Liam denounces religion at school, forcing Debbie to think of an explanation for his behaviour to stave off a visit from social services. However, pretending her brother has cancer backfires when the entire community suddenly gets involved with the cause - while an unwitting Frank and Sheila decide to reunite the family in their hour of need by moving back in.
Lip gets a job at a hotel, and is soon collaborating on a towel-stealing scam with one of his colleagues. However, his new friend has a secret agenda - which has dire consequences for Kash. Kev's sister moves in with Frank and Sheila, who are surprised by their guest's voracious sexual appetite.
Following a robbery at the shop, Mandy gives birth to Lip's daughter, but her family do everything they can to prevent the father from seeing his baby - until he claims to know the identity of the thieves.
Meanwhile, Kev's luck appears to be on the up when he receives a horse-racing tip, but when the rest of the estate get wind of his scam, it all goes horribly wrong.
Carol is enraged to learn Lillian had an affair with her husband in the 1970s, so decides to exact revenge by reporting her to the DSS for benefit fraud. This sparks panic all over the estate - especially for Frank, who has been posing as the late Brendan for financial gain. Carl agonises over being in love with Lip's girlfriend Emily, but as he tries to win her affections he succeeds only in creating more problems for himself.
Kev wakes up on his birthday in high spirits, only to learn his mother has thrown herself from her balcony. He is further perturbed by the presence of ex-wife Roxy at the funeral, who then pursues him in a bid to win him back. Veronica finds the pair in a compromising situation at Kev's mother's apartment and refuses to listen to his pleas of innocence.
Carl gets a job growing cannabis for the Maguire brothers, but ends up getting arrested. His problems aren't over when he's released, as his employers suspect him of being a grass. As a family feud gets under way, Mandy forbids Lip from seeing their son, so he decides to restore the peace by tracking down the real informant.
Debbie grows envious of her new best friend, and is made to realise how much she is missing out on a 'normal' teenage life. A power cut at the Gallaghers' illuminates Sue's increasing debts, and she shamefully absconds, leaving Marty in all sorts of problems. Frank's latest money-spinning scheme backfires, while Lip, Ian and Carl are forced to deal with a food shortage.
Sheila orders a conservatory for her backyard, but doesn't bargain on the builders excavating for the foundations - forcing her to tell Frank her first husband is buried under the patio. Meanwhile, Veronica comes up with a money-making scheme when her final attempt at IVF on the NHS fails, and it looks increasingly likely that Debbie will be the only Gallagher at the wedding.