Episode 311

Slowly Backing Away

And here I thought tonight’s episode would be Shameless’s requisite “up at the cabin” episode in which wacky hilarity ensues. Well, things definitely go down, but they’re not exactly comical; especially for Ian, who begins the episode unable to get off the couch. Mickey’s impending nuptials have hit him in the gut like a sucker punch and going to school or staying sober is out of the question. It would help if he could vent his frustrations to anyone besides a less-than-sensitive Lip, but of course, his closeted paramour does not want anyone knowing what’s up, especially his sister, Mandy.

Unable to confide in his best girlfriend, Ian instead offers to help set up the neighborhood VFW for the tasteful affair. Svetlana has chosen a demure shade of hot pink leopard to adorn her bridal party and her fellow hand-job whores seem quite happy with their matching slut cuts. If only the lovelorn Gallagher could be as happy for the loving couple. Unfortunately, he knows where Mickey’s true affections lie, and though Milkovich reminds him that not everyone can just blurt out their feelings, it doesn’t stop our boy from showing up and expressing a last minute objection.

The protest is in vain, but the two former lovers do have hot angry sex in the back room right before Mickey walks down the aisle to claim his blushing bride. Sadly, a  down-low affair, while certainly in the cards for Milkovich, is simply unacceptable for poor Ian, who dreams of God forbid, an actual healthy relationship. All he can do is drown his sorrows in a plastic handle of the finest bargain brand vodka while the Gypsy-style wedding unfolds. Perhaps he shouldn’t have stayed for the whole thing, especially while pounding the truth serum, but luckily Lip is there to escort his severely intoxicated brother out before he ruins demented Daddy Milkovich’s Day of Denial; however, not soon enough to stop Ian’s rant about screwing the groom from falling on the ears of a clearly surprised Mandy.

Though when it comes to Lip’s eternally devoted, her brother’s sexual preferences are the least of her issues. Last week’s hit and run didn’t go exactly as planned and now Karen’s still alive and Lip’s as distant as ever. Unaware that he knows of her crime, the poor girl can’t understand why her man just won’t put out. Had she heard his conversation with a clearly freaked out Kev, warning the Gallagher to avoid sex and slowly back away from this Def Con 1 psycho situation, she might have her answer. No matter, blessed with the spirit of a hustler, she knows how to go after what she wants and if this means, getting a bit aggressive with her man, then so be it. Ignoring Lip’s protests, Mandy soon has him on the floor, spilled cereal and all for some 9 1/2 Weeks sexplay.

Alas, Lip’s heart beats only for tragic Karen, and by episode’s end he can no longer contain his rage, unleashing a diatribe of hateful words on the stunned Milkovich girl and clearly indicating that things are over between them. Poor Mandy, she might put on a brave face, and swallow strange black loads with the best of em, but even she can’t escape heartbreak. It appears that the man whom she has invested so much time, energy, and belief in has truly moved on.

And Lip’s not the only one. Karen’s accident has left her with a damaged frontal lobe and no short-term memory, but at least she’s a hell of a lot sweeter, much to Sheila’s delight. Fluctuating between states of utter terror and complete ignorant bliss, she’s a lot like Britney behind the judges panel on X Factor, but she’s not totally out of it, and it appears that Jody, the Prince who saved her, might reap the most rewards from her unexpected conversion.

That’s because the still technically married couple  (or at least Jody) plans to take little Hyrum with them and move to Sedona where the healing vortexes can help set Karen’s head right. Though, while this news does little to assuage the deep guilt Lip feels about being the indirect catalyst of the horrible accident, Sheila seems to have found some peace, and is all for placing her daughter in Jody’s compassionate hands. Now, if only she’d stop calling her grandson a”retard,” despite “having earned it” or not.

Speaking of which, if only Frank would stop enlisting the help of his children, especially Carl, to pull of highly illegal, hare-brained schemes. This time he needs the lonely young boy to help sneak him into the Gallagher van parked in their driveway. Chicago’s winter is fast approaching and “the law of bodily fluids” dictates that he can’t infringe on the territory of other homeless bums, and naturally Lip and Fiona don’t want their scumbag dad anywhere near their home. Lucky for Frank, Carl still thinks his dad helped cure him of cancer, and he’s happy to be at the shmuck’s service.

After all, he’s family, and family is supposed to take care of you no matter what. Even if you report them to Child Services, steal their hard earned money, and ask them to help you rob the foster gays who formerly took them in. Hey, Frank did it for his meth cooking, paddle-happy felon parents, why shouldn’t he expect the same from his kids? Good thing Carl remembers the security code at his posh former residence, not to mention the fact that the kid is a mini Frank Geary and seems to be a whiz with an architectural blueprint.

There is nothing more important than carrying on family traditions with the next generation, and just like Frank did with his dad, the two rob those gays blind. Unfortunately, Carl’s not exactly a common sense prodigy, and when it’s discovered that the security code in fact spells out C-A-R-L and was given specifically to the young boy when he was staying with the wealthy couple, the police are soon at casa Gallagher ready to haul the tween off to Juve. Perhaps it’s the changing seasons, or the buried-deep down nostalgia for his own youth that father-son larceny triggers within Frank, but Hell Literally Freezes over (Lip even says so), and the douchebag of all douchebags actually takes the rap for Carl. Yes, the situation was totally Frank’s fault, but that’s never stopped him from shirking responsibility before. Whatever the case, you can bet that Frank’s not going to let anyone forget this sacrifice anytime soon.

Where was ever-vigilant momma lion Fiona during all of this? Why she was enjoying the great outdoors up at Bossman Pratt’s (Jake McDorman) family’s cabin, north of Chicago. The whole family, Jimmy included, was invited by the increasingly infatuated Cup Scion, but only Fiona, Debbie and Liam are able to take him up on his offer of a weekend of sack races and boozing by the campfire. Connie and the rest of the office crew don’t get any invitations, clearly indicating that Fiona’s getting special treatment, but no matter, Pratt’s a gentleman.

It would however, be much better if he wasn’t, considering the fact that Jimmy is getting increasingly more careless with his double life. Still stringing Estefania (Stephanie Fantauzzi) along and rushing to her side anytime INS comes sniffing, he’s now faced with making this all work for the year that he’s at med school in Michigan. Not surprisingly, while his young Brazilian wife is ignorant of his new plans, ever-accommodating Fiona is happy to find a way make them happen, even if that means uprooting the family to another state. Worldwide Cups has another office near Ann Arbor, and the houses are much cheaper, plus the kids hate their current school, so why not make the move, Fiona reasons.

Well, aside from the fact that a pregnant V would miss her immensely, Jimmy doesn’t want them there. He’s tired of slumming it, living like a Gallagher. He’s fed up with Fiona making all the decisions for the couple and harbors a deep-rooted resentment for the fact that she decided to become the legal guardian of her siblings without even consulting him. This all comes to light after Fiona discovers that Jimmy has in fact put a down payment on a studio in Ann Arbor and clearly isn’t thinking about his adopted family. Hence the much needed weekend getaway sans her deceitful beau, but after some drunken flirting with Pratt leads to heavy petting and then real intimacy, she just can’t bring herself to cheat. Fiona still loves her man, and wants to make this work.

Devastatingly, Nando (Pepe Rapazote) does not have love for young Jimmy. Estefania’s constant barrage of frivolous phone calls leads to a cry wolf scenario and Jimmy, thinking she’s complaining about the small penises of her sex partners, refuses to take her call. Naturally, this time it’s a real 911 scenario and flighty Este is soon deported after being unable to successfully convince INS of the validity of her marriage. Thus, her angry father comes calling and when it truly looks like Jimmy’s day can’t get any worse, this one does. In scenes rife with Tarantino-esq violent expectation, he is forced to break bread with the violent Nando and then board a lonely boat with him to perhaps suffer the same fate as Big Pussy. We won;t find out until next week!

Maybe it’s my intense need to see Fiona happy, or Justin Chatwin’s truly visceral performance tonight, but I am having second thoughts about Jimmy and Fiona. Yes, his character has remained in a wasted limbo of whiny indecision, but just like Karen before him, he doesn’t deserve to die. Plus, the chemistry between Chatwin and Emmy Rossum was on fire tonight.