Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
The House Fiona Built

The lawyer's name is Lou, and she's actually just gone to the bathroom while wearing a child in a sling, which is gross enough that you can extrapolate her friendship with Frank. She gives him the particulars of this settlement deal -- train doors closing on his ankle -- and mentions that Monica, the kids' mother, will need to sign the paperwork too. He obliges by forging her signature, but for some reason in this case that won't do: She needs to accompany him to the city offices and do it there. Lou heads off to be a doula and Frank eats some dog food.

Lip, desperate, calls Steve -- not that he's a huge fan -- and asks to borrow money. Since Steve is going back and forth to Lake Forest all the time, he's actually in a pickle himself and, against everybody's better judgment, offers to pay Lip for his help with a car-stealing.

Steve's mom Julia Duffy (the guest stars this week, my God) still looks like a million books, God bless her, and has fully internalized her kookiness at this point. Debbie heads over and knocks on the door with a "Are you screwing my sister's boyfriend?" which just causes her to giggle and offer her a joint, because rich people are just as crazy as poor people, and usually more so because they have more time to devote.

Mrs. Lishman sits Debbie down and they chat for awhile about this and that, and right when she's admitting she doesn't even know Steve and he's certainly not, in Deb's horrific terms, "pushing it into [her]," Steve walks in and his mom calls him Jimmy and plants a big old kiss on his lips, and it's spooky. Seems "Jimmy" is top of his class at Michigan, in med school, and plans to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, like his big brother and father, and the reason Steve's been out of Chicago so much is that his dad was injured in a minor car accident and he's been called home repeatedly. For her part, Debbie introduces herself politely and innocently, before giving Steve the staredown of the century.

It's incredibly well-acted: The intensity and fear shading into disappointment and eventually a broken heart, for both of them. You can see Steve getting smaller under her gaze, but the fear goes away and the Fiona part goes away and pretty much it's just Steve, feeling like a complete asshole for lying to Debbie, and then even that's gone and he just feels very cold and very alone and very much like a complete fraud. All in the eyes. So Debbie fucking bounces before she starts crying with frustration, and Candace is about to invite her for dinner before she realizes she's gone: "Oh, shit. I liked her."

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