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‘Shameless’ Season 5 Episode 8 Recap: “Uncle Carl”

shameless uncle carl

Last week on Shameless, we got to see some good things when Fiona finally got rid of Jimmy or when Debbie finally got a boyfriend. But we also had to see some not-so-great things, like Lip nearly getting kicked out of school, V and Kev temporarily separating, and Sammi shooting Frank in the arm. Here’s what happened this week.


Carl convinces him to go on a drug run with him by letting Frank have some of the heroin he’s smuggling. Unfortunately, Sammi gets in the way of Frank’s plans and forces him to go to the doctor’s office to check on his infected wound, and then play catch with her son Chuckie. Frank is not happy but complies, and when Sammi leaves the room, he tells Carl to tape the drugs to Chuckie because the police won’t suspect a fat little white kid.

He reluctantly reconciled with Sammi after she shot him in the arm, but now his bullet wound has a nasty infection. They go to the hospital to get the wound treated and find out that Frank is an infamous celebrity there — “Frequent Flyer Frank.” When the doctor asks how Frank was shot in the arm, Sammi answers for Frank and tells the doctor that Frank’s gun backfired while he was cleaning it. The doctor is immediately suspicious of their excuse, but treats Frank anyway.


He’s been promoted in the drug dealing business and becomes a drug runner. He tries to take Chuckie (who is hiding the drugs under his shirt) along with him but ends up ditching him when police dogs come sniffing around. Chuckie gets caught for having drugs in his possession and put in jail. Well, it turns out that Frank was the jerk behind this whole mess. A brief flashback is shown of him alerting the authorities about Chuckie.

When Sammi finds out what happened, she goes berserk and immediately suspects Carl for landing her son in jail. While all the Gallaghers try to defend Carl, we find out Sammi has already called the cops to their house to arrest Carl. He tries to escape and outrun the cops, but it’s no use. “Don’t shoot me, I’m white!” he screams as he gets arrested.


It’s finally time to bring Ian back home, and Fiona and Lip go to pick him up from the clinic. The two comment on how terrible they feel to be at the clinic again, as it reminds them of their mother, Monica. They meet with Ian’s shrink and are instructed to keep a close eye on him. The shrink also gives them plenty of meds to get Ian back to normal and warns them that Ian will most likely just sleep for most of the time until he gets adjusted to his medication.

Ian comes home and does as the shrink warned them. The pills are entrusted to Debbie for some time while Fiona goes to work, but Debbie accidentally leaves them on the counter in plain sight. Ian gets to them, takes a ton of lithium, and ends up flushing the rest of his pills down the toilet. Debbie freaks out and frantically runs to find Ian. He’s outside smoking, and explains to Debbie that he flushed the pills because they made him feel terrible and depressed.

Fiona tries to talk Ian into going to the clinic and getting a new prescription for his pills, but he refuses and accuses her of manipulating him, and is upset when Fiona says he pulled a “Monica” when he flushed his pills. Debbie and Fiona try to get his pills refilled, but find it impossible without a prescription. Debbie even goes so far as to try and get Mickey to buy the drugs and she even tries to show up at the hospital pretending to be insane, but her efforts prove to be fruitless.


He’s still short on paying his tuition for school. Last episode, he found out that he forgot to sign his grant papers which put him in a bit of a financial pickle this semester. He enlists Kev to help him deal drugs at frat parties to help pay for his schooling. After a bit of convincing, Kev ends up agreeing because he is going broke as well.

Lip goes to the financial aid counselor, cash in hand, and when the counselor suggests that Lip take the semester off to save the money for school, Lip explains to him his home situation. He is afraid of going back because he doesn’t want to lose his drive to complete his education, and feels like he is helping his family more by being in college rather than working a dead-end job.

The counselor is sympathetic and allows Lip one more week to raise his tuition money.


She still hasn’t spoken to her husband Gus after the whole Jimmy ordeal. During her shift at Patsy’s Pies, she confides in her manager Sean. Even though he’s jealous of her marriage, he tells her she should beg Gus to forgive her. Fiona also reveals that Gus will be going out of town to tour with his band and everyone she speaks her tells her she should go with him, unless she wants him sleeping around with groupies behind her back. She takes everyone’s advice and although the two make up, Gus doesn’t want her to go on tour with him. He claims he needs space to think about everything. Fiona is saddened by his answer, but leaves him be and temporarily moves back in with her family.

V and Kev

V, who temporarily moved out of the house that she and her husband Kev share, comes back for a little while to take care of the girls while Kev goes with Lip to his school (to deal drugs, of course). V has reconnected with Eddie Murphy (not the Eddie Murphy), an ex-boyfriend from high school that she recently found on Facebook. When she tells Fiona that she’s going on a date with him, Fiona is outraged and tells her it’s a bad idea. Even though V retorts by bringing up Fiona’s recent incident with Jimmy, V ends up not going through with the date.

After a heart-to-heart with Svetlana, she comes to accept Kev’s changes and forgives him. Meanwhile, Kev is having the time of his life dealing drugs at college parties. He plays beer pong, gets wasted, and shows college girls pictures of his twin daughters. He ends up sleeping with one of the girls, unbeknownst to V.


Carl is arrested for drug dealing and while he is being questioned by the cops, all his siblings are outside in the waiting room, even Sammi, who receives several dirty looks from Fiona.

Ian had been worried that his relationship with Mickey was jeopardized by his diagnosis for bipolar disorder. Lucky for Ian, Mickey shows up that night and climbs into bed with him, proving that he still loves him.

The last scene of the episode shows Carl being led to his cell room, and to his dismay is right next to his annoying nephew Chuckie.