The Shameless relapse rankings attempt to chronicle the Showtime series’ chaos by overanalyzing characters’ resistance to development on a weekly basis. That is to say, the Gallagher family and friends may be highly relatable and entertaining, but their dysfunctional tendencies and general inability (or outright refusal) to escape the codependent cycle beg for further discussion, and we’re happy to do so. SPOILERS will happen.
Here are this week’s rankings — from least to most trainwreck-y — from the season 9 premiere, aptly titled, “My Penis May Have Helped Heal You.”
If any character deserves a high five and future spinoff, it’s poor Liam, who’s actually the Gallagher most likely to someday pull away from the rest of the gang (although he’ll require a lifetime of therapy). The kid’s still attending a fancy private academy while his grifter father, Frank, stealthily robs his classmates’ families. At the end of season 8, he stood apart from the rest of his family by being the youngest child to ever refuse to help Frank pull off his crimes. Liam doesn’t get much face time in this episode, but he does take a bold stand by attempting to return some stolen wares to their rightful owners.
Debbie’s finally semi-happy during this episode. She’s thrilled to have a welding job, so she can support baby Frannie, but she discovers that her male colleagues, unfortunately, are all being paid more despite their qualifications and level of experience being equal. Absolutely enraged, she goes to absurd lengths to make her point, even wearing a giant diaper (and delivering an effective performance of “relief” in the above screencap) to prove how ridiculous her supervisor’s “bathroom time” excuse really is. Debbie finally receives a promise for equal pay and walks away like a champ. But will she take a further stand during the next episode after her boss called her “Jugs”? Stay tuned.
8. and 7. Kevin and V
The Gallaghers’ neighbors may be about to lose their minds, but they’re probably the most functional they’ve ever been as a couple after their mutual sexual awakening last season. In addition, they’ve lost their troublemaking, Russian third wheel, but to their dismay, this departure led to an unwanted side effect because the couple can’t get their twins to calm the hell down. How did Svetlana manage to tame the pair? Vodka, most likely, but to Kevin and V’s credit, they don’t resort to liquor, even after cracking a joke to that effect. Instead, Kevin runs the twins into exhaustion with a rousing game of fetch, which might be the healthiest parental move ever displayed on this show.