Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Shameless. Catch up on previous coverage here.
I wouldn’t have blamed you if you had mistaken this week’s episode as the season finale, what with the breakneck speed the show turned out scenes and plot developments at. Every storyline this week adopted the same frenzied attitude that Fiona has about her soon to be wedding, when instead each scene needed about 30 more seconds to become substantial.
Barring the mud pit wrestling, obviously.
I’m not keen on how quickly Fiona is leaping into marriage with Sean, as it tracks many other foolish and rash decisions she’s made in the past. Also, with all the commotion surrounding it, and the fact that Fiona Gallagher isn’t allowed to be happy (arguably missing her one and only shot when she didn’t run away with Jimmy) is anyone else worried that Sean is heading towards an OD? It would be a criminally cheap tactic for the show to make and would undermine any value they’ve built int his story. Yes, addicts relapse (sometimes fatally) but Sean already did: wouldn’t it be more interesting to move forward and have his addiction just be something of an ongoing battle for both him and Fiona? I’ll save my anger for (when) if it happens.
One character who manages to escape my scathing eye this week is Lip, who has been on the receiving end of it for most of the season. No, I am not satisfied (or even convinced frankly) that Lip would crumble so far because of Helene, but watching his run of luck disappear sets the stage for what could be some interesting storylines.
But that’s a big could.
He is at rock bottom though. His instant cowed shame when he’s told by the head of the sorority that he urinated on her while black out drunk is palpable, and from there he spirals until he’s back at the Gallagher household, all of his possessions in a box. The most interesting facet of the story comes from of the all too brief scene with the counselor, who he’s forced to see because of breaking the alcohol code of ethics for the school. It’s illuminating for the character, who brushes off the fact that he’s been drinking since he was ten, when anywhere else it would be tossing up red flags with a gusto, as it did seemingly with the counselor. Those are the scenes I’d love to watch play out, ones where Lip has to face head on the demons he didn’t even know he carried because they were the ones that are born from his DNA.
Elsewhere it was difficult to get a hold on just about any character or storyline, since the episode’s pace gave us maybe a minute or two with each character. Carl deciding he wants to be a cop is funny enough and sets the character on a more interesting path, but it’s a rapid development. Ian also has a storyline that could have been interesting if it wasn’t just going through the paces. On the one hand, I am very happy that they are finally allowing Ian a moment of happiness, and while I think him lying about being bi-polar is going to come back to bite him (and was it really plausible for him to do that?), it should open up some new story-telling options when he becomes an EMT.
Then there’s poor Debbie, who finally goes into labor and Frank has put the bar so unbelievably low that him waking up and driving her back home to have the baby was so spectacularly kind to her that she names her daughter after him, Francis. It’s a scene however that does highlight Debbie’s naivete compared to the other Gallagher’s, exaggerated more when she refuses to let Fiona board the ambulance, a sign of her maturity while she also looks alarmingly the youngest she has in a very long time.
Paradise Lost was too quickly paced to land any real emotional weight, but it sets up stories that could be potentially interesting, but that’s a lot of hopeful thinking.