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Last Night's 'Shameless' Took an Unexpected Turn Toward the Devastating

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | February 10, 2014 | Comments ()


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When I was 17, I was arrested with a few of my friends for a crime we very much committed (the details aren’t necessary to this story). We knew it was coming, and we all settled on a specific story, and one by one, those stories crumbled during an interrogation by a local detective and an agent from the Tobacco and Firearms Commission. My interrogation came last, and by the time it had arrived, the truth had already been revealed. My interrogation was a formality, but a formality that I couldn’t go through with because, while all of my friends had already gone through with the question and answer session and left with their parents, I was left alone in a waiting room because the cops couldn’t locate my father.

When he finally arrived, hours later, I went through the interrogation, got caught in all the lies we’d made up with our settled upon story, and like my friends before me, copped to the truth. It was, in a way, a relief, an even bigger one in the end when they finally let me go, knowing that I would not have to face the consequences alone.

My father didn’t see it that way, however, and on the drive home, he wouldn’t speak to me. I tried to underplay the arrest, explain to him that it wasn’t a big deal, that we’d probably get off, and that the police knew we were smart kids who’d got caught up in something we shouldn’t have. My father, however, was having nothing to do with it. He stared straight ahead, visibly upset. After he drove a block or two further, however, he broke his silence with a sob, and ultimately had to pull over because he couldn’t stop crying into his steering wheel.

As it turned out, it wasn’t my arrest he was upset about. The reason why he couldn’t get to the police station earlier for the interrogation was because he’d been preoccupied. Earlier in the day, he’d walked in on my brother in his bedroom. My brother had a belt around his arm and a razor blade in his hand. He was attempting to kill himself.

My brother was 14. And with that, my big day at the police station was a complete afterthought.

That’s the kind of devastation that last night’s episode of Shameless captured so well. After dealing with one horrible situation — the threat to Fiona’s job caused by her own reckless sexual behavior — and celebrating the fact that she’d overcome it, the Gallaghers were hit with an even graver one. While the Gallaghers were dancing and partying because Fiona was not going to be fired, four-year-old Liam had gotten into the cocaine that Fiona’s ex-boyfriend’s brother had left behind, and that Fiona had rejected. Liam had straight up ingested a large quantity of it, however, and was found by his older brother unconscious on the kitchen floor.

Liam, barely clinging to life, was brought to the emergency room by paramedics, Fiona was arrested for endangering her brother, and that threat of losing a job — a concern that had taken up most of the episode — suddenly felt small and insignificant.

That’s how you deliver a sucker punch, Shameless style. When you live in a family like the Gallaghers, every minor victory is hit with an even bigger defeat. Every small mistake begets a bigger one. Fiona let her sex drive get the better of her and slept with her boss’s brother. Ultimately, that may not only cost her the job she worked so hard to get, but a brother she’d struggled for so long to take care of.

This is what it looks like to be stunned by disappointment, shame, and fear.

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In better news, however, Ian is back after going AWOL from the military and maybe stealing a helicopter, and guess what? He is fabulous.

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(Ian GIF Source)



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • stella

    Fuck. Fine Ill watch it.

  • Michelle

    Ha! I just thought the same.

  • Ben

    When Frank pulls something that inevitably fucks the Gallagher's I just kind of shrug it off as Frank being Frank. But when Fiona does after crucifying
    Frank for every mistake he makes it's devastating and it makes me hate her more and more and there are times where I truly pity her. She's been dealt a shit hand, but she often just makes things 1000x worse for the other kids. I thought it was pretty telling when Fiona asked Vi if she was self destructive and that in regards to a relationship. Fiona is so self destructive that it could potentially shatter the entire clan and she has no one to blame but herself.

  • Debra Kessing

    no one to blame but herself? You serious? I think Frank and (to a lesser degree) her mother can take most of the credit. Fiona has been a mother since she was a kid and she has never fucked up, she has supported her siblings as they fuck up around her. I am not excusing her now but I hardly think she bears full blame.

  • Sean

    "she has never fucked up"? Example one-Carl. Clearly a pyschopath. Fiona did most of the parenting there. Fiona has made mistake after mistake. Basically neglecting the kids this season. Not caring where Ian is. Completely forgetting Liam, which the show cleverly made us all do as well. I don't really blame Fiona's chracter for most of the various issues. She raised herself. And doesn't know how to be anything else. But the Liam thing is not a forgiveable thing. It is an interesting plot twist.

  • Ben

    Like I said, she was dealt a shit hand but she makes some very stupid choices that harm the whole family. Don't get me wrong, Frank and Monica did their damage, but Fiona isn't helping. Just look at this season. Good job, nice boyfriend, actually being able to pay bills and provide some support for Liam, Carl and Debs and as soon as Robbie shows up she starts fucking all that up because he's the "bad boy". That has nothing to do with either Fank or Monica. That is a situation where she deserves the full blame.

    I work with addicts and the homeless and I understand how a traumatic childhood can effect a person, I see it everyday, but at some point in time there has to be some self accountability. Fiona is well beyond that point. She even recognizes it when she asked Vi about being self destructive.

  • Dumily

    I get what you're saying. When Fiona said, "I thought he was in the living room" I thought "Maybe just don't do coke in front of any of your underage siblings?" So yes, she fucked up and she fucked up huge. The difference is when most 24-year-olds get into drug related fuck- ups on their birthdays, it doesn't ruin their lives and the lives of all of their family members. Having been incredibly poor and now hovering solidly in middle class, the thing that's hardest to take is how people treat you when you fuck up. When you're a good, middle class kid and you fuck up, people tell you they're disappointed because this isn't who you're supposed to be. When you're poor and you fuck up, they tell you this is exactly who you are.

  • intheyear2000

    Liam's just been there in the background all season. Not involved in any plots really (even though there were mini Liam-related plots in past seasons), not speaking (even though he's old enough for a few words). Someone would pick him up, give him a kiss, refer to him, but that's it. Of course toddlers get into things. It makes perfect sense given the circumstances that this would happen, but I just didn't see it coming at all. Even though the coke on the table was basically a Chekov's gun, it completely took me by surprise.

    I've gotten so used to everything being sh-tty/heartbreaking and the Gallaghers always pulling through in the end. So even if everything's a disaster, they're tough, they'll be okay, they're all in one piece. This just really stunned me.

    Also, Fiona's legal guardian of the kids, right? So even if she doesn't have to serve time her guardianship is definitely in jeopardy.

  • competitivenonfiction

    I'm so glad that I haven't watched it yet and that I was just spoiled. I know now to skip the mascara and buy some tissues because I've been terrified of this (or something like this) since the series began.

  • Sean

    Interesting. I didn't see Ian as fabulous. I saw him as completely fucked up. Like all Gallaghers. I actually had missed that character all season.

    To me, the best scene was the one with Lip and Debbie on the train. The total horror on his face when Debbie was talking about trying to have sex. And his reaction of love and support. Jeremy Allen White is really good.

  • Naye

    Yea I thought that was sweet, because the parent in me wanted to throttle her. It makes me think of how tough it is to draw boundaries as a parent and still keep the same open level of communication. sigh....I have a daughter....more sigh.....and I was off the walls as a teenager.....even more sigh

  • I thought Ian was exhibiting some of the same manic behavior as his mum, which was heartbreaking since he had previously seemed like he had a decent chance of escaping through the military.

    Also, Jeremy Allen White needs to be in a lot more stuff.

  • Dumily

    I was thinking coke, but the mania is a much better call.

    Jeremy Allen White should be in everything. I am so very, very uncomfortable with my feelings about him given his age.

  • Sean

    Isn't he mid-20s?

  • Dumily

    22. Legal, but younger than my "baby" brother.

  • Sean

    I looked it up, he turns 23 next week!

  • Jenn Hamm

    Wow, that didn't even occur to me. Perfect observation.

  • Sean

    Mania Symptoms

    Mania symptoms may include excessive happiness,
    excitement, irritability, restlessness, increased energy, less need for
    sleep, racing thoughts, high sex drive, and a tendency to make grand and
    unattainable plans.

    Katie71483, great call.

  • intheyear2000

    I didn't even think about that, I thought he was just on something. That makes sense though.

  • Jenn Hamm

    Ian did NOT come across as "fabulous" to me...his scenes were some of the saddest of the episode, IMO. I love Shameless. I've watched each season multiple times. But, damn. This season has felt like a gut punch every episode.

  • Naye

    Absolutely, he was not even close to fabulous. He was clearly high, and clearly going through some amazing shit. He's fully embraced his homosexuality but this came through some sort of extreme duress we have yet to understand, and I can't think that all of this is just about Mickey, there is no way. He's been good at getting into inappropriate relationships, maybe this season will be a visit into his psyche as to why. I was beginning to think that Ian's story was going to be the saddest of them all but Fiona definitely wrapped that up in the last five minutes. I also cant help but think that things are finally going to hit the fan for V and ole Magic Dick.

  • Sean

    They are fabulous at the gut punch. Setting you up with the absurd Russian hand job hookers, and Carl being Carl. Then destroy you with the kid you forget about.

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