Episode Title: "Nana Gallagher Had an Affair"
Writer: Cindy Caponera
Director: Adam Bernstein
Previously on "Shameless:":
Frank learned that one of his many settlements came in but he needed his estranged wife Monica’s signature in order to collect. He tricked her into meeting him at a supermarket but made a run for it when he spotted Monica and her truck driving lesbian lover, Roberta.
Debbie discovered that Steven is actually named "Jimmy" and comes from a well-to-do family. After he showed her the house he bought for Fiona, she agreed not to tell his secret, as long as he buys her a few gifts.
Meanwhile, Kash caught Mickey and Ian having sex in the back room of his store. Later, Mickey returned to taunt Kash who shot him in the leg. Steve/Jimmy hired Lip to drive a "follow car" after he asked for money to buy concert tickets for Karen. However, the job went bust when Steve/Jimmy couldn’t find the car.
After a confrontation in the parking lot, Monica and Roberta caught up with Frank and a tense family reunion ensued. Monica and her lover, Roberta want to take Liam with them. Frank agreed under the condition that she sign the settlement paperwork. Fiona stormed out in disgust, leaving the family to fend for themselves with Monica.
Monica (Chloe Webb) and Roberta (Carlease Burke) continue with their plan to leave with Liam, despite getting DNA results that prove Frank is the father.
Karen (Laura Slade Wiggins) goes to the Purity ball with her father. But after he insists that she confess her sins to those in attendance, she rattles off a laundry list of past sexual transgressions. This causes Eddie (Joel Murray) to have an outburst, calling Karen a "whore" in front of everyone. She storms out and heads home, where after trashing her father’s things in the basement, she’s comforted by her mother, Sheila (Joan Cusack). When Eddie returns home, Sheila throws him out.
After following Roberta and Monica to the DNA lab office, Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) submit themselves for testing. Later that night, Monica calls everyone together for dinner, where the boys open up the test results. Frank is not Ian’s father after all. A family fight soon erupts between Monica, Frank (William H. Macy) and Fiona (Emmy Rossum) over Ian’s paternity and the future of baby Liam.
Later, as Monica prepares to leave with Roberta, she hands over Liam to Fiona, who looks on in disbelieve before giving a tearful Monica a nod of approval.
I’m rather new to "Shameless," having just come in around the past few episodes, so I’m still getting used to the tone of the show. But right away it was clear to me that this British reboot has two great things going for it: William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum.
While the absurdist family drama, particularly in this episode, isn’t necessarily my thing, both Rossum and Macy give such strong performances, it’s hard not to enjoy every moment they’re on screen.
The return of the Gallagher family’s long-lost matriarch, Monica, came with plenty of craziness, including her belligerent, truck driving lesbian lover, Roberta, or rather "Bob." While the duo seemed wholly unlikable in the previous episode, Monica began to turn over a new leaf, after settling in with her estranged family. And though she ultimately left with her lover for the open road, doing the right thing by Liam endeared her to me even more. As for "Bob," her clash with the Gallagher’s made laugh out loud a number of times.
As for the rest of the Gallagher clan, Ian’s discovery that Frank is not his father doesn’t seem to matter in the grand of scheme of things. Considering that Frank is either unconsciousness or stumbling around in a drunken stupor most of the time, does it really matter? Of course, this makes room for yet another deadbeat Gallagher relation to attempt a return.
But perhaps the greatest, yet most disturbing, scene in the episode is when Frank had Carl, who just broke his arm, ride his bike into a pesky insurance agent’s car.
Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.