Oh, my. As much as I love it, sometimes, the frenetic and nihilistic chaos of Shameless makes it hard to watch. I'm a rom-com girl! Where are the happily ever afters? (I'm not quite naïve enough to ask where they happy endings are. There are plenty of those). *Sigh* – let's check in with our Gallagher clan.
Frank's still a man on a mission. After bumming grocery money from Carl (who's forced to resort to shoplifting) to buy weed, he masterminds a "chance" meeting with his long-lost daughter, Samantha: he gives a kid a blunt as incentive to punch her poor son in the face, so he can act the hero. It works, she buys it, and soon she's buying him lunch, too (or cheesy fries, anyway). He works his charms on her, and his charm in addition to their kismet-like similarities, she's soon inviting him to her son's dodgeball tournament. And soon after that, he's back at her trailer, and she's offering him her liver – and more. She puts the moves on him hard, and he scrambles to squirm his way out from under her. Notice that he doesn't put the kibosh on entirely – he just wants to "take it slow." Was this the plan all along? To seduce his own daughter into giving him a liver? Or did he just turn into the skid, and play with the hand he was dealt? Either way, Frank always manages to exceed our expectations in just how low he's willing to go.
And right on schedule, Fiona and Mike are starting to unravel. Not that he knows yet – no, he walked right by Fiona and his recently-out-of-rehab loose cannon of a brother having sex on his kitchen counter. The brother – Robbie – seems flat-out crazy: both his manipulations to get Mike out of the picture (passed out in the bathroom) and machinations to get to Fiona seem almost psychopathic. And she's buying what he's selling – does she just need a bad boy in her life? Is this her way of pushing the self-destruct button with Mike? Or, is she, as Robbie suggests, an "addict?" (the episode is aptly named "Like Father, Like Daughter," after all). All of the above, I'd guess.
Through Robbie, it's interesting to see a whole new breed of alcoholic/addict – one with means. But money or no, his behavior mirrors Frank's: he's stolen from his family to get drug money (sound familiar?), and has no intention of staying on the wagon, even after his family split with a cool $20,000 on a ritzy rehab to get him clean.
Lip, meanwhile, is still struggling to keep all the balls in the air. I wondered last week if he was going to crash and burn or pull out of his nosedive, and this week we saw a bit of both. He's actually studying now, but something's gotta give. His boss at his dismal workstudy gig in the cafeteria won't give him time off to study, he has no computer (he's forced to borrow his roommate's while his roommate's otherwise occupied – with his girlfriend), and even after staying up all night and doing jumping jacks to stay awake, he's still pulling C's. He's pushed to breaking point at work, and kicks some crates, punches the dumpster, and throws his apron on the ground – it's a moment of well-deserved angst, but in the end, he knows he can't quit the job that pays his tuition.
* Poor Debbie – her attempt at a sexy nightie was shades of cringe-worthy and heart breaking. Though I have to admit, it was a relief that her odd duck of a boyfriend (?) didn't want to sleep with her.
* Yay, Sheila's back! And it seems she's discovered Christian Mingle. Unfortunately, her online dating storyline was a bit lackluster – maybe the writers are having a hard time placing her now that Karen's out of the picture and she's no longer "dating" Frank ... hopefully, they'll find a way to use her to better effect soon.
* It was nice to get a break from Kev and V this week. More Sheila, less Kev and V!
* Does anyone else find it weird that Lip's struggling so much? Sure, the University of Chicago is fondly known as the place "where fun goes to die," and he's got a lot more on his plate than the average student, but he's still a genius, right?
* Speaking of Lip, does anyone else think Lip and his roommate's glare-y girlfriend are going to get it on at some point?