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Shameless 3×06 “Cascading Failures” Recap

In which the Gallagher and Milkovich fathers compete for Worst Father of the Year

In the aftermath of last week’s happenings, the kids are taken away by Social Services as Fiona (Emmy Rossum) looks on sadly, wondering who it is that reported them. Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) returns from having banged Este (Stephanie Fantauzzi) all night and is shocked by these new developments at the Gallagher household.

During the car ride with Social Services, Debbie (Emma Kenney) learns she will be separated from everyone else, while Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and Liam have been placed with a foster family together. As for Lip and Ian, they’ve been placed under strict supervision in a Level 14 group home, “for kids who light their parents on fire.”

Lip and Ian

Lip (Jeremy Allen White) handles the transition a lot better than Ian (Cameron Monaghan), who ditches the place a few days in to stay over at Mickey’s (Noel Fisher) place – only to have Mickey’s crazy dad walk in on them while they’re having sex. Mickey’s dad calls a Russian prostitute over to “fuck the gay” out of his son, and forces Ian to watch as some kind of sadistic punishment. (It’s a graphic, possibly triggering scene.)


Debbie’s new foster mom pretends to be kind and caring in front of the social worker, but once Brittany The Social Worker (Keiko Agena) is gone, the woman immediately forces Debbie to take care of the other foster children and do various menial jobs like cut the woman’s toenails.

When Fiona comes over to visit and make sure that Debbie is doing okay, the two Gallagher girls share a tender moment out on the steps of Debbie’s new foster home.

Carl and Liam

Carl and Liam are taken in by a gay couple who are immediately smitten with baby Liam and explain their plans to adopt both children as soon as possible to Fiona. With a little friendly advice from Veronica, Carl hatches a plan to make Liam undesirable to the couple, thus ensuring they won’t want to take the two of them away from Fiona.

Veronica and Kevin

V (Shanola Hampton) isn’t sure the turkey baster full of sperm from the last episode worked, so she asks her mother and Kevin (Steve Howey) to get down to business so they can get a baby.

And by that, she means she wants them to have sex. The bigger the batch of semen, the bigger the chance of V’s mother getting pregnant. Of course, it’s an incredibly awkward situation for everyone involved (sheet or not), but V is determined to make it work. It ends up leading to the worst threesome scene ever.


With the ladies at work on asshole Bobby’s side, Fiona loses her job at the supermarket so she can handle the mess that, unbeknownst to her, Frank has created.

After an imploring speech from Fiona about the horrors of the foster system, Brittany gives her some information about where the kids were placed and hints that she could help her out, if Fiona were to find someone to take them all in. Fiona goes to best friend V and asks for her help. V reluctantly agrees to do so, joking that she would be “the lone black dot on a map of Ireland.”

However, V ends up unable to do so because of her last foster child – Ethel – running away under her and Kevin’s watch. Fiona then has to resort to getting Frank’s help.

Frank (William H. Macy) and Sheila (Joan Cusack), who is pretending to be his wife Monica, play the parts of nice, normal parents (sort of) so that they can get the kids back to Fiona. For the most part, they seem to be successful; they get all their paperwork in, and Frank passes his drug test (in perhaps the most disgusting manner possible). Everything is looking up by the end of the episode.

And then Fiona listens to the call by the Anonymous tipper and realizes the voice is Frank’s – and that he’s the one who reported them.

Memorable Quotes

[Door opens]
Fiona: Jimmy?
V: Darker.

Carl: What the hell is this?
Lanier: Kale, brown rice, and tofu. Your body is a temple, Carl, and you only want to put things in it that are natural.
Carl: Like fists?

Lip: Dude thinks he’s in an episode of Scared Straight.

Ian: Was I just invited to a sleepover?
Mickey: Fuck you is what you were invited to.

Kevin: Nuh-uh, no, honey, this is an express bus to the Maury Povich Show.

Carol: I feel like a ghost prostitute. You know, like that Jennifer Love Hewitt show. You seen that? Where she’s like a call girl for some ghost or some shit.
Kevin: That’s two different shows.

Carol: [crying] You can’t make a soldier salute if it doesn’t see an officer in the room.

Rating: B+

Shameless airs every Sunday at 9 PM on SHOWTIME®.