[TV Recap] Shameless – The Helpful Gallaghers

In TV & Film by Carla Northy

Having established last episode that Kevin’s ex is a crazy B, “The Helpful Gallaghers” got back to focusing on those magnanimous Gallaghers; of course, by that I mean we got back to dealing with Gallagher insanity rather than supporting character insanity. It was back to focusing on Fiona and Lip for the most part, with minor threads involving Carl’s “cancer” and Jodie and Shelia’s relationship. Oh, and did I forget to mention that Jimmy found out his father is gay? Yeah. That happened.

We start off with a lot of tits and sexy time. I never mind the nudity in Shameless, but I felt it slightly unnecessary to begin with three of the four major couples doing the deed. Tits aside, while in mid screw, Mandy hears a message from her half sister Molly and stops screwing long enough to hear her pleading for their father to come and pick her up after her meth head mother OD’ed. It was the first time that anyone has heard of Molly and Mandy keeps insisting she is only her half sister, but she still seems to care. After they finish up, Lip and Mandy discuss what to do and decide to drive to Milwaukee to see what they can do to help.


Back in Chicago, Fiona starts at the supermarket and immediately discovers that breaks there are not what they seem. Last episode made it clear that Bobby the manager is a pervert who exploits women for blowjobs in exchange for jobs. Well, this week it’s discovered that every female employee at the store services Bobby’s pipe at specified times of the day like it’s another shift. Fi is outraged and tries to think up a way to get them all to stop. Seems like girl power until you realize that the biggest reason behind Fi going all proletariat is so she can cover her own ass for sharing the burden with the other women. She’s probably legitimately pissed, but also well aware that she needs to watch her ass if the other women find out.

In Milwaukee, Lip and Mandy pick up Molly and try to figure out what to do with her. Mandy tries to take her to an aunt who took care of her but she refuses, citing her MS. They can’t just take her back, so they do the only logical thing and bring her back to the Gallagher household. It’s a kind thing Mandy and Lip are trying to do but the house is a little crowded. Still, Lip asks Fi if Molly can stay at least until Carl gets back from camp. She’s understandably reluctant but agrees anyway.

Episode 304

That night, Fi invites the girls from the store over for beers and to discuss their situation. She makes a rousing speech and gets all of the girls worked up for a fight… that is until one of the more senior members chimes in. Unlike the other girls, this old gal doesn’t mind giving Bobby what he wants since he is otherwise a pretty relaxed manager. Some of the other women realize the same and so it goes to a vote where surprisingly (in real life, not Shameless) blowjobs wins 6-3. The old girl who called for the vote laughs it up and tells Fi to admit that Bobby isn’t that bad, to which Fi replies that she wouldn’t know. Needless to say, the women are a little pissed, but we don’t get much of their reactions beyond one girl named Princess yelling at Fi for being the reason she had to pull overtime.

In the midst of blowjobs and orphans, there was Jimmy. He didn’t have to deal with Beto, but he still had a money problem. It’s gotten so bad that he has to pawn his 5k watch for 2k to help out at the house. He then gets a call from his father to meet up for a drink where he is informed that his parents are getting divorced. In response, father and son get smashed and stumble home where Jimmy’s dad immediately notices Ian but passes out before he can say anything.

Every episode of Shameless must end with a bang and this week was no exception. For one thing, Molly has a penis. Yes: a penis. Debby’s reaction is priceless (Kudos to Emma Kenney for perfecting that eye popping look).No word yet on why she has a penis, so it’s wait and see time. Then Jimmy’s dad decides he’d like to cuddle with Ian and sneaks into his room naked to spoon. One problem: he crawls into Lip’s bed. Bang. Lip kicks him off and is ready to kill, Jimmy and Fi run in to find him naked, the girls run in and quickly run out, Ian reveals he’s been seeing him, and then Jimmy learns the reason for the divorce: bankruptcy. It ends with Jimmy and Fi sharing a rare moment of tenderness for this episode.


This episode provided the crazy without the heartwarming moments from last episode. Shameless is all about crazy but it seemed like the writers were a little sex crazed, so some of the more tender moments were lost beneath all that and that’s a shame, because there were plenty of opportunities for them. The revelation about Jimmy’s dad is thrown in at the end like an afterthought and there was needless attention given to Shelia and her collection of dildos with some Kevin and Veronica sex thrown in because “why not?” Still, it was a funny episode, but what makes Shameless good is its ability to meld raunchy comedy with genuine moments of tenderness. “The Helpful Gallaghers” got the raunchy but forgot the tenderness.

Carla Northy[TV Recap] Shameless – The Helpful Gallaghers