Shameless (US): Survival of the Fittest
April 6, 2015 9:23 PM - Season 3, Episode 12 - Subscribe

After Frank collapses in his jail cell, he wakes up in a hospital bed and thinks he’s in Heaven. A doctor tells him he’s not dead, but he will be soon unless he stops drinking. Meanwhile, Fiona leaves a dramatic series of messages for Jimmy …

Fiona first tells Jimmy off for not getting back to her, but then (after a debate with V and Kevin) tells him she didn’t mean it when she told him to sleep somewhere else — or, she did mean it, but just for that night. Fiona tracks down Jimmy’s dad, Lloyd, who says that Jimmy often drops out of touch for months at a time. Fiona wonders if “maybe this time is different.”

Lip rhetorically asks Debbie and Carl if they’ve seen Jimmy around lately, and tells them they’re not going to move to Michigan. Debbie tells Fiona what Lip said, and Fiona says: “Lip should mind his own business.” Debbie retorts: “It is his business if we move to Michigan or not. It’s all of our business.” Fiona snaps at Debbie, but then promises Debbie she’ll be the first to know when Fiona knows — “leave the adult problems to the adults.” Debbie is upset that she’s allowed to be an “adult” when she's saving the family’s house by falsely accusing a relative of molesting her, but she’s not allowed to ask where the family is going to be living in the future.

Lip picks up his high school diploma, folds it up, and puts it in his pocket. His guidance counselor tells him the teachers are taking bets on what’s next for him — college or prison.

Frank wins a pushup contest at the bar, then has a celebratory dinner at a nice restaurant with Lip. But instead of using Frank’s winnings to pay for the meal, they “dine and dash — bite and bolt — eat it and beat it.” They go ice-skating, but Lip vomits, and Frank vomits blood in the rink. Frank goes to the hospital again, and Fiona shows up to urge him to stop drinking. “I’m supposed to stop drinking so you don’t feel guilty?” “You’re supposed to stop drinking because you have children at home who love you — and I don’t know why.”

V’s mom, Carol, gets an ultrasound which shows she’s 12 weeks pregnant. But she only started trying to get pregnant 12 weeks ago. She admits she had a feeling she might have been pregnant, but she didn’t take a test because she wanted to keep what they had. V is furious, but Kevin calms everyone down by waving the ultrasound photo and speaking for the fetus: “Please don’t fight anymore … I know Kev is a stud and you couldn’t resist his giant cock-penis … but I’m all that matters now, right?”

Ian enlists in the Army using Lip’s ID. Ian doesn’t say anything to his family about it, but he tells Mickey, who finally shows some emotion, secretly wiping away tears.

Jody drives Karen and Hymie to Arizona. Sheila says goodbye to “my baby — both my babies — all three of my babies!”

Fiona unfolds Lip’s diploma and hangs it on the wall, and the Gallaghers throw a graduation party for Lip.

Sheila helps out with the party, then tells Debbie she was thinking about things they could do together tomorrow. Debbie tells her it’s time for her to find some friends her own age. Later, Sheila hosts a sex-toy event at her house.

Beto give Fiona a bunch of cash she inherited from Jimmy. After using some of it to pay bills and stuff, she uses the rest to reimburse Kevin for buying 1,000 cups for the Alibi (which he doesn’t want) from Fiona’s temporary employer, Worldwide Cup. This qualifies Fiona for a permanent job there.

As she promised, Fiona lets Debbie be the first to know they’re not going to move to Michigan. Debbie asks, “Jimmy’s gone for good?” Fiona sadly smiles and nods.

Carl quietly leaves Lip’s party and takes the bus to the hospital. While Frank is sleeping, Carl starts shaving Frank’s head. Frank awakens and asks what’s going on, and Carl innocently repeats Frank’s lie: “Shaving your head to let the sun rays in, so they can heal you — like they did with my cancer.” Frank is satisfied with this explanation: “Carry on.” Frank walks out of the hospital and into the snowy night, wearing an untied hospital gown.

Lip gets into MIT. He shows up at Mandy’s door to give her a muted thanks for applying for him, then walks away.

Fiona’s “last message” for Jimmy/Steve: “Wherever you are … bye.”
posted by John Cohen (2 comments total)
This show is so well done. I can't think of another show with more nuanced characters. I can't think of another show that would have a girlfriend thanked by her boyfriend for pushing him toward getting into college, while previously showing that the boyfriend knows said girlfriend intentionally hit his ex with a car. And poor Debbie. She is right that Fiona relies on her to be adult, but only when it benefits Fiona. And yet I feel for Fiona too, who understandably doesn't want to talk about the dissolution of her relationship with Jimmy/Steve, especially when she isn't sure it's over. Though now that I'm thinking about it, I'm a bit frustrated with Fiona, who routinely gets angry when she discovers (or re-discovers) that she can't rely on Frank or Jimmy/Steve, but she consistently relies on Debbie, who does not let her down. Fiona seems to take Debbie for granted a lot.

I haven't yet seen the fourth season, so I'm curious about how the show plans to deal with the possible (likely? certain?) death of Jimmy/Steve, Ian's enlisting, and Lip's college attendance out of state.

I'm also not sure what we are supposed to think of Frank at the end of this episode. Is he back to business as usual? Did Carl really make an impression on him?
posted by joan cusack the second at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Trivia: This is the first time the network is referenced on the show (kind of a wink at the audience): when Frank is in the hospital after vomiting blood, he complains that there’s “no HBO, no Showtime…”
posted by John Cohen at 6:33 PM on April 8, 2015

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