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Fake Empire

Steve waves Tony's cop car over and tries to keep Tony from beating his ass long enough to get Tony to help the boys. Of course, Tony already got them out of jail, but Steve doesn't need to know that, so it's this whole chest-bumping Mantua situation where he eventually offers Tony the house next door to the Gallaghers if he gets them out of jail. Which, since he's running away with Fiona -- best case scenario -- he doesn't need anyway. "Nothing else is changed; you're gone. You don't see her don't call, don't write. Disappear." Steve agrees, and their whole misbegotten deal is closed.

Veronica comes over with boxed Chianti the makings of a Bolognese ragu, but of course fucking Jasmine's already there, grinning like a lunatic, with champagne and stir-fry ready to go. Veronica is not, let's say, hugely pleased with the fact of Jasmine. Even if it weren't for the Fiona-jealousy and the unctuous obsessive way Jasmine relates to her, I think Jasmine's screeching meth-head excitement and friendliness would put her off. In fact, her shifty unfriendliness and disinterest in Jasmine's whole deal is one of the best-acted performances in the entire episode; it's worth taking another look if you were too distracted by all the happenings happening in this one.

There's a cute moment where Fiona tells Carl she's not punishing them -- the real reason being they didn't do anything wrong, but she can't admit that in front of everybody, so she just shrugs, "I'm not their mother" -- and then threatens to smother Carl in his sleep if he tries anything similar. Debbie tries to tell her about the Jimmy situation, but they ignore her to toast "Chicago jurisprudence and adolescent misadventure," and then just because Veronica hasn't murdered her yet, Jasmine reminds Fiona that she now has a job at her husband's accounting firm. Fiona starts to feel the weirdness, w/r/t V, but what are you going to do?

Lip heads over to Karen's -- Jasmine: "The jailbird? He's cute!" -- and immediately apologizes for calling her a whore that time that caused her to go insane. They have some fairly graphic, disconcerting sex, where he's totally into it and she's crying the entire time, and he eventually groans out a couple "I love you"s before we cut to the post-coital wave-off, where Karen has found new ways to feel horrible about herself, and about what she's done to Lip, and with back turned breaks it off completely.

Since we've been heading here all season -- and nobody in this entire episode is actually having the conversation they think they're having -- Lip assumes it's because he broke their cardinal rule of being sluts together, and grabs her face: "I don't love you. That wasn't love you-love you, that was like middle-of-sex, you know, love you. Listen, honest! I don't love you. Okay? No, listen. I promise! I promise, I don't love you!" All the way up the stairs, with him still in his boxers begging, calling out the precise opposite of the truth: "Karen! Karen, I don't love you!"

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