This week’s treatise focuses on morality and mortality, and the ethics of both. After an elderly friend passes away, Debbie becomes obsessed with death and its euphemisms: “basted the formaldehyde turkey, living impaired”. As with all the Gallaghers, she learns to deal with life’s tragedies pretty much on her own, with a little help from neighbor V, who has her own problems as Kevin looks for a way to buy the bar from Stan (who is not Kevin’s father as originally thought). Kev’s ambition is soon outweighed by his business inadequacies, and V convinces him to at least wait on making a decision.
Meanwhile, Fiona has coffee with an old high school crush. She at first avoids further dalliances, however, when she learns he is married. On the way home she finds an abandoned purse and uses the $500 inside as a windfall for her family. When she finds the owner and returns the purse with the aim of getting a reward the owner’s personal family strife convinces Fiona to return the original $500 she has already spent. But her Gallagher roots kick in later when the girl justly accuses Fiona of taking the money and calls her a “skanky, ghetto trash, hood girl”, probably the worst thing you can say to the insecure Fiona. So she keeps the money (“doing the right thing” is obviously conditional) and does credit to the girl’s accusation by meeting up with the high school crush and having sex in his toy-and-diaper-ridden family car—something she immediately regrets. This all leads to a phone call to the up-till-now missing Steve. The conversation is short with just polite “hi”s and “bye”s, but when the camera pans back we see Steve’s nakedness blocked only by the girl who is giving him head on an exotic beach hotel’s balcony.
Lip, still in high school, uses his genius-level talents to help with a college professor’s projects and meets an army intelligence officer with whom he hopes will help brother Ian and his West Point goals. It is a baffling storyline in that Lip is the most academically advanced Gallagher but inexplicably opposed to higher academics.
Frank continues his wooing of Dottie, also known as “Butterface” (“God gave her one hell of a rack and legs to die for. But her face!”) with the hope of becoming her next husband and recipient of her pension when she dies—something Frank expects will happen soon as she is waiting for a heart transplant. When the heart donor center calls about an available organ, Frank tells them she has already died. Cold-blooded. He justifies his scam with drunken, convoluted logic: “If you’re waiting for a new organ you are just interfering with God’s plan.” So, he steals Jody’s engagement ring that he had planned to give to Karen (much to the dismay of Lip) and proposes to Dottie, who accepts. However, when the time comes to hitch, Dottie decides to give it all up. For her, that is having sex with Frank, something that will most likely kill her. Though disappointed in not tying the knot, Frank complies but only after she offers to pay him $2000 in cash, plus a flat screen TV. “I want to leave the lights on when we do it. And eyes open.” When she dies, he takes the ring off her finger. He does show one of his rare moments of compassion when he tearfully goes by the church to light a candle for Dottie. Of course, he cannot resist stealing the offering box on his way out, proving again how Shameless entertains while serving as an exaggerated reflection of the average person’s convenient sense of morality.