Fiona’s Gone and a New Gallagher Arrives in the ‘Shameless’ Premiere (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 10, Episode 1 of Shameless, “We Few, We Lucky Few, We Band of Gallaghers!”]
After Fiona gave Debbie (Emma Kenney) a check for $50,000 in the Season 9 finale, things are a bit more regulated around the South Side home. As viewers are reintroduced to Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and a hugely pregnant Tami (Kate Miner) in bed together, Frank (William H. Macy) takes his usual spot on the kitchen floor — now healed from his major leg injury.
As the self-appointed matriarch of the abode, Debbie cleans up piles around the home, cursing those responsible for the mess. “Is it really that hard to put your clothes down the chute,” she exclaims as she discards piles of soiled garments down to the laundry. That’s when Liam (Christian Isaiah) comes into view and it’s clear from his hair and clothing that he’s continuing to embrace his African-American heritage.
While Debbie prepares breakfast, Tami and Lip join the group and everyone notes the lovey-dovey attitude of the usually prickly Tami. When she leaves for work, Liam wonders aloud if she’s suffered a brain injury, but Lip assures them it’s just the hormones. Meanwhile, everyone is on strict meal limitations with kids under 12 eating for free, but everyone else is forced to cough up cash for a plate.
Next we’re offered a look at Carl’s (Ethan Cutkosky) military school situation where he’s been held in the brig until graduation day. It’s then that he’s dragged out to join the ranks and receives a wave from a fellow cadet.
At Veronica (Shanola Hampton) and Kevin’s (Steve Howey), Liam joins V for a Frederick Douglass-inspired breakfast and we learn they’re studying Black history together. Their meals? Recipes from a slave cookbook. Kevin’s lack of understanding is almost comical if it wasn’t so ignorant, but we guess that’s the point.
Debbie and Frank battle over the family allowance and he doesn’t understand her breakdown of the finances — $30,000 for spending, $20,000 for savings. When he notes a deduction from his portion, Debbie reveals that the money is coming out of his funds for a new couch after he damaged the couch while he was bedridden due to the leg injury. Needless to say, he’s displeased.
Kevin flexes his basketball skills, or lack thereof, in a group game, and a disappointing attempt at a shot leads him to think his shoes may be the problem.
Meanwhile, Debbie’s secret life is revealed as we enter her storage unit that holds racks of designer clothing. Her calendar and system reveal a pattern of buying high-ticket items only to return them just in time to not be penalized.
We also return to the garage where Lip speaks with Brad (Scott Michael Campbell) about the Tami situation. While Lip complains about having too much sex, Brad assures him that he won’t have to worry with the arrival of his child soon.
Frank, in the meantime, is seen at the doctors for a check-up on his leg, at which he feigns pain in hopes of procuring another dose of Oxycontin. But with nearly six months having passed since his injury, the doctor informs him he’s healed and should be able to manage with Advil. It’s not the answer or outcome he’d hoped for.
Liam continues to hold his head high but runs into trouble on the way to school as, just as his friend predicted, and he’s beaten up by his peers for his attire.
As for Kevin, he’s dealing with a crisis, worrying that he’s losing his masculinity and consults the patrons at the Alibi. He offers a solution, new LeBron shoes — V just calls him old and says the sneakers aren’t in the budget, so he looks for his own means.
Back at Carl’s graduation, Kelly (Jess Gabor) cheers him on from the sidelines as he’s strongly advised by his instructors to never show his face again and handed a diploma. Kelly then greets Carl on the field following graduation, that’s when we learn the reason behind his solitary confinement: The cadet who waved at him earlier comes up with her family to thank him for protecting her from assault in the showers. She reveals they never would have had the courage to come out as trans if Carl hadn’t intervened. Carl’s shocked when he learns that he spent six weeks in the brig for the heroic action, revealing he thought trans meant she was a transfer student.
On the ride home, Kelly tells Carl she’ll be leaving for freshman officer training the next day and challenges him to fit a summer’s worth of sex within the few hours they have together. Ever the challenger, Carl accepts the task at hand happily.
Frank then scopes out the pharmacy for narcotics, targeting an old woman by attempting to swap drugs “accidentally.” The plan doesn’t work and he ends up running from law enforcement, at which time he bumps into former fellow Hobo Loco competitor Mikey (Luis Guzman) — who is also pulling a ruse as a “legless” beggar.
Kevin seeks out some shifts at the gay strip club where he used to perform, hopeful to earn some cash for new sneakers.
Tami continues to work at the salon while wearing a gas mask to protect the baby she’s carrying from fumes, but mid-conversation, she starts going into labor. Lip picks Tami up to drive to the hospital, that’s when her prickly attitude seems to reappear, “she’s back,” Lip exclaims as she yells for him to find a parking spot.
Frank and Mikey catch up elsewhere and as they wander they walk into a hotel lobby where Frank conspicuously tests couch cushions. In a diversion tactic, he has Mikey pull the fire alarms and they escape with two new couch cushions — Frank’s free answer to the couch problem at home.
Back at the hospital, things don’t go as planned with the birth, and Lip is asked to sign papers to perform an emergency C-section. She doesn’t want to, but Lip does it anyways in order to save the baby.
While we’re left hanging, Kevin and the viewers learn he’s been hired to work on “Daddy Night” alongside an older crew of dancers, only supporting V’s earlier suggestion that he’s getting old.
Back on the road, Kelly and Carl run into a roadblock when a condom mishap takes place and they set off to search for a Plan-B pill.
Frank and Mikey dip into the old woman’s pills they stole earlier as they enjoy the stolen couch cushions and back at the hospital Lip and Tami welcome a baby boy, but she goes into distress and is carted away for emergency surgery.
This is where all the paths start to converge, as they all come together when they learn about the arrival of Lip’s baby and head to the hospital to give him support. And even without some of their key players, this group proves what viewers have known all along — they’re there for each other when it matters.
Shameless,Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime