Which is why, by the time Frank's enlisted Carl and Debbie in his effort to "renovate" the shit out of their house, knocking holes in walls and turning the furniture upside down, Fiona and Lip agree he's done enough. "Last time he ripped up the floorboards, remember? Said he was gonna put in Saltillo tiles." Fiona had to screw a flooring contractor just to get it done. Debbie nods. "We have to kill the turtle. Daddy and Carl are up in the attic getting ready to cut a hole in the roof for a skylight. It's time to kill the turtle."
Of course, this mangles the turtle metaphor, but Lip knows what she means; because Debbie loves Frank more than anything both Lip and Fiona are hesitant about taking him away from her again, but it's Deb's world and we all just live in it, so when she says it's time for Real, they know she means it. "It'll hurt less now than if we wait two more weeks," it's decided, and they call Frank down from the attic. He comes running to save Debbie from the mouse she's yelling about, Lip hits him with the taser, and they pour vodka down his throat while he chokes and Carl screams.
Over at the medical lab, his little light turns red, and the other resident gives Jeffery five bucks. Maybe the only joke that could save you from thinking about the downward spiral of how awful and harsh and necessary that was.
Still morning; Kev's off playing basketball and Veronica's thought a lot about the hell of Ethel's existence, so by the time he gets back she's making french toast and telling Ethel about how her mother used to make them anything they wanted for dinner on their birthdays. "I always asked for french toast!" she grins, and you can see her go softer than I can remember her ever going. Kev's about to take a shower for breakfast, and they call Ethel sweetie when she makes her first request, which shocks them both: "If I'm going to be staying here for a while, would it be all right if my son Jonah came to visit?"
Back with everybody at the Gallaghers', there's a funny sort of pun on the TV about the economic recovery v. alcoholic recovery, how any promises of a brighter tomorrow are exposed and made grotesquely funny by the drabness of the day. Steve shows up and Fiona tells him she didn't even notice he was gone; Carl's sawing the ankle bracelet off Frank's leg; everybody makes fun of Tim Geithner and the audacity of hope, when even a happy ending has a sad ending just beneath it. Real or not real?
Fiona will give up on PowerPoint and wait for the Jimmy shoe to drop; she'll think about Sticks & Skates and wonder if she can live through another shift. Ian will wonder if he ever loved Kash; he will fall in love with Mickey before he even knows it's been decided. Lip will wait for Karen to read his mind, and Karen will do the same; Lip will let his whole life wheeze out through the bottom before he risks looking like a Little League asshole again.