I like things and this is where I talk about the things that I like.

Shameless Recap - 3x12: "Survival of the Fittest"

Ruling: A+


Lip's graduating, Jimmy is still MIA and can something actually be wrong with Frank?


So here’s what you missed on Shameless. V’s mom is preggers with Kevin’s baby, which is still so twisted, but whatever, this storyline is ending today so thank God, Lip confronts Mandy over her running Karen over, Carl and Frank heist his foster!Gays, and Frank takes the rap, Mickey marries an actual prostitute but is still DTF with Ian, and Jimmy is MIA after embarking on his father-in-law’s yacht. Good lord, when laid out like that, this show seems insane. And it is. Insanely good.

I have to say, this season has been consistently incredible. It’s actually probably one of the only series that has remained true to form year after year. This is due to the actors’ prowess but the storylines do continue to amaze week after week. So kudos to everyone involved. Now back to the third season finale.

Prison. A hefty man approaches a severely sick-looking Frank and starts to undo his pants. “Turn around.” Well, this should be interesting. It’s not. Turns out, Hefty’s got some stomach problems and just doesn’t want Frank watching him on the john. Fair enough. Anyway, Frank’s not looking too hot, and Hefty notices. Frank says he just needs a few drinks in him and he’ll be rocking and rolling in no time. He still can’t believe they locked him up for petty theft. He asks Hefty why he’s there. “For beating my ex-wife to death with a phone.” Frank looks contemplative at that. “Cordless, or landline?” “Sidekick.” HEEEEEEEE. Frank continues to babble about his booze-less blood and then promptly collapses. Well, this isn’t good.

Chez Gallagher. Debbie tries to straighten her teeth using her hands, and well... good luck, I guess. Carl sprays her with a water gun and Debs fumes that it’s not fair that he got to get his teeth fixed and not her. Sorry, Emma Kenney. Ethan Cutkosky got there first, and the writers definitely won’t allow two poor kids to get orthodontics. Lip asks Carl why he has a water gun, and Carl bleats it’s because he’s not allowed a paintball gun. But he’ll be able to get a paintball gun when they move to Michigan. Lip tells him, that ship has sailed (literally), they’re not moving, Jimmy!Steve has disappeared so they’re staying put.

Fiona pops in and reminds Lip that it’s an important day. Lip, true to form, remains nonchalant but Fiona insists: “First Gallagher kid to get his diploma? It’s a big deal.” Lip’s just going to pick up his diploma from the guidance office but Fiona insists that come the spring, he’s going to the ceremony and they’ll all be there cheering him on. Aw.

Ian comes down the stairs, dressed in full camouflage fatigues. He says he’s off to an ROTC winter ceremony, and it’s clearly bullshit, but no one questions him. Lip jumps up and grabs his jacket and follows Ian out the door.

Outside, Lip congratulates Ian for finally leaving his bedroom after the Mickey debacle from last week. Ian says he’s so totes over it all and Lip is satisfied with this. They part ways and Lip heads to school.

Fiona’s room. Debbie comes in to tell Fiona she only has a half-day of school and so she’ll be going over to Jody and Sheila’s since Jody’s taking Karen to a recovery centre. Debbie asks if once Jimmy!Steve is done with med school, he’ll finally be able to get her braces. Fiona impatiently says that they can’t always rely on Jimmy!Steve. Debbie continues to pester Fiona about whether or not they’ll be moving, and continues to say that it’s not fair that she’s just supposed to go with whatever the adults say, but she was adult enough to save the fam from Patrick Gallagher. It appears we're at a stalemate. Debs stalks off.

Fiona, exasperated picks up her phone and calls Jimmy!Steve and leaves a very angry message. He never called her back after she laid her heart out, and now, she’s pissed.

Prison medical centre. A doctor overseeing Frank tells him he has got to stop drinking ASAP, or he will most definitely die. Soon. Turns out, Frank is actually pretty sick, and many of his organs are failing. Frank, of course, doesn’t buy it, and says he’s just going through withdrawal, and he’ll be in fine form in no time once he’s liquored up. Anyway, Frank’s being released because the good doctor has no interest in treating him. He relays the message once more: stop drinking. I’m sure Frank will get right on that. Frank walks out the doctor’s door right into...

...The Alibi. Looks like he took that advice to heart. He proceeds to down shot, after shot, after shot, after... how does he afford this?

Armed Forces office. Ian enters all official like and tells the soldier behind the desk that he wants to enlist. These Milkovichs sure get under people’s skin. Ian wants to go into active duty, and he wants to leave ASAP. He passes his transcript and asks when the next bus leaves. Turns out, it’s tomorrow morning. That may have been a bit sooner than Ian anticipated but he’s still game. He’ll just need a photo ID. That may be a problem, considering Ian’s still underage. Somehow, I don’t think that that’ll deter him.

Chez Gallagher. V and Kev decorate the house for Lip’s surprise graduation party. V asks if Jimmy!Steve has called, and Fiona replies in the negative. She says he’s already been forgotten to which Kev says they should be giving Jimmy!Steve the benefit of the doubt. Technically, Fiona did tell Jimmy!Steve not to come home. She stated she just meant for the night, and Kev retorts that Jimmy!Steve’s not a mind-reader, how was he supposed to know that? Fiona considers this.

Guidance office. Lip enters after a rambling guidance counselor spouting wisdom about academics and blaaaahhhh. He pulls out Lip’s diploma and sincerely tells him that being able to give it to him is why he went into education. Lip takes one moment to look at his newly minted freedom and looks so damn proud, it’s a little heartbreaking. Jeremy Allen White kills in this scene. He then promptly folds the diploma up and stuffs it in his back pocket, gives a “later Dick,” to the guidance counselor and bounces off to...

... The Alibi. He orders a shot as a treat for graduating and who should he see but his father who’s moved onto beer. Lip is all... um, why aren’t you still in jail? Frank says he got out on a technicality. Lip asks the question that was on everyone’s lips: why’d he take the fall for the heist? Such a selfless act is very unlike our patriarchal Gallagher. Frank responds that that’s just what family does, which again, is strange because you’d assume Frank would send all his children to child services just to settle a score. Oh wait. He did do that. Frank sucks. Anyway, he finds out that Lip is there because he graduated and suddenly Frank’s his son’s best friend.

He announces to the bar that it’s time to celebrate. He clutches at his stomach, and immediately people start asking him if he’s alright. I honestly don't know why they care, considering how much everyone hates Frank, but whatever. Frank shoots back that he’s fine and that he’ll challenge anyone to a push-up contest to prove it. A few people take the bet and amazingly enough, Frank doesn’t keel over and die but actually wins. Lip collects Frank’s winnings and Frank says they’re going out, lobster and scotch, it’ll be great. Lip, I’m sure, is struggling to remember why he hates Frank so much, but his familial loyalty wins out. Frank is a charmer and the power he has over his kids is astonishing.


World Wide Cup. Fiona tap, taps away, filling in spreadsheets, and looks sporadically at her phone. She continues to be the worst employee ever and calls Jimmy!Steve at her desk. At least do it in private, sweetie. You’re lucky you’re pretty, cuz you would have been shit-canned weeks ago if you weren’t. Anyway, Fiona apologizes for her earlier message and says she only meant for him to not come home that one night. She really wants to talk so could he please call her back?

Sheila’s. Jody wheels Karen into a van. They’re going to Sedona, where hopefully they can get help for Karen’s messed up head. Quite frankly, I like her better like this, despite her insane hair, but I digress. Sheila says goodbye to Himey, because I guess he’s going with, then she turns to her brain-addled daughter and gives her a very heartfelt farewell, and it is quite moving, good on both Joan Cusack and Laura Wiggins. She then sends Jody off and it’s just Sheila and Debbie standing in the streets. Sheila immediately feels the emptiness of her nest and asks if she can make Debbie some food. Debbie tells her she has to get back to her house to help prepare for Lip’s party so Sheila invites herself along. Debbie is okay with this, and I’d be super okay with that because a party catered by Sheila would be amazing.

Hospital. Fiona finds Haaron, I mean, Harry Hamlin, I mean Jimmy!Steve’s dad and asks if they can talk. Jimmy!Steve’s dad creepily asks how Ian is, and I’m amazed Fiona doesn’t get washed away by the sliminess, but she responds that he’s fine. Fiona asks if Jimmy!Steve’s dad has seen Jimmy!Steve, to which he says no, he hasn’t heard from him in awhile. This doesn’t seem to freak him out at all, considering this is Jimmy!Steve’s MO. If things start to get tough, he bolts. He’s not worried, and Fiona shouldn’t be either. This doesn’t comfort her at all.

Baby Doctor. V and Kev look at an ultrasound of Mama!V’s tummy. They see their child for the first time and it’s all very sweet... until we find out that Mama!V has been preggers for 12 weeks. Exactly when they first started trying for a baby. Except Mama!V and Kev kept screwing cuz Mama!V said she wasn’t preggers. Mama!V’s got some splainin’ to do.

Chez Gallagher. Ian packs up his bags and Carl comes in and asks Ian where he’s going. Ian says it’s an ROTC retreat and asks Carl where his knife is. Carl sighs and takes it out from underneath Lip’s bed, and that must have been uncomfortable. He hands it over but warns Ian that if the zombie apocalypse happens, he’s just given away everyone’s safety. Ian rolls his eyes but let’s Carl keep the knife. It’s a sweet gesture, and Ian reminds Carl to not use it on anything human. “Cat’s aren’t human,” Carl grins. Ian’s all, dude, nothing that can breathe, k? Ian looks sad for a minute then continues to pack.

Hospital. V is pissed and storms off. Mama!V follows her and tries to explain. V’s not having it. She’s sure Mama!V just wanted to get some more of that sweet white boy lovin’ she was getting from Kev and that’s why she kept quiet. Kev’s pleased with this: “once you go white, you always stay tight.” Ew. Mama!V relents. She thought she might be preggers but she didn’t keep going because she wanted Kev. She kept going because it’s the first time in a long time she’s felt needed. Again, this is so twisted, but it is a little bit sad, so I’ll give it an aw for now. Kevin tries to calm the flames by putting the sonogram picture in front of his face and speaking on behalf of the fetus. It’s hilarious and he says “cock-penis” and Steve Howey is amazing. The ladies let up. They’re having a baby and everything is gonna be alright.


Lobster and Scotch. Or some restaurant that Lip and Frank have holed up in with three ENORMOUS lobsters sitting on the table in front of them. Frank says he’s having a great time and Lip agrees, it’s nice to be out and about with dear ol’ dad. Frank gets a little sappy, and the look Jeremy Allen White gives him is so heartbreaking because you just know that he could count on one hand the number of times that he’s heard nice things from his father. Frank asks Lip to tell him what’s on his mind and Lip decides to give in. He tells him he doesn’t have a plan for life, and Frank sincerely congratulates him on keeping up the family legacy. This is the way to live, carpe diem and all that jazz. Lip smirks at this and decides, why don’t they start right now? They dine and dash like pros and escape, then link arms and skip off into their next adventure.

World Wide Cup. Fiona notices a bunch of suited up people outside her boss’ office and asks one of her friends what they’re doing there. He tells them they’re applying for a job. Fiona’s all, say what? One of Mike interviewees leaves and Fiona takes the opportunity to jump in Mike’s office and tell him she wants the job. Mike says that’s all fine and good but she’s never made a sale. Fiona pleads that she’s gotten plenty of people to re-order but Mike shuts her down. It’s not good. He needs people with actual sales experience. Sorry, Fi, looks like today’s not your day.

Skating rink. Frank and Lip sit on a bench, drinking liquor out of a brown bag, and looking generally like hobos. Frank says he remembers when he used to bring Lip to skate and Lip bursts out with a “fuck you,” that never happened. They drunkenly talk about Darwinism for a bit, and the title of the episode comes up when they talk about tortoises, and rhino horns and tiger dicks and I don’t even know anymore. Anyway, they’re both deliriously blitzed and they slip and slide hilariously on the ice. Lip’s not as used to binge-drinking as his dad though, and promptly yaks all over the rink. Ew. Frank says he’s feeling sympathy pains and proceeds to vomit... blood. And lots of it. It honestly looks like he’s just spewed up an organ, it’s horrible. Things aren’t looking good. Shoulda listened to that crack-pot doctor when you had the chance, Frank.


Outside the Gallaghers’. Jimmy!Steve’s bodyguard approaches Fiona and she, appropriately, is freaked out by him, but the bodyguard hands Fiona an envelope. He says Jimmy!Steve wanted her to have it. It’s filled with cash, and now Fiona is looking mighty worried. She runs after him and asks him where Jimmy!Steve is. Bodyguard looks super sad and tells her to forget about Jimmy!Steve. “He has moved on. And now, so must you.” He drives off and sadface, for Fiona. Her cell rings and it’s Lip. He tells her that he’s at the...

... hospital. Damn, this set is getting a lot of use this episode. Fiona, Debbie and Carl steamroll down the hallway until Fiona is able to find out where Frank is. She tells Debbie and Carl to wait outside until she knows the full story, and Debbie pitches a fit once more. I do feel for her, but I have to side with Fiona on this one. Considering Debbie’s odd attachment to her father, it’s probably best she doesn’t see him right now.

Fiona is sure Frank’s either making up what’s wrong with him, or there’s nothing really wrong with him at all. She runs into the doctor that was just with him, however, and finds she is sorely mistaken. Just like we were told at the beginning, Frank is really sick.

Frank’s hospital room. Frank’s happy as a pig in shit, eating a pudding cup. Lip, on the other hand, has had better days having expelled half his body weight in puke in the last hour. Fiona’s not having it, and tells him to go get Carl and Debbie. Go home and get sober, and get ready for your stupid surprise party. Lip groans away and leaves.

Fiona confronts her dad. He’s still unimpressed by what the doctors have to say about him having to call it quits on the boozing. Fiona tries to impress upon him that he’s sending himself to an early grave. Honestly, anything past this point in Frank’s life is a long and fruitful life. He should have been dead decades ago. Frank is astonished Fiona cares at all. Fiona’s not sure if she does. She tells him how she used to pray that he would die, would dream about it, wished for it on her birthdays. Faced with the actual probability of it happening, however...

Frank asks if he’s supposed to stop drinking so Fiona won’t feel guilty. Fiona snaps and says no, you’ve got kids, who for whatever reason, love you. You’ve gotta do it for them. Or “be the fabulous narcissist that you are, and do it for yourself.” Frank asks sincerely, “what if I don’t want to change?” Fiona’s face falls but she looks her dad straight in the eye when she tells him that it’ll just confirm what she always feared was true. That he never cared about them at all. Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy always play phenomenally off of each other, and this scene is no exception. Fiona leaves, but tells Frank one last time: get sober. She breaks down in the hallway and runs off.


Milcovichs’. Ian’s come to say goodbye to Mandy, but really, we know who he’s here for. Mandy skips off to go get her nitrous, and that’s a real smart thing to do the day before you enlist in the army, but whatevs. Mickey comes out and sees his guest. He tells Ian to come see something in his room. Mickey babbles about his wife, and Ian definitely doesn’t want to hear this but he says nothing. Mickey continues and says they can still so totes bang when the old lady’s out working but Ian says naw. Mickey thinks he’s just playing around but Ian breaks the news. He’s leaving tomorrow. Four years minimum. Noel Fisher is AMAZING in this scene. The emotions that roll across his face are so powerful. From joking, to disbelief, to totally unabashed disbelief, to utter heartbreak.


And everyone in the fandom dies. We’ll just forget about the horrific gay bashing Mickey gave Ian a few episodes back.


Mandy comes back down and says she’ll meet Ian outside. Mickey’s all, what the fuck you want, bitch? Mandy’s having none of it. That’s all you’re gonna say to him? That’s your goodbye? “You’re a fucking pussy.” Dem fighting words. Mandy leaves and Mickey cries and sadface.


Chez Gallagher. Fiona comes home looking drained as fuck. Sheila’s there, Fiona’s moderately curious as to why she’s there, but doesn’t care enough to ask or do anything about it. Debbie and Carl ask if Frank’s okay and Fiona just shrugs. “That’s up to him.” Fiona notices that they’ve taken down the decorations for the party, and Carl says that Lip told them to. Fiona refuses this. They’re having a party whether Lip likes it or not.


Upstairs, Lip dissolves some antacids and looks appropriately morose. Fiona gives Lip shit for getting all boozy on his first day as a graduated man. Fiona asks to see the diploma and Lip fishes it out of his back pocket. I’m amazed it survived the day. Fiona looks at it with the utmost pride. Her babies are growing up so fast! Fiona tells Lip that she recently came into some money. Even though it wasn’t that long ago, I completely forgot what she was talking about, so as a reminder, it’s the money that Jimmy!Steve’s bodyguard gave her. She says she’s squirreled some away for the necessities but she has an idea for a business venture. Lip hilariously says he hopes she’s not going to try and run another club night. Even hungover as fuck, Lip knows the right cards to play. Fiona says no, she has another idea, something that might get her a full-time job. Lip says fine but close the door. No dice. Fiona drags him downstairs to go celebrate his graduation.

Everyone celebrates, and it’s all very sweet. Big hugs for Lip, Lip almost pukes on the cake, that kinda thing. V and Kev show Fiona the sonogram and everyone is happy.


Fiona takes down a picture of, I’m assuming herself with a massive trophy, and replaces it with the folded diploma.


Debbie compliments Sheila on her cooking and Sheila says that they could hang out tomorrow too. Debbie, bless her little heart, lets Sheila down easy. Maybe Sheila could find some women of her own age to spend time with. Sheila contemplates.

Fiona approaches Kev and gives him Jimmy!Steve’s money. She tells him that she needs him to order a couple thousand cups from her. Kev tells her they’re no frat house, they don’t use cups in a bar. Fiona begs and Kev relents. She says to tell Mike that Fiona convinced him.

Ian’s back home and gives Lip a joint. It’s the happiest Lip has looked since he and Frank were giggling about rhino horns and tiger dongs. Carl streaks past them, grabs his coat and leaves. Lip wonders where he’s off to, but clearly doesn’t care enough to find out.

Fiona knocks at Debbie’s door and tells her that they won’t be going to Michigan. She wants Debs to be the first to know. Debbie asks if that means that Jimmy!Steve is gone for good. Fiona attempts to keep a smile on her face but it crumbles a little when she nods yes. Fiona then tells her she might be able to get a job at the cup company, one that gets benefits, like dental, that our little Debs could use. Debbie smiles and tells her to get the job. Fiona tells her she’ll try.


Bus stop. Carl waits and gets on a bus heading into the city. He ends up...


... back at the hospital, good lord. In Frank’s room, Carl plugs in an electric razor. While Frank dozes, Carl commences to shave Frank’s head. Frank wakes up and asks what his kid is up to. Carl, in a soul-shattering way, says that he wants Frank to be cured by the sun rays, just like Carl was when he had “cancer.” Frank gives him a kind smile. He lays back down. “Carry on.” Just a beautiful scene and I cry once more. Carl finishes up, kisses Frank on the cheek and leaves Frank surrounded by a halo of hair.

The next day. Ian washes up then says goodbye to Liam. He walks out with his packed bags. Fiona is gon be pissed when she finds out!

Sheila’s. Sheila sits on her couch, by herself. Then the doorbell rings and she invites a gaggle of middle-aged women into her house. She found friends quickly!

Lip gathers the mail and a mail deliverer hands him a big envelope. He inspects the sender and again, some brilliant acting on Jeremy Allen White’s part. We don’t find out who it’s from just yet, but it’s pretty easy to suspect that someone is college bound. 


Sheila’s. Turns out, those ladies weren’t over for a regular potluck. Sheila’s doing a presentation on what she knows best: anal stimulation. And I guess all kinds of stimulation, cuz she’s got an insane amount of sex toys lined up meticulously on her table. Apparently, she did well. Everyone wants to buy. This storyline makes me happy in the most ridiculous way. Do what you love, and all that. Atta girl.

Hope’s Liquor. Ian goes in and goes straight to the back of the store. He hands over money, a picture of himself and Lip’s ID. Not sure what Lip’s gonna do without an ID but Ian doesn't seem to care. Also Lip is supposed to have been born in 1994, which makes me feel like a dirty old lady.

World Wide Cup. Mike tells the big boss that Fiona made a massive sale, selling cups to The Alibi. Good on Kev for keeping his word. Big boss tells Mike that they’re going to give Fi a two week trial. Fiona could not be happier.

At Fiona’s new cubicle, she cuts a ceremonial ribbon that her friends set up and it’s super cute. Connie tells Fiona to be excited. This used to be her cubicle and she’s been here for 22 years! The reaction Fiona gives may not have been what Connie was looking for. What did she just get herself into?

Army bus. Ian hands over his ID. Everything seems to be in order. “Lip” gets on the bus to start his new life and this will not end will for anyone. The bus pulls away and Ian smiles but soon his face begins to fall. What did he just get himself into? Seriously, dude, four years of active service cuz your guy doesn’t wanna be your guy? Again: this will not end well.

Hospital. A half-shorn Frank removes his IVs and tubes and grabs his shoes. For some reason it’s now night time, which is kinda weird since it was just early morning for all the previous scenes but whatever it doesn’t really matter, all that matters is I have nothing left to say about this scene.

Milcovichs’. Lip knocks at Mandy’s door. Mandy comes outside, looking at most, abashed. Honestly, Mandy is bat-shit crazy, but I have to forgive her because she must have had the worst fucking childhood ever. When getting knocked up by your own father doesn’t faze you, you know this girl’s mind is warped. Even so, she still managed to get her shit together for Lip and got him into MIT.


Lip tells Mandy that there’s no way he could have done it without her, and goddamn if Mandy doesn’t look like she could just fly with glee. He thanks her, then leaves, just as snow starts to fall. Mandy runs after him and asks him if he’s going to go. Lip shrugs and keep walking. Mandy smiles and retreats back inside.


Hospital. Frank takes his shoes and walks out of his room, down the hallway, bare ass hanging out. No one’s stopped him yet, which I find astonishing, so he keeps on going. 

Outside the Gallaghers’. Fiona walks in the snow and looks at her phone.


Outside the hospital. Frank, still in his hospital gown, has put his shoes on and is walking outside.

Fiona leaves Jimmy!Steve one final message. “Bye.”


Frank walks down the middle of a street, huddled against the cold.

Fiona goes home.

I wait impatiently for the fourth season to begin.

Scandal Recap - 1x01: "Sweet Baby"

For A Good Time Call (2012)