Even if the title ‘Sleep No More’ is a clear reference to Debby’s baby making it impossible for the Gallaghers to catch some Zs, it could also be interpreted as a wake-up call for many characters who seemed to be sleeping it off this season.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers
There’s no denying that many viewers haven’t been very happy with this season of Shameless, myself included. It’s not just Mickey’s absence, but many things seemed to be off this season: Fiona is just jumping from relationship to relationship (something that even Emmy Rossum herself has recently complained about), Ian’s EMT storyline doesn’t make much sense considering he hasn’t even graduated high school, and it’s getting harder and harder to understand Lip’s actions, among other things.
Starting first with Kev and V, their storyline with Svetlana seems to be heading towards a pretty interesting arrangement, so to speak. Svetlana and V have had sex twice and V finds it that she’s not against it. She’s not just sexually attracted to her, but she also feels that there might be something more. What hinted at a possible bisexuality in V could end up being even a polyamorous relationship considering Kev seemed to be pretty interested in the idea. Kev and V not being really married has been a thing for a long time now. Will Svetlana be the missing piece that helps establish this family once and for all?
Meanwhile, everything in the Gallagher household revolves around the new addition to the family: Franny. Debbie taking her newborn baby to school reminded me of when she took the flour baby to prove that she could handle both things. Remember how she forgot the fake baby in the train? Let’s be fair, being a first-time mother is hard whether you’re a teenager or an adult, but Debbie makes things even harder for herself by stubbornly refusing any help from others, especially from Fiona.
Frank tries to help both Debby and Fiona by using Liam and even lying about statutory rape to get money, which was classic Frank. Still, it was quite surprising that he was doing it for others and not for himself. OK, correction: he was doing it for Fiona&Debbie/himself, and not for drugs or alcohol. As per Sean, I have mixed feelings regarding his actions in this episode. When it comes to Fiona’s boyfriends, Sean has proven to be the most sane and mature one. He was very helpful with Carl’s situations and he was right saying that the Gallaghers need to draw some boundaries because having strangers throwing bricks at your house can’t be “normal”. However, confronting Frank and fighting him was not the right way to address the issue. As Fiona said herself, she doesn’t need anyone to step up for her and, when it comes to her father, she doesn’t really have a heart anyway, so Sean was probably just doing it for his own ego. Later on, and as if he we hadn’t seen enough shocking scenes yet, Frank actually ends up hiring a hit man to deal with Sean. Next episode is the season finale, and we know that Shameless finales don’t usually include big shocking events, but since Sean getting hurt/killed seems to be so obvious right now, it’s a possibility that Frank’s decision will backfire in an ugly way. You know Shameless: expect the unexpected.
‘Sleep No More’ is also a rollercoaster for the elder brothers, Lip and Ian. Ian was off to a great start as a trainee, but his background check quickly reveals that he voluntarily committed himself to a psych ward, which gets him fired. It seems like we won’t have to get to a situation in which Ian has a manic episode during working hours (although it could still happen), but this disagreement will still hopefully bring an interesting debate on the mental health stigma/discrimination there seems to exist in many workplaces. On the other hand, it’s hard to understand Lip’s behavior these days because it’s just so irregular. His problems with Professor Youens are a clear manifestation of his daddy issues, but I expected him to be mature enough to be able to see through it if only to keep his scholarship. In this same episode, he went from being at the Alibi studying and talking about making things right to getting arrested after having a fit of rage. There was a brief, but interesting conversation between him and Fiona in this episode. Lip complained that Frank/Youens/alcoholics shouldn’t have kids if they can’t be there for them and, even if Debbie is not a drunk and cares for her baby, I wonder how much of that was also directed towards her, as she certainly fits in the whole “being responsible” theme this episode had. Oh, and it was also very ironic that Lip complains about alcoholics when he’s headed towards being Frank 2.0.
Shameless had been nearly unrecognizable this season, but ‘Sleep No More’ brings many elements that we loved back into the picture. Frank is back doing the kind of ridiculous things that made us ironically love the character so much, the family is once again gathered under the same roof and some of the moments like Debbie dropping the baby or the breaking the window were some of those classic shocking moments that the series does so well. I do believe that ‘Sleep No More’ was the best episode we have had this season, so here’s to hoping the season finale can live up to it!