Strangers on a Train is the fourth episode of the Season 4 of the US version of Shameless.
Against her better judgment, Fiona continues her secret affair with Robbie. The situation nearly boils over when Mike shows up at Robbie’s apartment while Fiona is inside. Fiona is able to hide just in time before her infidelity can be exposed. Frank, in increasingly dire health straits due to liver disease, attempts to contrive an “accident” that will provide an ample insurance payout to cover the cost of a potential transplant.
Fiona is on the train as Robbie gets on, sits next to her, and proceeds to try to get it on with her. After a brief encounter where Fiona gets off, Robbie gets off as well and slowly walks away.
Veronica later tries to talk sense into Fiona by bringing up some past indiscretions. Fiona’s attempts to spend quality time with her younger siblings falls flat. Robbie continues to tease Fiona by texting her and reminding her of their passion and chemistry. Though she tries to make him stop, deep down, she feels the chemistry too and cannot get away. She shows up to his place to tell him to stop contacting her. They end up in bed, and soon after Mike arrives for a visit. Fiona grabs her clothes and hides in the kitchen. After Mike leaves and Fiona heads out, Robbie infuriates her when telling her he needs to take a call from his girlfriend. Vee calls Fiona on her denial of being attracted to Robbie.
Frank is told he will have to be waitlisted for his liver transplant because he has no health insurance. As he finds out the high cost and long wait involved, Samantha comes out from her room at the hospital planting a big kiss on him, while the doctor looks on in shock. Frank explains, "My daughter and I are very close."Frank starts to plot a big accident upon the suggestion that Sheila has coverage on her home for any major accidents. Off to visit Sheila, when she fails to answer the door, Frank begins plotting his fall by lifting off a stair in the front of the house to intentionally trip on. With both himself and his plan falling flat, Frank asks Carl to break his leg. When that doesn’t work, Carl devises a plan that will get Frank to relax so he can attempt to do the damage himself. He jumps from a ladder while Frank sleeps and lands onto Frank’s knee. Frank goes to see Sammi and she tells him that they are not a match and she cannot be considered for the transplant. As Frank yells about how upset he is over the fact they don’t match, he accidentally blurts out that he is her father. She is shocked and screams at him threatening violence until he leaves, and throwing him out on his ass.
Lip shows up late to his midterm late due to a laundry accident. After his professor does not allow him to enter the exam after it started, he seeks the help of the Dean. He begs for a second chance to take the exam. The Dean does not give in and Lip proceeds to walk out of his office and go wild breaking windows on several cars, then finally running away from security. He ends up coming to visit Mandy to tell her he misses her. They end up in bed after Lip finds out her boyfriend is not there. After sharing her worry about the possibility of getting pregnant and asking for money for the morning after pill, Lip encourages her to roll the dice and see what happens. He tells her he may not want to stay in college and maybe they can have a little one together.
Later, at the Alibi Kev tells Lip to “grow some” and be a man by staying in school and not quitting just because of the midterm incident. Kev tells it like it is and takes no mercy on Lip when giving him advice. Lip heads back to school begging for mercy from his professor. He takes pity on him and allows him to test again.
Mickey is seen dragging Svetlana with him to confront her boss about her low pay. As the boss was away and there was only one guard present, Mickey confronts him instead. The guard states that Sasha (the boss) decides how much the prostitutes get for their work, and Mickey replies that Sasha needs to know that "My wife is a hooker, not a slave." At the guard's non-chalance, Mickey brings all prostitutes out of their rooms (even if they were having customers). As all the prostitutes (some seemingly confused but are perhaps following the crowd) leave with Mickey, Mickey states to the guard, "No one's getting laid 'til they get paid." Mickey brings the prostitutes to the Alibi and announces to Kev and V how he "emancipated my wife and her fellow cumguzzlers" and how he is their "abe lincoln." Mickey is shown to have a sense of justice as he discusses about the prostitutes with Kev, V and other customers (e.g. about how they do not deserve to be paid so little), but does understand they do not have much choice as they "barely speak English," etc, and are literally fresh off the boat. Mickey soon receives a message of Sasha wanting a meeting, thinking he has won, he prepares to leave the bar while announcing his success. On his way out, V asks him, "You know what happened to Lincoln right?" to which Mickey responds, "You kidding? I could barely get through the opening credits" and leaves.
Debbie tells Holly that her 20-year old boyfriend Matty said it wasn't the right time when she attempted to have sex with him. Holly, very surprised, says she cannot even imagine what that could mean since it has never happened to her. She gets advice from Mandy encouraging her to send a dirty selfie to her boyfriend. She tells Debbie that he is just scared of getting in trouble, and that is why he rebuffed her advances. Debbie attempts to take a selfie of her topless, when she decides a magazine pic would be much better. Later, upon seeing her boyfriend she tries to jump on him to get things going, but he explains that she is too young and not ready for sex. Ready to prove she is more grown up than anyone thinks, she offers to meet a boy in the bathroom some random boy who she knows nothing about other than he wants a quickie. Once in the bathroom, Debbie backs out.
When Mickey returns to the store, he finds it empty and eerily quiet, cautiously he takes out his gun and carefully heads toward the back. Sasha is found with the guard outside the back of the store, Mickey bargains with Sasha to give the prostitutes higher pay and "what happens in the ass stays in the ass," but she shows him the new prostitutes she has gathered and tells him to fuck himself, in simple terms. Mickey realizes he does not have much bargaining power as Sasha could just get new prostitutes. Finding himself now stuck with a whole group of unemployed/fired prostitutes, Mickey is forced to have them stay temporarily at his house until he figures out what to do. The prostitutes are constantly angrily rambling in Russian. One time, Svetlana angrily tells Mickey that he has "taken jobs away" and, "They say you're stupid fucking idiot!" Mickey asks her, "What did you say back?!" and she replies, "That you also have small dick!" Terry also reprimands Mickey, saying "it's my house" and "you do have a small dick." Terry also says it is indeed Mickey's fault for believing he could get these girls deserve any higher pay at all. He adds, "And let me tell you from experience, she isn't," meaning Svetlana, (this insinuates he has had sex with Svetlana before as well). One prostitute stomps up to Mickey while yelling at him in Russian, and he yells above all the noise in the house, "I don't know what the fuck you're saying!" And, nearly overwhelmed by all the turmoil and noise in the house, leaves saying, "Don't worry! We'll get a dick in you as soon as we can!"
As luck would have it, while Mickey was facing this trouble at home, Kev had picked up on Mickey's thoughts over how the prostitutes do not have much choice over their pay, and finds illegal immigrants to clean up the apartment above the bar, giving them extremely low pay for doing so. Mickey soon returns to the bar and suggests that Kev can have the prostitutes work in the apartment, saying that could earn him more than just renting out his apartment to a random resident. Kev and V agree with this and the prostitutes begin working there.
As Mickey and Kev decide on how much to charge customers and the prostitutes share, Mickey suggests to charge customers $50, while Svetlana and the other prostitutes get $17, the same as when they worked for Sasha. Svetlana objects, saying at least they had tables and walls back at Sasha's place, but Mickey states, "And we learned a valuable lesson. Anyone can jerk a cock. I jerk mine. He jerks his. Learn a unique skill or shut the fuck up." Frustrated, Svetlana leaves rambling in Russian. Mickey calls behind her, "Nobody knows what the fuck you're saying!"
Customers object at first to the "high" price that Kev and Mickey charge, but as Stan's son shows up with his group of "friends" to threaten Kev into giving the money he has owed. Kev gets an idea and convinces them to become his customers to get handjobs. The business manages to earn Kev a few hundred dollars to pay off part of his debt
Later, Frank is sitting sadly at the Alibi when Sammi comes to the bar to see Frank. She shares the pain she felt over the years wondering about her long-lost father and makes amends with him. Frank buys her a beer and the episode ends with the two going down memory lane looking through old pictures and Frank getting excited while sitting close to her.
- Frank plans to stage an accident for insurance money for his surgery.
- Carl injures Frank.
- Sammi finds out she's not a liver match and that Frank's her father.
- Fiona cheats on Mike again with Robbie.
- Mickey tries to get better pay for his wife and her coworkers.
- Kev tries to figure out a way to get work done for cheaper.
- Lip questions staying at school.
- Debbie's boyfriend breaks up with her.
Debbie:I just wish I could skip the part where I don’t know the right thing to do, and get to the part where I do
Fiona:What do you want me to say? That I'm self-destructive? That liars, and thieves, and addicts turn me on? That I don't know how to do a normal relationship?
V:Was that so hard?
Frank:What kind of system do we live in where you have to cripple yourself to stay alive?
Mickey:Sasha needs to find out that my wife's a hooker, not a slave.
Sammmi:You're my dad? I almost put you in my mouth!
Frank:I didn't ask you to do that.
Sammi:You dry-humped my leg for half an hour yesterday!
Frank:Dry-humping is not incest.
This episode was viewed by 1.22 million people.