In tonight’s Shameless episode – which is also available via Showtime’s streaming service – Debbie Gallagher (Emma Kenney) has stepped into the matriarchal role of the family that was previously managed by her elder sister, Fiona (Emmy Rossum).
Debbie is the third youngest member of the Gallagher family (not counting her daughter) and she has had some real ups and downs as far as being a character fans have both loved and hated.
Toward the very beginning of the Showtime series, Debbie was the young, sweet protector of the family. Things changed when she hit her teenage years and got her menstrual cycle. Sick of the Gallagher way of life, Debbie thought if she got her boyfriend at the time to knock her up, she could get married and be a part of his family instead.
Unfortunately, Debbie was hit with the hard reality when she tricked her boyfriend into getting her pregnant and learned he didn’t want to have a baby or build a family with her.
It was during those manipulative teenage years that fans developed a bit of a hatred for Debbie. She, however, proceeded to turn her life around as she discovered a career in welding.
Warning: The rest of the article contains spoilers from tonight’s episode of Shameless.
In tonight’s episode of Shameless, Debbie discovers her sister, Fiona, isn’t paying the household bills despite both her and Lip giving their older sister money to help cover the bills. This discovery isn’t made until the power company cuts off the power and Debbie learns they owe for an $800 light bill.
As she continues to investigate, the feisty young Gallagher finds that it isn’t just the light bill that hasn’t been paid. In true Gallagher form, Debbie heads out to the various offices with some money in hand as she comes up with various detailed stories as to why the entire bill cannot be paid.
In the end, the young Gallagher is able to get all of the utilities turned back on. She, however, decides to make an announcement to the other members of the family that the “squirrel fund” is back and everyone needs to do their part to keep the bills paid.
As those who have been with the series from the beginning know, the “squirrel fund” is a Crisco container in the kitchen cabinet every member of the family places earned funds in to help cover household expenses.
According to Debbie, it cost just shy of $2,000 to cover all of the unpaid bills and she needs everyone’s help to keep up.
— William H. Macy (@WilliamHMacy) January 18, 2019
As the episode progressed, Debbie could be seen unplugging appliances and doing things such as turning down the fridge in an attempt to use less electricity and save money on the power bill.
New episodes of Shameless air every Sunday night on Showtime.