action. Why? He insists that he’s both single and straight, and it’s because he thinks she’s “complicated.” That rightfully doesn’t sit well with Fiona and she storms out (the man doesn’t know that ladies don’t love to be called complicated). (Recap continues on next page)