Shameless: Order Room Service, Review

Questions to answer. Will there be an answer? Tell me! ... TELL ME!!!

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So is he dead? Like is Jimmy sleeping next to Luca Brazi with the fishes or has he simply been sent packing to Estefania in Canada? And will it be answered at all this season?The Shameless writers lived up to their show’s name when they left us guessing with these questions and more for the penultimate episode before next week’s finale. When the season started, producers indeed warned us a character would die this year. Whether it is Jimmy or not, I still think next week will turn up (another) corpse in much more stark terms, but more on that in a moment. On its own though, I do not see how Jimmy can get out of this. You do not fuck up with drug cartels and that boat ride did not exactly look like it was going to be a cruise (unless it was of the Carnival variety). Plus, they gave a lot of room for this to be the end of the man we once called Steve.Jimmy and Fiona have been on the outs all season. For starters, Fiona has not been very receptive to Jimmy’s feelings. Your dad turned out to be Gay? Suck it up and deal with it, crybaby. You have a thought about not wanting to raise these kids for the next 17 years? Shut up and deal with it, you whiner. Still, Jimmy always knew that the kids were a packaged deal with Fiona. He enjoyed tutoring Debs in thievery during Season 1 and getting Carl braces by the end of Season 2. He even bought them a car at one point. I get that he wanted to wine and dine Fiona, but he always knew that she had enough baggage to fill an airport. So, his sudden reservations about living in a slum feel convenient for the plotting, if understandable.What has not been so understandable is how he botched up this whole Michigan thing. If he wants a break, man up and tell her. Instead, he leads her on and lets her start looking for schools in Michigan. Just as she gets excited about moving with her med school bound beau, she discovers from a phone message that he is planning to rent a studio apartment in Michigan. In short, he wants out. Yet, even when confronted with this, he tries to squeeze his way around her by saying he will visit on the weekends. Well, it is all moot now because you cannot visit from the bottom of Lake Michigan. And yet, I wish the scripters had the guts to write Jimmy as somewhat likable in what may be his final episode before turning him into guppy food. Next week’s supposed resolution on this point ought to be interesting.This episode also marked a small miracle. I finally feel bad for Karen! She got out of the coma, but has the mental capacity of a small child at this point. With no short-term memory or the ability to comprehend thoughts beyond hunger or sleepiness, she is as helpless and docile as Sheila could ever want. Also, since Jody woke her up with the tongue of…pleasure?…she is now attached to her husband. So much so that Sheila is encouraging the two of them to go live in Arizona with Hymie (Karen is the mother, even if she has the current mental aptitude of a chimp). It is moments like these that really do put into context how awful it is that Mandy went Glenn Close on her fatally attractive rival. However, it seems almost cheep that they would give permanent mental damage to Karen simply so we as an audience would feel bad for hating her during most of Season 2. It is a transparent ploy, but I cannot help but pity her and Jody for taking it on himself to look after her. I hope this will not force Sheila out of the show as well with all her supporting characters living by the Grand Canyon. Surely there is a reason for her to be involved in Gallagher affairs?Lip took the realization that Mandy destroyed Karen’s life fairly well. He waited the whole episode to blow up at her because, as Kev recommends, you need to back away very slowly from a girlfriend who would run over your ex. Still, the sight of a vacant Karen who could not even remember the time he went down on her in a Bennigan’s bathroom is too much and Lip finally crashes Mickey’s wedding (more about that in a moment) and calls her out on the whole attempted murder thing. She throws it back in his face that she has moved on, but their lives are obviously in shambles. Not to be outdone, the equally angry and far more intoxicated Ian blurts out during Mickey’s wedding that the two of them enjoy fucking. Ah, the Gallaghers and Milkoviches; they are like the Capulets and Montagues if Verona was a crack whore alley.There are some other amusing tidbits this episode, my favorite involving Frank getting in a homeless squabble with another train sleeper over who has supremacy for MTA hopping (Frank is clearly no longer the face of the LGBT community). He ends up robbing Carl’s former foster parents’ apartment and getting arrested. Yet, all this stuff is superficial to the main dramatic beats. Fiona almost sleeps with her boss (gets to second base) and calls a probably-dead Jimmy to try to work things out. Ian has sex with Mickey for (hopefully) the last time and let’s go of his love. Lip ends things with Mandy and must let broken Karen go West with Jody.It was a surprisingly poignant episode for the show, even if the narrative short cuts they took felt as cheap as a crappy brand of whiskey that Frank found at the bottom of a bus depot.Personally, since we know that Lip is graduating from high school next week (a first for the Gallaghers), I imagine that Mandy will ruin the festivities with a suicide, thereby fulfilling an indisputable “death” for the show. But until then, goodbye Jimmy. You were a fool, but damn letting Estefania getting pinched by INS was not worth going out LIKE THAT.

Most Shameless Quotes of the Week:

“And the public schools there?” Fi about Michigan. “They’re a hell of a lot better. A called a few of them and they actually answered the phone!”“I want to get to the school early. I want to swap some bags of tater tots from the cafeteria for Mickey’s wedding.” Mandy.“I’ve been sleeping in this carriage for six years.” Hobo on the train. “I’ve pissed, puked, jizzed in it. By the law of bodily fluids, it’s mine.”“If it’s about infants, college or tiny dicks, I’m the wrong guy.” A satisfied Kev to Lip coming for advice.“Make her think it’s her idea. Keep your distance, because once they get behind the wheel, there’s no going back.” Kev.