Wow, this Shameless episode did not end where I thought it would. After the upheaval of the last few weeks, I was ready to settle in and watch a nice hour of Frank Gallagher reenacting the premise of The Hangover to lesser effect than the 2009 film, but with far greater success than its sequels. Also, Debbie is moving on to her next obsession involving boxing and another boy (how cute), and Carl is following Frank into the unofficial Gallagher business! But best of all, it seems that Fiona has simmered down, relaxed, and is now prepared to start a healthy mature relationship that is chaos free. I always thought if she just calmed down a little with age that she’d work through her—oh, and there she just agreed to get married after nine days of dating.
Well I feel sheepish. This must be like what happens when you trust your luggage to Ian Gallagher.
Yes, tonight’s Shameless, “A Night to Remem – Wait, What?” dropped a bombshell that proved that yes Fi still gets a high off of craziness. And at the risk of sounding unromantic, agreeing to marry a guy whose last name you cannot spell doesn’t seem like the wisest of choices to me. But hey, this is why we love Fiona Gallagher, even as she is going the full Elaine Robinson.
After lulling us into believing that Fiona has overcome her need for drama, which in retrospect she insisted not only to herself but to fancy pants bossman Dermott Mulroney quite intensely, Shameless ripped the rug out right from under unsuspecting viewers. Sure, she is no longer smitten with every bloke that comes up to her at the bar, especially when she has a seemingly stable if “boring” boyfriend at home, but she plunges into a new sort of rash decision-making all the same. Still, I got to say it is a hell of a lot better than her Robbie shenanigans from last season. This is quite literally what annulment was invented for. At least they can spend the meantime enjoying ER reruns (I think we all see what you did there, John Wells).
Meanwhile, the driving force of the episode is the equally tempestuous choices made by Frank Gallagher, which shockingly ended up doing some good (despite his kicking and screaming to the contrary). Like a Todd Phillips movie, Frank had used all of his ill-gotten fortune payouts for injuring himself (to the tune of $124,000) on a great night. In fact, it’s a night so wonderful that he can’t remember a damn thing about it.
This is an amusing choice by the Shameless writers to not follow up the implosion of Frank’s marriage to Sheila and the explosion of his home. Where is he living now, and how did he finally shake Sammi? By sidestepping these questions, I’m a bit disappointed we were denied the immediate aftermath of his dire choices, but hey, Frank made some all new ones, like buying a $60 thousand car and then careening it into some poor schmoo just doing his job (bye, bye Porsche).
Yet the one thing that probably hurt Frank the most was donating the majority of his money, which got doubled in a bit of blind luck gambling, to prosthetic limbs for homeless children. We all have our charities, and I am really proud that Frank found his. He even grabbed one of the legs he purchased from a sick little girl and made her hovel after him while running around the doctor’s office!
Frank Gallagher is a man who once tried to seduce and sleep with his own estranged (and oblivious) daughter to manipulate her out of a liver, so at this point nothing he does surprises me. But my horror and admitted laughter at seeing him try to steal that leg and run out of the office confirms what a terrible person I might be. Thank you, Frank.
Of course, I doubt anyone believed he was keeping even a 10 grand of his fortune, because Shameless would not be Shameless if they came into money. Still, I am distrusting of good hearted Buddy Diamond since he clearly took tens of thousands of dollars from a man obviously stoned out of his mind and then spent it all in less than 48 hours. I’m sure he thought Frank was just a kind-hearted benefactor.
Also this week, Lip got to meet Amanda’s folks again, and he is really hitting it off with the dad. That each of their children has their own separate nanny was a nice touch, but Lip is increasingly headed to the land of sunshine and not-backbreaking labor. There is a look of survivor’s guilt on the young Gallagher’s face when he is told that next summer he’ll have a serious paid internship, but come on, he still looks more jazzed than he does at clearing bricks for a coffee shop. Heck, most undergrads haven’t heard the words “paid” and “internship” in the same sentence for a decade. Lip just needs to embrace his ride to the upper middle class and beyond. Knowing Shameless, however, the curveball is coming, probably at the speed of a Debbie Gallagher sucker punch.
In other news this week, Debbs is now learning to fight. Or rather, she is getting closer to the cute boy that stood up for her by taking boxing classes. All of this for now seems great since we get to see Debbs not taking mean girls’ crap. But honestly dude, be weary of any drink she hands you….
There were also more telltale signs about Ian’s increasingly unavoidable bipolar condition and a rather sitcom-y subplot between V and Kev (albeit at Showtime levels when the instigating concern is a dance floor orgasm), but I am steel mostly reeling at Fiona’s decision to tie the knot for the first time.
The good news is that Gus is definitely not Frank Gallagher. But since she only learned a day earlier about his income (a pretty nifty video game music gig too), I’m not sure she’s ready to move in. Nor, does it seem like she considered that when she got “home” and had to ask Debbs to watch Liam for the night. Who is going to play den mother now, as it certainly won’t be Lip when he goes back to school or Ian when he crashes. Maybe Gus is going to be the new live-in father figure. He should ask Jimmy how easy that is; it shouldn’t be hard since Jimmy is likely having Fi’s big tipper keep track of her for him….
It’s a lot to take in, which I think Fiona only started to realize during her pre-end credits’ Graduate moment. Oh well, at least Carl is moving on to find his true vocation. And honestly, he’s in safe hands with Frank’s encyclopedic knowledge of gram distribution.