‘Shameless’: Are Pieces Falling Into Place, at Last, for the Gallaghers? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 11, Episode 9 of Shameless, “Survivors.”]
There are only a few more episodes left before Shameless wraps up the story of the Gallagher family, and no time is being wasted as we approach the finish line.
In the latest episode, “Survivors,” Frank’s (William H. Macy) dementia continues to take its toll, the siblings scramble to figure out living plans, and V (Shanola Hampton) continues to try and convince her mom Carol (Vanessa Bell Calloway) to move back to Chicago after relocating to Louisville. Below, we breaking down the family drama.
Frank: One Last Job
The Gallagher house continues to be a hot topic. Frank suggests that he buy the rest of the family out, but he’s an alcoholic with no money, so it’s unclear how that’s happening. Turns out he has a binder hidden in the ceiling with a fully laid out plan to rob the art institute. Frank decides he’ll look up his old crew to see if they’re up for the gig. That’s easier said than done in Frank’s confused state, and throughout the day, he learns that getaway drive Johnny Boxcars is immobile at a nursing home, buddy Ben has been dead for quite some time, and Jelly has enough money to not tempt fate.
Throughout the day, Frank’s confusion gets worse. In a last-ditch attempt, he tries to get his plan going, but refuses son Liam’s (Christian Isaiah) offer to help. The next morning, Debbie (Emma Kenney) and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) enter the living room to find an actual Edward Hopper painting on their mantle. So, even in Frank’s feeble state it would seem he can still pull off a trick.
Mickey’s Weird Grief
Mickey (Noel Fisher) is upset about his father Terry (Dennis Cockrum) being murdered, but doesn’t know why, considering his dad wasn’t a nice person. When Mickey and Ian uncover a box labeled “Rachel,” they open it to find a copy of Mein Kampf, a photo of Hitler, and pictures of Terry with a woman. One photo has an address that the boys visit. There they meet Rachel and her husband, who happens to be Black. She explains that Terry was her first love, but her strict Hasidic Jewish father wouldn’t allow them to marry if he didn’t convert.
Apparently, Terry went through the whole process, but fell short when he couldn’t learn Hebrew. Rachel believes Terry killed her father in retaliation, although it was never proven. So, it would seem that Terry’s bigotry stems from his relationship and ties to Rachel.
Mickey is undeterred. He and Ian go to the funeral home to make arrangements but learn Terry’s body was brought to the cemetery for unclaimed bodies. They head out there and Mickey cremates his dad with some gasoline and a lighter.
V & Kev’s Phone Tag
V helps her mom settle in her new place but really is there to convince her to return to Chicago. While Carol tries to woo V into liking Kentucky through distillery visits and walks along the waterway, Kev, back home, struggles to keep an eye on twins Gemma and Amy, who run amok at the Alibi room. In a concerning twist, the girls snack on some edibles that Kev and V have been selling in the bar, and get even harder to rein in. When V calls to check up on things, it seems like pure chaos. Will she be swayed by the calmer location of her mother’s new home?
Carl and Officer Tipping Back Together
After suffering a heart attack earlier this season, officer Tipping (Joshua Malina) is back at work and reassigned to work with Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) on the eviction beat, keeping watch while tenants are evicted from their homes. When things go awry and one tenant pulls a gun, the men have to call the S.W.A.T. team made up of just two men. Needless to say, Carl’s not thrilled with the situation, feeling more sympathy for the tenant than his fellow officers.
Liam’s Housing Concerns
Throughout the episode, Liam, concerned his siblings will sell. the Gallagher house, searches high and low for his next living situation. He explores several options, such as being placed in a group home or getting into foster care, which he’s told he cannot do because he’s not homeless or abused. He floats the idea of getting into trouble so he can go to juvie, but Carl advises against it during a phone call. Lip (Jeremy Allen White) puts his mind at ease by the episode’s end and reveals that he and Tami (Kate Miner) are planning to take him in wherever they move, leading to a sweet hug between brothers.
Debbie and Lip Find Common Ground
While Lip continues to deal with the fallout of his garage heist, he and Brad (Scott Michael Campbell) discover that the new owners of their former workplace are mafia. Not great news. When a big, black car approaches them, they’re picked up and imagining the worst awaits them. Ultimately, the boss just wants them to set up an electric car for his grandson and the pals are released after the job.
Meanwhile, Debbie gets an STD test after her unprotected tryst with a gay man in last week’s episode. The nurse talks to her about her woes, and suggests that maybe Debbie’s problems are not stemming so much from the things going on in her life but because of herself. This backfires and Debbie begins boarding up the Gallagher house to make it appear unlivable. When Lip gets there he begins tearing it all down and the siblings have it out.
She wants her daughter Franny to grow up with family like she did and that’s why she doesn’t want to let the house go. Lip offers a promise of weekly family dinner together if she agrees to sell. The promise is enough to budge her stubborn stance, which means the Gallaghers are moving out before the show is over. It’s hard to imagine the place without them.
Shameless, Season 11, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime