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'Shameless' fan recap: You don't know Jack

Season 5 | Episode 7 | “Tell Me You F—ing Need Me” | Aired Mar 1, 2015

There’s no question about it: Fiona Gallagher is growing up. She is likely acutely aware of this fact with the growing pains she is suffering through, but progress is progress, and she is definitely making some. Last week we watched as the eldest Gallagher fell into her usual Shameless patterns. Jimmy popped back into her life, and she was unable to fight the magnetic attraction she feels to him. Old Fiona may have tried to cover up this indiscretion, but new Fiona ‘fesses up immediately.

Fiona acknowledges that she and Jimmy have unfinished business, so naturally Gus wants to meet him, because that’s a good idea. It goes about as well as one might imagine. It takes Gus fewer than two seconds to give Jimmy’s face the same treatment Fiona gave it last week. In fairness to Gus, though, I like Jimmy and even I wanted to wipe the sh—eating grin off his face.

Fiona continues to show signs of growth when she admits that she does love Jimmy, but he’s no longer what she needs. Is Gus what she needs? She doesn’t know that either, but she does know she needs to focus on figuring it all out. She isn’t pulled in by Jimmy’s grand gesture of canceling a life-changing work trip so he could be with her. It’s a good thing, too, because the job was actually canceled by the client. Jimmy is—as he always has been—a liar. And, surprise! He actually goes by Jack now. All this concern over how little she knows about Gus, and the truth is, she knows even less about Jimmy.

Ian wakes up in the psych ward, groggy, sedated, and certain he’s there in error. All attempts to explain the mistake go unheard, and when he tries to leave, he finds himself forced up against a wall, being threatened with more sedatives. It is disconcerting to see Ian so out of it—and no one experiences this discomfort more than Mickey. Like the committed and loving boyfriend that he is, Mickey shows up at the earliest possible visiting hour. There’s no way to know exactly what Mickey expects, but it is likely that he hopes to see some sign that Ian is getting better. What he is met with is a person he barely recognizes—perhaps someone who seems even less like Ian than the person who took Yev. The encounter unnerves Mickey, who goes home and finds solace in a bottle of liquor. Mickey has shown that he is capable of being a tremendous partner, but is this going to be too much for him?

Meanwhile, Ian meets with the doctor, who tells him what we all already know—he is showing signs of bipolar disorder. Ian is resistant to the diagnosis and insists that he is nothing like his mother. The doctor proceeds to explain to Ian that bipolar disorder is a manageable disease, but that he will need to take an active role in his treatment.

Ian, as it turns out, is not the only Gallagher who could benefit from a visit to the psych ward. Sammi’s mental health is rather unstable, and she poses an actual danger to everyone around her. It’s been clear all season that Sammi is struggling with Frank not needing her the way he did when he was sick. As the episode title suggests, her need to be needed is intense—so intense that she shoots Frank in the arm and then literally rubs salt in the wound in order to coax the words “I need you” out of him. As soon as they exit his lips, the switch is flipped, and Sammi becomes a doting daughter committed to helping care for her injured father.

It is terrifying to see the lengths to which Sammi is willing to go in order to manipulate Frank into saying words he doesn’t mean. Their relationship is predicated entirely on threats, and yet she accepts his admissions as though they are genuine. Frank is not the kind of person who tolerates situations that make him miserable. He is extremely resourceful in an evil sort of way, so it is a certainty that he will concoct some devilish plan to rid himself of Sammi. Whatever is ahead, it can’t be good.

Kev and V continue to grow further apart. V officially moves in to the room above the Alibi, prompting Svetlana to move in with Kev. Kev is smart enough to know it’s not a good idea, but it’s tough to argue with a woman offering to be so helpful. The surprise blowjob catches him off guard, though. In Kev’s defense, he tried harder than most could to turn it down.

With all of these bumps in the road for so many of the Gallagher relationships, it brought me sheer joy to see Debbie take a risk with Derek and have it pay off. After locking Holly in the bathroom to ask her for advice (and by ask, I mean threaten her with bodily harm), Debbie realizes that she doesn’t need any tricks. She does what Holly told her do (sort of), but ultimately she just lays it all out for Derek. She doesn’t want him to be her friend; she wants him to be her boyfriend. And then she gloriously lists all the reasons she is awesome, including the fact that she’d beat up anyone who tries to hurt him. Derek agrees with her self-assessment and shows her with a kiss. This is exactly the relationship Debs should be in.

Elsewhere on the South Side:

Lip missed out on this semester’s grant money because nobody told him about the paperwork that had been delivered to the house. In response, he takes one more step toward his new life when he gets himself a P.O. box.

Carl has taken Sammi’s son, Chuckie, under his wing at school in exchange for indentured servitude. Chuckie is happy to come at his Uncle Carl’s beck and call.

Shameless airs Sundays at 9/8C on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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