Frank in the Frame is the eighteenth episode of the eighth series and 100th episode overall of Shameless. It saw the brief return of one of the shows original characters: Kevin Ball. This episode is also 30 minutes longer than the usual 45 minute run time of the show.
Cynthia Feltz, an elderly woman with a much younger mental age, wins money from a scratch card in The Jockey. Frank makes his usual grab for any nearby cash when Karen cashes it for her but things soon take a sinister turn. Frank disappears from the pub for a while and returns with a large amount of money and covered in green paint, Karen and Jamie wonder where he got it but think nothing of it until the next day when it is announced that Cynthia was viciously beaten and mugged and green paint was found at the scene. Karen decides to look into the matter and starts asking people their opinion, the general opinion is that Frank would never go so far as to assault an old woman. Mimi meanwhile is disgusted by the events and announces that she will give £1000 to anyone who knows who the attacker is. Word spreads about Frank's possible involvement and DI Carroll, a female police officer begins to investigate. Frank is eventually arrested and it is revealed that his DNA was found in Cynthia's house but Frank truthfully admits that he has no memory of the night.
Carl refuses to believe that his father would do something to vicious and is forced to take charge for the first time in his life. When he hears of the DNA evidence he has an idea and with the help of Kelly he manages to contact Kevin Ball and ask for his help. Kev arrives on the estate for the first time in 5 years to help in any way he can. Carl states that he remembers Frank and Kev doing some building work in Cynthia's house years previous suggesting this could be how Frank's DNA got there. Eventually Kelly manages to track down video footage someone took with their phone of Frank on the night in question. Frank is seen with a notorious local drug dealer and gangster, Growbag McCreadie who slips a large amount of cocaine into Frank's pocket. Carl, Kev and the Maguires begin to realize that things are a lot more complicated than they appeared. When confronted in prison, Frank's memories begin to return and he remembers walking Cynthia home in the hope of getting his hands on her scratch card winnings and running into Growbag who made his younger brother Mushroom walk Cynthia home. Growbag gave Frank the cocaine and told him to wait in the Irish Club nearby until his return. Unfortunately for Frank, DI Carroll was listening as he recounted his story and she offers him a deal where he would be released and get witness protection if he gave evidence against Growbag. Frank refuses and with the help of Kev, DI Carroll come to a solution beneficial to everyone except Growbag. Their plan is to offer Growbag the location and time of an upcoming drug bust on his "patch" if he gives up his brother Mushroom, who it revealed not only beat Cynthia but also raped her. The plan almost falls to pieces however when Kev doesn't make it there and Carl, Mimi and DI Carroll are left to convince Growbag. Despite this the plan is successful and Frank is finally revealed to be innocent.
Elsewhere, Kelly admits to her brother Kev that she has feelings for Marty. Micky leaves the Maguire homestead after an argument with his mother over the boiler, he spends some time sleeping at Karen and Jamie's but Kelly suggests he move into Marty's squat.
- David Threlfall - Frank Gallagher
- Elliott Tittensor - Carl Gallagher
- Aaron McCusker - Jamie Maguire
- Nicky Evans - Shane Maguire
- Ciaran Griffiths - Micky Maguire
- Tina Malone - Mimi Maguire
- Sally Carman - Kelly Maguire
- Rebecca Atkinson - Karen Maguire
- Valerie Lilley - Patty Croker
- Qasim Akhtar - Chesney Karib
- Jack Deam - Marty Fisher
- Karen Bryson - Avril Powell
- Emmanuel Ighodaro - Jackson Powell
- Robbie Conway - Aidan Croker
- Kira Martin - Letitia Powell
- Alice Barry - Lillian Tyler
- Dean Lennox Kelly - Kevin Ball
- Beatrice Kelley - Cynthia Feltz
- Darren Jones - Butch
- Andrew Brittain - Newscaster
- Bethany Holmes - Bride
- Carol Starks - DI Carroll
- Karl Lucas - Branson
- Emma Kearney - Doctor
- Paul Oldham - Growbag
- Josh Brown - Mushroom
- Kieran Cunningham - Irish Club Barman
- Narrator: Carl Gallagher
- This is the second episode to not feature a Post Credit Scene (the first being episode 16 of Series 7). The extra length is the most likely reason for this.
- Veronica Fisher is mentioned.
- Paul Oldham, who plays Growbag in this episode appeared in Series 1 of Shameless as a bailiff.
- Debbie and Norma Starkey are seen in photographs along with Fiona who can be seen on a photograph in the background.
- Shameless' creator and executive producer Paul Abbott returned as a writer for this episode after not writing an episode since Series 4. When asked he said the episode was filmed as he wrote it due to the fact it was originally meant to be wrote by someone else.
- The Shameless Success of Northern TV Drama BBC, 30 August 2011.