This week's episode of Shameless celebrated Father's Day as only Shameless can—with the body of Karen's father, Eddie Jackson, being discovered in Lake Michigan. Unlike episodes of CSI that begin with a dead body, we already knew every detail of what had transpired. Thankfully, the show's writers have a knack for remembering the loose ends we thought might have been forgotten. This time it was Frank and his drunken, forced sexual encounter at the hands of Karen, posted to a video blog in Season 1 and now discovered by the detective investigating Eddie's suspicious death.
Shameless is at its best when Frank is on the run, and we saw that again this week as he took off, beer in hand. But unlike in past episodes, Frank's ability to summon some Gallagher ingenuity to escape failed, leading to a great twist when he got home expecting Sheila to send him packing.
While still scrambling for his alibi, Frank had some time to offer a bit of advice to another potential father, Lip: "The best gift you can give ... neglect." But with the chips down on the table, Lip decided he's not destined to turn out like Frank. Lip is at a turning point: He's willing to do the right thing and be there for Karen should the baby be his. And as Fiona reminded him, he's the odds-on favorite.
The problem is Karen, who's already run off and married Jody and is determined for Jody to believe the baby is his, even if it's not. This led to Lip finally hitting rock bottom, and it wasn't pretty—especially not the fight with Ian, whose readiness for the military was quickly apparent. His reluctance to smash Lip's head into the bathtub might have been the most mature act by a Gallagher this season.
Ian's not the only Gallagher concerned about his future. Debbie is still too eager to grow up; once again she enlisted both Holly and Mandy in her attempts to impress little Hank. Wearing makeup early is one thing, but here's hoping she doesn't get in too deep with her juvenile delinquent crush, as she's already had quite a rough summer. Fiona has, too, but this week she was blissfully unaware of her family's issues, whisked away on a wedding date by potential sugar daddy Richard. Their interactions were surprisingly sweet; she reminded us of how crafty she can be, carrying on a lie about attending Princeton with confidence, and Richard clearly enjoyed it. When Fiona opened up to him and revealed that she really lives on the South Side, his response was charming—it reminded him of where he grew up. But Fiona's never allowed an uncomplicated life, so just as Richard took off in his chauffeured ride, Steve returned, casually stepping down from Tony the Cop's porch as if he never left Chicago. This literally rendered Fiona speechless, but their minute of awkward interaction made it clear the chemistry between Fiona and Steve remains.
What do you think: Is Steve back for Fiona's heart or just to get even with Tony?
The Gallagher Family Crib Sheet:
– As predicted, Carl got very creative in order to make some money for the family. He's found the most disgusting prostitute in Chicago's South Side to pay room and board and to bring her clientele with her.
– I loved Kev and Veronica's plot this week. The mere hint of betrayal sent Veronica to the dark side, ready to maim Kev for his infidelity. Thankfully he's only learning to read, which should come in handy if he decides to revisit ownership of The Alibi.
– The writers are clearly ready to expand on Ethel's character, as they've now removed the barrier preventing a relationship between her and Malik. It was quite a misunderstanding that led to Clyde's death—"taking care of my husband" certainly did not mean a shiv in the shower.
– I would love to see the investigation of Frank stretch out over several episodes, and I may get my wish: Frank met up with his detective at the neighborhood BBQ, and she vowed to catch him.
– I took some flack in the comments last week for my lack of interest in Sheila's character, but I'm never a fan of an act of God (an airplane wheel falling from the sky) as a solution to a season-long story arc. Sheila's agoraphobia has had her stuck inside the house for far too long now, and it would be nice to let Joan Cusack spread her wings a bit. Here's hoping her hint of marriage to Frank could move things forward for her.
– It was nice to see Karen's human side, as she shed a few tears over her father's grave being dug. Of course, she came around during the credits, as we saw her urinate on his gravestone. Always classy, that Karen.
Please, no spoilers from the UK version of Shameless in the comments!