Sometimes when a show you love starts a new season on shaky baby foal’s legs, you just have to put your expectations on hold for a few weeks (or months) and trust that it will find its footing and mature into the stallion that you know it was always meant to be. Sometimes this ends in disaster that only the glue factory can clean up – but sometimes, it pays off in spades that would put Secretariat himself to shame. Or, in this case, to Shameless.
Best. Episode. Ever.
In the penultimate episode of Season 2, Shameless managed to mash everything but the potatoes into the most insane, sexed-up, overmedicated, and blood-soaked hour of television of the year. It was just a few baby dragons short of Game of Thrones, really. It was so good that my hubby actually mistook it for the finale, which comes next week and will likely serve as a denoument and tee-up for Season 3. But for now, let’s enjoy the clusterfuffle that was Turkey Day with the Gallaghers.
We start off with a shot of a few ducks – mallards, I think? – mucking about in the Gallagher’s filthy pool … until Li’l Hank (Nicky Corba) and Carl (Evan Cutkosky) SHOOT THEM DEAD IN THE WATER. It was like NES Duck Hunt: Welfare Edition. Li’l Hank takes home his limp prizes, noting that his family will be dining on duck at Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Upstairs, Debs (Emma Kenney) brings Monica (Chloe Webb) – who apparently has been in bed since we last saw her – toast with peanut butter. Monica doesn’t respond to these sticky enticements, despite Debs’ best efforts. Debs goes down to the kitchen, where the gang discusses depression, Lip’s continued absence, and the fact that Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has been returning all the gadgets that Grammy bought the kids to make up for the missing Squirrel Fund (that Monica and Frank blew on drugs). Ian (Cameron Monaghan) goes upstairs to try with Monica, telling her that he really wants her to take him back to that gay bar again. She doesn’t bite.
Frank (William H. Macy) tries another approach: Literally dragging her ass out of bed, down the hall, and into the tub. Turns out he fixed the car and needs her to help him shake down his brother Clayton (Ian’s real pop, remember) for some of the money their mother sent to him. Monica isn’t into it until Frank gives her some cocaine, after which she’s all “ROAD TRIP!!!”.
Lip (Jeremy Allen White), meanwhile, is making a video diary for his unborn baby with the help of Mandy (Emma Greenwell). Why, I have no idea. She wants to fellate him while he’s talking to his unborn kid – not that we need further evidence of the fact that she’s been seriously misled in the ways of sexual appropriateness. She also wants to define her and Lip’s relationship, which of course goes nowhere with Young Alfie.
Fiona, in a hideous Smurf hat, comes by Steve’s to find Lip, and then demands once more that Steve (Justin Chatwin) kick him out. Thank you, Miss Mixed Messaging. Estafania (Stefanie Wanna-Wanna-Wanna-Fantauzzi) runs out, topless (of course!), squealing that Marco has arrived in one piece and they need to go get him.
Fiona tells Debs and Carl to empty the pool before it freezes and because there’s a homeless guy bathing in it – and Lord knows it’s impossible to chip one of those guys out with an ice pick once they’re set. Carl’s method of draining the pool involves taking a hatchet to it, which comes as no surprise (and works quite well, actually). Debs’s friend Carlton (the homeless guy) tells her all about depression, but not before he puts his clothes on. We thank you, Carlton.
Marco (Thierre Di Castro) is dropped off by a truck driver, and we see that he has wads of cash literally strapped to his (impressive) body. He and Estefania immediately start boning in the car as Steve and Lip try to discuss Fiona and other things – I don’t remember, because I was too distracted by the sight of Marco’s golden globes bouncing up and down in the back seat. It’s too much for Lip as well, so he gets out of the car.