It seems kind of like the show just turned into itself. It's always nice when a show finally does that, isn't it? Frank needs Monica's signature for some insurance scam, so he and Sheila trick her into showing up at a grocery store for a fake prize, since he knows she'd never meet with him on her own. Fast-forward a few minutes to Monica and her new girlfriend, Bob, attempting to run Frank and Kev down in their giant eighteen-wheeler. They eventually track the guys to Sheila's house, where an epic showdown starts with Sheila flipping out and ends with the entire family in shards.
The reappearance doesn't shake Lip too bad -- he's too busy trying to figure out his stuff with Karen, even doing a car job with Steve to pay for concert tickets -- but Ian's undone enough that he runs to Mickey for comfort. A short time later, Kash finds them fucking in the stockroom, and a terrified/swaggering Mickey tries to pressure Kash into silence/complicity, so Kash shoots him in the leg. Ian is, as usual, completely awesome.
(As is Karen, who's willing to sucker a car out of Eddie, since he won't quit with this creepy Purity Ball bullshit, and Sheila, who's busily making quite a friend of Debs. And also V and Kev -- damn, this episode was great -- who give us the first full-on hysterical laugher of the season when entertaining a truly unbelievable white urban social worker lady, to see about fostering their foster child's cult-baby.)
Debbie spends most of the episode tracking down Steve/Jimmy, making the acquaintance of his insane mother (crazy great Julia Duffy) and learning the truth: He is slumming it because, as he says, he was raised by wolves just like the Gallaghers, only his went to Harvard. But Debbie's game of little-kid blackmail dissolves the second Monica shows up, and she blabs the latest thing -- Steve's bought a house for Fiona, next door to the Gallagher house -- at a terribly unromantic time.
In the end, Bob and Monica decide they want to run off with Liam, since he's half-black and could use Bob's expertise in the area of being black. This starts a big cathartic fight with Fiona, who points out the fact that she's been a single mother since Liam was two months old and should be the only person making decisions about his welfare. Monica goes right for Carl and Debbie, who forgive her just enough for a hug... And that's it for Fiona, who drops the keys to the Gallagher house, tells all the parents in the room they can go fuck themselves, and runs off to see the house Steve bought her, having officially quit.
It was heartbreaking, but a little more than that. I sort of needed a minute afterwards. I would not expect to be this emotionally fucked-with -- by a show, I stress, where the lead spent most of the episode with kimchee vomit down his jeans, commando -- but I guess everybody has a history, and I guess this show just kinda nailed mine.
Next week: Fiona initiates a three-way racially complicated custody case over the babies; Veronica and Kev possibly receive yet another baby; and Frank decides to back the wrong Gallagher woman, earning him yet more enmity from the rest of his children. Three episodes left.
Debs takes V on a drive out to Lake Forest to spy on this mysterious Candace that texts Steve, but doesn't tell her they're on a Steve Recon until they're sitting outside the house, where is parked a girly car with whorish vanity plates reading "D-Lish." Veronica finally asks Debbie why she's so focused on this and Debbie explains, "Fiona takes care of everyone, but no one takes care of Fiona," and that even though Fiona is probably weirded out about Candace, she's still too proud to do anything: "So we have to." Veronica notices that Debbie is awesome.
And yes, Fiona is starting to feel a little desperate about the Candace thing, because Steve seeming to be perfect and then turning out to be imperfect is all her nightmares coming true at once. It would be cruel, really, if he tempted her out into the world and then ended up proving her right about everything; this has become the new Worst Thing that could happen and thus she thinks of little else. She tries to draw him out in conversation; he is slippier than usual. Finally, she decides they'll just dance as long as they can, and pulls him out onto the floor.
Lip borrows some cash from Ian so he can take his non-girlfriend Karen to Florence + The Machine; when Ian says it's getting serious he plays it off: "She's my best friend, okay? You know I'd never spend that kind of cash on a girl anyway." It is sad, Lip and Karen are so close to figuring life out and it's nerve-wracking; Lip is amazing. I think the character would be this complex and wonderful on paper regardless, but the actor really does make you think through the meaning of every word in that whole line.
Next door, little Ethel prays: "God bless Jonah, my sweet baby boy, and God bless my husband, Clyde. May those who are caring for him remind him to take his blood pressure supplement and his glucosamine/chondroitin supplement, so that he can bend down to pick up our child. And God bless the other wives, who are probably on their knees right now asking you to bless me."
Tomorrow is the big visit with Jonah, about which Kev could not be more excited because A) It will cheer Ethel up and distract her from her campaign of being constantly weird, and B) Kev loves babies and there will be more babies in the house and maybe they will just keep backing the truck up and unloading babies until Kev has all the babies. Veronica pulls out earplugs for Ethel so they can fuck; Kev assumed she was going to jam them in his ass because 90% of this show is stuff going up dudes' asses.