Last week, after finding out that her father was the one responsible for Social Services taking the Gallagher kids away, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is out for blood. And by that, I mean she’s trying to make sure that Frank (William H. Macy) is out of their lives for good by seeking custody of Lip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam.
Her plan involves (A) getting a lawyer and (B) taking full, legal ownership of the house, which previously belonged to Aunt Ginger. In order for (B) to work, she needs to forge a will from Aunt Ginger and obtain a dead body in order to file a death certificate. On top of that, she needs to fake a W-2 to make it seem like she has a stable, full-time job.
All the while, unbeknownst to Fiona, her boyfriend Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) is still cheating on her with his legal wife Estefania (Stephanie Fantauzzi). Aside from making sure that his marriage appears real to Immigration, Jimmy isn’t so happy about Fiona seeking full custody of her siblings. He’s upset that Fiona hasn’t consulted him about her decision at all, despite the fact that he’s lying to her and leading a double life. Hypocrisy and dickheadedness at its finest.
Beto (Bernardo de Paula) is disgusted by Jimmy’s behavior, telling him that family always comes first and that Fiona is too good for him.
Once the judge rules that Fiona gets guardianship over her siblings, everyone is excited – except for Jimmy who looks visibly unhappy.
After taking care of Plans (A) and (B), Fiona and Frank go to trial, with Fiona trying to get the judge to rule that Frank is an unfit parent. Unfortunately, despite seeing past Frank’s bullshit story about being in recovery and staying off the drugs and alcohol, the judge tells Fiona that he can’t take away Frank’s parental rights.
But, he can grant Fiona legal guardianship over the kids – meaning both she and Frank will have custody over the kids until they’ve reached the age of eighteen. He warns her that it’s a big commitment, especially considering Liam’s age, and that she should reconsider her decision.
If she agrees to be the kids’ legal guardian, she’ll be responsible for her siblings all their lives and that means giving up a lot. It’s a huge sacrifice, one that the judge doesn’t expect someone of Fiona’s age to make. She still has her whole life ahead of her…
Ultimately, Fiona decides to get legal guardianship.
The courtroom scenes were beautifully acted by Emmy Rossum, as Fiona recounts growing up with Frank as a father – how she was only six when she started taking care of her siblings. It’s a powerful, very emotional moment and Rossum did a wonderful job. Along with William H. Macy, she’s definitely the strongest player on Shameless and it’s high time she get some recognition for her work.
Child labor laws? Apparently, Mama Kamala has never heard of them. She forces Debbie (Emma Kenney) to work down in the basement, where the other kids are assembling jewelry. Tired and hungry, Debbie attempts to escape but she’s caught by Mama Kamala who claims to have eyes everywhere. Later, she sneakily puts a sleeping agent in Mama Kamala’s drink and successfully makes her escape in the middle of the night – but not before putting superglue over Kamala’s eyes.
As for Ian (Cameron Monaghan), he can’t stop thinking about the incident from the last episode – after an enraged Terry caught him and Mickey (Noel Fisher) together and beat Mickey unconscious before forcing him to have sex with a Russian prostitute. Ian goes to talk to Mickey about it, but the eldest Milkovich – clearly still traumatized – gives Ian the silent treatment and refuses to even look at him.
Meanwhile, over at the Jackson residence, Jody (Zach McGowan) seems to have relapsed and – according to Sheila (Joan Cusack) – has stopped going to Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings. He wants to do increasingly wild sex acts with Sheila, including erotic asphyxiation. As a result, Sheila doesn’t think the house is a good environment for baby Hymie.
Out of the blue, Hymie’s biological father – looking disinterested – shows up with Hymie’s other grandmother. She wants to take Hymie home with her, and claims that Chinese herbs will cure Hymie of his Down’s syndrome – even though Jody points out that it’s not possible.
Sheila reluctantly allows Hymie to go with his other family, thinking it’s for the best.
Soon after, Sheila’s daughter Karen (Laura Wiggins) returns. Sheila is thrilled to see her daughter again and the two share a touching reunion. Karen appears reformed, having been a hot, borderline sociopathic mess last season, and even apologizes to her mother for her behavior.
The reappearance of Karen on the show is sure to cause lots of drama and, personally, I cannot wait.
Frank: Alcohol is a gift. Nance, what happened to you? You used to dance on tables. Now it’s cleaning your dad’s catheter and the graveyard shift at the drugstore. You’re young! Don’t pack it in.
Mrs. Wong: If we want to get rid of a kid, we stay in China.
Veronica: I don’t want Kevin fucking my mom any more than he has to.
Fiona: My mother’s bipolar, and my father is an alcoholic and an addict. He takes what he pleases and he offers nothing. No money. No support. I’ve done what I could to help raise my siblings. I wish I could have done more. I’m not asking for your pity or your admiration. I just want to be able to give these kids everything that they deserve because they’re great kids, and they deserve better.
Shameless airs every Sunday at 9 PM on SHOWTIME®.