Liam befriends World War Two veteran, Reggie, to help him with a school project. Troubled and lonely without his sister and fed up with Libby's well-intentioned interference at home, Liam finds solace in his friendship with the old man. But when Libby spies on them, she jumps to the all the wrong conclusions - leading to a tragic confrontation between the Gallaghers and Reggie.
Maxine is shocked when her brother, Bruce, turns up with a black eye claiming a homophobic attack by their dad, but her loyalties are tested when she confronts their father and discovers the real story. Bruce's arrival as an openly gay man on Chatsworth agitates the locals and he quickly outstays his welcome at Ian's house, but he charms his way into Mimi's heart and the Jockey, leaving Mickey teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Meanwhile, Karen is put out when Joe appears to have moved on by taking control of his life and attending anger management classes.