Back to the show’s roots— blood, sex, and drama. After two weeks of Hall of Shame episodes, Shameless is finally back with a continuation to Season 11. If you don’t remember the last episode, check out our recap of Shameless Season 11 Episode 4: NIMBY.
This week’s episode started with an Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) opener. Relaxing in a bath, he berates the audience for “not remembering the last episode” before the show launches into a speedy recap.
Diving straight into the episode, “Slaughter” begins with the neighbouring Milkovich clan pulling a prank on Frank (William H. Macy). It was a predictable one and I was disappointed to see Frank fall for it— a classic doughnut box was left on the Gallagher’s front porch filled with dookie. Gross! It got off to a harrowing start, when Frank tried to retaliate he found a decomposing dead deer in the Milkoviches front yard, dripping in blood.
This episode was a rough one for Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White) and his girlfriend Tami (Kate Miner). They exit their fixer-upper to a “For Sale” sign being put up in their yard and they quickly discover that their pal and landlord Milton (Jalen Jamar Gilbert) has gone behind their backs and put their place up for sale. He told them, “I need the money.” This kickstarts the couple to connect with a real estate agent and seek out a new home.
This is where things get crazy. The two find a super cheap house on the market and while they are discussing the logistics with their agent, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Lip and agent know something that Tami and us, the audience, don’t.
After they tour the house and Tami compliments aspects of it and expresses her interest, it is revealed by Kevin (Steve Howey) that it’s “that house from the movie.” Rather, it’s a murder house. The previous owner’s family was brutally killed in it ten years ago and the family was found hanging from the house’s banister — the very banisters that Tami liked.
Lip encourages Tami to look at the place again before completely dismissing it and it grows on them. They enjoy that the house will be less-frequented given its spooky backstory. However, it does have some strange haunted qualities, like the apparent sound of a baby crying in the house’s nursery.
After this turn of events, things start to go colossally wrong for the eldest Gallagher son. He returns to work to meet the new owners of the auto shop, two techy and annoying young “Do you have a CloudLink?” millennials. It is revealed that they want to cut the employees’ hours and wages. When Lip’s boss and sobriety buddy Brad (Scott Michael Campbell) relays this information to Lip, the latter confronts the men and ends up fired. The two devise a plan to get revenge but first, they break their sobriety to “take the edge off.” Nothing good is likely to come from that.
My beloved Sandy (Elise Eberle) started to get some action, and not just from Debbie (Emma Kenney). While Debbie is getting her adorable daughter Franny (Paris Newton) ready to visit a famous wrestler “WWE Royal Highness Queen Justice,” it becomes clear to Debbie that she doesn’t know much about her partner.
When it’s revealed that Sandy has a car and job that Debbie doesn’t know about, and doesn’t care to ask about, she decides to put Franny’s tracker in her belongings. Debbie spends the whole day tracking Sandy and wondering what she’s doing at the sketchy places she’s at — random residential addresses and an “all-service” strip club. Throughout this, Franny keeps vying for her mom’s attention and repeating her wrestler’s catchphrase, “You’ve been served!”
Franny meets the female wrestler after Debbie lies and tells the crowd that her daughter has cancer so that they can skip the line, and then they’re off to stalk Sandy and cause a scene at the club.
Once they arrive back at the Gallagher house, Sandy is on the couch and the confrontation goes down. It is revealed that Sandy is a food delivery driver and a bartender. She is homeless and couch surfs, as expected seeing as though she’s been constantly present at the Gallagher household for the last season and a half.
Sandy questions if the two can be in a relationship if Debbie doesn’t trust her and Debbie shoots back with, “Are we in a relationship?” Then, in the awkward silence, the ball drops: Sandy has an ex-husband and he’s tracked her down to the Gallagher house. We don’t get to meet the man but he comes off as very pushy and aggressive, given that he yells her name from outside and she dashes out the back door.
Mickey (Noel Fisher) and Ian have a brief but finally exciting storyline. They are working in transport for the local weed distributor and they are still disguising themselves as military men. They enter the scene with their usual bickering and while they are mid-delivery, they are robbed at gunpoint by Mickey’s cousin, Lou. Mickey pulls out his “gun” in response, but as Ian expressed his concerns in “NIMBY” about them breaking parole, it is called out to be an airsoft gun. Lou tells him, “Since you’re family, we’re only going to take $1000.” While that seems to be a good enough deal, it’s also their takeaway of the business’s money.
— Marissa (@mariss_ugh) February 1, 2021
In response to this, the two plot to steal an ambulance. They successfully do so, but while hooking up in the back, they discover a male cadaver and have to dispose of it. They do so by placing the naked body on the street and planting a blanket and beer bottle on him. Poor dude.
This plot, while hilarious, worried me. The ambulance doesn’t seem like less of a “breaking parole” risk than owning a gun. It hasn’t been revealed if Ian’s sudden change of heart is due to his existing bipolar disorder or if he’s just tired of playing it safe.
Quickly recapping the rest— sorry Liam.
Liam (Christian Isaiah) is being targeted by the racist Milkoviches. They are throwing things at his window all night and threatening him. He spends the episode alone at the Gallagher house and terrified. At one point, he is moving through his house which is newly covered in blood drippings. It is revealed that the Milkoviches planted the head of the decomposing deer from earlier on top of his bed.
Terrified, he leaves and goes to the Alibi. Carl ends up giving Liam a gun and telling him to stand his ground.
Veronica (Shanola Hampton) finally has an exciting storyline. She has been officially recruited to be a canvasser for the Democratic Party of Chicago. Throughout the episode, she is going door-to-door campaigning for a rent control bill that will help slow down the gentrification of the South Side. She starts her efforts positively, but it slowly dissolves as she realizes that her peers no longer live in the area. After meeting a series of white conservative young adults, she expresses, “Where are the Black people?”
— Shameless on Showtime (@SHO_Shameless) February 1, 2021
Frank is still on his mission to get rid of the Milkoviches. After being encouraged by Veronica to just “talk it out,” he and Kevin visit the Milkovich house. As expected, the clan is acting like the racist fools they are— branding swastikas into their arm and drinking the blood straight from the deer’s heart. They quickly abort their plan and Kevin says he’s not going to help Frank any further. He’s tapping out.
Frank then has two failed plans to get rid of the bunch: He tries to kill the owner of the house and he plans a “Unite the Right” rally that turns into a riot. I had presumed that this would mark the end of the Milkoviches but it’s clear that that’s not the case. Just hold on until the ending.
Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) is a cop— I wish that was enough to wrap up his plotline, but sadly, it would not be adequate. Cop Carl is continuing to struggle with the rapid abuse of power shown by his partner Leesie (Toks Olagundoye), especially towards his Southside peers. After a local shop catches a young Black preteen shoplifting, Leesie threatens the boy with a machete, “scared-straight” style. That doesn’t work and the boy is a re-offender, however, he shoots at Lessie and she ends up falling onto her machete. That leaves Carl to chase him down, but not before wittily telling Lessie that she “actually brought a knife to a gunfight.” He catches the preteen but doesn’t arrest him, instead, he asks him to protect Miss June (the loose cigarette offender from last week).
The last scene of the episode left the Shameless audience in shock. After hearing noises from outside, Liam is scared that it’s the Milkoviches again. He goes outside with his gun, tired of being terrorised, and he shoots it into the air— a warning shot. Afterwards, he goes inside.
Walking up to the Gallagher household is Terry Milkovich (Dennis Cockrum), the patriarch of the disgusting family and Mickey’s homophobic father. While Terry is urinating in front of the house, the bullet comes down and strikes him in the head. He falls to the ground, and while it’s easy to presume that he’s dead and that will be the last of the Milkoviches, Terry moves and groans for help.
Likely, he’s paralysed.
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— SHOWTIME (@Showtime) February 1, 2021
Shameless is seriously taking off. The following episodes are destined to be backed with good stuff; constantly moving and introducing new intricate plots that are building up to something big. The show’s theme of anti-gentrification is shining bright, personally making me a proud viewer of the show and each episode leaves its audience with more and more concerns. Why does Frank occasionally suffer from memory loss? Are they making his character more likeable because they’re going to kill him off? What’s going on with Ian? Will Mickey react harshly to his father’s injury? We saw Mickey defend the Milkoviches last week. Despite his troubled relationship with his father, it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to actually pull the trigger.
It appears as though there will be no new episode on Feb 7, then Shameless will resume the following week on Feb 14.
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