“May I Trim Your Hedges?” was the wildest episode Shameless has put up yet during its season 3 run. This show is so fresh and funny that I almost forget how much heart it has. Well, I guess anything remotely honest is a tearjerker, when contrasted with the episode by episode descent into the depths of Hell that is Frank’s (William H. Macy) series-long story arc.
Debbie (Emma Kenney): The kids on this show have been put through the ringer and then some over the course of their lives, but nothing will ever beat the expression on Debbie’s face when she realized a pervert was getting off to her on the city bus. (I feel uncomfortable even writing that.) Fiona (Emmy Rossum) nearly ripped the loser’s head off, but the aftermath of the scene was kind of heartwarming, no? I enjoyed watching the worst of the neighborhood thugs, Mandy’s family included, gather together after setting aside their differences in order to lay the smack down on a local pedophile. I know, I know… violence is never the answer. Spare me. In the end, little Debbie had written off love forever, until she got to know Kev’s (Steve Howey) ex-wife’s son. Debbie experienced the lowest form of perversion and her first kiss all in one episode! Also, how could you have not appreciated Debbie’s martial arts skills?
Veronica (Shanola Hampton): After witnessing Kev’s sort-of-ex-wife roll back into town on the episode prior, Veronica started “May I Trim Your Hedges?” down for the count and on the Gallagher’s couch. Kev mostly played dumb, choosing to believe the woman’s lie that she just happened to have car trouble in their neighborhood. She had a kid in tow and a clear agenda. Still, he printed out divorce papers and awaited a notary’s arrival. Only, he never actually managed to get the papers signed. The meeting slipped his mind after he and his wife got to talk down at the bar. As it turned out, her son could very well have been Kev’s.
If Veronica was somewhat devastated to hear that Kev simply forgot to get divorced, she was absolutely shattered when it was let slip that Kev could be the father of that twelve-year-old boy. You had to love Fiona when she stepped in for a speechless V, calling out Kev for his put-on dumbness right in front of his wacky “wife.” In the end, Kev showed up at the Gallagher’s for dinner and was up front with Veronica, claiming to want to get to know the boy that was most likely his son. The wife, on the other hand, was totally old news. Everybody knows that if V and Kev can’t make it, the world of the South Side implodes.
After Veronica got the dinner table all snotty (I Love Carl!), the whole gang erupted in laughter, only to have the reconciliation soured by the unwelcomed visit of Kev’s ex. Assuming (correctly, kind of) that the girls were laughing at her, she exploded and admitted that the boy wasn’t even hers, he was her sister’s! That was enough to prompt Veronica to remove the earrings, and at that point, we knew what would go down. Few scenes have been as satisfying to watch than watching V pin the woman down and force her to sign divorce papers. In the end, the very normal boy, Kyle, hid while his crazy aunt packed her bags and left.
Lip (Jeremy Allen White): After the ragtag gang’s hunt for any pedophile who merely resembled the man who’d wronged Debbie had found their target, all but Lip were disappointed to find that the culprit they’d turned up was actually an attractive woman. While Ian (Cameron Monaghan) argued that it was “different” for a woman to sexually assault a teenage boy, Lip called bull. A teacher sleeping with a young student is child molestation in any case. It made no difference if the woman claimed to have been “in love.”
Determined to prove his point, Lip decided to play younger and seduce the former teacher! Seriously, how funny was it to watch Lip play “naïve and sexy” in front of that twisted lady? It all played out like a scene from a dark Lifetime movie. Acting as a high school sophomore looking to make some cash by “trimming her hedges,” Lip had the woman hooked after a single juice box and a pb&j with the crusts cut off. He screwed up in the end, giving into the hottie’s temptations and allowing her to “take advantage” of him.
Mandy (Emma Greenwell) knew something was up when Lip underperformed that evening. Also, the fact that the freaky teacher had swiped his pubic region clean with Nair that afternoon was a dead giveaway. I loved Mandy even more when she showed up at the woman’s home and drove her out of town that night. All it took was the asking of her brothers to dig the pedo’s grave in her own front yard. At least Mandy was kind enough to give the woman until the boys had hit six feet under to pack up and leave! In the end, they sold the perfectly fine grave to a couple of thugs looking to ditch a body.
Fiona: Fiona had her hopes dashed several times over the course of “May I Trim Your Hedges?” V and Kev are her rocks, and witnessing their potential demise was harder for her at times than it was for them. In addition, Fiona had attempted to land a job at the supermarket, only to have the manager hint at sexual favors in exchange for hours. The fact that she’d bared witness to the creep on the bus didn’t help either.
Meanwhile, Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) had been gallivanting around town with Estefania, posing for fake wedding photos in order to fool Immigration. On the ride home, a horned-up Estefania put the moves on Jimmy-Steve, and he did nothing to truly stop her. It was his driver, his boss’s henchman, who shamed Jimmy. He’d recognized by now that Fiona is a good girl, and that she deserves better.
That night, Fiona cried to Jimmy about the copious amounts of awful human beings in the world, only to thank him for being trustworthy. Love is one thing, but trust is more. Just like that, we’re reminded of what makes Jimmy so problematic in the long run. I just find him so hard to sympathize with, and I always have.
Ian: Still determined to discover whether or not he and Mickey (Noel Fisher) were an actual couple, a frustrated Ian watched puzzled as his boy asked some random female neighbor for sex. Apparently, everybody has sex with Angie, even gay boys. Things changed quickly, though, as Jimmy’s father showed up at Ian’s work to invite him out for drinks in front of Mickey. Mickey’s jealousy started percolating, at this point. He even went as far as to watch the two on their friendly date from across the street. After bumping into Ian and his older sex buddy post-date, Mickey exploded violently as a reaction to having heard Jimmy’s dad refer to him as Ian’s “boyfriend.” Leaving the man bloody in the street, Mickey and Ian ran as far away as possible before flirtatiously roughhousing in an alleyway. Boys will be boys, I guess?
Frank: Calling child services on his own family was hard to top, but what he did this week could compete. Stealing the money for Karen’s baby’s vaccines and making it seem as though he’d taken the infant to get them by jabbing him with a whiskey soaked pushpin was a close second, right? Frank’s scheme of the week surrounded his attempt at swindling a “Make a Wish”-esque children’s charity. When Sheila’s adopted son didn’t work, Frank convinced Carl that he had cancer (!), shaved his head, and brought him down to the charity in an attempt to score basketball tickets! Things backfired for Frank this week, though, as the only thing the woman managing things could offer was a spot for Carl at a camp for kids with cancer. Well, Carl was clueless, so I hope he enjoys camp!
What did you all think of Shameless Season 3 Episode 3, “May I Trim Your Hedges?” Are you for or against Jimmy? How can Frank possibly crawl any lower? What are your thoughts on the Milkovich clan?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Shameless Season 3 Episode 3, “May I Trim Your Hedges?”