‘Shameless’: Ian & Mickey’s Misunderstanding and Frank’s Predicament (RECAP)

Spoiler Alert
Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 10, Episode 8 of Shameless, “Debbie Might Be a Prostitute”]

Shameless isn’t slowing down as it heads into the new year as the Gallaghers continue to deal with familiar issues as well as some new ones.

In the latest episode, “Debbie Might Be a Prostitute,” things begin with a bang, so to speak, as the series takes a dark turn. Below, we’re breaking down all of the important moments from the installment, but beware of major spoilers.

Ian and Mickey’s Misunderstanding

(Credit: Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME)

The episode begins by solving a problem that Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Mickey (Noel Fisher) were facing when we last saw them as parole officer Paula (Rachel Dratch) was pushed from a fatal height. The view of the murder scene leaves viewers wondering who is the owner of the culprit’s leather gloves — Ian or Mickey?

When the cops show up at the Gallagher household, Mickey runs off. Ian is told that they will have to provide statements because Paula was their parole officer, so when law enforcement leaves, Ian seeks out Mickey to relay the message.

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As they chat about the situation, it becomes obvious that they each think the other is guilty, as they both had entertained the idea of killing Paula. To figure out what their next move should be, Ian consults a neighborhood cop who advises him to marry Mickey so he won’t be able to testify against him.

Meanwhile, Mickey gets advice from the Milkovichs about his situation, worrying aloud that Ian killed Paula and he’s told the same thing from some of this father’s cronies who’ve gone through similar situations. Ian and Mickey then approach one another with the same idea in mind and we follow them in pursuit of a marriage license.

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

While sitting in the waiting room, they see a breaking news segment revealing Ian’s boss Shelly (Nicki Micheaux) being apprehended as a suspect in Paula’s murder. The guys are clearly shocked to learn that neither party is guilty and Ian admits he was doing it to protect Mickey.

When they’re called to the counter, it seems like they’ll proceed with the license until Ian hesitates and Mickey storms off. Ian admits marriage wasn’t something he really considered before since Frank (William H. Macy) and Monica (Chloe Webb) were never a great example, and in response, Mickey punches him. Needless to say, these lovebirds have a lot to work out.

Frank’s Tied Up

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

Frank continues his shenanigans with Faye (Elizabeth Rodriguez), who reveals she’s afraid to return home because she believes her house is haunted. In turn, Frank promises to get rid of any threatening spirits at her waterfront mansion which includes nine bedrooms and a room holding her father’s whiskey collection. At first it takes some coaxing, but Frank manages to get Faye to bring him there. But when he gets comfortable on the bed in the “most haunted” room, Faye drugs him and ties him up.

When he comes to, she shows him a video from a court case in 1995 in which her love Kyle Holmes was put away for selling drugs, while drug abuser Frank wasn’t convicted. Frank insists that this isn’t his problem, but Faye leaves the video on loop and departs for the hardware store. This doesn’t sound so good for Frank who remains imprisoned by episode’s end.

Tami & Lip’s Guardianship Debate

(Credit: Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME)

Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Tami (Kate Miner) are getting Fred ready for daycare, and Lip notes a rash on the baby, though Tami reassures him that it’s nothing of concern. Then, as she’s filling out paperwork, she asks Lip who will be the emergency contact and the discussion shifts to legal guardianship, and it becomes evident they don’t see eye to eye on this topic.

Lip brings up the issue with Brad (Scott Michael Campbell), and he explains that guardianship usually goes to the mother’s side of the family should something happens to a child’s parents. That’s when Tami calls and explains that daycare won’t take Fred because of the rash and that her Aunt Oopie (Mary Kay Place) is going to babysit.

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When Lip returns home, he encounters the woman who can be best described as an amalgamation of Mrs. Doubtfire and Martha Stewart. But it becomes clear there are underlying issues with the woman, who appears to be somewhat prejudiced. When Tami returns home, Aunt Oopie tells the couple to take some time for themselves, and while Lip admits Aunt Oopie isn’t all that bad, he does put his foot down on her being billed as legal guardian. With that, Tami agrees that nothing is allowed to happen to them so that Fred never has to be without his parents.

V & Kev’s Sticky Situation

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

The Ball house is blessed with a tax return check when this episode begins, but the couple, looking to capitalize on this windfall, is sorely misled by their Alibi patrons. Kev (Steve Howey) wants to buy scratch tickets, while V (Shanola Hampton) argues that she wants to invest, that’s when Kermit (Jim Hoffmaster) suggests they invest in pushing products on social media.

They get in touch with a contact who hooks them up with an under-eye treatment, but when the adhesive gives their patrons and themselves burns, they realize they’ve been hustled. When they get the woman who hooked them up to return, she tells them they’ll have to deal with the problem themselves, so V and Kev get creative. They rebrand the product as a hemorrhoid treatment, taking to Instagram to draw in buyers.

Debbie’s Confusion

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

As for Debbie (Emma Kenney), she is trying to understand why Claudia (Constance Zimmer) gave her money after their night together and Lip suggests that perhaps she thought Debbie was a prostitute. In an effort to clear things up, Debbie heads to the hotel and goes to return the money Claudia gave her and the woman apologizes for the misunderstanding, and asks if they can start fresh over dinner to which Debbie agrees.

When Debbie talks things over with Megan (Dylan Gelula), the gold digger tells Debbie to snag Claudia, calling a sugar mama a unicorn. When Debbie meets Claudia for dinner, the woman is rather forward and invites Debbie to a weekend in New England. In response, Debbie denies her and says she isn’t comfortable accepting those types of gifts. Claudia concedes that she’s guilty of being a serial gift-giver, a habit she’s trying to quash. The two then decide to take things slow and get to know one another better.

Liam’s Plight

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

Liam (Christian Isaiah), in the meantime, is managing friend Todd’s (Ozie Nzeribe Zmny) basketball career, making strategic moves to get the prospective player in the spotlight. His plan? He gives the boy a pair of worn-down sneakers, knowing he’ll have to take a knee to tie his shoe laces, and when Todd does so, he takes to social media to share a message not dissimilar to Colin Kaepernick’s. Ultimately, the move makes Todd a valuable asset, leaving Liam in charge of a possibly large profit in the future.

Carl’s New Role

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

Meanwhile at the shrimp shack, Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) is distracted, wishing to spread more good in the neighborhood and he’s inspired to become a cop. Due to his age, he can’t enroll in the police academy yet, but he’s directed to a youth program where he’s put in charge of volunteers. There, he leads them, telling them that if anyone “f**ks” with them, “f**k” right back. Needless to say, he has the kids in his pocket when they hit the streets of the South Side, ready to police wrongdoers.

Don’t miss what the Gallaghers are up to when the show returns in the new year with the next half of Season 10’s episodes.

Shameless, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime