Chicagoan Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) is the proud single dad of six smart, independent kids, who without him would be... perhaps better off. When not at the bar spending what little money they have, Frank's passed out on the floor. But the kids have found ways to grow up in spite of him. They may not be like any family you know, but they make no apologies for being exactly who they are.
Now that Fiona has a steady job and Lip is enrolled in college, it looks like the Gallaghers may have a shot at happiness. But when you're down and out, moving up isn't so easy.
While Fiona adjusts to living life just above the poverty line, she refuses to share a liver with Frank, forcing him to go in search of his other oldest daughter.
While Frank gets (maybe too) close to his unsuspecting daughter Sammi (EMILY BERGL), Fiona hits it off with Mike's drug addict brother, Robbie (NICK GEHLFUSS).
In increasingly dire health straits, Frank attempts to contrive an "accident" with an overeager Carl that will cover the cost of a potential transplant.
Fiona's bad decisions finally boil over when Robbie alerts Mike of their affair — leaving Fiona horrified and in employment limbo. Frank and Sammi continue to bond over his liver
While the family (minus Frank) waits nervously for any update on Liam's condition at the hospital, Fiona lands in county jail — unsure of Liam's condition or her future.
With Fiona under court order to remain inside the house and Frank's illness keeping him out of commission, the weight of guardianship falls squarely upon Lip's shoulders.
Fiona prepares for a visit from her probation officer while Ian makes his long-awaited return to the Gallagher house.
Carl shares a connection with a troubled girl named Bonnie in detention, while Sheila returns from her trip to the reservation with plans to adopt the Native American kids.
When Fiona goes off the rails, by partying with Robbie's degenerate friends, the family goes into search party mode Â– not unlike their past experiences with Frank.
Frank wakes up from his operation, while Fiona is hauled away to a tough correctional facility. Meanwhile, Ian delivers an ultimatum to Mickey after his lack of commitment.
With Frank beginning to recuperate, Sheila fights for custody of the Native American kids and clashing with Sammi about where they will all live once Frank is released.