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Shameless 3×09 “Frank the Plumber” Recap


In which things get… cray

This week: heartbreak, chaos, depression, attempted murder, and more. All in all, a fantastic episode.


Fiona (Emmy Rossum) prepares for her first day at an office job, a family-owned company where she’s been hired as a temp. It’s foreign territory for Fiona. She has to borrow an outfit from V (Shanola Hampton) and it’s the closest thing to office attire she can get. She accidentally curses and makes personal calls, after finding out that Debbie isn’t in school. When V tells her to look at an anti-circumcision website in exchange for checking on Debbie, that’s when a co-worker rats on her. They think she’s looking at porn.

She’s called into the boss’s office. Mike Pratt (Jake McDorman), her boss, is a pretty easygoing guy. He tells Fiona to tone it down with the cursing, personal phone calls, and pictures of penises on her computer – but other than that, she’s been doing a great job. She even manages to inadvertently convince a client, who’d been thinking about leaving, to stay with the company.

Because the woman she’s temping for is going to be gone longer, Fiona is asked to stay for a couple more weeks.

She has a huge smile on her face on her way home, and also purchases a new outfit that’s more appropriate for the office.



While Fiona has been having a relatively good day, Steve (Justin Chatwin) has been having a miserable one.

It’s just one thing after the next.

His day begins with a cockroach resting on his toothbrush. Then he goes to work at the coffee shop, but he obviously can’t handle it. He’s constantly messing up orders. After work, some guy he stole a car from recognizes Steve’s car as his. The guy even has the keys. Steve, not wanting the guy to call the cops, suggests that he just take the car.

So a car-less Steve walks on, picking up the toddler seat that the guy’s friend throws out of the car. Later, he’s mugged by a young girl – who looks like she’s probably about Debbie’s age – at the ATM. At that point, Steve seems to have reached his breaking point. He takes out all of his anger and frustration on the toddler seat.

A sympathetic Beto (Bernardo de Paula) tells Steve to get in the car with him. They talk over some beers, with Beto telling Steve that he’s not cut out for this life and that he can’t give Fiona what she needs. Rich boy Steve was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and for him to go into a life of poverty, it’ll never work out.

Beto suggests that Steve go for a long walk, to clear his head, and this time he won’t even follow him – though he’ll certainly break off Steve’s fingers if he dares to commit any crimes.

The walk leads Steve to the hospital, where his friend from medical school works. After talking with him, Steve resolves to go back to medical school – even though he hated it before. But, becoming a doctor and making a six-figure income sounds a hell of a lot better than what he’s doing now.



Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Mandy (Emma Greenwell) sort of patch things up, until Lip finds out that Mandy applied to a bunch of universities on his behalf – without telling him.

She tells him that he has an interview with a rep from M.I.T. but Lip doesn’t want to go. He angrily tells her that she needs to butt out of his life and, later, he has sex with Karen (Laura Wiggins) in the school restroom. Karen tells him that he should break up with Mandy.

When Lip arrives home, the M.I.T. rep is outside waiting for him. Lip tells him he’s not interested in going to M.I.T. and the rep shrugs, telling Lip he probably wouldn’t have gotten in anyway Lip thinks he’s trying to use some reverse psychology on him, but the rep truly doesn’t think Lip could get in – with all of his truancies and especially with an application that’s been plagiarized. Lip reads it and realizes that Mandy copied a speech from Nelson Mandela. Instead of being angry, he’s amused.

Wanting to prove the rep from M.I.T. wrong, Lip writes an original college essay and gives it to the rep, who’s impressed by what Lip has written. He asks Lip what he would like to study and Lip reveals that his main passion is robotics, but he doesn’t want to start with the basic and he’s not down with the university-level education he’ll be receiving. He mainly just wants access to the facilities and technology.

When Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Mandy return to the house, Mandy angrily tells him that she worked really hard on the application and the least Lip could do is say ‘thank you’. After some intense eye staring, the two proceed to have sex.

Later, when he asks Mandy why she wants him to go to college so badly, she admits part of the reason is because she thought he might take her with him – even though he probably won’t and she doesn’t expect him to. She thinks he’s too good to stay in their shitty neighborhood and that he’s one of the few good men she knows.

After Lip breaks things off with Karen, telling her he’s decided to stay with Mandy because she’s good for him while Karen is not, a heartbroken and vengeful Karen calls Mandy.

Soon after, Mandy goes full-on ‘crazy bitch’ and hits Karen with her car, after luring her out with a text from Lip’s phone.

Damn, you don’t mess around with the Milkovichs.



Ian is shocked and devastated by the news that Mickey (Noel Fisher) is marrying ‘some whore he knocked up’, according to Mandy. Angry and hurt, Ian goes to confront Mickey and tells him to admit that he’s gay and that he’s in love with Ian – at least once. Instead, Mickey turns violent and beats the shit out of Ian.

No one knows what Ian is going through. Poor Ian lies in his room alone, with his head on an ice pack, bloodied up and crying.


Frank (William H. Macy) is seeking domestic partnership with Christopher (Christian Clemenson), so he can use Christopher’s health insurance. Whey they are denied domestic partnership because they don’t fulfill the requirements, Frank goes on a drunken rant about marriage equality to a crowd of gatherers at some political event.

The video of Frank’s rant goes viral and he inadvertently gains many supporters who agree with what he said.

He even ends up going to a gay bar, where he gets all the free drinks he wants.

Unfortunately for Frank, Christopher kicks him out – at the behest of his homophobic mother. But then, when Frank wakes up on the street the next morning, he’s approached by a man named Abraham Paige (Bradley Whitford) who wants Frank to be the face of the gay rights movement.

Kind of like Joe the Plumber, whom Frank proclaims as a personal hero of his.



After finding out that Karen was the reason behind Mrs. Wong coming to take Hymie away, Sheila (Joan Cusack) has fallen into deep depression. Debbie (Emma Kenney) decides to skip school in favor of taking care of Sheila. (Debbie is awesome.) She calls it ‘Code Pink’, which is how she and Fiona described Monica whenever she became depressed.

And it works. Debbie brings Sheila out of her depression. They share a very touching scene towards the end of the episode.

There is also an emotional scene between Sheila and Karen, right before Karen leaves the house to meet up with Lip (or so she thinks). Sheila apologizes to Karen for failing to be a proper mother, but she wants to make things right between them and that means starting anew. Karen looks tearfully at her mother, but is very much willing to reconcile with her.

Rating: A+

Memorable Quotes

Fiona: Kev, do guys get PMS?
Kev: You asking me if I bleed from my nuts once a month?

Fiona: Yeah… the porn at my desk… it wasn’t really porn. It was pictures of penises, but it was from a circumcision website. See, friends of mine are trying for a baby and I had said a thing about how they should circumcise the baby so that girls will be more likely to wanna… uh… with their mouths… not on the baby, of course! I mean when he’s a grown up… oh… shit… am I fired?

Mike: Do me a favor. Don’t go out there smiling. Help me maintain that reputation as a hardass.
Fiona: You have a reputation as a hardass?
Mike: No, but I really want one, though.

Sheila: My daughter’s a mean girl. I don’t know how it happened.
Debbie: It’s not your fault.
Sheila: But I’m her mother.
Debbie: If how we turn out is all about how our mother is, then I’m pretty screwed, right?

Mickey: What’d ya hit?
Mandy: Girl at school.
Mickey: Don’t forget to check for hair behind the grill. Call Matty about the windshield.

Shameless airs every Sunday at 9 PM on SHOWTIME®.