By Rosie Narasaki, Hollywood Staff
Long story short on this week's Shameless: Carl ransacks a liquor store for candy, Kev holds Mickey at gunpoint, then Ian holds Mandy's boyfriend at knifepoint, and Fiona pulls a Frank. Oh, and Frank gets his kidney stolen/gets married to Sheila.
This week, the Gallagher household goes through a very familiar routine: checking hospitals, drunk tanks, and under bridges - only this time, they're looking not for Frank, but for Fiona. In her absence, the Gallaghers come to realize just what their lives would be like without their big sister; and as they all worry that she's lying dead in some gutter somewhere, they begin to regret the way they've been treating her - Lip and Debbie in particular.
Meanwhile, a misunderstanding with Sammi's drug dealer (don't worry, she's just getting pain meds for Frank, whose main refrain for the episode is more pills), leads to Sammi and Sheila scraping together 26 grand to buy Frank a black market liver transplant from a very shady doctor/cab driver. Unfortunately, they find all too quickly that they've been swindled. Not only did the doctor fail to replace Frank's liver, but he also stole one of his kidneys - leaving Frank in critical condition. Now Frank has mere hours (perhaps days) to live, so Sheila decides to do the wedding on the spot. It ends up being a bizarre combo of wedding and funeral, as each of the kids say their last words to their dad (Debbie forgives him, on the condition that he dies. If he lives, he can forget about it). And just as the wedding's sealed with a kiss, the doctors come to cart him away - turns out, his worsened condition bumped him up on the transplant list. So that's how they save Frank - my fan theory was that Fiona was going to give in and give him her kidney, but I suppose that would be far too schmaltzy for a show like Shameless.
So where was Fiona this whole time? Oh, passed out in the back of some druggies' van. I think I say this once per recap, but I'm thinking Fiona has finally hit rock bottom. After an all-night bender with the dreaded Robbie, she ends up in the middle of nowhere with some of his unnamed friends - who then proceed to leave her at a gas station. Luckily, she's able to contact Lip, and after facing the thought of truly losing her, he's finally able to forgive her. He apologizes for his behavior, reminding her just how much she has done for all of them - and after weeks of unresolved anger and contempt, they're able to reconcile, and the moment is both heartfelt and well-earned.
But, Shameless being Shameless, it's not all coming up roses: even in the midst of their reconciliation, Lip's taking her straight to the police station, and the end of the episode finds Fiona face-to-face with her probation officer. Fade to black, indeed.