Shameless, you are the worst. Season after season you put us through the wringer, and last year you nearly destroyed us with your darkest, most harrowing season yet. This season you promise things will be lighter, and then for two consecutive episodes you go and rip our hearts out and smash them on the floor like plates at a Greek wedding. Will you ever cut us a break? No? Then let's dig in!
Fiona (Emmy Rossum) tells Gus (Steve Kazee) on the fire escape that she slept with her ex... yesterday. Well, credit for getting that out of the way so quickly. He points out that they had sex yesterday before heading back inside without her. Isn't it a bit cold out for this time of year?
Ian (Cameron Monaghan) wakes up in the psych ward not realizing where he is. He tells the orderly delivering breakfast that he doesn't know how he got there. His bunkmates say that the sedation will wear out eventually. They tell him that he's in there for 72 hours.
Lip (Jeremy Allen White) is awoken by a resident who is locked out of his room. The guy is very skinny. And very naked. Lip tells him, "Tie the key to your dick, alright?" Lip isn't able to pull up his class schedule online, and looks confused.
Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) tries on different looks for his first day of sixth grade: "Third time's a charm!" (Sadly, he's talking about repeating the grade, not his outfit choice.) He walks out of his room to find Chukki dropping five pounds of chipped beef in the toilet with the door open. Okay, that might be gross, but it pales in comparison to the show's own "chocolate faucet" and "Hot sloppies" .
Downstairs Sammi (Emily Bergl) is making pancakes - with stolen flour, for added texture - and Debs (Emma Kenney) calls the hospital to see if she can visit Ian. She can't, because she's a minor. Debs is putting on what Sammi thinks is too much makeup, and Carl tells her that if Derek punches her arm, it means she's been "friend zoned". He agrees to keep an eye on Chukki in exchange for "nunchuks and a pack of condoms". A noticeably healthier-looking Frank (William H. Macy) barges in and says that he's an adult and he doesn't need Sammi or anyone else anymore. (Um, since when?) Carl and Debs warn Sammi that he'll "outFrank" her every time.
V (Shanola Hampton) moves into the former rub-and-tug and Kev (Steve Howey) asks why she's doing this. She says she needs space to think and says that they worked as a couple - but not as a family. She's focused on their sex life and he's focused on the girls. She says she needs space, though she'll be with a bunch of ladies hooked up to milking machines. He drops her "last stupid box" and she screams at him. Yeesh.
Gus brings Fiona coffee and breakfast (hey, she should cheat on him more often!) and notices that she's wearing his shirt. She apologizes, saying she was just straightening up -she cleans when she's nervous - and needed to put something on. He admits he cooks when he's nervous. She apologizes and he says he thought they'd make it at least a year before this kind of thing happened. He asks why she did it and she says it just happened, that it was "unfinished". He asks if it still is unfinished and she can't answer. He wants to meet Jimmy, to talk and sort things out. Oh, my sweet Gus. She agrees.
Life in the psych ward is lots of mustard yellow and scars. Ian walks toward an exit and the guard tells him to get back in line or he'll be sedated again. Ian says he needs to see Mickey. The guy pins Ian against the wall and he calms down. The other patients look mortified. The guard gently tells Ian to go eat his waffles.
Lip waits in line at the registrar's office - it's a long line.
At Milkovich Manor, Mickey (Noel Fisher) tucks his shirt in - wait, did hell just freeze over? Svetlana is packing Ian's things and says Ian can't stay there anymore - Mickey assures her that the baby is fine and it won't happen again. Svetlana says that she'd kick out a cancer patient if cancer made someone steal a baby. He tells her this isn't her house anyway and kicks her ass out. Okay then!
Carol (Vanessa Bell Calloway) is playing with the three babies and asks Kev if he and V are broken up or just taking a break. She tells him he should have "fucked the sense back into her". Thanks, Sister Suffragette! She says she'll talk to V for him.
Debs and Derek listen to a song together in the car and he introduces her to a bunch of uninterested guys. He punches her arm before heading to class. Awww...
Sammi pauses her vacuuming to apologize to an unconscious Frank. He won't apologize back so she sticks the vacuum hose to his head and leaves. He wakes, angry.
Chukki craps his pants at school and Carl makes him run into a bunch of mean-looking kids - when they pick on Chukki, Carl knocks the guy down and says he's going to bite his nuts off, "and not in a gay way". Uh - I don't know if there is a gay way to do that. Carl tells Chukki that he's Carl's bitch, and he'll protect him. Later, Chucks brings Carl a soda in class, kneeling down to give it to him. The teacher looks resplendently unamused.
The registrar guy says that Lip's schedule is suspended because he's not paid up - he'll have to take that up with the financial aid office, which is across campus. Once he gets there there's another interminable line. College life!
Sammi flashes the garbage men to get them to stop the truck.
V thanks a very handsome young man named Linus at The Alibi. He's a good tipper, and has a great ass. Watch out, Kev! Tommy takes a shot at her and she shoots him right back... down. Fiona comes in and tells V that she slept with Jimmy. Tommy spills the beans about V living upstairs as Svetlana and Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) both arrive. Okay then! The gang's all here. Jimmy asks how Ian is and hugs her. She lets him, and says that her husband wants to meet him - at Patsy's, later. He says okay, and he's leaving for Dubai tonight and wants her to come with him. It's a big job, he'll never have to work again and she'll be set for life. She reminds him that she's married and that she has to go see Ian.
Frank awakes to horns honking - the couch that he is sleeping on is in the middle of the street. Sammi flips him off from the window, and he returns the favor. Advantage Sammi!
Kev is barely handling the girls when Svetlana shows up. Uh-oh... She says that she got kicked out of Mickey's house, and since V is gone, she can move in here, sleep on the couch, and take care of things. He says it'll only be a few days before V comes home, and she says fine, she'll clean until then.
Debs tracks down Holly in the bathroom - Holly isn't happy to see her. Debs says she'll calling the principal on her. Debs tells her to shut up and asks how to get out of the friend zone with a guy. With some prodding, Holly tells her to just touch him a lot. Debs lets her go.
Lip sees a guy in financial aid who says he has outstanding balance of $12K - Lip never signed the needed forms to re-up his grant, which were mailed to the house. He wants to go find the forms and sign them, but the guy says it won't post in time - he relents and says he's giving him a 10-day grace period to sign the forms, or Lip will lose his place in his classes. Outside, he passes the credit card booth again and buys in. Uh-oh. Wait, wasn't Lip stealing credit card numbers with a wireless device a few seasons ago? And now he's legit applying for them? Welcome to the grind, kid. He signs up for a bunch of cards and gets cash advances on all of them. Wait, why can't they just send him new financial aid forms?
Frank tracks down Chukki, giving him cotton candy and Carl a slushie. He has a girl take a phot0 ("She's no Herb Ritts, but it'll do...") and tells Chukki to send it to Sammi, saying he's having the best day he's ever had. Ah, emotional warfare. Never gets old!
Mickey waits to see Ian - Fiona meets him. Aww - he got dressed up for the visit! Fiona tells him to imagine being here to see your mom at age 8, which is a bit of a Debbie Downer thing to do. They get checked in. Fiona brought a pie! Mickey checks in as Ian's boyfriend. They sit and wait for Ian and Mickey snaps at the rather odd-looking fellow from Ian's ward. Mickey gives Ian a big smile when he comes out, but Ian doesn't look like he knows what to say to him. Mickey is confused. Ian doesn't say much. The sound of the ping-pong table is distracting him. And the TV. Oh God. Loudest. Checkers. Ever. Ian asks where the baby is, and then leaves, saying that he's tired. Fiona asks Mickey if he's okay. Mickey is not okay. He all but crawls away.
Kev wakes up to someone giving him a blowjob - he thinks it's V, but realizes it's Svetlana, who says their agreement includes "wifely duties". He tells her to stop and she argues with him. He eventually caves, then stops her again, then she gets the better of him. She wipes her mouth on the comforter: "Consider it like rent check! I go mop now."
V is tracking down exes on Facebook, like Eddie Murphy - "Not that one." Carol comes by to knock some sense into her and send her home. V flirts with customers instead. V tells her that Kev hasn't fucked her in nearly a year. Jeez - okay, that's a long time. I was thinking it was more along the classic Julie Brown "Two WEEKS?!" bit from Earth Girls Are Easy. Carol tells her that Kev is a good one, and not to blow it. Uh-oh. I think it's been... um... blown.
Derek drives Debs home and she awkwardly touches his leg. It goes nowhere so she gets out of the car. After a minute she tells him that she wants him as her boyfriend. She launches into a rant that he silences by kissing her. He says he likes her too - he spends time with her and drives her home! Awww! They kiss again. Okay, this could work. (Meaning, of course, that it won't.)
Ian meets with a doctor, telling her that he feels better, not so foggy. He says that he's only there because his family thinks he's bipolar because his mom was. The doctor asks how he knows his mother was bipolar. He tells her stories and she reads his police report and tells him hat she put the baby in harm's way. She tells him that he shows signs of bipolar disorder and that it can be treated, but he needs to participate in his treatment. She says they can talk tomorrow.
Chukki is happy that he had a good day and that he's now Carl's slave. Carl tells Chukki to bring him his dinner in front of the couch (where Debs also wants to eat) and Sammi says that this wasn't part of the deal - she got him nunchuks and condoms. Carl replies, "I know - I got one on now." Okay, that's funny. Awful, but funny. Frank barges in with balloons for the kids. Lip barges in asking if anyone signed for registered mail. Sammi is increasingly furious that this isn't the happy home she envisioned. Lip yells as his family for not giving him his papers and destroying his credit, and Frank says that Lip is an adult and needs to take responsibility. Sammi suddenly snaps and... pulls a gun?! She aims it at Frank as the kids scatter. He says she doesn't have the guts because she isn't a real Gallagher, and turns away - and she shoots him (and the shelter flour). He's shocked and bleeding from the arm - and she literally pours salt into his wound until he tells her that he needs her. He clearly underestimated just how nuts she is. Once she hears the words she lovingly scoops him up and walks him out to the hospital.
Wait, what the fuck just happened?!?!
Gus comes to see Fiona at Patsy's and asks how Ian is. Fiona is impressed that he remembers that Mickey is Ian's boyfriend. They kiss and Jimmy sees it through the window. Fiona lets him. They go in. Jimmy introduces himself and Gus instantly punches him in the face, taking out a table on the way down. I LOVE GUS SO MUCH. Gus storms out and Fiona stomps after him, and Gus apologizes, saying that he didn't go in intending to do that, but Jimmy had the face of "a dick" and he thinks Fiona deserves better.
V comes home to her empty squat and gets a sext from a hot dude.
Mickey stumbles through an empty house, very drunk. He falls on the floor and pulls a jacket - Ian's military jacket, I think? - over him. GAHHHH.
Jimmy comes out and Fiona tells him that she does love him and it would be easier to be together again, but it's not who they are anymore. Or who she is, anyway - she doesn't like the danger of dating a bad boy anymore. Jimmy tells her he's not going to Dubai anymore, because he's ready to give up everything for her. Oh, this asshole... He asks her to tell him that she wants what he wants, but she says that she needs something else now. She doesn't know what, but she knows it's not him. "You have to let me go. And you have to let me let you go." He walks away, calling back, "You take care of yourself, Fiona Gallagher!" She tells him likewise, and he rides off on a motorcycle. Good riddance, whatsyourname.
Lip goes to a Mail Boxes, etc. to get his own mailbox. Ouch.
Ian paces back and forth, scraping himself along the wall in the dark and keeping his roommates awake. Poor thing...
Angela pulls up to apologize for spying on her for Jimmy - "that prick". She tells Fiona that "Jack" lied - the client canceled Dubai this morning, and Jack is a good thief but a "shitty person". Fiona made the right call, for once? Bless.
Frank is impressed that Sammi cared enough to shoot him - none of his other kids has shot him! She jabs him into telling her that he loves her.
Wow. Last week's episode left a lot to live up to, but this ep rose to the challenge. The fallout from Fiona's indiscretion didn't play out as I expected, and just made me love Gus even more. I love that Jimmy/Steve/Jack/Jingleheimer-Schmitt was brought back to life expressly to be punched in the face over and over, much like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow. Now that she's made her one allowed good choice of the year, will she go back to making wildly inappropriate decisions again? Is there any chance she can salvage her impulse marriage? Seeing Mickey fall apart was extremely rough. The brief scene of him alone in the house stumbling around looking for someone - anyone - will probably haunt me for weeks.
Ian is truly through the looking glass - he's unrecognizable. Will 72 hours be enough time for his stable self to reemerge? Loving that Debs has a legit boyfriend (who's not in his twenties) and even though she's driving a wedge between Kev and V, Svetlana continues to earn her increased screen time. While Sammi's snap may have been left-field, it worked just enough, especially for Lip, whose distance from the family is growing at an exponential rate. I can't wait to see what's next.
I'd give it eight out of ten Old Styles: