An alcoholic man lives in a perpetual stupor while his six children with whom he lives cope as best they can.
We start with Frank (William H. Macy) in jail (having taken the fall for the robbery he got Carl to commit with him), where a very large black man approaches him and starts to undo his pants. Frank moans, “Again?” and it turns out the guy has to use the toilet. Ha! Probably the only funny prison rape joke I’ve seen all year.
Frank’s cellmate asks him for advice in getting out of having beaten his ex to death with a telephone, and Frank replies, “God gave you the race card for a reason, Julius – play it.” Ouch. Frank’s just sore because the prison doesn’t have an open bar or dispensary – but before he can complain too much, he collapses from substance withdrawal just as his roommate is evacuating his bowels mere feet away. Or as I called it, “college”.
Debs (Emma Kenney) is upset that Carl (Ethan Cutowksy) got braces and now won’t floss them – Carl replies, “flossing’s for fags,” demonstrating that kids do repeat what they hear their parents say (Frank called his foster gays the same thing just last week). Lip (Jeremy Allen White) tells the kids that they’re not going to Michigan after all, but Fiona (Emmy Rossum) won’t talk about it. It’s also the day that Lip can pick up his diploma – Fiona is clearly more excited about this than he is.
Ian (Cameron Monaghan) breezes through the room in full camos, and Lip chases after him – “Yo, GI Jane!” Ian says he’s all dolled up for some pre-Christmas-break ROTC thing but Lip doesn’t seem to be buying it. We follow Ian to the Army recruiting center, where he tries to enlist for active duty. The recruitment officer encourages him to take some time to think about it, but Ian demonstrates that he’s completed part of the training already, is a good student, and is not screwing around. The guy tells him to come back in the morning with a photo ID and he can get on the bus to basic training.