After spending the night with Mike, Fiona gets ready for work the following morning and teases him about his musical taste, as he put on One Direction while they got dressed. He suggests that she should leave start leaving some of her stuff at his place; if she doesn’t want to do that, she could always let him stay at her place, but Fiona explains that her home life with Frank is too complicated for that to be feasible right now. However, the two will be having dinner with his parents that evening.
Fiona makes it into work and calls Sheila to check in on the kids, who she feels like she hasn’t seen in a while. While Liam was just nicked by the clippers when Sheila cut his fingernails, Carl already left for school with grocery money and Debbie has been teaching Sheila how to use her iPad. Sheila recently discovered that she’s 1/32 Menominee Indian thanks to an iPad app and she’s also getting back into the dating pool thanks to ChristianMingle.com, where she got poked by a Kickapoo Indian named Roger. Debbie tells her to ask if he’s DTF before leaving for school. Meanwhile, Carl ends up skipping school in favor of hanging out with Frank outside Samantha’s trailer. Frank just blew through the last of his Percocets and sends Carl to get more from Veronica, only he takes most of the $40 that Sheila gave Carl for groceries so that he can buy weed to dull the pain from his liver.
While a late night studying causes Lip to be late for his work study, annoying his supervisor, Carl heads over to Veronica’s where she shows off her sonograms and he asks for more pills. However, since she found out she’s having four babies, the kind-hearted “ghetto nurse” act has gone out the window in favor of a capitalistic streak; Carl waits until Veronica leaves to go to the bar and breaks back into her house, only to find that she padlocked the cabinet she holds the medication in. Elsewhere, Debbie goes on and on about Matty to Holly and Ellie, including their distaste for sports and his collection of vintage t-shirts, and they tell her that she needs to have sex with him since she’s “in like” with him. Their advice? Surprise him and allow him to be the big spoon when they cuddle.
Back at Worldwide Cup, Fiona receives a link to local Al-Anon chapters from Mike, who dealt with an addict in his family and knows what ended up working for him. However, Fiona takes offense to Mike making her business his business; he responds by telling her that all he was doing was saying what his family did, convincing her to drop two duffel bags worth of personal items at his place later. Strapped for cash, Carl takes Liam to the grocery store where he proceeds to buy the bread and toilet paper Frank left him money for and shoplift everything else he needs using a big coat and Liam’s stroller. Once outside, he notices a dog tied with a leash to a post and kidnaps it, thinking he could hold it for ransom and use that money to help Frank pay for his liver. Meanwhile, Lip runs back to his room from his morning shift and not having any time to take a shower before philosophy, uses his roommate’s girlfriend’s deodorant. He also asks to use his roommate’s computer to write a philosophy paper, since he doesn’t have the $200 necessary to buy a Chromebook.
Lip ends up being late to philosophy and has to use a white board marker to take notes once his pen runs out. At the school playground, Frank spies on Samantha’s little boy Chuckie and calls over one of the boy’s peers, offering to give him a joint if he starts smacking Chuckie around. He gives the kid the joint and the signal to start and ends up busting things up when he sees Samantha coming; he wants to get into her good graces so that she would be willing to donate her liver and he makes the first step by getting himself invited to get cheese fries with them. Fiona makes it home from work and finds that Debbie is busy texting her boyfriend and Carl is still giving her the silent treatment over her refusal to donate her kidney, even with the new dog he has in Liam’s old playpen. She then goes up to her room where Sheila is pouring through her closet for a scarf or sweater, as Roger requested a full-body photo of her and she doesn’t have anything terribly appealing. Fiona ends up agreeing to lending a clothing item or two and Sheila having Roger over that evening.
Samantha and Frank don’t waste any time in getting along well, as she tells him a story of how she ended up on YouPorn and divorced her third husband and they find out they share the same dislike of butterscotch, avocadoes, and squirrels. While Samantha invites him to one of Chuckie’s dodgeball games that evening, Fiona and Mike have dinner with his family (his parents, his sister Jane, Jane’s children) for the first time; what Mike didn’t expect, though, was his brother Robbie to show up, fresh from a renewal retreat in Minnesota meant to celebrate his third year of sobriety. It doesn’t take long for things to fall apart, though, as the family doesn’t want Robbie in their lake house unsupervised because of their fear he’ll try to hawk some of their possessions for drugs. Robbie laments that there’s nobody in his family who wants to help him and Mike reminds him that their father shelled out $20,000 for rehab, causing Robbie to leave before they could work things out.
Kevin and Veronica have added extra charges to the bar in order to raise the type of revenue they need to keep it afloat and support four children, including a bathroom fee and raised booze prices, in addition to selling Veronica’s pills for $5/pill. While at the bar, Mickey picks up a redhead who keeps staring at him and takes her to the bathroom where they have sex. She finishes and offers to finish him off, but he has her bend him over and dry hump him. Frank arrives at the Gallagher home and blends up the doggy bag he brought back from his time with Samantha before chugging it, while Lip calls home to ask about getting the family laptop for school. However, Fiona tells him that Debbie uses it for school, so he decides not to ask her if he can borrow it to do school work. She notices how distant he is on the phone and asks if he’s okay, encouraging him to have fun at the party he’s at before hanging up. Lip wasn’t at a party when he called her, though; he was alone in his room and the noise came from the hallway.
That night, while his roommate has sex with his girlfriend in the background, Lip stays up to write his philosophy paper. He goes to his work study the following morning to ask about getting out a little early to study for his lit exam, except his supervisor won’t cut him any kind of slack and instead lectures him on the value of time management. Elsewhere, Fiona learns that Mike invited Robbie out to dinner with them that night as a way to make up for what happened the previous night. She doesn’t understand why he can’t just cut Robbie out of his life and Mike explains that his brother was always his protector and that he feels like he should return the favor. Frank and Samantha attend Chuckie’s dodgeball game where the little boy is continually drilled in the face, Samantha mentions how it feels like she’s known Frank forever, and Frank lights up a joint that he claims is medicinal. He explains his medical condition and she leans her head on his shoulder as a sign of support.
Before Roger comes over to the Gallagher home, Sheila does a last-minute cleaning and lets Debbie go to a sleepover at Holly’s. He arrives and mentions that he brought his guitar, just as Robbie tries to ply Mike with liquor as a way to live vicariously through him at dinner. Mike mentions his past with Fiona and at the end of the night, finds himself wasted in the back of the car and singing REO Speedwagon. He passes out and Fiona and Robbie talk about how proud they are of the type of hard worker Mike is, with Robbie mentioning that the 9-5 grind just isn’t for him. He did a summer at Worldwide Cup and soon realized that that type of life wasn’t what he wanted, choosing instead to indulge in alcohol and drugs due to the type of rush and happiness they give him. Even though he knows how bad the bad times were when he went into withdrawal or lowered himself to get a fix, he was never able to stop, but he rationalizes that everyone’s an addict in their own way.
Samantha and Frank bring Chuckie back home and put him to bed. She gives Frank some cranberry juice for his liver and confesses that she wants to donate part of her liver to him, that she feels like she knows enough about him to confidently say that he’s got a good heart. Samantha then shows off her numerous surgical scars and jumps on top of Frank, attempting to kiss him. He tries to pull away from her and he fakes a liver pain in order to find an excuse to leave when she does finally kiss him. Over at Matty’s, Debbie tries to get him to fool around with her by coming out of the bathroom in a nightgown, but he tells her that it’s just poor timing and throws a coat around her while they watch a movie. Carl brings home even more dogs and tells Frank about Veronica restricting his access to the drugs and how the first dog he kidnapped went unclaimed. However, Frank assures him that he can just get the liver from Samantha.
Fiona and Robbie get Mike home and in front of the toilet, with a glass of water on his side. Robbie explains that the last bender his brother went on was when his ex Eve left and asks if she’s the sticking around type. Since Mike is more stable than her previous boyfriend, she admits that she’s happy and he questions whether she’s telling the truth before kissing her while she sits on the counter. Instead of pulling away, Fiona leans into it and soon enough, Robbie rips her fishnets and screws her on the counter. Mike stumbles out of the bathroom and goes to pass out on his bed, not seeing what was going on, and Fiona realizes that she just cheated on him. While Robbie leaves, she goes to lay in bed with Mike, stunned at what she just did.
The next morning, Fiona leaves to check on the kids and promises to call Mike in a little bit to check on him. When she gets on the bus, though, she touches her bare leg and seems to look at her actions the previous night with fondness. After cuddling the previous night, Matty drops Debbie off home, shortly before Fiona arrives home from Mike’s. Lip gets his philosophy paper back, earning a 77 for an entire night’s work, while Fiona calls to check in on Mike, instead getting Robbie, there to pick up the snow blower keys for his father. Even though she tells him that what they did will go with them to their graves and that it will never happen again, he simply says that it will happen again. And again. And again.
Additional thoughts and observations:
-”Can I use your toothbrush?” “Gross. Yes.”
-”Your lady sure knows her way around a cucumber.”
-”Are you having an earnest moment?”
-”Christ, another flash mob?”
-Frank’s illegitimate daughter mauling him is the most Shameless-y moment that Shameless has done in a while, but strangely, I didn’t mind it. It was something so disturbing that even Frank was weirded out, which was fun to see, plus it’s a storyline rife with emotional complications (a strength of Shameless) and could result in Frank really thinking about what kind of a father he’s been. Additionally, he might be able to be the father figure to Chuckie that he never was for any of his other children, all the while growing closer with Samantha, who seems to be much more on his wavelength than Fiona. Thankfully, though, they avoided the pitfall of making her the female Frank, which is kind of where I thought this was going before watching the episode. One of them is more than enough for this show.
-So, Matty and Debbie is going to be a thing this season, apparently. Thus far, this season has been fairly sad, with Debbie’s storyline as no exception; no matter how much she wants a boyfriend or how much she wants to impress Holly or Ellie, this can only end poorly for her and possibly scar her before she ever really gets into the dating world. Debbie’s so lonely for attention and desperate to grow up that she’s willing to stay with someone (much) older who knows and is okay with the fact that she’s 13; Matty might be a decent person underneath the considerably questionable romantic choices, but the fact that he’s not pushing her away or keeping things platonic is worrying.
-I wouldn’t have put Mike as a One Direction fan. Fiona loving Kanye, though, is spot-on.
-Sheila’s date seemed to go okay, as Roger playing Christian songs on his guitar for her. Good for her. I was a little disappointed at how stereotypical he looked, though.
-I was ready to throw something when Fiona hooked up with Robbie until the final line he had that called her an addict. As frustrating as her self-destructive life choices are and how she might have set herself (and her family) back quite a bit, it’s classic addict behavior, so telling a story that paints her in a similar light to Frank and explores the type of personality traits and worldview she inherited from her father could be interesting. But I think the only way this will work for me is if she’s self-aware enough to realize what she’s doing and tries to actively resist that part of herself, because watching someone continually sabotaging themselves and knowingly keeping themselves in these terrible patterns of behavior will eventually get frustrating. I don’t need Fiona to be perfect or always make the right life choices; I just need to feel like she’s going somewhere or at least trying to go somewhere.
-Also, isn’t it kind of gross to be okay with hooking up with the guy who got his brother drunk in order to make a move on you? Also also, this season opened with a scene that showed the parallels between Fiona and Debbie and their storylines have become more similar with each passing episode, as they’re both latching on to guys they shouldn’t and who, if anybody found out of their trysts, could ruin their lives.
-Props to Emmy Rossum for looking especially drop dead gorgeous during the dinner scene with Mike and Robbie. Because that dress was something, as was her hair and makeup.
-Frank blending up his food from the outing with Samantha and chugging it straight from the blender might have been grosser than Samantha kissing him.
-Another sad storyline: Mickey. Still no Ian and he’s obviously feeling the loss, with him making the girl act like she was pounding him right on the line between funny and horrifyingly depressing. I don’t know how much the show can go to this well without showing Ian, but both this and the mirror punch were simple, short scenes that said quite a bit about how tortured Mickey’s psyche is and how much he misses Ian.
-I got nothing from the storyline about Carl and the dogs. I know why it was there and the emotion behind it; I just felt bad for the dogs.
-If Fiona is so put off by Mike, I would happily take him off her hands. Poor her, stuck with a good-looking, caring, stable man who values communication and knows what he’s doing in the bedroom. Interestingly, though, I think that she’s an addict to adrenaline – not necessarily in the extreme sports way. Just that she likes guys who are unpredictable and have the type of edge to them to where she never knows what to expect, hence how she ended up liking the fling with Robbie. Mike being as safe and comfortable as he is, the type of guy she never goes for, might have ultimately been his undoing.
-Did Fiona touching her bare leg on the train remind anyone else of the Diane Lane train scene in Unfaithful?
-Was “doggy” Liam’s first word? Because I can’t remember him speaking before. Also, the scene where he cries while Sheila on the phone included stock baby crying.
-The first semester I was in college, I had to take a course that taught freshmen about everything that was available on campus and focused on things like study skills and picking a major. I feel like Lip needs to go to that course to learn about time management so his college career doesn’t end before it really begins. Aren’t there services on the campus of Chicago Polytech that focus on study skills training? I’m not sure I’ve ever felt worse for a fictional character receiving a C in my life, but you could just feel his disappointment when he saw the grade and how he might become discouraged from having to extend so much effort just to get by.
-Could Lip talk to his professors about the situation he’s in (crappy high school, work study, already behind) in order to get some time to catch up? If he shows that he’d not happy with how he’s doing and that he’s willing to do what he can to raise his grades, surely they’ll do their best to help him out. He might be too prideful to do that, though, seeing as how he wouldn’t tell Fiona that he needed the laptop.
-I will say, though, that Foucault is horrendously boring material and I completely get him not taking to it.
-Debbie’s 13 and has chemistry? How advanced is the school she goes to?
-The flash mobs at Lip’s school are such a strange plot device, but visually, they’re nice to look at, especially when he’s the only moving part of the image.
-Next week on Shameless: Fiona’s infidelity threatens to be exposed, while Frank tries to contrive an accident with the intention of collecting enough insurance money for a liver transplant.