F…Paying It Forward
This weeks’ episode title refers to Fiona’s ordeal. She gets a surprise visit from Sean, who we haven’t seen since he showed up high to their wedding ceremony (where the kids through Frank into the river). That was a long hard fall for Fiona, Sean breaking his promise to stay clean (among others) turned her away from relationships and trust. Her relationships with men often found her looking at a different form of Frank. So he shows up looking healthy and clean, he asks if she’ll talk with him. Fiona tries to stand him up but the unanswered questions (and buried anger) push her to go. He offers her money for the wasted wedding and that makes her even madder. She assumes this is to make amends so they can get back together and it turns out Sean is married and he’s only there to say he’s sorry and try and make amends for how their relationship imploded. She goes nuclear, furious that he got clean for another woman and that she’s nothing more than a step on his recovery list. This boils over to her confronting his wife in a parking lot and…she rants to the wrong woman. Mortified and ashamed she high tails it out of there. On the plus side, it looks like this will be a short manic episode. Laying it all out, even to the wrong person was enough catharsis to bring her back to Earth.
Kevin and V meet Kevin’s (aka Bart) biological Kentucky family. It starts out pretty well considering the circumstances. He meets his aunt and uncle first and he’s told the story that he was left behind at a pit stop on a family road trip. The Home Alone defense of so many kids in the car that they didn’t realize he wasn’t with them. When they got back to his last location almost a day later, he was missing. Kevin has fun, getting to know his family and going on a hunting trip helps him bond with them. At the family BBQ to welcome Kevin/Bart, things unravel. The casual racism that’s been floating about gets a little too obvious and uncomfortable. One of the cousins lets it slip that Kevin was actually abandoned, no one went looking for him. Then the jealousy comes out. His brother’s think he’s the one that “made it out” and is doing the best. The rest of them never left their hometown and are just doing enough to get by. Despite his tragic start, Kevin has a lot to be thankful for in his life now.
Lip is struggling to stay sober. To be more specific, no sex life is driving him up the wall. He tries Tinder but quickly realizes that’s going to put him in dangerous relapse scenarios. Through all of his bellyaching at work to Brad, he ends up hooking up with the sexy and always brooding Eddie.
Ian helps out a homeless girl with a place to crash for the night and it ends up costing her the spot in the youth shelter that Trevor found for her. That makes Trevor mad and doesn’t help Ian’s chances with getting back with him. But it turns out Ian is a good influence on her and that wins some points back.
There’s been a lot of break-ins around the neighborhood and hearing that one of the victims is a veteran, that puts Carl on high alert. He dedicates his time to catch the crook and he ends up snagging a junkie with his copper pipe trap (heroine is a big problem in the area. One of Fiona’s tenants uses and the needles strewn around the back aren’t from him).
Frank (now Francis) continues to spend time with Liam. Since the other kids are all grown, Liam is his last chance at being a father. He makes a hilarious slash in the PTA and has found a new audience for his truth bomb “tell it like it is” rants. Liam also gets competition as the coolest kid in school. Another black student enters the picture and Liam quickly sees how his friends and the other kids react. One of the best moments is when Frank sees that the school put Liam in the promotional brochure and he immediately points out the use of his son as the “token black” to boost enrollment. We saw this blatant move a few episodes with Liam being trotted out for tours but this is the first time his family becomes aware. While frank calls it out, he doesn’t object as he understands the hustle the school administration is running. It’s a bit of respect the game on Frank’s part, we’ll see if he turns it around to take advantage later on.
Frannie takes her first steps but Deb isn’t there to see it. The grandmother (father’s side) sends her a video while Deb is at work. With Deb on the outs with Neil, she stakes out her claim back in the Gallagher homestead to no objection (she does immediately go into a whole spiel to defend her position to Fiona though). All of this working and being away from Frannie is now starting to worry Deb. Her daughter is growing, becoming mobile and will be making her first long-term memories. Talking isn’t too far off, Frannie’s personality is going to come out soon. She tries to get Frannie to walk to her but has no luck. She boogies over to Frank though. Maybe all the stories Frank tells them about their childhoods aren’t BS after all.