“I’m not just chaos. I’m better. I’ve changed. I think I could be really good for you.”
Last season saw Fiona Gallagher digging herself deeper and deeper into a dark hole, and although last week’s premiere displayed a happy and carefree woman, “I’m the Liver” delves back into the traits that led to that downward spiral. Although Fiona is laughing and flirting and smiling now, that doesn’t necessarily change who she is deep down; she may certainly be working to improve her life and her relationships, but she tends to overlook her more dangerous side in favor of a more optimistic viewpoint.
And so, Fiona taking off her ankle monitor and ankle flirting with Sean is more of a warning sign than it is an indication of progress. Sean strikes at the cold, hard truth later on in the episode when he refers to her as “chaos”, stating that when he gets into chaos, bad shit follows. It’s a slippery slope for both of these chaos junkies, and this is one instance in which you can see the realization slap Fiona across the face. She insists that she’s “finally sane”, but Debbie later asks the scathing question: “You’re a smart girl, so why are you on probation for drugs?” Fiona does seem like a different person now, but in reality, there’s quite a bit of the same, and there’s an element of self-delusion snaking its way across her mindset.
To build off of the idea of someone delivering the cold, hard, truth, we also get a great scene between Sammi and Sheila at the end of the episode in which the latter says: “So as a parent, it’s my responsibility to tell you that the reason people don’t like you and that you’re father doesn’t want to be around you, is because you’re very, very needy. I just think you should know that. And then you can work on it. You’re needy. And annoying. And slutty. And a bad mother.” It’s starting to shape up to be a great storyline for Sheila, especially coming after a season in which Joan Cusack and her comedic sensibilities were underused.
I have a feeling that it’ll take a more dramatic turn at some point, though, just like pretty much everything else in the show. Seeing Sammi crash the Father’s Day Organ Donor Dinner or Lip struggle with his new job or Svetlana teach Debbie the art of seduction or Ian/Mickey/Mandy set up a Westboro Baptist Church pastor makes for some excellent humor, but the impending gentrification is tying everything together with a bit of foreshadowing. After all, we have in development the Sheila-Sammi rift, the Lip conflict between old and new, the problem with Ian’s disorder, and the tension between Kevin and Veronica (which already is coming to a head, what with the scene about Kevin’s haircut).
Finally, we also have the growing tensions in the Fiona-Debbie relationship, one complicated both by puberty for the latter and “chaos” for the former. When Fiona takes Debbie clubbing at the end of the episode, she ends up causing another dispute that results in violence. As she runs away from the club, a big smile is on her face, and Debbie’s also ecstatic that she’s finally transitioning into the adult world, into a world of freedom. At the same time, though, it’s a world of chaos, and the realization hits Fiona like a bag of bricks in that final scene. It’s a beautiful, yet sad, moment for Fiona, and she stares off into the distance as the weight of the past begins to draw an uncertain future.
– “But God wants my mouth on you.”
– “I’m talking about gentrification.” “Genital what?”
-Sean, you have my admiration for being able to say no to Fiona.
-Even seeing actors playing the Westboro Baptist Church members still gets me angry. Those people are truly pieces of garbage.
-I appreciate the show exploring Svetlana as more of a character now.
Photo credit: Shameless, Showtime