The title of tonight’s Shameless is “Crazy Love,” but it might as well have been V’s pointed line, “Whose side are you on?” Indeed, much of this hour—save for one central plot that I am going to choose to take as hopeful—seems to be about picking a perspective or opinion about the various Gallagher family members and friends as we go into the second half of season five. And with John Wells taking on scripting duties, it seems like the breezy fun of Shameless season five is entering its inevitable brisk autumn.
The most pointed aspect of that is of course the cliffhanger between Fiona and Jimmy being answered with a sucker punch and then a screw, because, well, Fiona. I do not think anybody was surprised to see Fi smack him half-a-dozen times or then invite him into her bed. However, I am a bit pleasantly surprised that she had enough regret to stop it the second time and is at least pretending that the marriage is own sure footing. Could this be a repeat of the Robbie scenario? I tend to think it won’t be quite such a fiery and humiliating implosion since I respect Jimmy better as a character and human being, but this is an awfully familiar drain for Fiona to circle.
With that said, I realize that there are plenty of fans that want to see Fiona and Jimmy work things out. There is an obvious crackle between the two characters and actors that seems to burn eternally even after he vanished for over a year without warning. But I call shenanigans on that. As someone who likes the energy that Justin Chatwin brought to the Gallagher household as the entitled observer with a bemused smirk—who didn’t love his welcoming nod to seeing Frank passed out on the couch, incapacitated by his own filth?—Jimmy has ripped through all of his chances with the Gallaghers. There is a reason that Lip and the rest of the siblings were practically begging Fiona not to kiss Jimmy through the window, but lo and behold, she caved once again to the guy who will disappear at the drop of a hat.
He tried to play house with her family, and it didn’t work. Sometimes you can’t go home, and that also goes for narcissistic exes. Honestly, it’s great to see that Jimmy didn’t get cut into little pieces to feed the fish of Lake Michigan, but while I have my doubts about the Gus marriage working out, Fi has been down this road—it ends with Jimmy overseas (apparently these days that’s Dubai) and Fiona piss out of luck, standing in a South Side blizzard.
Of course, Fi knows that this repeat of past bad decisions is almost trivial for her these days when compared to the reason that “sides” are being taken: V seems to be insisting that her marriage to Kev is ending. At first, I had written this storyline off as a sitcom situation—and the fact that it is still mostly played for laughs (as seen with Kev at the playground) makes me hopeful that I’m right. Nevertheless, the issue of intimacy vanishing with kids, while inverted here, is actually solidifying itself as a severe problem between the two parts of Shameless’ rock.
My feeling is that since V really didn’t walk out the door after last week’s cliffhanger when Kev checked on the babies, and that Kev is only on the couch and not looking for apartments, that these two can work it out. As for sides? Ironically, I am more like Fi in this scenario where I don’t want to make a stand. Things are never the same once children are involved, and it is bizarre that V thought they would continue to be so. However, if anyone doesn’t think that Kev isn’t losing his mind to go with his missing hair, I suggest you rewatch his latest playground rant. But being an overprotective father does not equate as the greatest parental sin, especially on this show, and for the Shameless power couple to end on such an issue leaves me relatively confident that they’ll still be Kev-and-V by the season finale’s close.
But something else that seems increasingly permanent is Sammi’s insistence that she is now the den mother of the Gallagher house. It’s fine and welcome at the moment because Fiona is lost in Jimmy drama (again), but Fi might want to take a little more interest in Sammi assuming her duties. It’s great to have a helping hand but, to put it nicely, Sheila might have had a point about Sammi’s maternal instincts when she often has sex with strange men in front of wee Chucky there. Making breakfast and offering lunch money is good and all for the moment, but I do worry about her ability to remain this stable. After all, Frank thought that she was the responsible one too….and maybe she still is in that comparison since Frank ended up in a hospital.
I say it’s safe to speculate that the Shameless series finale is being telegraphed starting here with the doctor telling Frank that if he screws up his latest liver that he’s shit out of luck. And we all know that Frank will ruin that liver, and that he will not be around in 10 years. So, whenever John Wells and/or Showtime feels the need to wrap things up, Frank’s tombstone will be part of that packaging. Or at least Carl will rummage through his pockets in a back alley, looking for change.
Yet, the one area that does not appear to be all doom and gloom (I hope) is Ian kidnapping a baby. Trust me, those are not words I’d expect to write in a positive light, but I remain cautiously optimistic that even pitch black cynical Shameless will find a silver lining in mental treatment for the middle Gallagher child.
Last week, I had not realized that in addition to fleeing Mickey, Ian also had stolen Mickey’s child. Frankly, it’s almost too incredulous to believe that the mother (illegal immigrant or not) did not call the cops right there. However, it was a sobering hour that interspersed Ian fully having a Monica styled breakdown. Ian running around with the baby from cops, butcher knives, and just a multitude of moving vehicles is what I imagine it was like watching Monica with Ian, Lip, and any of the youngest children for tiny Fi.
Yet, unlike Monica, Ian’s partner is someone actually reliable and sober enough to push Ian in the right direction toward help. I realize that the show is partially about the children repeating their parents’ mistakes in some degrees, and Fiona is certainly still on Frank’s path, if not with a bottle of alcohol in her hand. But Ian getting help might actually…help?
It certainly complemented the sign off on another hard-hitting hour with the Gallaghers. It was a great one though, if devoid of too few laughs for me to want to assign it a full five stars. Nonetheless, I am already tuned in for next week to watch Fiona turn her marriage into a game of jenga. And just think, Lip thought he would get to avoid the crazy by going back to school early!
Shameless Quote of the Week:
“Don’t do it.” – The Gallaghers