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Can I Have a Mother is the sixth episode of the second season of Shameless.

Plot Summary

The arrival of Grammy Gallagher brings Frank and Fiona together, while the return of Steve is fraught with complications for Fiona.


Grammy Gallagher arrives at the Gallagher Household by prison hospital bus, while Debbie and her friends are running their daycare. Debbie notices the van and meets Peggy while unaware of who Peggy is and thinks she has the wrong house but the latter tells her it is the right one. Peggy makes several comments and decides to go inside, before Debbie asks her who she is and Peggy tells her that she is her paternal grandmother, to Debbie's shock. Peggy then meets Carl and knocking out a piece of the wall, she claims a gun and money while telling the kids not to tell Fiona as they are more than happy to keep her secrets after being handed a $100 bribe.

At the Alibi, Frank is seen making a speech to the patrons about money before he turns to see his mother and is horrified to discover her released. Kev congrats Peggy on be released as the latter thanks him and talks to Frank. She shanghaied her son into helping her go after an old dealer who profited from her arrest. Peggy soon makes an enemy of Sheila, with her rude nature. She later confronts the dealer now a doctor and demands money from him, though he couldn't pay and she planned to kidnap his daughters. Frank steps in and warns him of his mother's plot, though he gets a large sum it ends up ruining the deal as he only got a quarter of the promised 200,000 dollars. The mother and son are shown to have a frosty relationship, as she stabs him in the leg for trying to swindle from her. Later on, Frank's childhood habit of wetting the bed returns and he urinates in Sheila's bed, to his dismay.

The Gallaghers attend a party at the Jackson house, where Peggy is still rude to Shelia who insults her before Peggy threatens her and even tries to shoot. Taking advantage, Frank calls the cops but Tony Markovich stops the arriving officers and resolves the issue, to Frank's dismay. That night, he secretly enters his mother's room and nearly shoots her while she is asleep but can't bring himself to do it.

The next day, he argues with Sheila who orders him out of the house and he goes back home.

At the Gallagher's home, Carl is seen playing a video game that Peggy bought him and Debbie is displeased by this. Peggy notices and says Debbie gives her coffee, she may get something too and the latter does while Peggy gets a box that contains a new laptop. Debbie is overjoyed and tells Fiona about this. Fiona talks with her grandmother and the latter gives her money to fix things up, while offering more time to learn more about each other since they missed out during her incarceration when Fiona was eleven. Frank returns home and looks through the mail as Peggy tells him that she has the letter for Ginger and compliments his cleverness of profiting from her death but tells him she'll be taking over in the house. However, Frank lashes out her and states that he won't subject to her will, as he insults her parenting style and orders her to stay away from his family and to get out his house. Walking down the stairs, Fiona stops mid-way after hearing Frank's shouting as Peggy is unfazed and gets Frank to comply by insulting him, labeling him a loser. Crestfallen, Frank gets her the purse and leaves to sit on the porch as Fiona appears and comforts him by giving him a beer and they bond over bad parents while he takes her words with a smile.

At night, as Peggy took his room, Frank sleeps in the old van in the backyard with Carl who wakes his father up to tell him that he wet the bed. Dismayed at this, Frank tells his son to move aside for the dry area and goes back to sleep.


Regular Cast

Special Guest Star

Guest Starring


  • James Wolk - Adam
  • Rob Benedict - Dr. Noah Pitts
  • Lisa K. Wyatt - Constance
  • Louise Fletcher - Peg Gallagher
  • Kerry O'Malley - Kate
  • Justin Mitchell - Malik
  • Amy Xianglin Shi - Sue
  • Dale Wade Davis - Gary
  • Sue Gisser - Nikki


  • Mike Cochrane - Alibi Bar Patron
  • Kerry Finlayson - Sister Ruth


  • This is the second appearance of Peggy Gallagher.
  • The younger Gallagher children didn't know their grandmother, while she was imprisoned since Fiona was eleven.
  • Frank mentions Liam being his son, which he learned in Nana Gallagher Had an Affair.
  • Liam is mentioned but not seen.
  • Fiona finally learns Steve's real name is Jimmy.
  • Peg mentions Ginger being buried in the backyard, which is what Carl told her.
  • Fiona finally understands the root of Frank's bad parenting stems from his poor example from his mother.