‘Shameless’: The Milkovich Fam Causes Chaos Next Door in ‘Nimby’ (RECAP)

Shameless Season 11 cast
Spoiler Alert
Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 11, Episode 4 of Shameless, “Nimby”]

While Showtime has been entertaining fans with Shameless Hall of Shame episodes for the past two weeks, the final season resumed its run on January 10 with “Nimby.”

As per usual, the Gallaghers face several challenges throughout the episode including some unwelcome next door neighbors, some strange reunions, and more. Below we break the episode’s biggest moments down in the simplest of terms.

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The Milkoviches Move-In

Shameless Season 11 Frank Liam Kevin

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

The episode begins with the arrival of Terry Milkovich (Dennis Cockrum) who weasles his family’s way into Gallagher neighbor Mrs. McCurdy’s (Bunny Levine) home by wooing her. Needless to say, there’s a “virus” next door that Frank (William H. Macy) is determined to eradicate. Meanwhile, youngest son Liam (Christian Isaiah) just wants to move away from the racist bunch.

Hoping to make progress, Frank asks for help, and honorary Gallaghers and real Milkoviches Sandy (Elise Eberle) and Mickey (Noel Fisher) assure him that getting rid of the clan will be harder said than done. Too chicken to take on Terry himself, Frank looks to Kev (Steve Howey) for help once he sees the Milkoviches hanging a confederate flag on their door in front of V (Shanola Hampton).

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Together, Frank, Liam, and Kev try to come up with ways to drive the family out of their neighborhood. Frank’s first idea is to visit a Mosque where he attempts to convince some men to join in the fight to scare Terry out. Liam almost gets the group of men to agree but they come up with an excuse to back out when they learn its the Milkoviches that they’d be fighting.

As an alternative plan, the men decide Kev will cause a diversion out front of the house, while Frank and Liam try to find Mrs. McCurdy and see if she can rat on the Milkoviches for being threatening. When they encounter a guard dog in the back yard though, Frank is the only one who can keep the canine quiet, forcing his only Black son into the belly of the beast to retrieve a statement from Mrs. McCurdy.

Shameless Season 11 Christian Isaiah

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

Although perilous, Liam manages to find the bed-ridden nonagenarian. Meanwhile Kev’s attempts to trigger the Milkoviches by burning photos of confederate flags and swastikas does nothing as they inform him that their racism is something he can’t burn. Unfortunately, the effort yields no substantial results as Liam reveals Mrs. McCurdy’s statement to Frank and Kev. The woman calls Terry a “beast in the sack,” essentially saying she has no intention of making the Milkoviches leave. To make matters worse, the unruly neighbors spread out in the vacant lot next to the Gallaghers, further permeating the area. It looks like Frank will need some stronger repellent to drive Terry and his crew out.

Debbie & V’s Little Miss South Side Spat

Shameless Season 11 Debbie V

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

Debbie’s (Emma Kenney) dream for Franny (Paris Rose Newton) to be Little Miss South Side goes south when she learns her daughter’s tried to gel her hair using superglue. This forces Debbie to scramble and find a children’s wig to hide the damage for the pageant. Meanwhile, V is busy prepping Gemma (Brooklyn Regans) for the event, while other daughter Amy (London Regans) is bummed she isn’t competing.

Debbie and V learn each other’s daughters are competing while on their way to the event space, and it’s clear that some tension is brewing. Once at the pageant, Veronica is surprised to see Franny wearing a blond wig, but lets it go. On stage, Franny doesn’t want to cooperate with her session, and V bursts into the room to remind the judges that the girl has ran over her allotted time. Livid over the situation, Debbie gives Franny a marker and tells her to do Gemma’s makeup when V walks away.

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The sabotage puts the women on bad terms, and when it comes time for mothers to give speeches for why their daughters want to win, the animosity comes out on stage. Once V gets her turn, she brings the house down with a moving speech but it isn’t enough to salvage her daughter’s chances of winning.

Instead an immigrant with cerebral palsy is crowned the winner, leading Debbie and V to realize the pettiness of their fight. V’s speech wins one of the judges over though — an alderman, who offers V an opportunity to work for him on the political circuit giving impassioned speeches.

Carl’s Job Dilemma

Shameless Season 11 Carl Ethan Cutkosky

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

After mostly enjoying his newest partner in the last episode, Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) begins to see the negative side of officer Janes (Toks Olagundoye) when they report to a loitering call. The suspect, named Miss June (Roxy Wood) is told by Janes to leave the area after she attempts to sell Carl and her cigarettes. Carl is taken aback by Janes’ abrasiveness. He’s further appalled when they bust people in a backyard with drugs.

Carl knows one of the men, Solo (Chris D. Lofton) and is disturbed when Janes begins placing drugs in the arrested individuals’ pockets. He pleads with her to not do what she’s doing, and gets her to agree that they’ll only take two people in instead of the whole lot. Already uneasy, he’s upset even further when Janes pulls up on Miss June again, this time forcing her to strip, dumping the cigarettes she’s selling, and snatching her wig.

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The lack of humanity causes Carl to evaluate his role as a police officer. When he gets done at work, he collects Miss June’s clothing and wig and returns it to her, with a full box of cigarettes. He advises that she sell the goods at a different locale that he and Janes don’t pass by often. It would be nice to see Carl stand up to Janes, but we’ll see if he rises to the occasion at some point.

Tami’s Awkward Reunion

Shameless Season 11 Jeremy Allen White Kate Miner

(Credit: Showtime)

Tami (Kate Miner) convince Lip (Jeremy Allen White) to accompany her to brunch so they can meet up with her former music teacher. It’s clear from the beginning that Marcos (Phillip Rhys) has an oddly close bond with Tami and Lip’s reaction is priceless. When they return home, Lip wonders aloud if Tami used to date her old high school teacher — she admits she did but reassures Lip that it wasn’t weird. Just like us, he isn’t convinced.

When Marcos shows up at Lip and Tami’s house to introduce his fiance and tour their home, the couple are shocked to see how young the girl beside Marcos is. When they inquire where she was earlier, she informs them she was on an interview for Prep school as she’s only 17. Once the teacher and his underage fiance leave, Tami has to face facts that she has daddy issues. Nevertheless, Lip reminds Tami that she’s with an appropriately aged man now and that no one can take their happiness away.

Pot Pays for Ian and Mickey

Shameless Season 11 Mickey Ian

(Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME)

After leaving his job in the last episode, Ian (Cameron Monaghan) plans to look for a new one but Mickey has other ideas. He wants Ian to join his security job for Kev and V, picking up funds and dropping them off. At first Ian is not into the idea, but gets concerned when he sees his ex-convict hubby cleaning an illegal gun. In an attempt to get Mickey to use something that isn’t illegal for self defense, they visit a store with tactical gear.

Inspired by one of the mannequins, Ian agrees to help Mickey if he outfits himself to look professional and so the duo go to Kev and pick up minimal cash to deliver to the pot supplier he and V work with. Upon their arrival, Mickey and Ian are surprised by the organization and the massive supply of pot plants at the legal operation.

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After delivering the money to the supplier, an employee mentions that if they make runs for them, Mickey and Ian could make as much as $1,000 a day, but is it a deal too good to be true? Only time will tell. Don’t miss what happens when Shameless returns next week on Showtime.

Shameless, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime