The Countdown is the first episode of the fifth series of Shameless.


Just another drunken night at The Jockey turns into Frank's worst nightmare when he awakes the next morning to find himself in hospital where a doctor tells him that he will be dead before the weekend. Monica upsets Frank by telling him that he has nothing to show for his life due to his alcoholism and bad parenting. Frank has a vision of his younger self and after a day of soul searching Frank discovers his legacy - his eight children. However, when he returns to hospital the next day after being injured at a fight in The Jockey he discovers he hasn't got Aortic Stenosis and the women who told him so was getting revenge after he insulted her husband.

A changed Lip returns to Chatsworth and is greeted with open arms by Mandy and his family. However, his life at university catches up with him when his girlfriend arrives wanting a shoulder to cry on. Mandy is devastated when she discovers Lip has been in another relationship and tells him that it is over. After a fight in The Jockey Lip decides to leave his life in Chatsworth behind, realising that he doesn't belong there anymore.

Karen and Jamie make a pact to have sex each day of their married life, but running The Jockey and trying to be a good friend to Mandy stops Karen from keeping up with the routine. It has been a while since Carl had sex and he decides God is the key to getting a girl on her back. PCs Stan, Tom and Carrie try to discover if Lillian is running a Brothel, but Lillian manages to fool them into thinking they have closed the brothel down.

Post Credit Scene

Debbie is sat at her computer watching part of the video Frank was making earlier in the episode when he thought he was dying. Frank speaks as if to Monica, admitting that when they were first together he had sex with her mother and fathered Monica's little sister!


Regular Cast

Guest Cast

  • Karen Bryson - "Doctor"/Hospital Visitor
  • Craig Shepherd - Young Frank Gallagher
  • Emily Bowker - Alex
  • Roger Kennedy - Big Dennis
  • Darren Connelly - Bloke
  • Mary Sobers - Prostitute
  • PJ Delvin - Jockey Piano Player
  • Alex Moxam - Lad


Deleted Scenes

  • Alex, Lip's university girlfriend slaps him before storming out of the Gallagher house. She quickly returns shouting about her car, she and Lip head outside to find it up on blocks with all it's wheels missing, Mandy appears and comments on what a mess it is. Later, Alex is angrily walking with Carl who offers to call in some favors and get her wheels back while Alex asks what kind of place Chatsworth is. Carl berates her for believing Lip's convenient lies about being an orphan with no responsibilties, to which Alex angrily replies that being naïve is not a crime. She asks how much it would cost to get her wheels back, to which Carl replies that everything is negotiable and she can start by buying him a drink.
  • Original Post Credit Scene - Carl is seen right in front of the camera fiddling with something off screen. A girl laying under the covers of his bed asks what he is doing, to which he replies that he is just setting the alarm. He then climbs into bed with her, grins at the camera and pulls the covers over their heads.