SHAMELESS 3.05 ‘The Sins of My Caretaker’

Fiona worries about Aunt Ginger rising from the grave when the city digs up the Gallaghers' yard.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode TItle: "The Sins of My Caretaker"

Writer: Sheila Callaghan

Director: J. Michael Muro

Previously on "Shameless:"

Episode 3.04 "The Helpful Gallaghers" 


The lesson from this week’s episode of "Shameless?" Everyone’s got problems so quit whining – especially if you’re a guy, because as Kev put it, "a whiney guy is like a dude wearing UGGs." And no one wants to see that.

First up is the whiner in question, Jimmy (Justin Chatwin). Ever since his dad, Lloyd (Harry Hamlin) burst out of the closet last week by trying to get in bed with Lip (Jeremy Allen White), who he thought was Ian, Jimmy’s been combing through a catalog of memories of his father’s strange behavior, which all made sense now. His gay dad, his broken finger and his parents' broken marriage have Jimmy sulking, but getting no sympathy from Fiona (Emmy Rossum).

That’s because she’s got ninety-nine problems and a dead body in the yard is one. The city is about to dig up the lawn and they could find some serious dirt on the Gallaghers, in the form of Aunt Ginger’s bones. Burying a loved one in the yard might be no biggie, but Frank’s been living off Ginger’s social security checks long after Ginger, herself, expired. If the city finds the bones, the entire Gallagher clan could end up behind bars.

When not digging up dead relatives in the yard, Fiona’s getting it bad from her Keene’s co-workers, who resent the fact that she has a "Bobby Break" exemption. And Debbie’s (Emma Kenney) also getting bullied at the city pool, though all that practice holding her breath underwater comes in handy when she nearly drowns one of the girls who picked on her. As for the rest of the Gallagher clan, Lip takes out his heartache over Karen on Mandy (Emma Greenwell) while Lloyd asks Ian (Cameron Monaghan) to steal back his collection of Armani suits and fine wine from his soon-to-be ex-wife.

This episode was as grotesque as any other hour of "Shameless," but what made it possibly the best episode of the season (at least so far) is the depth it went into with everyone’s assorted relationships. Ian has been struggling with his feelings for "no homo" Mickey (Noel Fisher), who finally comes around to kissing him after Ian makes a comment about Lloyd’s affections. It’s one of the "Shameless" moments that tugs at your heart as Mickey plants one on Ian before heading off to rob Ian’s sugar daddy lover’s estranged wife.

Meanwhile, Lip finally checks his Karen baggage after hitting Mandy over the head with it by unloading on Karen’s voicemail. It’s sometimes hard to like Lip, but it gets easier when he shows the kind of vulnerability he did in this episode.

And then we have Kev (Steve Howey) and Vee (Shanola Hampton) who have a "99.9 percent chance of not getting pregnant," according to her doctor, who Vee says looks like a "tree frog." After considering all their options, Vee borrows the Gallagher’s turkey baster in order to get her mother pregnant by Kevin. I want to be happy for Kev and Vee, a couple I’m always rooting for but his feel’s a little too weird, even for "Shameless."

But the real shake-up in "The Sins of My Caretaker" (aside from Jody installing a sex-swing in Sheila’s bedroom) is the arrival of Child Protective Services at the Gallagher home just as Lloyd is about to pull a bullet out of Mickey’s ass, while children of assorted races and gender-identities are left unattended and screaming. Fiona’s relief over finding Aunt Ginger’s remains is short lived as she walks in on the scene. It doesn’t help when Deb proudly announces that she made one of her tormentors unconscious at the city pool.

We already know what happens next, as (SPOILER) Lip says in the preview for next week’s episode, "this isn’t our first rodeo." It’s the sad truth of Gallagher’s situation. No matter how hard they try to get it together, it will never be good enough for anyone else. The Gallaghers' world may be a carnival sideshow of depravity and perversion (we’re looking at you, Jody), but it actually works, for them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for Child Protective Services.