“Stutter Step”

Well, it appears that good ole’ Frank Gallagher’s gotten himself embroiled amid quite the hot-button political dispute. Still repping Abraham Paige and his Velvet Mafia, everyone’s favorite deadbeat is taking quite well to his new life as a civil rights “lightning rod” and Rainmaker-caliber fund-raiser. In fact, his new job is surprisingly bolstered by the God-given oratory skills that he’s honed over years of self-serving, victim-tinged rants, not to mention the endless hours spent convincing those around him to do things they didn’t want to.

Of course, the meager perks, including crummy lodging at a cheap Motor Inn and barely enough spending money for day-drinking aren’t enough to keep Frank happy for long. Despite his legion of starstruck fans, and no doubt, some rousingly truthful speeches about his brave midlife embrace of homosexuality and God’s true intention for the use of our private parts, he’s really just a whore for sale to the highest bidder. In this case it’s Mr. Alastair Huddleston, a right-winger intent on paving the way back to God through that ever-useful practice of conversion therapy. Like most misguided zealots, Huddleston’s arbitrarily decided that “clinical fornication” is the lesser of two evils in Jesus’s eyes, and when it comes to heinous acts against nature, creative tactics must be employed.

This means that not only will Frank’s new friend provide him with an upgrade to a much swankier hotel and fashion him with some “walking-around money”, but Huddleston also offers a bevy of consenting women to help screw the gay away. Unfortunately, it’s not until Frank has already accepted the deal that he discovers that said beauties are actually butch lesbians intent on engaging in their own conversion therapy. Frank’s first partner is Scotty, an Edie Falco-ish repentant with nice cans and a guilt-ridden preference for Angelina Jolie and Rihanna.

Despite Scotty’s obvious disinterest-or perhaps because of it- it’s not long before Frank’s wanker is magically working again for women, and he’s happy to engage in the Bachmannish hate rhetoric of his self-hating new f**k buddy. Flagrant as ever though, Frank’s oblivious to the eyes and ears of a hotel employee, loyal to Abraham’s cause, and soon the Velvet Mafia have dispensed of Scotty, locked Frank in his new hotel room, and forced him to be the new Pu Pu platter for some well-endowed and handsome young gays. (I say you really want to punish him, a Bruce Villanch- and Louie Anderson– look-alike tag-team would have really drilled home the point).

Perhaps just as awkward, if slightly less painful, Kev’s mother-loving is still in full effect. Despite finally showing some emotional cracks concerning the wacky situation she’s gotten herself into with her mother and husband, V is determined not to let all of this effort be in vain. It does help that she’s got her girl 4 life, Fiona, to keep her eyes on the prize, or to drink with, if everything goes to shit. Fortunately though, despite at first being unable to locate her purposely MIA mother, things end quite fabulously as Kev and V are finally gonna be parents. Congrats you guys, you seriously earned this one!

Undeserved however, is the treatment Ian Gallagher’s received from his once affectionate and devoted paramour. Of course Mickey Milkovich never actually confirmed their relationship or even admitted to being gay, but the sensitive Gallagher knows in his heart that the bad boy did truly love him. Sadly though, this makes the awareness that Mickey really is going through with his decision to marry the Russian “masseuse” that he’s knocked up, so much harder. It makes no difference that she gives cheap hand-jobs for a living or moonlights as her own personal conversion therapist for twisted white trash families; this is happening, and Ian can’t stop it… yet!

In fact, forward momentum seems to be the phrase of the day for restless Jimmy as well. Unsatisfied with his current life of serving Venti lattes and babysitting Liam, yet still unable to hustle for the lifestyle he once had, this designer jean- addict is headed back to med school. After floating around so much this season, it’s nice to see the man take some initiative in his life, but this decision is not without it’s issues. All of Jimmy’s credits, honed from two previous years at med school are only redeemable back in Michigan. Coupled with the fact that he’d have to move Estefania with him because, as Beto points out, he’s still got that pesky INS/Brazilian Cartel Family to deal with if he doesn’t, and it’s not hard to understand why he doesn’t initially share all of his news with Fiona.

It’s a good thing though, because it’s another week, and Fiona Gallagher is still busier than hell. In addition to the kids, she’s got her temp job selling cups at the same firm where she so winningly impressed the boss last week. This time though, its Connie, her at-first cautious manager that’s charmed by our girl. Hearing the news that Fiona will soon be a doctor’s sweetheart, slightly sad,  selfless Connie can’t wait to take her new friend out to lunch to celebrate, not to mention bust out the Keurig Cups for an impromptu office celebration.

Even sexy Bossman Pratt joins in the caffeinated revelry and despite being clearly jealous, still wishes Fee his best. Of course, he’s not above offering an invitation to play on the firm’s after hours softball team, The Cuppers, no doubt hoping a cheap beer buzz off the team keg and some “close sportsmanship” might lead to some cupping of his own at the hands of Fiona. But, the new Gallagher matriarch is a good girl- for the most part- and despite a little casual flirting at the game, not to mention her disgust with Jimmy’s constant flubbing of the truth, nothing happens. Again though, yet…

Back in the world of The Jacksons, Sheila and Jody are still holding vigil for Karen at her bedside in the hospital. Mandy’s hit-and-run caused substantial damage to Karen’s brain, and though she’s not dead, it isn’t looking too good. Of course eternal optimist Sheila hasn’t given up hope, and despite a particularly bad Billie Joel interpretation, she’s going to keep talking, singing, and engaging her daughter until she wakes up. Luckily though, she has Debbie to bring her chicken soup, and an ever-vigilant Jody by her side.

This Prince Charming has stuck by the Jackson women since day one and in yet another touching scene involving Ms. Joan Cusack, Sheila lets the lovable lug know that he needs to be Karen’s protector. She says it was wrong for a mother to go after her daughter’s man, especially since she believes that Jody is the shining knight of Karen’s adolescent Fairy-tale inflected dreams. Well, chalk this one up to a victory, because when Karen was a little girl dreaming that her prince would come, I bet she never imagined that he’d make her cum too, and hard. We always knew Jodi’s freakiness was unique, but who knew that his tongue had the power to revive coma victims? Of course, the doctor did say that the family had to do things that Karen liked to stimulate her subconscious.

I wonder how Lip will react to this news? After spending the whole episode sitting emotional shiva for his tragically misguided ex, it appears that his siblings might have actually convinced him to start appreciating Mandy Milkovich. But after an informative chat with Sheila about that infamous text, supposedly sent to Karen from Lip, asking her to meet up, it’s clear that his eyes are now open. By episode’s end though, we still aren’t exactly sure what Mr. Gallagher plans to do with this information, but the look in his eyes tells me that things do not look good for Mandy and her well-intentioned little heart. However, Jody’s Miracle of Cunnilingus might distract our boy for a bit.

We’ll see…