Ian makes a decision, Fiona thinks about her next step, and Lip finds help
RECAP: 12/11/16 All Crops: Shameless Chloe Webb as Monica and William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher in Shameless (Season 7, episode 11) - Photo: Ali Goldstein/SHOWTIME
Credit: Ali Goldstein/SHOWTIME
S7 E11

Love and loss abound in another heart-wrenching penultimate episode of Shameless. A maybe-final farewell to two beloved characters — and, somehow, an introduction to two new ones — all played out in tonight’s “Happily Ever After.” Let’s discuss!

This episode starts with Ian and Mickey on the road, Thelma-and-Louise style, headed for Mexico. Mickey’s cellmate is also along for the ride and quickly proves to be a liability, as his idea of “stopping for gas” is robbing the gas station. Ian and Mickey eventually ditch him, stealing a different car to cover their tracks.

On their ride, Mickey and Ian talk about their feelings a bit. It slowly becomes clear that although Ian is saying he’s 100-percent “in” for this adventure, his heart may not be. They visit a man named Jesus — who was supposed to help Mickey get over the Mexican border — but once he realizes Mickey is a felon on the run, he refuses to assist.

When trying to figure out how to get money, Ian suggests going to a bank. Mickey is under the impression they’ll be robbing said bank, but instead, Ian withdraws all the cash he has in his savings account, like a civilized human being. Mickey is shocked that 1) Ian has a bank account; and 2) He has a year’s worth of money to take out of one.

Later, while camped out under a bridge in Texas, Mickey chastises Ian for not visiting him in prison and asks if he thought about him while he was away. Ian admits it was hard for him to see Mickey like that, on the other side of the glass, but he thought about him often. Mickey confesses how much he missed Ian, but Ian doesn’t immediately return the sentiment.

Finally, while pulled over at the Mexico border, Ian tells Mickey he can’t do it. He tries to give Mickey the money from his bank account, but a heartbroken Mickey refuses his cash. He begs Ian to stay, but Ian puts the cash on the dashboard and finally says what he probably should have said several days prior: “I love you. This isn’t me anymore. I’m sorry.” They kiss, and after a well-timed “F-ck you, Gallagher,” Mickey completes his disguise with a wig and drives the car alone to Border Patrol. Ian watches them let Mickey into Mexico.

Of course, we could see the writing on the wall since the moment the detective said “Mickey Milkovich has escaped from prison,” but that doesn’t make it any less difficult to see yet another sad ending for these two characters. Mickey’s two-episode presence this season brought some much-missed excitement and laughs, the kind only his character could inject into a scene. While “leaving the country” leaves the door open to bring Mickey back at some point, how much heartbreak can a loyal Shameless fan take? This episode certainly made a good case for all the reasons why Ian and Mickey are on two different paths now — the tears in Mickey’s eyes made it seem like he knew it, too, deep down. My Emmy campaign for Noel Fisher starts now.

When Will This Frank and Monica Story Just End?

Frank and Monica are at it again, this time waking up in what looked like some kind of orgy scenario they don’t remember getting into. On their way out of the hotel room, they rob the other sleeping people of their wallets and jewelry. The jewelry, in particular, gives them a stupid idea — to get married again!

They spend a good portion of their time trying to get their kids to care about their (possibly) third wedding ceremony. They invade Patsy’s in an effort to disrupt both Fiona and Lip at work. Monica makes her 100th plea for a fresh start with the family, but Fiona and Lip ignore their requests. Debbie agrees to attend the ceremony because they are Franny’s grandparents.

In the Gallagher living room with Debbie, Liam, and Franny, Monica and Frank exchange vows, which (shockingly) turns into a violent fight between them. Then Frank begs Monica for forgiveness and recites the vows he wrote for their first wedding.

Later, both Lip and Fiona are home and get dragged into the wedding festivities. Monica and Frank serve everyone molly-laced champagne, and despite the fact 1) Lip shouldn’t be drinking; and 2) Debbie is an underage mother, everyone has a great time singing and dancing.

The following morning, Frank wakes up on the living-room floor next to Monica, who’s not moving (or, seemingly, breathing). Debbie and Lip come in to see Frank, panicked, over his dear wife’s lifeless body.

NEXT: Fiona considers her next move

Fiona Gallagher, Business Woman

Fiona is still glowing in the wake of her $160,000 check and trying to decide what her next move should be. She asks Lip if he knows anything about mutual funds or IRAs, but Lip can’t be bothered with being happy for her and ignores her questions.

Fiona stands outside the Laundromat with Chad as they dismantle every inch of her hard work. Inside, Etta is confused about what’s going on and beats the men working on the Laundromat with a broom. Fiona explains to Chad she’s already told Etta what was happening several times, but she has no short-term memory. Fiona tells Etta they need to shut down the Laundromat due to asbestos, and Etta will have to stay with her.

Fiona bought herself a car with her earnings, so she loads up some of Etta’s stuff and moves it to the Gallagher house, where Etta gets comfortable in a chair next to their washer and dryer.

Fiona heads back the Laundromat where, in a matter of hours, Margo’s people have fully gutted the place and turned it into a room fit for a “Southside Young Professionals Networking Event.” Chad is there and describes Fiona as “shrewd as hell” to a young professional named Ryan. Ryan and Fiona talk about how he knows Chad and how he, also from the Southside, got into the real estate business. Ryan offers to show Fiona the latest building he purchased and where he lives, and they have sex almost immediately upon arrival.

Post-sex, Fiona asks Ryan questions about the building and what he’s planning on doing with it. He admits he should have never bought the building and offers to sell it to her, saying it would save him the hassle of having to put it back on the market. Fiona feels like a seasoned professional from her experience with the Laundromat, so they negotiate a price and some terms.


At the end of the episode, Fiona gets a call from an assisted living facility saying they have an opening. She goes to tell Etta, who is sweetly teaching Lip how to knit. Fiona takes Etta to the facility, where Etta couldn’t look more confused and distraught at her new home. Fiona walks out with tears in her eyes.

While we’re supposed to feel happy and proud of Fiona for her financial success, her screwing over Etta is extremely hard to watch. Keeping Etta in her apartment was supposedly half the reason she wanted to buy the lease, but now Fiona is no better than the Northside suits who tried to out Etta in the first place. Maybe Etta’s gradually worsening senility will keep her from being too aware of her surroundings, but at the very least it seems like Fiona could have kept Etta in the Gallagher house, around people and things she somewhat recognizes. Plus, you can’t ignore the irony of her wanting to fight her neighborhood’s gentrification but ultimately becoming part of it.

NEXT: What everyone else was up to

Lip made a new friend in AA. A fellow alcoholic named Brad starts talking to Lip outside the meeting, where they find they’re both fatigued by the sorority girl who was speaking. Brad asks Lip about getting coffee, and later shows up at Patsy for their date.

Brad orders several pieces of pie, over which they trade “war stories” related to their drinking. Brad is funny and seemingly on Lip’s level, and he instills some pertinent advice in Lip. For his part, Lip seems to appreciate Brad and enjoy their conversation. Brad tells Lip maybe drinking isn’t his only problem, a sentiment Lip agrees with.

As Brad leaves, he recommends Lip take up knitting and says he doesn’t care whether Lip does the AA steps or not — he’s not his babysitter. But if he really does want to stop drinking, he hopes he’ll see him at the next meeting. Let’s hope this isn’t the last we see of this amusing, sugar-loving guardian angel of Lip’s — he could really use a friend.

Kev and V are trying to figure out how to live a post-Svetlana, post-Alibi life. Kev interviews for jobs he thinks will give him his “balls back,” something working with his hands, but finds he’s under-qualified for most of these positions.

Kev eventually applies for a bartending job at what turns out to be a gay bar — the same one where Ian used to work. Despite the fact Kev is not gay, the current bartender decides to give him a shot for one night. Kev is a natural at dancing on the bar, getting the crowd going, and wearing metallic-gold hot pants. He’s finally offered the job, along with an opportunity to receive hand jobs for $500 while he’s there. While he initially says “No, thank you,” Kev later decides it’s something he’ll need to discuss with V.

So, how will Ian get home from Texas? Does this mean Trevor will be back in the picture? And how will the rest of the Gallaghers react to Monica’s potential passing? Share your thoughts on this episode in the comments below!

Honorable Mentions

  • The scene with Monica, Frank, Fiona, and Lip at the Laundromat made me think — for a moment — it would be fun to see these four actors do more together.
  • T.I.’s “Swing Ya Rag” was an interesting song choice for Mickey and Ian’s backseat rendezvous.
  • “That’s what kept me going in the joint. The beach. Us. Bet your white as- burns like a mother–ker.” —Mickey to Ian
  • “You want me to tell them that I want to make as much money doing as little work as possible?” —Kev, when V suggests he put his goals on his resume
  • “Who puts fennel in a drink? What is fennel?” —Kev on his skills as a mixologist
  • “That Mayor Daley… First he hands the White House to that goddamn Catholic, and now this crap.” —Etta, unsure about what decade she’s in
  • Neil: “Pretty sure the whole world doesn’t care.”

    Debbie: “Pretty sure God doesn’t either.” (after Frank says he and Monica will proclaim their love before God and the whole world)

  • Debbie flipping out on Lip for his recent drinking and passing out on the train — then describing her plans to go to junior college to study welding.
  • “But you’re already across the border?” —Jesus to Mickey
  • “Anybody order a hot piece of ass?” —Kev, making his debut on the bar
  • “You deserve each other.” —Fiona’s toast to her newly remarried parents

Shameless Tunes

The song playing when everyone is dancing in the living room post wedding: “She Takes It Away” by Big Blue Sky

Episode grade: B+

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