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Shameless - Gallagher Pedicure & Sleepwalking - Review: "Time to go Gallagher"

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That's just what they did. They went Gallagher. When Cassidy isn’t the craziest part of the episode, you know that Shameless is back on track. These episodes had all the makings of what makes Shameless great, but as a season finale, I was expecting more. This season hasn’t been consistent, but these last two episodes definitely made for some great television. They were good episodes, but there was nothing in that ending that me yearn for the next, nothing that made me hope that 2019 comes around sooner rather than later. I could have seen these two episodes doing incredibly well mid season, but as I said, not to conclude the season. This said, Shameless is still a show a thoroughly enjoy, this season simply was disappointing.

First off, there was Fiona and the fuckers who were suing her. They’ve gotten her apartment, they’ve gotten her poor dog, but they definitely have not taken her Gallagher spirit. They’ve actually revived it. The hardship brings out the side of Fiona that has been missing for part of the season, and oh how I’ve missed it. With these episodes, I’ve realised I enjoy when she’s on the same level as everyone else, when acts just crazy enough, like she doesn’t have everything figured out. They've tried to change her character too much in the past seasons, and it didn't work for me. Lately, she's been back to her old self, and it's been absolutely great.

“Is this fun or what?” -Fiona

After learning that they were suing her for 6 million dollars, Fiona tries going the politically correct route, but they had changed the locks on the doors. Then, she tried reasoning with them, but they weren’t listening to a thing she was saying. The storyline was greatly done. I just wanted to punch Trina in the teeth. I can’t be the only one. Fiona, unlike me, wanted to kill them with her bare fucking hands, and just like that she’s back amongst the south siders who don’t give a fuck. She steals back Rusty aka Sparkles, and part 1 of the master plan is completed.

What seems like less fun was learning that she could lose everything, and that her best bet was to sell everything she owned, spend all her money and declare bankruptcy. This was the better alternative to having them pocket everything she owned. It was a solution but it wasn’t a solution she was accepting. She wasn't going to let go so easily. She’s worked hard to get to where she is now, and I’m glad we didn’t see her fall back down to where she started. You don’t have to finish where you started off in life.

Fiona takes Frank’s advice, almost, and goes to Pyro Polly. She still has common sense and doesn’t actually burn down her building. She settles for a smoke bomb. After smoking them out, she gambles with her future. 4000$ seemed like a low offer, compared to the 6 millions they were asking for, but they still took it. I guess 3,800$ now is better than maybe 6 mil in the future.

With that, the wrongs have been righted, and all is good with Fiona and her building.

Secondly, there was Debbie and her toes. When a huge pipe falls on your foot, you’re going to lose at least a couple of toes. I just might have barfed a little bit in my mouth at that scene. Yes, that scene. It was positively disgusting, but totally what I would expect from a show like Shameless. I could almost smell the charred flesh. Frank, who is back to his ways of coning, was there to save the day when Liam and Debbie couldn’t do it. Everything about that scene was perfectly dosed, and Frank’s nonchalance at the sight of two of his kids passed out in the kitchen demonstrated just how much shit he’s seen in his life. This was no biggy for him, just another day on the south side.

“Go fuck yourself, Derek.” -Debbie

Once the act of cutting off her toes was done, Debbie doesn’t seem to mind their loss. Life goes on. With a boot in foot, she goes to a party for Frannie’s great great grandmother, where she gets to see Derek again. (Who’s spent a shit ton of money on plastic surgery probably) He's getting married and wants Debbie to consider shared custody. While Debbie was not fair to him when she tricked him into getting her pregnant, it’s not fair of him to come back 2 years later. At least, he didn’t demand anything, but merely suggested it. It was the grown up thing to do, and if he lets Debbie do it at her pace, it might actually be beneficial for everyone. Debbie could use the help.

Carl and Cassidy got hitched two episodes ago, and while Cassidy wants to put Carl’s baby in her ASAP, Carl has the sense that he needs to finish school first. When your girlfriend is freaking out about you going back to military school, the next logical step is to marry her. Carl, you really fucked up, buddy.

The crazy one can’t get enough of Carl, and I’m not talking sex, though there was a lot of that going on too. She wants to know everything about him; she wants him to show her his life, and it could have been pretty cute, if Cassidy hadn’t been Cassidy. She’s such an interesting character though, and I really would like to understand her back story more, and not just the Cassidy version of it. I hope she’ll still be there net season. They posed with a dead man under a bridge, and immortalised being shot at on Carl’s old corner. It’s on their last stop, at the group home, that Cassidy loses it, once more, when Carl mentions military school.

In a moment of weakness, he agrees to not go back to military school. And I rolled my eyes. It made sense that he would say that though, it fit the character, but what did that mean for his future? He had found his purpose in military school. In the beginning of the next episode, we get to see Carl still trying to go to military school and that really makes you root for him to succeed. He sneaks out to go buy back all the stuff she had destroyed, and hides it at Patsy’s Pies so Cassidy wouldn’t find it. It’s all for naught though, she might be bat shit crazy, but she isn’t stupid, and she discovers what he is up to. Cassidt then proceeds to handcuff him to the bed so he will miss his bus. Logical next step.

Carl crying as Cassidy had tied him up in his bed touched me, it was such a strong and poignant moment. He wants more, and my heart sunk for him. It was a strong performance by Etan Cutkosky, simple yet full of feeling. I couldn’t help but let out a slow exhale as he gets on the bus, away from Cassidy. He got out. He still has a chance.

Father of the year Frank has been gone for a few episodes now, but in those final episodes, we might have witnessed the last of the Liam and Frank bromance. After realising that in today’s economy, working 6 weeks only gives you the right to a 3.12$ a month retirement, Frank needs to consider other alternatives. It’s not like any of his children are going to support him financially during his old age, they’ve had to do so since they were old enough to speak. He didn't raise no fools.

“It’s a methaphor. We can never undo the damage that Dylan’s dads has done. But we can right the scales in our own small way and strike a cord for below the poverty line folks everywhere. It’s the right thing to do.” – Frank

Frank is back, and better than ever. He decides that to restore karmic justice in the universe, they need to steal from Liam’s friend Dylan. The amount of crap Frank can spin to justify his ambiguous morals is incredible, I don’t know if he actually manages to convince himself along the way, but he doesn’t convince Liam. The youngest Gallagher doesn’t give Frank the codes to the security system. Liam did good by his friend, and left Frank hanging as the police chased on after him. You don’t steal from friends, Liam has that part right. Despite his unconventional upbringing, the boy has his morals intact.

For me, I thought Lip’s storyline had been dragging for most of the season, but these last few episodes were great for him. When Sierra’s dad gets released from prison, Sierra gets scared and brings Lucas over at the Gallagher’s house in the middle of night. I could have used less Sierra for most of the season, but in this episode, her story touched me. Some people really have it rough. Both her and Neil had testified against their father in court, even after he told them he would kill them if they did. That’s a lot of baggage to bring a recovering alcoholic, but Lip would never turn away someone in need, he simply isn’t wired that way. Lip picks a fight with her old man, and gets him thrown back in jail.

“I’m proud of you. This past year. You’re strong. I never saw that before.” - Sierra

Lip was in his strongest in the final episode of the season, when he lets Sierra go, when he tells her the truth, and that he doesn’t know what he wants, that he needs to find himself outside of drugs and alcohol before he can figure out if he loves her. The episode beautifully led up to that moment, from the opening scene where she tells him she loves to the moment he tells her he isn’t ready and that she should give Charlie a chance. It’s a huge step for Lip, maybe he’s going to be okay. He is strong, and it was a great ending for him, as he finally gets to ride on Keith, the bike he has been working on all season long.

Svetlana, Kevin and Veronica still gave us most of the comedic relief, as they are still on the hunt for a rich billionaire for Svetlana. When the hotel bars don’t work, the Russian steps on her pride and goes to ask Frelania how she’s managed what she couldn’t. I can’t say Frelania deserved what happened to her, but she was acting like a grade A bitch. She thought she was untouchable, but turns out she couldn’t have been more wrong. I mean Svetlana probably was a huge bitch to her at one point or another, and putting her marriage in Svetlana's face is her payback, but as a viewer, you just want to slap her.

When Svetlana realises the old man is not right in the head, and cannot see the difference between two very different women, she switches gear, and brings her nemesis back to the bar in a garment bag.

“What do cannibals eat except people? What about pizza?” - Kev

In the following episode, the trio devise a plan so that Svetlana marries the senile old man in Frelania’s place. After having gagged Frelania in their living room and having her pee in a bowl, they devise a plan to take down the cannibal mother. Only in Shameless. I have to say, the musical score as Frelania pulled her Jedi mind tricks on Kev, which suddenly cut when V yells for him was expertly put together. Kev and V then go on to drug the mother of the bride, and Kev gets to walk Svetlana down the aisle. I had to smile at how happy Kev was to be the one to give Svetlana away. He’s pretty much the cutest, right? Along the way, Kev learns there is a pre-nup, but unknowingly, Svetalana goes through with the wedding. With that, Kev and V will regain the control of the Alibi Room and get Svetlana out of their lives. It's hard to remember it, but a couple of episodes ago, the couple hated Svetlana with a passion. They're now free of her, and I wonder what they will look like without her net season.

While all this was happening, there was Ian, who is escalading fast in his interventions with troubled youth. Verbally attacking conversion churches is no longer enough for Ian, he’s like junkie who can never get enough of a high. As Ian’s life is no longer his own, he deals with a troubled teen who’s dad is trying to kidnap him. At first he starts by laying down in front of the van when it tries to leave with the kid, and soon everyone follows his lead. The parents, who have the legal right to take him, have no choice but to let the teenager go. While the boy’s dad genuinely looks like he cares for his son, Ian is triggered by the fact that they put him on meds because of his psychological issues.

“We will not be victims.” – Ian

When the father comes back, Ian blows up the man’s van in order to make his point. He is stronger. He has control. He will not be the victim. He doesn’t fully understand the implications of what he is getting himself into, and soon afterwards, the police have a warrant for his arrest.

None of his siblings have seen him, but they are all worried about him, and they should be. Not even Trevor could get through to him. Side note: the straight face Frank does when asked about Ian by the police was hilarious. One after the other, each Gallagher makes the assumption that Ian is off his meds, which makes me assume that he wasn't. Maybe he is, but there is definitely something more. His cryptic line to Fiona a couple of episodes back still haunts me. There are more important things to worry about. This line came about before Ian started a cult, before he made a van explode, so what is the link between these things?

Ian feels good, and alive, like he’s making a difference, and he is, for all these kids, but it really couldn’t end well. At least he didn’t end up hurting himself, or someone else. By the end of the episode, you could make out the moment Ian realised that maybe he had fucked up.

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