Frank finally wakes up in the hospital with a doctor and two residents, including the genius Jeffery Self, standing over him with an idea: "In my whole career, I've never seen such a spectacular display of alcoholism," she says, and he accepts the compliment gracefully, "Would you be able to abstain from alcohol for two weeks?" No way. But how about for three grand? Hell yeah.
Mandy's telling Ian some gross story about a girl with pinkeye trying to use her eyeliner -- which, somebody should definitely take old Mandy's eyeliner off the table, for at least a little while -- but Ian's not listening, because he's thinking about fucking her brother and what this means for his relationship, both with her and with his married boyfriend. Of course he can't tell her the name of the guy he's doing -- he explains it's because the guy's on the DL -- but he still has to say something because it's like consuming him, and Mandy's only a little disappointed. The gay thing with Ian, it would seem, is less exciting than it used to be.
Kev's all excited, tossing around a football, while Veronica's more interested in hiding what I guess qualifies as their silverware. He's dancing around, giggly and wild, when the DCFS lady arrives with their new kid, Ethel, a thirteen-year-old sister-wife dressed so severely she'd scare the little girl from True Grit. Turns out she was rescued, with 70 other kids, from a cult compound.
They stare at the little girl, and she stares back, and it's all very worrisome because Kev and V are basically nuts but this little girl is clearly nuts in a whole other way. I'm sure she'll end up like Rhonda Volmer by the end of it, if we know this show at all. But how great would it be if she just joined the cast permanently and could toss out weird little homilies and judge Frank mightily all the time? I'm going to miss my sister-wives once Big Love finishes up. It would be nice to know where my fix is coming from.
The SCRAM they're putting on Frank is of his doctor's own design, matched up to a steampunky '80s technology: "Drink one sip of booze, light turns red. Attempt to take the bracelet off, light turns red. Spill rubbing alcohol on it, light turns red. Red light equals no cash. Get ready to say good-bye to three grand." Of course, Frank runs straight for the Alibi, where nobody believes that he's actually gone sober and just assume he's full of shit, since he's full of shit. Real or not real: Frank Gallagher is going to stop drinking for two weeks.
"The way I see it, I've done a lot for the folks around here over the past couple of years, and I could use a little help from you all now. I might hit some rough patches over the next few weeks, so I'd like you all to commit to not drinking, too, in solidarity. Like schoolchildren, when they shave their head for the cancer kid?" Of course they all laugh his Falstaff ass to the bank, and it's so deafening that he runs out the door, wishing AIDS on them all.