Given how hard Fiona works to keep her head above water, it’s astonishing how often she’s let sound judgment fly out the window in favor of her own pleasure — a tendency that has defined Frank for as long as we’ve known him and one you’d think she’d consciously try to keep from defining her. But on this week’s Shameless, Fiona is still suffering the blowback from how she treated her estranged husband, Gus, and she nearly loses her home (again) because of it. But let’s start from the beginning.Debs, Frank, and Melissa Etheridge’s ex-lover
The last time we saw Debs, Erica had come to her window. Once Erica wakes up and finds herself in bed next to her ostensibly 18-year-old nanny’s bed, she’s embarrassed, but not overly sorry. As Frank points out to Debs, it appears as if getting into Mrs. Wexler’s pants is the way to secure them house and home; though Debs says she doesn’t like girls, Frank assures her that “a woman’s sexuality is as fluid as the Mississippi.” Well, okay, fine, but also: When can we drop this story line? It’s not surprising, per se, to see Frank pimp out his daughter but gross. Save Debbie!
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At Debbie’s latest ultrasound, she declines to learn the sex of the baby, but her doctor puts the answer in an envelope for her should she decide to find out later on. Also, and this is a huge nitpick, but everyone — including the doctor — kept referring to the baby’s sex as its gender, and it drove me up a tree. A baby’s sex is a function of its biology; gender is a societal and cultural construct. Okay? All right? They even teach you that in high school biology. Anyway, moving on. At Erica’s urging, Debs throws a “gender-reveal party,” and Debs even tries to mend fences with Fiona by inviting her to celebrate. Fiona declines because while she says she supports Debs, she doesn’t support her choices. But Debs insists that she is her choices, and why can’t Fiona see that? The party goes horribly wrong, but more on that later.
Oh, and she’s having a girl.
It’s discovered that Erica is in remission, and Frank and Debs can no longer look forward to her early grave. So when Erica sneaks into Debs’ room at night, promising to sleep on the floor, no touching, Debs, resigned, joins Erica on the floor, the big spoon to her little spoon.Lip and Helene
Oof. So, the photo taken and disseminated without Helene’s consent has put her job in jeopardy. There’s no doubt that her relationship with Lip was a moral gray area, fraught with complications. The school needs to ensure that she’s not some predator who regularly uses her power to take advantage of her students. And despite how icky their relationship sometimes felt — not to mention its doomed nature — Lip is in love. So when he’s sat in front of the college disciplinary board, his hackles are up. He can’t give them any straight answers and is insistent on proving to them there was no wrongdoing.
However, Helene knows that there’s only one way to maybe keep her job, and it’s to be as forthcoming and as contrite as possible. She offers to take a leave of absence and to provide a formal statement of apology, which the board may make public should they so choose. She has already started to pursue therapy for sex addiction, and when the school offers to provide Lip with counsel, he snaps that “what happened between Helene and me wasn’t wrong,” and that there’s nothing he needs to “cope” with: “We’re in love. Okay?” Helene remains stone-faced.
The disciplinary hearing is adjourned, and Helene books it out of the building. Lip chases after her, demanding an explanation and that she look at him. “That’s it, then, huh?” he says. “That’s how you want to end this?” She spins around to face him and tells him to stop pursuing her, to leave her alone, to leave her family alone, and to not “make this any uglier than you already have.”
And Hurricane Amanda has also left Lip’s life: Her parents told her to leave campus while the scandal blows over. The “feminazis” are after her for “trying to destroy a high-status female because of [her] own internalized gender oppression.” But to Amanda, it’s still Lip’s fault for not following campsite rules: “Leave the area in better shape than you found it, a–hole.”
NEXT: Ian has a date, and Carl gets some honest-to-God character development