Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
The Teenage Guide to Popularity

Of course, Frank wants to put Ginger on the bus and call it a day, but they have to take her home, and it's heartbreaking the way Debbie just falls to pieces once Ginger starts roving the communal area offering all the olds Rice Krispie treats -- she and Deb really are two of a kind, aren't they? -- and Fiona has to practically pick her up bodily and take her home, and my gosh that little girl could just slay you dead when she cries. All this "buy me a puppy" stuff about how Ginger didn't really mean to pee in a houseplant and Debbie is more than willing to care for her even though she's already got Carl and Liam on her tiny sad plate.

Mandy makes her play to be Ian's beard, and it's touching, because what she's saying makes so much sense that you can see how he misses the Kash/Linda parallel almost entirely: "No one would ever give you a hard time, it'd keep the creepy guys away from me, I've never actually had a real boyfriend before..." They hold hands, sweetly, these total innocents who regularly have more sex than the rest of us -- another high mark of this show's sensibility -- and she laughs. "Not that you'd be a real boyfriend, but a boyfriend I could do things with, instead of, you know, just getting fingerbanged all the time." I think Mandy's going to be okay. I'd like to see her and Karen out on the town sometime, wouldn't you? Our boys and their girls.

Later Frank's watching the news with Sheila and it's this sad story of how some people came to see their grandma at the old folks' home and the staff couldn't find her, and then just when they were shitting it Grandma came strolling in with Rice Krispie treats going, "My name's Abby, and I'd like to ask you a few questions." Maybe Frank connects the dots maybe he doesn't, but it's enough to send Sheila over the edge and into his arms. "It's so scary out there, Frank," she says, and she sobs, and he knows what she means by that at least.

Fiona's on her way out to dinner at Tony's, and all three of the kids laugh when she ducks into Lip and Ian's room to remind Ian and Mandy to keep it above the covers. Nothing is better than Lip when he's happy, but seeing Ian stretched out on the bed, Mandy drawing on one leg with a marker while they flip through some gay porn, is a total bonus. God bless the Gallaghers.

And Fiona makes it as far as Tony's block -- he's just coming back from the store with marshmallows, for his mom's famous ambrosia salad -- but something somebody said, or did, or maybe just a plan she didn't let herself know she was making, sends her walking off again. And when she shows up at Steve's chopshop in her prettiest dress, and she nearly whispers "Hi," and he turns around and sees her and almost can't smile, well, not even Tony could really have a problem with that: They're soldering behind him, so the sparks are flying, and her earrings catch the light: Those gold chandeliers, from the night he fell in love. The ones that made him smile.

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