When Frank passes out in the snow, he so impresses the doctors -- including Jeffery Self! -- with his alcoholism that they end up bringing him into a clinical trial: Two weeks without booze, three thousand bucks. Everybody's taking bets on it, but only Lip seems to remember the last time this happened and the dangerously manic side of Frank that comes out.
After days of keeping him entertained -- and Sheila dropping into a wild abandonment depression besides -- the kids taser him, force-feed him a bunch of booze, and turn him back into an alcoholic. Dark.
Also dark: Kev and Veronica's new foster kid, a thirteen-year-old sister-wife from a cult compound who likes doing chores, and assumes that Kev will be fucking her. Oh, and she has a son of her own despite being a tiny, pointy little baby-child.
Lip goes to visit that Chicago professor and has begun dreaming, which also includes tentative attempts on both sides to define his relationship with Karen as something other than FWB.
Fiona briefly thinks it might be worth learning PowerPoint and getting an office job, but is overwhelmed immediately by the classes and sort of flips out a little bit about her lack of prospects.
Ian's losing interest in Kash, now that he's sleeping with Mickey Milkovich, while Kash is still trying to get Linda pregnant again. Mickey is still basically gross, but eventually finds himself comfortable enough to sit on the couch with his sister and Ian without feeling the need to spontaneously bash anybody.
Something's going on with Steve. He's getting messages from a coworker "Candace" in Illinois, and while Fiona's hoodrat jealousy is kind of cute for being so gross, the real story seems a lot more involved. Apparently Steve is from a rich family and his real name is Jimmy?
Next week: The return of Mama Monica. More Jimmy/Steve stuff. The son of the sister-wife.
Congratulations on the second-season renewal, firstly. Not a surprise, given the show's performance, but still a nice little bit of news.
"Where the hell were you guys last week?" Lip asks in the Previouslies, sitting in jail, and then the first thing that happens is Frank drops dead in the snow from alcohol poisoning. It's become something of a theme, this hopeful little Frank-is-dead scenario, but of course he can't even be trusted to die properly.
Busy busy morning at the Gallagher house, where last night Fiona and Steve got naked on their way to the bedroom and never quite made it there. Liam's out of diapers -- "Put a plug up his butt, didn't I, Buddy?" giggles Lip -- so Fiona's getting together a shopping trip. Carl's been invited to play paintball, and knew they couldn't afford it so he didn't even ask. Something of a theme this week. So Lip's taken the batteries out of a taser and given him that instead. One look at Lip's sad face and Fiona hands Carl her last thirty bucks, and it's smiles all around. Paintball, I suppose, being a healthy outlet for Carl's burgeoning insanity.
Deb notices a text on Steve's phone from somebody named Candace ("Sweetie, call me. It's important") and of course brings this to Fiona's attention, but Fiona's so used to getting screwed her only response is to yell at Deb for reading other people's phones and then kick everybody out of the house. Because of course there was a problem with Steve, she was prepared for that, so she's already ready for him to go.
Kev wakes up Veronica with a creepy little "Mommy, I'm hungry!" They're getting their foster kid today and he's tremendously excited, which Veronica knows is a recipe for disappointment. Everybody this week is about getting ahead of the disappointment. She reminds him they're only taking this kid on for a week so she can pay her parking tickets, and he's all, "Maybe you will love having a kid!" Then he takes it to a Kev place and starts begging to suckle her teat in this weird Cameron Diaz-on-Oprah accent, and it's super weird. Guys and boobs.
Probably you have read The Hunger Games, and if you haven't you should, and even if you haven't you probably know the basics: The authorities keep the country in a state of perpetual synthetic crisis so they can keep power, and force the children from each of the thirteen Districts of the country to fight to the death each year just to make their lives more miserable. Like the Gallaghers, like every generation, the children carry the weight of their drunk parents' mistakes.
But the saddest part, and this is not a spoiler or anything, but the part that really got to me is how -- by the third book, Mockingjay, which you either love or hate -- they're all so screwed up, by propaganda and the ways even the good-guy grownups are using them, brainwashed and (off-camera) sexually abused and forced to turn even their own emotions into weapons so they can thoroughly dehumanize themselves to solve the problems they're presented with, they just go dead. Even their PTSD has PTSD, and every triumph turns into just one more level of manipulation.
So they play this game, "Real Or Not Real," where they bring up something that happened, or they think happened, or they were told happened, and the rest of the people in the group have to help them figure out the broken pieces of themselves by confirming or denying it. Real Or Not Real, they say, You're here to kill me. Real Or Not Real: This living situation is viable. And it's healing, to a degree, but only by virtue of the fact that maybe the percentages of them that are still alive, inside, add up to one whole person.
Fiona wakes Steve up with some nuzzling and then a little optometrist thing, real or not real, about whether he likes the left ear version or the right ear version, and then the left nipple vs. the right nipple, and finally a little morning wood action, and then she banks his phone off his head and starts screaming about this Candace issue. Steve's response, correctly, is to flip her on her back and start fucking her, because of course he's not cheating and this is just another version of Fiona looking for a reason, getting into her pissing match with the unfair universe, so finally she gives in. A second later, his phone rings and he bounces, which kind of proves her point: Not real.