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Frank and Fiona unite in the new Shameless

The Gallaghers can never really catch a break in this series, we’ve seen way more than once a good thing turn sour right before them just as they began to appreciate the benefits. There are so many examples in earlier seasons that is almost become like a running gag. The only difference this time is that Fiona saw it coming this time, which is not only a sign of growth, but almost like a mantle being passed away, separating her from her family.

In a fortunate turn of events for the series as a whole, the episode moves from the mess of too many plots as a whole, to a very thematic cause-and-effect story line that addresses the many poor choices made by some of the Gallagher clan. While not all outcomes are bad per se, they definitely have some serious implications for not only the rest of the season, but the rest of the series as a whole.

From Debbie getting what is coming to her from her negligence, to Fiona finally getting the last “I told you so” out of her system, we begin to see some serious self-realization from certain characters. Unlike Frank, they finally discover guilt and move a step far beyond to see that sometimes they are their own worst enemies. Yet at times, their own disastrous ways show them the path away from those terrible memories and sometimes even contain the experience to help another.

Recap

The episode picks up directly from where Ian and Carl left off, as they got chased down by a crazy meth head who was living in Monica’s storage unit, accusing them of stealing it. Of course Lip passed the blamed on to Monica, putting them in a $70,000 debt to some drug dealers. Frank’s new leaf is breath of fresh air, until he refuses to take any responsibility in stealing the meth in the first place, blaming his older self, the old Frank, as the culprit. They try to hide it but Fiona is totally on to them.

V is finally starting to realize how good their finances were when Svetlana was around, raising her child now while Kev seems to just worry about passing faulty genetics to his kids. He is equally obsessed with cancer awareness, going as far as feeling up Fiona’s chest to give her a proper breast exam. It’s weird, but not weird because it’s Kevin and…for science!

Lip is having his time put to good use working at the motorcycle garage and complaining about Sierra and the meth drama. While his fellow addict is tired of hearing about it, he gives him a welcome distraction to focus on other than self obsession. Speaking of addicts, Professor Youens gets so drunk that he drives into someones house.

On Ian’s end, he’s slowly getting back into good rapport with Trevor, though sometimes it seems like he is not only trying way too hard but going to extreme lengths to get some pity. Fiona starts to clean up the mess that the multi child mother left behind in the wake of her eviction which consists of baby shit all over the walls and the very flattering, “thundercunt” drawn on the walls. It’s safe to say she has gotten her hands full trying to lease that apartment. Nessa to the rescue with some latte as Fiona tells her about the time consuming nature of credit checks. Nessa’s partner schemes to get her own friends in the apartment.

It does, somewhat

Lip goes to pick up his Professor to help him out from this rut and many injuries done both to his person and life as a whole. Even more sad to his story is that the only reason he called Lip was because no one else in his family would receive his call. Youens is pretty sure he’s going to end up in prison. Meanwhile, Frank, now thinking he’s a saint, thinks he’s found some spirituality and likes to be referred to Francis. To be fair, he sounds more like a stoner than he ever did….being sober now and all. Kevin is still obsessing over his genetics that it leads to a discovery of where he came from, considering he is an orphan. Turns out he’s from something called the “Huntsville sub group,” which is a group of people from Kentucky who were cut off from the rest of the world. They are known for being one of he most inbred populations in the United States.

This is what five DUI’s looks like

Fiona interviews her first leaser and it’s basically a dream come true, until Nessa’s wife ruins it by telling him the place is riddled with bedbugs.

People finally to give Debbie a reality check that with another woman giving Neil his sponge baths, she better watch to that he doesn’t leave her, especially given her treatment of him. At least she has the decency to admit herself that she doesn’t want him, but at the same time she heartlessly mentions she’s only with him for his insurance and steady disability income. We can see some of the old Frank in her more than we can in Lip just because of this moment.

Lip tries to help Youens find a lawyer but then realizes why no one will take his case. He has already had five DUI’s. At this point not even getting sober may help. Though Lip really never reached this point it is incredibly heartbreaking to see him try to help his Professor through this bad phase. It’s really a sad scene as Youens tells Lip to go. He doesn’t need a lawyer and doesn’t plan on going to jail…he’s contemplating suicide. Nessa’s friends try to to talk down Fiona to four hundred dollars less than what she’s asking, showing her as the culprit.

Effect finally comes to fruition as Carl is basically being drowned in his hot tub when the meth dealers come to collect, giving them twenty for hours to come up with the seventy grand. Veronica pushes Kevin to meet his family as they bear an uncanny resemblance to him, he struggles with this decision remembering the way he was abandoned. The rest of the Gallagher boys learn more about the man after them as Debbie finally gets kicked to the curb by Neil. Hate to say this to you Debbs but you kind of deserved this. Lip deals with the fact that Youens saved his life with rehab and now feels so guilty that he can’t help him. Helping another through the same situation is the best way to heal yourself.

If V and Kev’s problems aren’t getting worse, they get the bill for his biopsy and a Russian Realtor pricing the bar out for Svetlana, who is in prison yet still retains ownership of the bar. V goes to see her in prison and makes a deal to get her out of prison to help manage the bar and the children. Frank is still not taking responsibility for the meth problem and discovers guilty which actually makes him want to help. It’s a hilarious struggle by the way. Fiona savors the fact that she was right about the meth in the first episode. She goes a little too far in the “I told you so,” and they’re now going to her for help in finding the last two pounds of meth buried in Monica’s grave. It’s is nice to see however, the family finally united for once. Even Frank is finally taking responsibility and using his employee discount for shovels.

The episode ends with Frank taking charge of the meth dealers, paying them only half but dosing out some good threats and reasoning as to why it’s enough. It’s a nice scene as Fiona actually shows some daughterly appreciation. Lip brings rehab to Youens with all his recovering buddies around to support the old Professor in his time of need. Fiona at long last lets the ghetto out on Nessa’s partner; she tells her to come clean about the bed bugs story and to stop playing her game or Fiona will play back much harder.

A united Gallagher family

Review

A lot less was going on this episode compared to the previous one but as the old adage goes, quality over quantity. The story was more concise and served to bring the family together as one again which is something that has been sorely missed for at least two seasons now. Though what it took to get there was more than questionable, I guess in the end the means were justified, sort of.

In terms of Lip’s current plot, it’s actually one of the more better written scenes. He sees a mirror of himself in Youens. Not that he was ever as bad as him, I mean the man’s age alone and number of DUIs is testament to how far his alcoholism has stretched on, even when compared to someone like Frank. Nevertheless, it isn’t the alcoholic we see mirrored into Lip, but the desire to help someone struggling with it. He and Youens bond over caring for one another thanks to Youens paying for Lips rehab; in this way it was something he never saw in Frank, thus he could not feel sorry for in terms of Frank. He wants to help his tormented Professor because it was what was done for him. A beautiful reciprocation to be built upon.

Other than Lip the episode was mostly focused on Fiona and learning to stand up for herself in front of those thought to be intimidating. She has taken Nessa’s partners bullshit for three episodes, and the conflict finally came to a head when she tried to swindle her friends into the vacant apartment with promises of cheaper rent. This obviously did not stand, and only served to fuel Fiona when she found out about the bed bug lie.

As for her relationship with Frank, only time well tell how long that will last for. Rather, how long Frank will last in his current state of mind. That comes with my only issue with the season so far. Frank’s new lease on life is the only real overarching plot encompassing the entire season so far. There’s no overall struggle that the family is dealing with as was the case in the older seasons. The meth issue did have its merits but ended with this episode, as far as we know. I want to see something big happen, not just a “what are the Gallagher’s up to this week?”.

Are we, though?


All images courtesy of Showtime

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    Hey, everyone! Just your friendly neighborhood nerd. From NYC/NJ, 28 years old. Ask me about a Fandom and I can go on for hours. Firefly, Penny Dreadful, and A Song of Ice and Fire are my favorites, let's get nerdy.

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