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Shameless 3×12 “Survival of the Fittest” Recap



Last episode, Frank (William H. Macy) took responsibility for robbing Carl’s former foster parent’s house and was carted off to jail by the police. In this episode, he’s acting restless and his cell mate remarks that he’s looking a bit ill, but all Frank cares about is getting his hands on some booze or drugs. Then, suddenly, Frank falls unconscious.

He’s taken to the hospital, where the doctor tells him that he must quit drinking – otherwise it could kill him. Frank, of course, waves it off and, as soon as he’s released, hits the local bar where he orders shots. There, he runs into Lip (Jeremy Allen White).



Lip becomes the first Gallagher to get his high school diploma. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) and the rest of the family are planning a surprise party, while – surprisingly enough – Lip ends up spending most of the day with Frank, after picking up his diploma from the guidance office. At the bar, the two make money from a push-up contest, in which Frank emerges the victor. Shortly thereafter, Frank treats Lip to some scotch and expensive lobster to celebrate Lip having graduated high school.

They father-son duo even go ice skating, together. Lip gets sick from having drunk so much alcohol, however, and Frank falls unconscious and has to be hospitalized after spitting up blood.

Later, he finds out that he’s been accepted to M.I.T. and he goes to Mandy’s (Emma Greenwell) place to thank her for applying on his behalf. Before he leaves, she asks if he’s going to go, and he replies that he doesn’t know.



Ian (Cameron Monaghan) decides to enlist in the army, without telling anyone in his family. The decision seems to be motivated by Mickey’s marriage to the Russian prostitute. He goes to visit Mandy to hang out, and ends up talking with Mickey (Noel Fisher). Mickey wants to pick things up where they left off, but Ian declines. He tells him that he’s enlisted in the army and is set to deploy the following day. Mickey becomes emotional, but can’t bring himself to tell Ian how he feels.

Since Ian is still underage, he forges a fake I.D. and poses as Lip in order to get accepted by the army.

Kevin and Veronica

Elsewhere, Kev (Steve Howey) and V (Shanola Hampton) are excited about the baby. They take V’s mom, Carol (Vanessa Bell Calloway), to her doctor’s appointment, where they get a sonogram of the baby and find out that V’s mom is twelve weeks along. Since they just started trying for the baby twelve weeks ago, V figures out that her mother lied about not being pregnant this whole time. She angrily storm out. V’s mom confesses that she liked feeling wanted. In the end, V forgives her mother.



Jimmy is gone, and Fiona is frustrated that he isn’t answering his phone or responding to any of her voice messages. She has no idea what’s going on. She contacts Jimmy’s dad at the hospital where he works, and he tells her that this is normal behavior for Jimmy. When things don’t go the way Jimmy plans, he cuts and leaves.

When Fiona returns home from work, Beto approaches her with a package. He tells her that Jimmy wanted her to have it. It turns out to be a huge chunk of cash, and Fiona uses some of it to secure a full-time job at the paper cub company where she’s been temping at.

When Lip calls about Frank falling unconscious, Fiona, Debbie, and Carl go to the hospital. Debbie and Carl are more concerned than Fiona, who tells Frank that he has to sober up for Debbie and Carl’s sake.



Sheila bids farewell to Jody (Zach McGowan), Karen (Laura Wiggins), and Hymie, who are traveling down to Sedona, Arizona to see if Karen can be cured of her brain damage. She helps The Gallaghers prepare for Lip’s surprise party. There, Debbie tells Sheila that maybe she should make friends with women her own age. The next day, she hosts a gathering, where she showcases various vibrators and sex toys to neighborhood women.


Fiona comes to terms with the fact that Jimmy is gone, and leaves him one final voice message. Having joined up with the army under a false identity, Ian gets on a bus with other recruits. And Frank leaves the hospital, destination unknown.


While the pacing of this episode was a bit slow, all the storylines came together. But we also leave off on a few cliffhangers. What will happen to Ian? Will Frank get sober? Will Lip go to college? What happened to Jimmy? Will Fiona get with her hot boss? I’m anxiously awaiting season 4!

Rating: B+