Shameless season 9, episode 1 premiere recap: ‘Are You There Shim? It’s Me, Ian’


After news the Emmy Rossum would be leaving after this season, the tension and expectations for this season were intensified. The season 9 premiere of Shameless did not disappoint, as each character had to decide their only level of worth and value in their station in life.

Fiona was a woman on a mission for freedom and independence in season 8 of Shameless. She finally parlayed some good old South Side hustle into some actual South Side real estate. Now it appears that Fiona is again domesticated. Ford has moved into her apartment, in her building, or so it seems.

Fiona and Ford seem domesticated, but Fiona is still showing insecurities. Ford has a few items laying around Fiona’s apartment, one of which is a secondary phone. Fiona only finds out about the phone because Ford left his jacket before work.

Fiona brings him his jacket, which had to seem odd. When she finally brings up the secondary phone to Ford, he calmly explains it away. Because of course, he does. Ford is always calmly explaining the situation to Fiona in his narrative. She always seems to hear him, though she does not get to speak to Ford’s Irish mother Patricia.

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Ford does leave the apartment mighty quickly after Fiona pried his sleeping eye to unlock the phone. He also says his piece about bailing out Ian and walks with his boxes. They are not going to unpack themselves.

While Fiona is worrying herself with Ian’s bond and her real estate values, Frank is finding value in having multiple real estates providing him a small stipend per visit. Fiona really wants to find the value of having her own place. Frank is reaping the rewards of many. His routine evens affords him the value of free health care.

The freedom to do as he pleases has come at a cost. None of Frank’s kids value him, and now Liam fully understands why Frank was ostracized from the house. Frank’s scheming leads to nothing but trouble and dishonesty. Sometimes this festers until an emergency PTA meeting is not only necessary but also requires a lawful quarantine.

The kids are alright, it is the parents who need attention and treatment. After a round of testing, the infected parties are kept detained in the school gym. Slowly the PTA meeting begins to turn for the wicked, and Frank’s life is in more danger than the toxic marriages.

Frank knows when to turn the tables, and when they’ve been turned. As Frank slowly accepts that his gigolo gig is up, he transitions to a relationship counselor. When on meth, he mines copper from abandoned buildings. When he is sober, Frank mines for silver, one place setting at a time.

With an angry mob forming, Frank needed to find some good will. With a touch of Gallagher branded group therapy, almost everyone in the quarantined gym leaves feeling better about themselves. As Frank so eloquently asked the doctor, “Who knew STDs could bring so much happiness?”

Not every relationship made it through the season premiere in good standing. Carl’s wife Cassidy may actually not be seen or heard from again. As long as no one finds the body, Carl’s cadet will be seen as competent. If and when that body is found though, Carl may have to cross the wire and enter enemy lines. Gallagher’s attract crazy, but many are finding they enjoy a quiet peace.

Kevin and Veronica have not had peace since Svetlana split. The kids are just so energetic now that Svetlana is gone. Veronica even surmises maybe they were scared with the rowdy Russian around. At their wit’s end, Kev and Vee built a children’s cage slash playpen inside the Alibi.

Then, a dogwalker gives Kevin some inspiration. Playing fetch with the girls late at night in the South Side streets is not a viable option. Thankfully, some well-mannered children in the park alerted Kevin and Vee that preschool was an option.

Lip is running out of options. Xan is still living in his room, in Carl’s old bed. In the 12 step program, it is recommended that addicts successfully tend to a plant before they jump into a relationship. Lip ends the first episode still tending to a child that is not his, and being drawn into arguments with the borderline drunk maids of honor. Being told he is no fun as a sober guy and is a terrible lay is a threat to his sobriety, let alone his Gallagher pride.

Ian is still tending to whatever wounded flock with which he identifies. Leading a jailhouse strike of the sexual prey from the predators’, Ian has found another calling. He has a purpose which he feels important. He does not appear to be on his medicine, however, which is concerning to everyone except Fiona.

It’s Fiona going to bat for Ian’s bail though. Isn’t that the price of being a Gallagher? Has the price changed? Is it the Gallagher’s themselves that have changed, along with the South Side in general? Or is it that when someone, even a Gallagher, decides they are a ‘hot, gay Jesus’, that’s a line too far?

Next. Shameless season 9, episode 2 recap. dark

Perhaps it is as simple as no sane person, even a Gallagher, has ever said they did not want to be bonded out as soon as possible. Ever Gallagher has only demanded the freedom to hustle and respect instead of judgment for however they made it through.

While Ian has lost sight of that Gallagher identity, Debbie is crusading for wage equality. Once that is accomplished, at least for her paycheck, it’s on to sexism in the workplace. She has to set the example for Frannie that her mother wasn’t available to teach. Fiona’s slapdash approach got her through, but now Debbie is fighting her own battles.

Watch each Sunday as the Gallagher’s fight to survive on the South Side continues in season 9 of Shameless.