We’re finally reunited with the Gallagher clan! A lot has happened since we last saw them. Let’s dive in!
Domestic “Bliss” – It’s been four months from where we left off last season and we learn that Jimmy has moved in and assumed a “Mr. Mom” role. Taking charge, he lets Fiona get her beauty sleep, while he feeds the kids and takes care of the house. He stays home with Liam, while Fiona goes to work cleaning toxic sludge – how gross was that scene? There’s not enough money in the world you could pay me to step in that mess. Fiona’s not sure how she feels about this side of Jimmy, finding him boring and misses “wild” Steve. Although after last night’s episode, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing Jimmy turn back to Steve real soon, especially having to honor a commitment to Nando- we’ll get to that soon.
One couple seems stronger than ever. Despite the loss of Ethel last season, we see that it hasn’t deterred V and Kev from trying to have a baby. I love what a support system they are for Fi and I don’t think the show would be the same without them there as a sounding board for her. They assure her that it’s totally normal for a relationship to get stagnant and that living with someone is hard. Fiona’s never been in a relationship with someone long enough to be at this calmer stage. Hilariously so, V and Kev’s plans to increase her web cam voyeur-ship to start saving for said baby include playing master Thomas Jefferson and slave. It was definitely a comedic highlight, especially to see Steve Howey don that powder wig.
Another highlight of this episode was seeing how Sheila and Jody are adjusting to baby life. Baby Hymie starts crying as babies do. Sheila having been up already taking care of him at 3 a.m. yells at Jody that it’s his turn. When he won’t budge, she puts him in his place calling him a “goddamn ponytail Fabio mf’er”.
The rest of the kids- except Debbie, seem pretty back to normal, despite dealing with Monica’s attempted suicide and Frank missing in action. Deb seems to be taking Frank’s missing the hardest. I really felt for her in those scenes by the fence memorial countdown, praying to the beer can altar for his return, and her excitement turned to disappointment at discovering that Frank wasn’t home after finding the door wide open and Liam alone. She seemed so down compared to her usual peppy self. Fiona does the big sister thing and promises her that he will come back. This isn’t the first time and he’s been gone longer, aptly stating that “Frank is like scabies. You can’t get rid of him no matter how hard you try.”
Getting Fired – Fiona has to overcome another obstacle after she gets let go from the toxic sludge job to make room for her boss’s nephew. I say good riddance, but I understand why she feels hopeless. The bills never stop coming – the property tax being the most important this episode. She has just enough from her last paycheck to pay it off in time. Looking into community college programs, Fiona is lost as to what she should do next. She decides to go back to the club she worked at last summer for another chance. She appeals to Meg for another opportunity to join the team as an assistant manager. Meg is hesitant since Fiona left her hanging when Monica had her episode. Wanting to prove herself, she promises to do anything. Meg tells her she’ll give her a night to promote for $1,000. Not wanting to pay up at first, she ultimately forks up the money- the one for the property tax- to get a chance.
Honoring Commitments – Jimmy’s life of domestic harmony just got ruined. Nando has come into Chi-Town looking for Estefania and Steve. Having not heard from her in awhile, he’s had his men eyeing Steve at the Gallagher residence. Kidnapping him, he demands that Steve bring him to Estefania- who we see living in her own domestic bliss with Marco. Once the lie has been discovered, Nando kills Marco quickly with quite a few bullets leaving him naked on the rug and Estefania in tears. Justin Chatwin‘s face is priceless in these scenes. Taken aback, Steve is hoping he’s not next. Instead, Nando enlists his help at cutting up the body. We later find out that Nando’s wishes for Estefania to pursue an economics degree and become an American citizen. He wants Steve to honor his commitment and be her husband throughout and until she becomes an American. He doesn’t care what he does with Fiona as long as he remembers what he has to do for him. It was nice to see an endearing scene between Fiona and Jimmy later on, when she discovers him burning his clothes leading to porch sex. I’m not a fan of Jimmy/Steve keeping secrets again from her. But we’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store.
Blowing Sh*t Up – True to their characters, I loved that Lip and Ian were introduced this week running from security guards after stealing what later turns out to be a laser for Lip’s entry in the 4th Annual Bot Championship. Cornered on a rooftop, Lip lets Ian run with the laser, while he gets caught and sent to juvenile court. He’ll probably end up with community service. Mandy’s no stranger to bailing out her brothers and with her help, Ian is able to get Lip out. It was nice to see Lip blow up the competition and win after losing the previous year and shutting up that snotty kid. He definitely needed a win, especially after being dumped on and all over by life and Karen last season.
Hooking Up – Lip and Mandy are still getting it on. It was interesting to see the new couple dynamic between Mandy and Lip, especially her discovering that Lip’s a genius with his 4.6 GPA. I predict she’ll be a major catalyst causing a rift between Fiona and Lip this season – especially from what I saw in the previews. Fiona expresses her distaste for Mandy, which definitely helps her convince Lip that he should be in charge of the family especially after he finds out that Fiona didn’t pay the property tax- since she took it to promote at the club. He’ll be more inclined to get in a power struggle as head of the family.
Ian still has quite the “sugar daddy” in Jimmy’s father, Lloyd. They’ve kept up their secret relationship enjoying the benefits of sex, math tutoring and presents. Although Ian admits he’s having fun, he does make it known that he has a “boyfriend”, Mickey, who’ll be out on parole soon. Lloyd states that he has a wife, but that’s nothing to stop them from continuing their fun. I can’t wait to see how this plays out in the next few episodes – especially since Mickey is so closeted and how long this affair will stay a secret from Jimmy – but season 3 previews at the end lead me to believe that Jimmy will find out and more drama will follow.
So where was Frank? – Viewers didn’t have to wait very long to find out where Frank ends up. He’s in Juarez, Mexico, finally waking up from the longest bender of his life. Trying to get back to the U.S., he’s denied at the border, leading him to call Fiona and even Sheila to help him with getting identification to cross countries. Those calls being a dead end, he eventually makes friends with a Mexican, who allows him to join his troop to cross the border by foot. They get caught by INS and get sent back. Already tired of Frank’s annoying ways and persistence to get back no matter what, his friend introduces him to the ‘Knife” man- who agrees to make Frank a passport if Frank acts a drug mule. Those were huge bags of cocaine he had to smuggle, but Frank finally gets through the border and back to America. Greeted by a female cartel member, Frank is congratulated and we learn that his new nickname is “El Gran Canon” (The Grand Canyon) for breaking the record of most balloons- 18!!!- up his butt. He arrives home to find the family celebrating their wins- Lip’s competition, Fiona’s new job – over dinner. The house fills with silence as he walks in with only Debbie really excited to see him, running to him for a hug, after which the clan resumes their chatter.
I thought this was a great first episode back. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, fans! What do you think will happen with Jimmy and Fiona? or better yet Lip and Fiona? Were you hoping to see more of Sheila and Jody? Are you bummed not to see Karen in last night’s episode? Do you think she’ll come back?