“Shameless” 3.01 Recap: “It’s Like Taking a Sh*t Backwards”

Welcome back, lovers of dysfunction, willful wallowers and aficionados of absolute disgrace – Showtime’s trashcan opera Shameless is back for a third season of laughs, thrills, and all the rest. I hope that you put on your chin-pad, because your jaw is going to start hitting the floor in about 3 … 2 … 1 …

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) wakes alone in her charmingly messy bed to the sounds of standard Gallagher family chaos downstairs. Her shins are covered in red, itchy bites – yowch! Are bedbugs the new Karen Jackson? Because I don’t think I’m ready for that.

Downstairs, Jimmy-nee-Steve (Justin Chatwin) has gotten half the clan out the door and is finishing up with Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and Debs (Emma Kenney) – who has been keeping track of the number of days that Frank has been missing (oh – and Frank has been missing) with ribbons and cards on the front fence. For the record, it’s been 137 days. Fiona and Jimmy bicker about money and who loves the kids more (at least some things never change) and almost do it in front of wee baby Liam.

We then catch up with Frank (William H. Macy) as he is licked awake by a dog in some hot, dusty alley. He’s in Mexico, and has no idea how he got there, or how he managed to miss Christmas. Shame – I hear your family roasted a bald eagle!

We then catch up with Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) as they flee (with security in hot pursuit) the university science building toting a metal suitcase. Lip takes the fall to let Ian escape, as he knows a rap sheet will mess with his military training. Aww!

Sheila (Joan Cusack) and Jody (Zack McGowan) are enjoying domestic bliss with Karen’s baby (which they stole) – meaning that neither of them is getting any sleep. The baby cries and Sheila tries to get Jody to attend to it, finally screaming, “Get your ass up, you goddamned ponytailed Fabio motherf*cker!” It does the trick – and the baby stops crying until Jody starts playing the bongos to it, which makes it cry even harder. Bless his stupid ponytailed heart!

Frank hitches a ride to the US/Mexico border on the back of a chicken truck, and tries to use an egg as a passport to make his way back in. The border police isn’t having it, telling him that he needs some sort of ID, be it a driver’s license or Costco card. Frank replies, “Do I look like I got a Costco card?”

Back at the Gallagher compound, Fiona is washing her face in the bathroom when Jimmy barges in to pee and then “wash” his hands in her beauty regimen water. Men! Amiright, guys? [imaginary high-five]

Fiona goes over to complain to Veronica (Shanola Hampton) and Kev (Steve Howie), who are getting ready for a live webcam show. First off, let’s all celebrate the fact that Steve Howie is back in fighting form this season, eh? Even with a broken leg. And let’s all contemplate the magnificent wrongness of their webcam concept: it’s a slave owner/slave BDSM revenge scenario. More on that later.

Fiona’s new gig is cleaning up toxic waste, apparently, and yet she’s upset that Jimmy has taken such a shine to being a househusband. V agrees: “There is nothin’ sexy about a man with a mop.” I don’t know what universe these women live in, but it’s apparently one without the Brawny Man.

At home, Jimmy is very, very nervous about the cars that seem to be parked outside at all times watching the house. He decides to confront them, and is immediately shaken down by … Estefania’s dad? Uh-oh.

Lip shows uncharacteristic maturity at his hearing, and the judge points out that he’s lucky he’s still a minor.

Fiona, in a hazmat suit, steps into the filthiest bathroom this side of Trainspotting. Seriously, it’s absolutely vile – and I may never eat Nutella again. She also misses a collect call from Frank, who is dialing for dollars in Mexico. He also tries Sheila – she initially gets excited because she thinks it’s Karen, but when she hears Frank’s voice she hangs up the phone.

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