Fiona tells it like it is in this week’s Shameless emergency family reunion. Meanwhile, Frank ends up in a shelter and starts a brand new Gallagher family for himself.
Finally, Frank has got quite the storyline for himself this time around. And while all Season 7 trailers hinted as this being a major part of the plot, I’m starting to have my doubts given how quickly it advanced in only one episode. Frank has not only made Dollface his new Monica, but he’s also replaced the entire family. These are the ideal Gallaghers for him, and the adults are as rude as him, which proves to be a hassle for everyone around them. Since the shelter is getting shut down, Frank takes responsibility for everyone in there and takes them all to a new place. While this might be an ideal solution for him, it’s obviously not going to work in the long run. Aside from the legal problems coming his way, he will soon realize he’s got to take care and provide for everyone, when he can barely provide for himself.
Kev, V and Svetlana have just started their brand new business, but things don’t quite go as they planned. For starters, Kevin realizes that they can make way more money by just parking the (obscene) van in inappropriate places and then ask for money to move it. For seconds (and this is a big one), Svetalana’s father (Pasha D. Lychnikoff) randomly shows up. Even though Svetlana and him have a really violent fight, she actually wants to have him around because she’s still grateful for him as his daugther… even though he sold her to sex slavery when she was 10. As expected, Kev and V don’t like having him around because of the babies, but he also works a as a Deus Ex Machina to take care of the Alibi.
Ian’s problems don’t have anything to do with romance anymore, even though his break up with Caleb is a factor in it. Just as many speculated last season, Ian’s bipolar disorder finally comes to play him during one of his missions. Him having a manic episode without realizing it (his break up with Caleb being a stress factor that could mess with his meds), and the fact that the victim was a schizophrenic victim are both triggers that make Ian take a rash decision that could have ended up very badly. Even though his mental illness is no longer a major thing in the plot, it’s still something that’s always going to be there, and Ian has to learn to accept it, no matter how hard it is. This made his scene with Lip all the more heartwarming, as the elder compared his disorder with his alcohol problems, and talked about how they’re doomed for having Gallagher genes. That includes Carl as well. The scenes featuring the three brothers have been one of the highlights of the season, as seeing them being so honest and supportive of each other while still adding a touch of comedy is great. After being done with his circumcision dilemma, Carl now believes he gave Dominique gonorrhea. Lip and Ian are the ones to tell him that, if he doesn’t have it, it’s not possible for him to give it to anyone else. Carl then finds out that Dominique had been cheating on him during the time they couldn’t have sex. This leads to Carl and Dom’s father finally get along, not that it counts for much now that the relationship is over.
Another Gallagher that sees their storyline reach somewhat of a conclusion is Debbie. I’m honestly surprised that they hadn’t caught her before. Even though Debbie has been having kleptomanac tendencies since the series began, she’s far from being subtle about it. She’s also lucky that the store manager called Fiona instead of the police, and that she somehow believed Fiona’s made-up story. There’s no way that excuse would have worked in real life, especially with that amount of money, but we’ll let it pass if only to give Fiona a break. On the other hand, could Liam be getting someting ressembling a storyline??? Hopefully it’s just the result of being under Frank’s influence for the past episodes, and his siblings will be able to put him back on the right track, as well as involve him more in the family dynamics.
The best part of the episode (and probably of the season so far) comes last when Fiona improvises a family meeting. Fiona, who’s more independent than ever, announces that, since they’re all grown up, they need to start helping with the finances every month, otherwise they’re out. While it’s not right for parents to force their kids to bring money if they want to stay in the house, Fiona is not their parent. Ian and Lip are probably as old as Fiona was when she started working several jobs to keep them all fed. Fiona also had the perfect comeback for Lip for what he said before: she’s as likely as any of the others to make something of her life. Surprisingly enough, Lip actually smiled at that. Lip and Fiona have had their ups and downs as the two older siblings, and I’m sure that Lip being irritated for having to earn more money doesn’t take from the fact that he felt proud of her at that moment.
While I think Fiona is completely right and I certainly hope the writers go through with this, I can’t help but ask that question that keeps popping up every now and then: isn’t Fiona supposed to be their legal guardian? I would understand it if she simply asked them to start bringing money and to give her some space in the emergency contact list, but to give them such an ultimatum seems a bit harsh. Other than that, this meeting was a turning point and should bring new exciting things for the season. So far, many of the things that were criticized from Seson 6 are being fixed.