Shameless (US): A Long Way From Home
March 20, 2015 4:42 PM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Fiona seeks custody of her siblings.

The gang tries to get all the necessary paperwork together, but the hardest part is forging Aunt Ginger’s will leaving them their house. A will isn’t good without a death certificate, and they can’t get a death certificate without a body. When they finally submit the will, they're told another will submitted earlier that day "supersedes" theirs.

Debbie’s foster mom uses her foster children as sweatshop workers in her basement, and only feeds them to the extent they produce jewelry. Debbie escapes.

In court, Frank presents a phony Alcoholics Anonymous "chip" and tells of his battles with addiction.

The judge asks some of the kids about their summer and their experiences with their dad, but the answers aren't very illuminating. Carl tells the judge about how Frank sent him to camp (without mentioning Frank told him he had cancer). Debbie says she had a hard summer and wouldn’t have been able to get through it without Frank (she doesn’t mention: because he taught her how to hold her breath to attack kids underwater).

Fiona describes the first time Frank left her and her siblings to fend for themselves. She sums up what she thinks of him: “He takes what he pleases, and he offers nothing.”

The judge offers to make Fiona the legal guardian of her siblings without terminating Frank’s rights, but the judge gives her a stern talk about the responsibility. Fiona accepts it, meaning she’ll be legally responsible for the youngest of them for the next 16 years. (Liam doesn't seem to age! In season 1, Jimmy says Liam is 2 when he's trying to convince Fiona to go with him to Costa Rica.)

Hymie’s biological father, Timmy Wong, shows up with his mom to take Hymie. Timmy’s mom asks if Sheila "broke" Hymie; when Sheila and Jody explain that he has Down's syndrome, which is a chromosomal disorder, Ms. Wong says she has a traditional Chinese remedy for chromosomes. Sheila tearfully gives Hymie away.

Jody has some of his sex-addict friends over, and Sheila realizes that it wasn’t a healthy environment for a baby. So Sheila gets Frank to help with an intervention for Jody.

Beto rushes Jimmy to his and Estefania’s home just in time to impress INS. Jimmy frantically replaces his clothes with a towel, splashes water on himself, and puts on his wedding ring. After INS leaves, Jimmy confides in Beto that he's upset Fiona didn’t ask him before seeking the parental guardianship.

Karen comes home, apologizes to Sheila, and is shocked to see what Jody is doing to himself.
posted by John Cohen (4 comments total)
Funniest thing in this episode: Jimmy’s deadpan face when he hands the cell phone to Fiona saying: “It’s Veronica — says she’s got a … dead body for ya?”
posted by John Cohen at 4:43 PM on March 20, 2015

I don't know. I think the Jodie scene with his sex addict buddies is maybe the funniest thing I have ever seen. It seems so relatable, like a conversation I would have had when I was younger, but the actual content is so bizarre.

What I just wrote doesnt make sense. If you swapped out the sex talk for scoring weed, it would be word for word what my high school friends said to each other 20 years ago.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:06 AM on March 21, 2015

The courtroom business was interesting. I have no idea how close that is to the way actual family law cases are resolved, but it was a nice contrast to the usual unfairness and oppression I'd normally expect to find in a scene like that. The judge seemed to figure out a sensible, practical solution.

I've lost count of how many times this series has used black actors to play incidental characters as wise and empathetic helpers of white people, but Debbie's foster mother counterbalanced that stereotype.

It's painful to watch Debbie suffer. No comedy there. Just Dickensian awfulness. By contrast, almost anything could happen to Frank, and it would still be funny.
posted by Alizaria at 9:05 AM on March 21, 2015

I've lost count of how many times this series has used black actors to play incidental characters as wise and empathetic helpers of white people, but Debbie's foster mother counterbalanced that stereotype.

I don't think the show shies away from having black characters who are just as evil as the white characters.
posted by John Cohen at 9:44 PM on March 31, 2015

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