You can always rely on Shameless to be, well, shameless.
Just when you’re beginning to wonder if the characters are starting to get on the straight and narrow (good for them, bad for us), they possibly kill a guy, endorse a pedophile, and resort to S&M to get a delinquent into West Point. Never change, Gallaghers, never change.
So grab a beer, bail your sibling out of prison, and find out how shameless your favorite Gallagher was this week.
How badly does Lip want Xan to stay in his life? Well, he will kill for her. After Xan breaks her arm, Lip is unable to check her out of the hospital because he’s not her legal guardian and the hospital is rightfully suspicious of the situation. So once Brad refuses to pose as their drunk dad, Lip literally pulls the plug on an old man to create a distraction and carries Xan out the front door. Dude, just get a dog or something, you don’t have to kill for them and Carl has plenty to pick from.
Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time we’ve met Craig, and boy, what an introduction. In his one scene, Craig perfectly illustrates why the Alibi ended up as the most “rapey” bar on the South Side. “I haven’t raped anybody in here,” insists Craig, leaving open the possibility that he did so elsewhere. And then, as Kevin comes to the realization that the bar might live up to the dishonor, Craig hammers home the point by getting caught with his penis out. Craig, you fit right in.
We have to give Frank credit: when he commits to something, he really commits (too bad he’s never committed to being a good father). Last week, he started the rallying cry to get Mo White back into Congress and he’s going all in. Frank is showing a true knack for campaigning, bringing in a lot of cash for the cause, and by cause, I mean his bar tab. But Frank’s young political career gets its toughest challenge yet when it’s revealed that Mo left politics because he was arrested for his relationship with a minor. “Where’s your candidate, kissing babies?” asks Kev at one point, to which Frank responds, “I hope it’s just kissing.” Frank somehow still finds a way to spin this, urging people to give Mo a second chance, even citing O.J. Simpson among others. Sixty-plus years into his life, the man might have finally found his calling.
4. Carl and Veronica
Nine seasons in, sometimes you need to mix it up, and here, we get a pairing that we don’t often see — but maybe we should be seeing more of it now. Carl takes a break from compassionately ushering dogs into the afterlife to mention to V how he won’t get into West Point because he can’t get a recommendation from his local congressman. Well, it turns out that V used to be his dominatrix. She initially refuses to come out of retirement, insisting, “S&M is not like a riding a bike, Carl. You can’t just strap on a pair of stilettos, pop a ball gag in someone’s mouth, and start whipping them.” Adds Kev, “That is not how you ride a bike.” But after some guilt from Carl, she hops right back on that bike, whipping the politician so hard that he writes that recommendation.
It is immediately clear that the youngest Gallagher doesn’t belong in public school. The tie, the cursive… he’s just from another world. But, like a true Gallagher, Liam does what it takes to survive, agreeing to do some giant kid’s homework in exchange for protection from a girl bully. Cheating well spent.
It’s kind of ironic that Debbie starts the episode by saying, “We need more dicks,” and ends it by thinking she’s gay. Debbie and her new friend get revenge on all their sexist coworkers by welding metal penises to their cars, and then the bonding continues when they hook up in a dirty bathroom. The relationship has Debbie questioning her sexuality, but Ian insists that his sister isn’t gay, or even bisexual. “News flash: You’re not Jesus or Gay Che,” she retorts. “You’re a bipolar Gallagher who doesn’t take his meds. So why don’t you stop trying to save the world and save yourself.” Damn Debbie, back at it again with those cold hard truths.
Not much to report on Fiona except for Ford’s growing jealousy over her business deal with real estate sleaze ball Max. But it’s nothing a line of condoms leading to the bedroom can’t fix.
While he just got out of jail, Ian is growing impatient, unsure why Shim, a.k.a. God, isn’t talking to him. This leads him on a spiritual journey, testing out Buddhism, Judaism, and Catholicism, with none of them seeming to give him the answers that he wants in the amount of time that he wants them. At least he got a free yamaka out of it!
Kevin Ball is a husband, a father, and a bar owner who doesn’t want his establishment to be the most “rapey” bar in Chicago. Once he realizes that the title might be warranted, Kevin seeks change, proposing a few changes: Using the term “vaginal enterprises” instead of women, changing the name of the drink Sex on the Beach to just The Beach, introducing consent forms, putting on alternative programming (This Is Us is deemed a step too far), hanging a sign that says “Hours since last rapey talk,” and making a “Certified Vagina Safe” drawing for the front door. Kevin Ball, making dive bars safe again.