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After a week’s repose from the usual antics, it was nice to settle back in with the Shameless clan, but as always, shit was going down.

Most notably for Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum), who, when we last saw her, was pleading guilty to charges of child endangerment and being slapped with some serious probation and at least two weeks of house arrest. Of course, her 4-year-old brother Liam (Brennan Kane Johnson and Blake Alexander Johnson) did almost die from cocaine poisoning after she got too f-ked up and left lines of the powder out on the kitchen table… and she did narrowly escape going to jail for a few years… so this was actually a victory.

But it certainly doesn’t feel like one at the moment for Fee. Between the constant guilt, penetrating loneliness, and ever-present threat of going stir crazy, she’s beginning to vibrate on the same constantly frazzled frequency as Carrie on Homeland. Though at least Carrie’s got a primo cocktail to mellow her ass out, because all poor Fee has is a take-no-shit PO played by Regina King, and you better believe that she’s watching Fiona’s every step – and wipe – to make sure she’s as sober as the day is long.

Luckily there’s chores to be done and cigarettes to be smoked, but after her clean-up efforts incur the wrath of her siblings, and sexy but shady Robbie (Nick Gelfuss) swings by to trade cronuts for impunity (those damn things are hard to come by) even the household tasks can’t stop Fiona from calling up V (Shanola Hampton) and requesting a Vodka delivery. And honestly, dogs with electric collars have more freedom to roam than the poor girl does at the moment, so can you blame her for wanting to escape in at least some small way?

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Lip (Jeremy Allen White) certainly can. He’d still rather drag Liam along with him to school than allow Fiona any alone time with their youngest bro. Despite a punishing schedule that includes cafeteria work study and a rigorous academic load, the increasingly responsible Gallagher has found a way to play dad and make it all somehow work – albeit barely. On the bright side however, his new image as a dutiful provider has dramatically improved his cache with the privileged chicks at school; girls who clearly have a soft spot for a fixer upper with paternal instincts. Hell even Amanda (Nichole Bloom), his new steady on-campus babysitter – who also happens to be his roommate’s girlfriend – seems to be seriously feeling Lip version 2.0.

You’d think all of this newfound mojo would loosen him up a bit and perhaps allow the co-ed to move past his anger towards Fiona, but actually, the opposite is true. Coming home after another day of the grind to see her chilling with V, all buzzed, he proceeds to let the already fragile felon have it for all of the bad choices she’s recently made, and this time it looks like he’s taking Liam and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) away for good.

Things aren’t looking to well for Fee’s sanity, but finally, after a desperate plea from her – and some cathartic super stealth head from Amanda – Lip’s ready to forgive his sister, and more importantly, to allow her back into the lives of the family.

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The same however can’t be said of his feelings towards Frank (William H. Macy), a guy whose days are as numbered as the list of people who still care about him. But don’t count the old drunk out yet… That’s because not all of his children have completely abandoned ship. In fact bastard turned golden child, Sammi (Emily Bergl), has happily stepped in to provide him with exactly the type of palliative care best suited to a Gallagher.

In addition to procuring a still away on the Reservation Sheila’s home as their squatters’ palace, and recycling an ingenious plan she devised with an ex-husband to dupe deluded potential homeowners into shelling out a cash deposit for the place (seriously, all those exes and double dealings, she’s like the Erica Kane of the trailer trash set), Sammi still finds time to wipe her dad’s ass and crush up his pills for snorting.

And it looks like her best efforts have drawn Deb (Emma Kenney) and Carl back into the mix as well. Of course, the fact that Carl’s recent suspension for bullying requires a parent to accompany him to a teacher’s conference – and Fee’s otherwise occupied – probably has something to do with the renewed interest in dear old dad too, but so what? After all they have a special bond… It’s Frank who taught the kid to fight in the first place, and it’s Frank who’s bullshit excuses and half-asses rationalizing has created this monster. As for Deb, well, let’s just say that Fiona’s destruction of her virginity vision board (think a slutty version of The Secret) has her running right into the arms of big sis number two.

Sadly, the schism couldn’t have occurred at a worse time though, because flo’s finally come to town for Deb, and at this crucial moment when Fiona should be the one coaching the decidedly JV young woman about her new team, it’s Sammi who’s stepped-down from the big leagues to share a few tips. Having been married three times and engaged 12 she’s not exactly the best person to be doling out romantic advise, but her insistence that Deb use the ‘hard to get’ technique is spot on. In fact, it might be just what the doctor ordered to get Matty (James Allen McCune) to relent and pop her cherry before she’s 16.

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The tactic certainly worked for prodigal Gallagher son, Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and his on-again off-again closet case roughneck, Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher). All the sensitive ginger had to do was enlist in the army, trash a helicopter while going AWOL, disappear into Chicago’s seedier gay scene, and then develop a crystal problem, and viola! – he’s got his man back and ready to blow him whenever he requests it.

Perhaps their reconciliation hasn’t come at the most opportune time, what with a seriously ticked off Svetlana (Isadora Goreshter) threatening to kill the “carrot boy” with a rusty weapon before delivering her loving husband of his first child, but who are we to judge? Mickey’s here, he’s queer, get used to it! Just don’t mess with his man, even if he’s bodyrolling in booty shorts on stage.

Clearly Milkovich and Kev (Scott Howey) make better partners than might first have thought, because just like Mickey, Kev’s prepared to do what it takes to prevent anybody from getting too close to those he loves. One gas mask away form being a doomsday prep-er, he’s living by the motto, prepare and prevent, and if that means taking advise from bar-flies named Kermit, and or doing back-alley business to procure illegal firearms, then so be it.

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Sadly, packing heat like that has no effect on the emotions of his mother-in-law however, and after finally delivering her son/grandson, it seems like (Vanessa Bell Calloway) isn’t ready to give the little angel up

V, apparently still embracing natural selection wholeheartedly sees no problem with letting grandma keep him. After all, they can barely afford the two she’s about top out, but Kev doesn’t exactly agree. He wants nothing more than to take his son home, but alas happy mother-in-law, happy wife, happy life. He’s got no choice but to button down the hatchet and prepare for the arrival of his twin girls. And you better believe this guy’s gonna prepare.