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If they say this, you say this.

You can tell that Shameless is nearing the end of its season because things are really heating up, though that’s not necessarily a good thing for everyone.

Fortunately in the case of Ms. Fiona Gallagher, it is. First of all, she’s finally scored a job that doesn’t entail shoveling rat carcasses or having to fellate the boss. Instead, her new temp position simply requires making cold calls at what appears to be a much friendlier workplace environment then her last job. Of course, despite the White Collar gig, she’s still got the same Gallagher issues… most importantly, nothing respectable to wear. Luckily V’s got a few sexy librarian outfits from her web cam series that believe it or not, cover more skin than the club gear Fiona’s got in her closet.

Despite her efforts however, the Erin Brockovich ensemble that the Gallagher borrows is still a bit too revealing for her new manager, a sweetly intentioned if prudish woman who is all business when it comes to her job at the family-run company. Professionally attired or not though, Fiona’s a hard worker, and it’s not long before she’s appeased her superior by “fluffing” a caller sufficiently enough to send him on to climax, aka re-registration with the sales department. Unfortunately her initial efforts are soon diminished when Debbie’s school begins calling, and an odd, even for them dispute between V and Kev over circumcising their non-existent son becomes Fiona’s issue as well.

When a fellow receptionist narcs her out for personal calls and some indiscreet visits to don’tcutitoff.org, it appears that Fiona will once again be out of a much-needed job. Fortunately, Mike Pratt, the boss’s son with a no-nonsense reputation that he works hard to uphold, finds her Eliza Doolittle of the South Side honest crassness quite charming and it’s not long before the two are flirting “appropriately.” Unlike her last boss, Pratt is aware of HR, and it appears like Fiona finally has herself a job she can keep. For now…

Despite their minor domestics, things seem to be pretty copacetic and cool for Kev and V at the moment, as well. They’ve stopped the Springer baby-making antics with her mom and seem to have settled back into a routine of webcam gimp porn and squabbling good-naturedly over this shared future they both desperately envision. Hopefully foreskin, or lack there of, won’t rain on this connubial parade.

Speaking of downpours though, Lip seems to be giving Debbie Downer a run for her money when it comes to securing his own future. Luckily, a more-likable-by-the-minute Mandy secretly applied to a bunch of the best colleges in the country for the inert genius. Blatantly plagiarizing some of the best speeches of Mandela and “other dead presidents,” not to mention stealing and hustling a shit load for the application fees, she manages to secure Lip an appointment with the alumni rep for MIT.

You’d think her sullen BFwould be ecstatic that his girlfriend believes in him enough to do whatever it takes to get him out of the slums, but just like his dad, he’s got a serious chip on his shoulder. Lip doesn’t want anyone making decisions for him or worse, telling him what to do; not even the Rep who shows up on his front door step after being blown off. Intrigued by the 4.6 GPA and so brazen it’s comical plagiarism, the MIT Rep uses classic reverse psychology, appealing to Lip’s intellectual ego to get the savant to not only rewrite the essay on short notice, but also to open up about the hopelessness of his reality, as well as his dream of living in a world where C3P0 or technology similar to the iconic robot could actually exist.

After quite the Jobsian speech about thinking outside the box and refusing to go to college to simply program algorithms, it seems like our Lip might actually be headed to Boston. More importantly, it seems like he might finally be over skanky manipulative Karen and come to see the diamond in the rough that is Mandy Milkovich. Though who are we kidding? Karen’s involved, so things can’t be that simple.

Unlike his son, things seem to be running pretty smoothly for Frank and his new creepy Phillip Seymour Hoffmanish “domestic partner” Christopher. After last week’s whole I thought you would skin me alive misunderstanding, Frank seems to have settled into a life of home-cooked meals, sleeping side by side, and Garfield Comics with the sweetly endearing creepster. In fact, they’ve become so close, that enterprising Frank thinks it’s time that they file for domestic partnership. Despite Christopher’s concerns that they don’t actually have a sexual relationship, Frank can’t help but decry the heterophobia of a system that denies benefits to two men living together platonically; after all, they can’t help that they weren’t born with an attraction to one another.

Needless to say, Frank couldn’t care less about gay rights or Christopher’s wishes, for that matter. Instead, he wants the great benefits package afforded to the pudgy loner as a city worker. After a trip down to municipal hall proves fruitless, Frank is determined that the injustices he’s endured be heard. Lucky him, the line for the free clinic is just a stone’s throw away from a campaigning politico and it’s not long before Frank is interrupting the candidate’s speech with a Harvey Milk inspired soliloquy of his own. Dubbed the new face of the gay working class, he becomes an instant cable news celebrity.

Though for Frank, this sudden fame is bittersweet. Sure he’s a star down at the gay bar, with enough people buying him drinks to keep him momentarily sated. But the “open-minded” guys at The Alibi don’t take too kindly to his revelation. Making matters worse, he’s soon evicted from Christopher’s at the behest of the taxidermist’s disapproving and controlling mother, also not happy about the public declaration from her son’s “lover.”

Celebrity status does have its perks though, and Bradley Whitford’s Abraham Paige, a card holding member of the Velvet Mafia intent on using Frank as the face of the new Gay Rights Movement, is there to tend to Frank’s corporal needs. All in all, not a bad day for the schlep, and his televised outcry even managed to help out his children, who find the plethora of gift baskets bearing top notch wine and stinky cheeses, sent to the Gallagher home from devoted new fans sympathetic to the cause, to be quite to their liking.

Once again though, not sharing in the family’s mirth and merriment is poor Jimmy. Experiencing one of those shitty days Daniel Powter would write a song about, he loses it on an unsatisfied customer at work, is forced to give up his stolen car when the owner miraculously stumbles upon it, and is held up at gunpoint by what appears to be one of the Sesame Street Kids. If the once prosperous med student wasn’t already questioning his new slumming lifestyle he seriously is now.

Luckily, Beto witnesses this chain of events, not to mention Jimmy’s subsequent breakdown, and though he still won’t let the former thief hustle for some much needed cash, he does offer him a sip of that ever-nullifying brown liquor. After a much needed moment to calm down, Jimmy’s back at the hospital questioning his friend about being an ER MD, and it looks like he will be leaving the south side for good. Oh well, hopefully this means Fiona can explore her flirtation with Mr. Pratt. Alas, there is no silver lining in the case of poor Ian though. It appears Mickey’s knocked up some hoe and now he’s gonna marry her, and an appeal from the lovesick Gallagher does nothing but warrant a serious ass whipping from a clearly tormented Mickey.

Ms. Sheila Jackson can’t catch a break either. Still reeling from Karen’s betrayal and Jamie’s departure, she can’t even seem to drag herself out of bed despite promising to help babysit Liam for the Gallaghers. In some of the most sweetly touching scenes of the series, Deb blows off her day (hence the ill-timed calls to Fiona from her school) to keep a “Code Pink” Sheila company. “Code Pink” happens to be the term the kids used when Monica, their bipolar mother, had some of her episodes. A discussion of this leads to stunning admissions from both Deb and Sheila about their crippling disappointment with yet interminable hope for those they love dearest.

Slightly empowered, Sheila decides to make up with her wayward daughter, apologizing for her own participation in creating the mean girl that Karen has become. It seems like she and Karen might actually end up having a better day than Ian and Mickey, but the blonde terror has to run her mouth off off to a clearly frayed Mandy. Lip’s first ex brags about having him whenever she wants, and by episode’s end, the female Milkovich has done her twisted family proud, hitting an on-foot Karen head-on with her car and leaving the bloody girl to die on the street.

I know she’s a twisted bitch at times, but neither she, nor Sheila deserves this! Still love you though, Mandy. Can’t wait to see what happens next!