‘Shameless’: To Stay or Not to Stay Is the Gallagher Family’s Big Question (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 11, Episode 7 of Shameless, “Two at a Biker Bar, One in the Lake.”]
The Gallagher family has stuck together through thick and thin, but have they finally reached their breaking point? In the latest Shameless episode, “Two at a Biker Bar, One in the Lake,” the discussion over whether the South Side family should sell their home or not remains after eldest brother Lip (Jeremy Allen White) introduced the idea during a family meeting in the prior episode.
Below, we’re breaking down all of the drama, so beware of major spoilers ahead.
Lip’s Game to Lose
As the move-out date for Lip and Tami (Kate Miner) grows closer, she’s more anxious than ever to find their next temporary home and begins packing to go with baby Fred to stay at her dad’s. Lip pleads with her to give him one day to sell the bikes he stole from his former employer and convince his family to sell their home.
Tami agrees, which revs Lip up to produce results to keep from moving in with Tami’s dad. He enters an unspoken game of bribery against Debbie (Emma Kenney), his biggest opposition in trying to convince the undecided members of the family to sell. Throughout the episode, both Lip and Debbie do their best to sway their siblings by doing nice things or providing perks in exchange for a vote in their favor. At the same time, he and friend Brad (Scott Michael Campbell) make calls trying to move the bikes they lifted and are stashing at Kev’s (Steve Howey) workout shop.
Playing phone tag all day with potential buyers and his undecided siblings, Lip is trying his best to avoid a bad situation. Things don’t go well though when he turns up at Kev’s workout shop to find his bikes missing. The Alibi owner decided to take one out for a spin and was pulled over by a cop who he thought would know it was stolen, but instead shows interest in purchasing it.
Panicking, Kev tosses the bikes with patron Tommy’s (Michael Patrick McGill) help, leaving a few next to a biker bar across town and tossing one chopper into Lake Michigan. Needless to say, Lip isn’t happy when he discovers this and after a brief conversation with Tami, approaches the local Amazon warehouse to apply for a job.
When he gets home, Lip sees that Tami is packing more things up and readying to leave for her dad’s because Lip didn’t sound hopeful on the phone. They fight before he takes out his anger at the Gallagher home, slamming a sledgehammer against the wall to begin making an open floor plan he hopes to create as a positive selling point. Of course, chaos ensues.
Debbie’s Mommy Issues
With Debbie’s girlfriend Sandy (Elise Eberle) back at the house, Debbie makes it her mission to keep everyone together. She also tries to make a case for keeping the house, and tries to reach Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and Liam (Christian Isaiah) throughout the day. When Sandy’s ex-husband Royal (Mike Bash) shows up, Debbie runs out to confront him, but it turns out he was just dropping off his and Sandy’s son, Prince (Mason Blomberg).
To say Debbie is shocked would be an understatement as up until now, neither her or the audience have been aware of Prince’s existence. She tries to understand why Sandy would abandon her child. Sandy reveals that she decided to leave Royal and Prince to find herself because she was only 15 when she had her son.
Debbie continues to stick her nose where it doesn’t belong though and informs Prince that she’s going to ask Royal about Sandy getting joint custody — against both his parent’s wishes. She and Sandy fight, with Sandy accusing Debbie that she’s projecting her own abandonment issues with her mom Monica (Chloe Webb) on Sandy, and then leaves the Gallagher house.
When Lip comes into the house with a sledgehammer, Debbie’s anger over the situation explodes. She runs out of the house and runs into a police officer, who informs her that he’s looking for Lip. She points him in her brother’s direction.
Mickey & Ian’s Friends
Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Mickey (Noel Fisher) get into a tiff over the fact that they don’t have friends outside of their family, so the pair go hunting for some potential pals, seeking out spas and a home furnishings store where they eventually meet another couple who invites them to attend an Anderson Cooper book signing. Afterwards, Ian and Mickey join the other couples for some drinks, but the good vibes begin to disappear when the men begin degrading their families and talking about how much they hate them. Ian gets uncomfortable and wants to leave, but Mickey convinces him otherwise.
Once the night turns into dance party, Mickey wants to go — but then the dancing turns into more, and the pair decide it might be worth their time to stay a little bit longer. When they eventually get home, Ian shares that he’s OK if they sell the family house, and he and Mickey decide it’s OK to not have a lot of friends but do enjoy a bathroom dance party of their own while singing some Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga.
After Carl’s unwanted encounter with furniture store employee Tish (Chelsea Alden) in last week’s episode, he’s standoffish when she shows up outside his door, and basically tells her he doesn’t want to see her. Feeling violated after she had sex without the condom he wanted to use, Carl tells one of his coworkers about the situation while they get ready for a police safety presentation at a local school.
The fellow cop twists a tale of unwanted pregnancy, a marriage, and alimony that puts some puzzle pieces in place for Carl. He stops by the drug store to purchase a Plan B pill before arriving at Tish’s workplace. Angry, she tells Carl that she is allergic to latex and is on birth control, and she adds that the only reason she asked about his benefits in the last episode was because she’s going through school to get her own job and doesn’t want to support someone else. Realizing he went about things the wrong way, Carl tries to apologize and plan a date with Tish, who tells him to go away. The episode leaves Carl heartbroken.
V and Liam Face the Facts of Life
After V (Shanola Hampton) discovers Liam hiding in her house closet, he tells her he’s scared of being homeless as the family fights over what to do with the Gallagher home. She tries to be positive and says that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to, but that he’ll be OK. While accompanying her to another voter canvassing location, Liam sees V get a call from her own mother, Carol (Vanessa Bell Calloway) who informs her daughter that she’s selling her home.
Shocked, V drags Liam to Carol’s house and learns her mother is moving to Louisville because there’s no one around the South Side anymore. In other words, V’s world is flipped upside down and she and Liam end the episode on a similar note of despair.
Frank’s Continued Fog
After it was revealed in the prior episode that Frank’s (William H. Macy) suffering from Early Stage Alcoholic Dementia, viewers follow him on an upsetting journey through the city as he gets kicked out of a bar he mistakes as the Alibi, takes a buss ride 30 stops too far, mistakes a house showing for his family home, and breaks into a random home.
Eventually Frank makes it back home, tipped off by Lip’s rushing by with a sledgehammer, but will his family’s turmoil simmer down enough for them to notice his concerning state? Whether Frank deserves it or not, we kind of hope so.
Shameless, Season 11, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime