Another Sunday means more craziness from Shameless‘ Gallagher clan living in the South Side of Chicago, and such was the latest case with the December 15 episode, “Adio Gringos.”
Now sidled with a baby Frank (William H. Macy) never bargained for when he lent Ingrid (Katey Sagal) “his” genetic material, the patriarch’s story is only one piece in the staggering Gallagher puzzle from this week.
Below, we’re breaking down all of the key moments from the latest episode.
As teased in the previous episode, Frank continues to search for a couple to purchase Carl’s (Ethan Cutkosky) baby and he recruits Liam (Christian Isaiah) to help him with the job. He starts off by scamming one prospective pair into getting him, Liam, and the baby a room in the hotel where they’re staying.
Of course, leave it to Frank to essentially create a bidding war between hopeful parents. He meets with another prospective family, and despite the advanced age of the interested party, Frank doesn’t show too much concern. Enjoying the situation that they’re in, the Gallagher boys live life to the fullest in the hotel room, ordering room service and lounging about.
It’s clear however that Frank’s getting attached to his technical grandchild, so when the first couple asks to spend alone time with the baby, Liam has to convince his father to let it happen. Meanwhile, Frank re-meets with the older couple, and despite concerns, a $100,000 offer forces Liam to say yes for Frank. Ready to cash in on their payday, the boys go to collect the baby to find that the other couple has disappeared, taking the child with them. Needless to say, Frank isn’t happy.
Debbie (Emma Kenney) continues to deal with the custody situation involving ex Derek’s wife Pepa (Danube Hermosillo). At the beginning of the episode, it appears that Debbie has taken the deal which would give her access to Franny’s portion of Derek’s benefits in exchange for Pepa to gain custody of the little girl. Debbie’s clearly not thrilled with the arrangement which we later learn isn’t a full custody deal, but rather partial.
So, in order to reap the rewards without having to pay the price, Debbie wants Franny to raise hell when she drops her off at Pepa’s house, but the sweet girl isn’t capable of such misbehavior. Debbie then decides to recruit another redheaded little girl for the job, a “fake” Franny. When she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate at a foster parents event at the park, Debbie learns that the little girl she needs is a package deal with a pain in the butt sister.
Instead of opting for the lengthy process of fostering the girls, Debbie bargains with the older sister, offering a bribe in exchange for the younger girl to be brought to her. When the episode ends, it appears the plan may work as Pepa begins screaming the minute her door closes with the fake Franny to blame.
Defining the Relationship
Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Tami (Kate Miner) also continue to struggle with their parental dynamic. At first it appears they have it together, upon arriving at New Moms AA, Lip makes a critical error in introducing Tami — instead of introducing her as his girlfriend, Lip introduces Tami to the group as “Fred’s mom.”
Seeing the women’s affection for Lip doesn’t help the situation either and when they get home, Tami confronts Lip about his relationship with those in the group. The argument spirals even more when Lip goes to take Fred from Tami and she accuses him of thinking she’s a bad parent.
While she mulls over the situation, Tami thinks that maybe going out and meeting others guys may be the solution. When Lip sees her all dolled-up and leaving the house, it’s clear he’s upset and when he texts her later on, he only gets a selfie in response.
In the end, Lip surprises Tami with an RV in the backyard, a potential solution to the overcrowding issues Tami has with the Gallagher home. It also gives them the opportunity to define their relationship. Before the credits roll, the couple makes up and it’s as if they’re back on track, but will it last?
Carl’s Tamale Problem
Now at a stalemate in their relationship, Anne (Chelesa Rendon) and Carl face a new problem when competition rolls into town, stealing business from her family’s tamale stand. When the table is attacked, Carl attempts to face the threat head-on, but devastation follows and the opposing business destroys the Gonzalez’s livelihood.
Eventually, Carl comes up with another solution, moving the Gonzalez family’s cart to the more upper-class area of town and opting for a vegan version of their usual product. The fix leads them to make more money than ever before, giving them enough to rent their own apartment. The news makes Carl happy and sad at once, but before Anne heads off for the day, she does give him a quick kiss, leaving their story on a hopeful note.
Following up with her previous invitation to Dr. Williams’ (Nadine Ellis) cookout, V (Shanola Hampton) shows up with a bougie potato salad, prepared to shake some hands and make some deals peddling her pharma products. But she’s not so warmly received by the other guests at the party, failing to win them over with her sales pitch and overhearing them trashing her potato salad. Noting V’s upset, Dr. Williams asks her to join her in the Electric Slide and things go from bad to worse when V realizes she’s forgotten the steps.
Later on, V goes to visit her mother Carol (Vanessa Bell Calloway) and tells her she “forgot to be black.” So, after a little pep-talk, V goes home and makes it her mission to teach her daughters the Electric Slide.
Now that Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is a free man, Mickey (Noel Fisher) attempts to give himself the same status by hiding in medical waste, but when the cart is stopped by a guard, the gig is up. Lucky for Mickey, he learns he’s being released anyway for his cooperation in the “El Chapo” case, but he’s warned that the cartel he turned on will likely come after him.
When he’s finally released and on his way to he Gallaghers via bus, he notices a car tailing the vehicle and makes a quick exit, only to learn the car was just his kindly parole officer. When Mickey finally arrives at the Gallagher house, Ian is shocked to see him come through the window, but the bliss doesn’t last long because Ian’s scammer P.O. Paula (Rachel Dratch) is hot on his heels after he provided legitimate medical attention to a woman while on duty.
She takes him to a backyard at gunpoint and ties him up, placing hamburger meat on his, ahem, man parts, and threatening him with her riled-up dog chained nearby. She commands him to play by the rules and continue the EMT scam or she’d let the dog loose. Once he’s finally free, we see Ian follow those rules and ignore a hit-and-run scene — it’s just as heartbreaking as you’d imagine.
Kev (Steve Howey) is still trying to become part of the group settlement against his former coach who molested his friends. So what does this mean? Kev doing his best to fake being a sexual assault victim. Unfortunately, the lawyer filing the case sees through Kev’s dramatics, despite his best efforts.
Don’t miss more shenanigans when the Gallaghers and friends return December 22.
Shameless, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime