The dysfunctional degenerates of the Gallagher family are back for a third season. The premiere episode of Showtime's hit "Shameless" was heavy on toilet humor and hope as the six kids tried to keep their heads above water, as usual.
With Frank missing for 137 days now (Debbie, who made a shrine to her dad, is the only one keeping count), Fiona has one fewer problem on her hands as she continues to raise the brood as best she can. One big adjustment for her, though, is that her boyfriend, Jimmy (also known as Steve), is now living in the house. Even though he's helping out with the home and kids -- especially watching baby Liam all day -- Fiona is disenchanted and bored with him.
Fiona is pleased that she has nailed down a job that pays $14.50 an hour, even if she's part of a crew that cleans up toxic waste and raw sewage spills. The urgency for money is great since she needs to pay off their $1,000 property tax bill immediately. Unfortunately, she gets laid off after spending a day knee deep in sewage. Thankfully, her final check will cover the tax bill that's been looming.
Where's Daddy Frank? He doesn't even know, when he wakes up in an alley. It turns out he's in Mexico and in quite a pickle. Without a photo ID, he can't get back into the United States, no matter how much he pleads with border agents.
His attempt to cross the border illegally is thwarted by officials, but he finds a means of passage that's less than appealing. A drug trafficker cleans him up, gives him documentation, stuffs him full of cocaine (if you know what we mean), and sends him on through to the United States.
In other news from south of the border, the Brazilian mafia -- which is headed by Estefania's ruthless mob-boss dad -- corners and kidnaps Jimmy. The dad demands Estefania's location, and Jimmy takes them. She may be Jimmy's wife -- he married her so that she could stay in the United States -- but he doesn't know what he's about to walk in to.
When they're inside Estefania's apartment, her boyfriend, Marco, walks into the room naked and is blown away by her dad, sending her into a hysterical fit. Jimmy is forced to assist in the dismembering of Marco's body. Later, on the mafia's luxury yacht, Estefania's dad -- who's disposing of Marco's body parts -- makes sure that Jimmy (terrified at this point) is a "man of his word" and will live as Estefania's husband if needed, so that she doesn't get deported. He agrees. Clearly, Jimmy is in well over his head.
Lip and Ian (in true scrappy Gallagher fashion) find a way to make some money, but when they steal a laser from a campus, they get busted, and Lip goes to jail. Ian and Mandy manage to bail him out. Why does he need a laser? He's building a robot to fight in the school's robot-war event. Lip might come from the wrong side of the tracks, but he's a bona fide genius, and his robot literally blows away the competition. They win the grand prize and $400.
Having lost her job, Fiona decides to take a gamble with the $1,000 she earned. After negotiating with the strip club manager at the joint where she used to tend bar, Fiona gets her chance to take a stab at promoting a night at the club. It's a huge opportunity that costs her $1,000 -- the money intended for the property taxes. Thankfully, Lip's win will help cover some of the cost.
Back at the house, everyone is in good spirits over their recent successes, laughing, chatting, and smiling over the dinner table. Just in time to ruin everything, Frank walks in. Everyone stops and stares; Debbie is the only one who runs up for a hug. Then they turn back to their meal and continue as they were.
Later we see that Frank was able to "retrieve" all the cocaine that was inside him -- gross! Perhaps he has a new career on his hands.
"Shameless" airs on Sundays at 9 PM on Showtime.