Shameless recap: 'Icarus Fell and Rusty Ate Him'
An unexpected discovery leads Fiona to ponder her own future
It’s official: Shameless has mastered the art of the “previously on” segment. I’ve always enjoyed being cursed out by the characters before the episode starts, but for some reason, Frank catching us up on what we may have missed while having sex with the mom from Liam’s school was next-level hilarious to me.
“Icarus Fell And Rusty Ate Him” doesn’t get off to the humorous start that the intro might suggest. Fiona’s venting to Nessa about her argument with Ian is interrupted by water coming through the floor of Mrs. Cardinal’s apartment. With no answer, Fiona lets herself in, stepping into an episode of Hoarders. She also discovers that Mrs. Cardinal actually has a real dog. Oh, and that dog happens to be eating Mrs. Cardinal’s very naked and very dead body. The dog then makes a run for it into the arms of Nessa, who doesn’t know about the whole “was just eating a dead body” thing. As the dog licks her face, Fiona tells her friend, “Ness, there’s something you should probably know about that dog.”
Back at the Gallagher household, Liam has joined his father in the working force. The youngest child has been hired by Carl to help with his basement rehab business. And Carl needs all the money he can get because the school isn’t helping with any of his expenses. Ian (kind of) jokingly offers $5,000 to kill Fiona. “Murder is a capital crime, Ian,” responds Carl. “I’d do it for 10.” Soldier. Drug Counselor. Paid Assassin. What can’t Carl Gallagher do?
It’s not all bad news in the mail; Frank has received an “invitation to the middle class” in the form of his first legit credit card. He’s also been named employee of the month at work. When you’re hot, you’re hot. Although, Liam rains on his parade on their walk to school when he asked his father if they’re poor. Frank says no, insisting the reason they don’t have a car is that they’re “dedicated to the survival of the planet.” “So we are poor,” retorts Liam, to which Frank replies, “Relatively, yes.”
Brad is still missing, so Lip has formed a search party. They’re not as funny as Alia Shawkat and company, but they’re quite an interesting crew, consisting of Lip, Youens, Eddie, and a bearded biker guy. Lip refuses to give up on his sponsor and forces Youens to come with him. Their first stop is Brad’s house to talk to his wife. She doesn’t want him back unless he’s sober. After using her phone to track him, they find Brad’s abandoned truck, which is full of doughnuts, hair extensions, and the arm from Chicago’s iconic Michael Jordan statue. Impressive drunk strength to be able to cut that off.
Despite their differences, Kevin, V, and Svetlana are officially a throuple, again. But Kevin is feeling a bit left out during sex. When his job is done, Svetlana pleasures V like Kevin has never seen. “She’s a woman, she knows a woman’s body,” V contends when Kevin expresses his disappointment. If that’s the case, then he suggests that maybe he should start hooking up with guys. “You’re not gay,” points out V. He fires back, “You don’t know that. I might be gay — part gay.” As he confuses gender-fluid with gender liquid, V tells him to go “suck a dick.” “Maybe I will,” he insists.
He wasn’t lying; Kevin is immediately on the hunt. During a stop at the diner, he spots Ian and begins probing him on how he knew he was gay. For Ian, it was Justin Timberlake (weird; I thought he might be more of a Joey Fatone guy). Ian leaves when a stranger pays for Kevin’s coffee and muffin. “Are you trying to f— me?” Kevin asks the guy. “Because it’s not a bad thing if you were.” The guy says he wasn’t, he just tries to do a good deed once a week. Kevin accepts that and starts to leave, but turns back after the guy tells him to “have a nice day.” “Is that code?” wonders Kevin, who then winks and says, “Have a nice day.” His confusion continues as he walks down the street and checks out every man in sight.
Time to check in on Debbie’s ecstasy-fueled road trip. She wakes up in a Missouri hotel room in bed with the beauty school fella. They didn’t use protection, which has Debbie convinced that she’s pregnant. “I can feel your sperm attacking my egg,” she tells him. With 67 hours to get a morning after pill, Shameless turns into 24 with a ticking clock counting down. And bad news, they also had sex a day or so earlier, dropping the clock to 39 hours.
You’d think 39 hours would be enough time to get one pill, but just like Jack Bauer, Debbie’s day won’t be easy (at least every person she ever loved probably won’t die). The first pharmacy is out of the pills and the second says you have to be 17 years old to buy one. Wait, Debbie still isn’t 17? I’ve officially lost track of the ages of the Gallagher kids. You could tell me that Liam was 23 and I’d believe it. Thankfully, Debbie finds a lady willing to buy the pill for her. Not thankfully, the lady tries to make a run for it with the money, prompting Debbie to lay the smackdown.
Frank isn’t wasting anytime putting his new credit card to work. What did he buy? Christmas gifts? More crack? Nope, a car. He surprises Liam, taking his son for a cruise to pick up some hoes. And shockingly, he wasn’t talking about women, but Ho Hos. Maybe Frank really is a changed man — or he’s just hungry. (Recap continues on page 2)
Mrs. Cardinal’s death seems to be hitting Fiona harder than expected, especially when she finds pictures of the old lady and her late husband. Luckily, V stops by and the BFFs make each other feel a little better. Seeing Fiona and realizing she’s not attracted to her helps V realize she isn’t gay. Fiona suggests that V isn’t attracted to Svetlana because she’s a woman, but rather because of how she bosses her around. And in return, V cheers up Fiona, who’s worried she could end up dying alone like Mrs. Cardinal did. V insists she won’t let that happen.
After a day of confusion, Svetlana encourages Kevin to experiment with a young stud at the bar. The two men go into the bathroom, where the guy drops his pants. Kevin gets on his knees, only to discover that he’s not turned on, even dropping his pants to prove it. He might not be gay, but I admire his dedication to finding out if he was or not.
Later, Kevin updates V on his failed mission. “I tried, but I’m not even part gay,” he shares. “Just a boring hetero dude.” He admits he’s jealous and wanted to make her jealous. V’s revelation of being turned on by Svetlana’s domination makes Kevin feel better since he contends that he could do that. Good luck — I’m not sure anyone can dominate like Svetlana can.
Lip’s search for his sponsor leads him to the doughnut shop that Brad previously robbed. Apparently, he was there with a woman who’s still there passed out. She may be messed up and have her pants halfway down, but at least she gets her hair extensions back! Youens’ insistence that they give up on Brad doesn’t sit well with Lip. “How the f— am I supposed to make it if Brad can’t?” he declares. “You got no faith, then that’s on you. But I’m doing this.” His commitment soon pays off as they find Brad, who doesn’t go quietly, hitting Lip with an elbow. Tired of getting beat up, Lip punches Brad in the ribs and throws him in the car. Side note: Can we talk about how perfect it is that Carl put a handwritten sign on the windshield that reads “UBBER”?
While Carl and Lip bond over saving an addict, Fiona and Ian are still beefing. Fiona tries to make up, but Ian isn’t having it. “Hey, we’re family,” she says. “There’s nothing more important than that.” Ian disagrees, believing she cares more about money. “I’m not going to apologize to you or anyone else for trying to better myself,” contends Fiona. But Ian gets the last word, declaring, “I don’t know who you are anymore.” I do. She’s not a businesswoman; she’s a business, woman!
Let’s check back in on Debbie Bauer. The fight with the lady landed them both in jail. After more than a day in the slammer, Debbie gets bailed out by her friends, sending her in a mad dash to the pharmacy. And she gets a pill just as time expires thanks to her Middle Eastern pal yelling in Arabic and scaring the other customers away. No 24 ripoff would be complete without the threat of terrorism.
Lip is trying to sober Brad up with some coffee at the diner (are there any other restaurants in Chicago?). Brad thinks his kid is better off without him. “Everyone’s old man is an asshole,” says Lip, who would know. Refusing to give up on his sponsor, Lip gives a passionate motivational speech that’s so good it belongs in a sports movie. Speaking of sports, Carl took care of the MJ statue’s arm by burying it, only leaving the ball and part of the arm sticking out. And somehow, that arm would still be able to put up 20 points per game.
Meanwhile, Frank’s run of good luck may have finally run out. His company is on the verge of going out of business, so Frank has been let go. He actually takes the news very well, especially considering he just bought a brand new car. “Men like us, we land on our feet,” he tells the corporate employee. “We’re diligent, dependable, honest. We got gumption, can-do spirit. Temporary setback at best.” I just hope this doesn’t undo all of his progress. Well, on the other hand, bad Frank was always so much fun!
As Frank takes down his employee of the month picture, Fiona is putting up the picture of Mrs. Cardinal and her husband in the building. It’s not the only thing she kept; Fiona couldn’t bare to let animal control take the dog. She might be his new owner, but she’s smart enough not to allow any licking (we all know where that tongue has been).
The most shameless character of the week: Mrs. Cardinal’s dog. Eating humans, even if dead, is not okay around these parts.
What did you think? Will losing his job turn Frank back into the old Frank?