Shameless 4.08 “Hope Springs Paternal” Recap

by Shilo Adams / March 9, 2014

shamelessFiona can’t sleep the morning of her probation officer’s scheduled visit and at 5:14, she decides to get up and dump the last of their beer before setting off to make cookies for the occasion. She gets a surprise when Debbie comes to her with news of her period finally coming, though Deb won’t talk about it and won’t let Fiona talk to her about how to use a tampon. Things get even more tenuous when Fiona mentions that everybody’s room has to be extra clean for the PO’s visit, with incriminating items that could make her look bad to be confiscated. Meanwhile, Frank and Chuckie formulate a list of ideas on how to make money that includes going to a sperm bank and becoming a prostitute and the two get interrupted by Sam, who informs her father of a sheikh receiving a lung transplant. She laments the fact that Frank is very far down the transplant list and seemingly left to die before giving him his Oxys and Percocets, which he crushes up and snorts.

While Lip gets hit on at work by a girl impressed at his relationship with his brother, Fiona goes into overdrive cleaning for the impending probation visit, seizing the weapons and porn in Carl’s room and shoving Debbie’s clothes under her bed. When her probation officer does come, she notes that the bedrooms are clean and asks Fiona whether she has plans to leave the state and if she has contact with anyone of a criminal stature, both of which Fiona says no to. Fiona then offers her a cookie and her PO states that she’s not her friend, explains that Fiona can’t leave for another 5-10 days, and brings her to the bathroom to give a urine sample. As with every other aspect of her post-accident life, Fiona is forced to endure some discomfort with the PO stays in the bathroom while she pees so that she knows Fiona didn’t fake her sample.

Ian wakes up at Mickey’s with Svetlana watching him. He goes to take a shower and she comes in the bathroom with him, threatening him with a hammer if he stays there another night. As she’s about to have a baby, she thinks the house is too crowded and that she’s going to need the extra room here soon. Ian finishes his shower and returns home, elating Fiona with his presence after being gone at basic for so long. She asks him what happened and doesn’t get much in the way of answers, aside from talk of the military being too controlling; Fiona gives him the sandwich she was eating and notes just how manic he seemed. He doesn’t listen, though, and mentions that he now wants to apprentice under an electrician, as he’s tired of living life for other people rather than himself. Over at the Alibi, Kev shows off his guns and Kermit asks him what else he has in the way of weaponry. In Kermit’s mind, one gun gives the illusion of safety and several guns shows that you’re really ready if something were to go down; he then enumerates the guns that he has, causing Kev to doubt the security measures he took to protect his business and his family.

While Carl learns that he’s been suspended for bullying those who were talking badly about Liam, and that he’s facing expulsion if he can’t get a guardian to come in for a meeting on Friday, Lip returns home with Liam, bringing dinner he swiped from work study. He learns that Fiona didn’t save any money from her time at Worldwide Cup, opting to pay off old bills and catch the family up financially, and that they’re a few days from being completely out of groceries. Which makes Sam’s request for extra cash for Frank’s medical care all the more ill-timed and though she gets rejected, she tells Lip and the kids that they should stop in and see their father. Mickey comes to see Ian after learning from Svetlana that he was kicked out and after the family interrupts their time together and heads back down to dinner, he asks Ian if he’s going to stay around this time. Ian, scribbling notes on a pad, gives the condition that Mickey would have to suck his dick whenever he wanted to get him to stay and when Mickey reluctantly agrees, he gets on his knees accordingly.

Sam comes up with the idea of selling Sheila’s house in order to make money for Frank’s surgery. Since they don’t have the title, they wouldn’t actually be selling it; she suggests they put a sign out front that has the price way below market value and accept strictly cash offers. Do that a few times and they could make as much as $11,000, a sizeable chunk of the money that Frank needs for his surgery. The following morning, Fiona combs the house looking for money and when she goes out to sit on the porch, she decides to test just how far her bracelet will let her go. When she sees the limits she has, she marks them with a rock and heads back inside. Meanwhile, Ian gets very manic when he tells a story from basic training, which gets interrupted when Mandy comes looking for Mickey, who spent the night. She tells him that Svetlana’s water broke and he doesn’t care; he questions if the baby is even his.

Debbie bounds downstairs, pissed off that Fiona trashed her “art project” – a virginity calendar that was counting down until her 16th birthday, when Matty said they could be together. Carl’s also upset at losing his porn and nunchuks and things get even worse for Fiona when Lip won’t leave Liam with her; he tells her to relax, that she doesn’t need to worry about anything now that he’s got control of the situation. While Ian gives some crumpled up dollars to Fiona, Deb and Carl head over to Sheila’s, where Carl asks Frank about attending the school meeting (which he’s open to) and Debbie asks Sam for a long sweater. She tells her half-sister about getting her period and how she doesn’t want to lose her virginity to a tampon, causing Sam to explain that that’s not physically possible and give her a few pads as a sort of training wheels of shamelessmenstruation care. As Fiona calls Veronica to get her to help take the trash out, since Fiona can’t walk all the way to the dumpster, Lip leaves Liam, as well as a series of instructions on how to care for Liam, with Amanda, who calls him a great person for being so worried about his brother. After she invites him to the ABC (anything but clothes) party that’s happening that night, Lip goes to hook up with the girl whose number he got in the cafeteria and the two end up going to a nearby laundry room for a 20-minute quickie.

Fiona goes into super cleaning mode due to having nothing to do with herself and she gets a surprise when Robbie knocks on the door. He comes bearing cronuts, Mike having told him what happened, but his true intentions are revealed when he questions whether she gave his name up. As much as she should have given him up, she argues that she hates herself enough already without adding being a snitch on top of it and she kicks him out. Just then, Veronica comes over with vodka in hand, while Sam’s touring of Sheila’s house seems to be working and Kev goes gun shopping out of a back alley van, though he finds that even those prices are too much for him. He then receives a text that Carol was in labor and he rushes off to find Veronica, still at Fiona’s house. Also at Fiona’s house is Lip, who arrives to find Fiona and Veronica drunk and letting food burn in the oven. He finally blows up at her, telling her that she can just do what she wants because he’s got everything, and grabs Carl to take him to college for the night, with Debbie already at Sheila’s. Upset at herself, Fiona can’t help but scream when they leave.

Mickey watches Ian at work and threatens a club patron from putting money in Ian’s gold hot pants. Ian gets him to relax and mentions an after hours party that he wants to go to, which Mickey agrees to accompany him to before kissing him in the middle of the club. Deb talks to Sam about her boy situation and Sam assures her that the good parts of love are worth dealing with the not-so-good parts and that to get Matty’s attention, she has to act like she doesn’t give a shit. While Kev sees a news report of a bomb scare on a school bus while waiting on Carol to have the baby, Lip tries to write his lit paper as the ABC party goes on in the hallway, with Carl in the middle of the action and attesting to college’s awesomeness.

Ian and Mickey make it to the party thrown by Bryan, an engineer and photographer. Mickey’s turned off by how effeminate he is and the lack of hard liquor at the party before being approached by another man, seemingly intent on flirting with him. However, when the man learns that Mickey’s a pimp, he reveals that he wrote a dissertation on transgender sex workers and offers to take Mickey’s card. Fiona ends up going to sleep in Liam’s bed, as Lip wakes up to Amanda going down on him and Kev and V fall asleep, allowing their baby to be born without them knowing. However, Carol is having a hard time with the idea of letting the baby go and Veronica takes Kev aside to tell him that they should let Carol handle the responsibility of this baby. Although the baby would always be Kev’s boy and he would be able to visit anytime he wanted, he’s still upset at the thought of losing a son and Veronica comforts him in the hallway. Fiona calls Lip in the middle of the night and tells him that she has no way to prove herself to him and that she hates that his passive aggressive bullshit has taken her family away from her. In order to make it through her current ordeal, she’s going to have to have them back.

While Mickey admits to Bryan that he and Ian are together, Frank arrives at Carl’s school and hears how his boy terrorizes the other students. Instead of coming down on him, though, Frank attests that bullying is a vital part of growing up and that people like the victims should simply stay away from people like Carl. Sam then wheels him out. Kev tells the guys at the bar about the situation with Carol and confesses to becoming a survivalist/conspiracy theorist after seeing the report about the bomb scare; Deb and Matty hang out at the arcade before she ditches him to “go on a date”; Fiona wakes up to find that Lip brought Liam home to her.

Additional thoughts and observations:
-“We get the newspaper?”
-“I bash your orange head.”
-“Oh my God, you bastard. I missed you so much!”
-“What else you packin’?” “You mean dick-wise?”
-“So, your laundry room or mine?”
-Regina King! I knew she was going to be on this episode due to the promo, but it was still so weird to see an actress of her caliber pop up in such a small role like this.
-If you didn’t at least get choked up while watching the final Kevin/Veronica scene in the hospital, I’m convinced that you’re a cyborg. Because that was the type of beautifully raw stuff that Shameless specializes in and seeing the comic relief of the show break down like that was just crushing. Steve Howey and Shanola Hampton continue to give sterling performance – so honest, so in touch with who their characters are and what makes them tick.
-It feels like Mickey’s on an arc of self-acceptance. I don’t know how long the show is going to air, but I wouldn’t be shocked if one of the final shots of him is him holding Ian’s hand in public or something. Because this season, he’s kissed him in public (albeit in a gay club) and admitted to somebody that they’re together, so he’s (very) slowly accepting the idea that he’s gay. He’s still quite self-loathing, but he’s made some interesting progress from the Mickey that we first saw in season one.
-I’m uncertain why Debbie’s virginity calendar was as big and bold as it was. I get her making something to countdown the days until she’s 16, but why did she make it so big and put VIRGINITY COUNTDOWN in giant red letters? Also, I love how she called it an “art project.”
-So, Ian’s likely bipolar like Monica rather than the tweaker that I pegged him as in his first couple of appearances this season. While I would be very interested in a portrayal of a young gay man getting sucked into the club scene and being taken advantage of by those older than he, having him afflicted with the same disorder that Monica is goes along with a theme of the season – that as much as the Gallaghers try to distance themselves from their parents, they come by it honestly. This has mostly manifested itself in the Fiona/Frank addiction parallels and now we have Ian/Monica mental illness similarities, the latter being especially intriguing regarding how the show handles the “new” Ian.
-Also, do we think that Ian has slept with/posed for the photographer whose party he went to? I’m going 80/20 yes.
-Unassumingly devastating scene: Sam saying that she loves having a sister and Debbie saying that she does, too. You saw just how much distance there was between Debbie and Fiona and how Fiona’s personal problems and inability to connect with her sister had damaged their once close relationship.
-I definitely understand Debbie preferring older guys, but I just want to shake her and tell her to find someone who you can legally be with. Because her waiting on her birthday is going to end badly and I don’t know if there’s going to be anybody around to pick up the pieces when she falls apart. Which you know she will.
-Kev as a survivalist: looking forward to it or think it’ll be dumb? I love Kev and think he’s been one of the bright spots of the season, but the sudden shift in his storyline worries me a touch. I don’t want his scenes with V to become extraneous or goofy like Sheila’s and I don’t want the broadness of survivalism to take away from the emotionally interesting material that would come from watching him raise two babies.
-Do you think this is the last time we’ve seen Robbie? I’m leaning yes, but I appreciated that his appearance now got Fiona to reiterate her self-hatred, which, in my opinion, has as much to do with her poor decision-making than her genetic predisposition to addictive behavior.
-Next week on Shameless: Fiona goes job hunting, while Lip grows closer to Amanda, Sheila decides to adopt children, and Carl befriends a girl in detention.

Shilo Adams is a contributing editor for ScreenFad whose work has appeared on TVOvermind, TVHackr, and KSiteTV. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @shilo_adams.