'Shameless' Recap: 'Strangers on a Train'

By Amanda Jo Scott,

Fiona is grappling with an addiction to sleeping with “bad” boys. Even though she told Robbie, Mike’s brother, that they were done, she just can’t seem to help herself. He happens upon the train she’s on, sits beside her, and moves his hand up her skirt. The two never say a word to one another and Fiona doesn’t stop him. She’s determined not to tell Mike. Later in the episode she heads over to Robbie’s apartment to tell him it’s over. However, they end up in bed together. V tells her she needs to stop because she doesn’t have time to “be Dr. Phil-ing” her. Fiona just can’t allow herself to be with a “good” guy. Instead, she sabotages the good by jumping into bed with the bad.

Meanwhile, Debby is desperate to grow up. Her version of growing up seems to be losing her virginity. Her much older boyfriend rebuffs her advances multiple times. He tries to explain that it’s because of her age, but he still wants to date her. For Debbie, this just makes her feel even more like a child. Desperate to lose her virginity, she almost does the deed in a dirty bathroom, but quickly comes to her senses. In the end, Fiona hears her crying and comes to comfort her. Debbie says she messed up with her boyfriend. Fiona responds, “You screwed up. That just proves you’re a Gallagher.”

Kev and V are up to their necks in troubles with the bar. They owe money, have an asbestos problem, and need to prepare for the arrival of multiple babies. Kev hires foreigners to do the work cheaply. Mickey is also having money troubles. He doesn’t think his wife is being paid enough as a prostitute and wants to teach her boss a lesson, “Sasha needs to find out that my wife is a hooker not a slave.” Mickey basically leads a strike for the hookers as he stops them from working, “No one’s gettin’ laid, ‘til they get paid.” One problem, Sasha gets an order of new girls to replace those who walked out. Mickey’s left with a bunch of unemployed hookers. He proposes that Kev use the upstairs apartment to earn extra income by employing the hookers. Basically, the bar will be a one-stop-shop.

Lip studies hard for his midterm. Just before class, he heads down to pick up his jeans from the laundry room. Unfortunately, some girl took his wet clothes out and put hers in. He makes do and puts the wet jeans on. He makes it back to his room only to discover he’s been locked out. He runs across campus without shoes to make it to his midterm. Unfortunately, he’s six minutes late and the professor won’t let him enter. Not being able to take the midterm is his final straw. He starts to bust windows in cars, runs from the campus security, and makes his way back home. First stop, to see Mandy. He tells her that breaking the windows made him think of her because it was beautiful. She gives in and they have sex. She wants some money for the morning after pill, but Lip tells her to chance it. He says it wouldn’t be so bad having a little one running around. Lip tells her that he’s not going back to college. She becomes angry that he’d give up so quickly. They fight. She punches him, which he wholeheartedly deserved. Lip then heads to Kev’s bar to drown his sorrows in booze. He goes on a rant about how college is just a big scam, adding that he’s not going back. Kev sits down with him to talk about it, urging him to go back. Lip doesn’t want to hear it. Kev tells him he needs to tough it out. Lip continues to play the “woe is me” card. Kev tells him to go back and beat the system, “There’s no one better at beating the system than you.” Kev adds, “This isn’t your home. It’s where you grew up. It’s not where you’re supposed to be.” This works. Lip goes back to school. He waits out in the cold for two hours until his professor shows. He says he’s just needing someone to give him a break. He knows how the real world works, but he’s having trouble adjusting to the world of college. The professor asks if he has the blue book and a pen. Lip says he has three pens, just in case. The professor reads this as a sign that he’s learned to be prepared for the unexpected. The professor lets him take the mid-term. Thanks to Kev’s blunt pep talk, maybe things are starting to look up for Lip.

As for Frank, he finds out he needs $150,000 for his transplant surgery. He decides he’ll hurt himself at Sheila’s and claim the insurance money. He’s unsuccessful, so he enlists Carl to help severely hurt him. After seeing some of Carl’s ideas, including letting a train run over his leg, Frank decides it’s not such a good idea. However, he told Carl that it was a matter of life or death, which Carl takes to heart and becomes determined to help his father by hurting him. He drugs Frank, tapes weights to his own body, and jumps onto Frank’s leg to break it. Carl is extremely devoted to saving his father’s life. Unfortunately, Frank finds out that his eldest daughter, Samantha, isn’t a match. He becomes angry and lets it slip that she is his daughter. She kicks him out, but later meets up with him at Kev’s bar. She forgives him, even though he says he never thought about her until now. Samantha is much quicker to forgive than Fiona, but then again, Fiona has been dealing with Frank’s nonsense for her entire life. I wonder when Samantha will meet her half-siblings. Poor Carl keeps getting tossed aside, even though he’s the one doing all of the dirty work for Frank. I have a feeling Fiona may not cozy up to Samantha.

“Strangers on a Train” proved that the Gallaghers and their friends are better when they come together. They know how to help one another and push each other into a better direction. Debbie and Fiona desperately needed to come back together. Lip needed that no-nonsense talk with Kev in order to get him out of his funk. And, now, it looks like Kev, V, and Mickey may come together to solve each other’s financial issues.

image: Showtime



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