One of the calling cards for the Shameless gang seems to be an undercurrent of unease and uncertainty. The Gallaghers and co. embark on a plethora of wacky adventures every week, and while it can be highly entertaining watching them do so, what grounds them is a growing understanding that this kind of lifestyle isn’t all sunshine and roses. In fact, the very title of this episode is a perfect encapsulation of this idea: we see characters having “nights to remember”, but then, the realization hits them; the “Wait, what?” hits them.
The clearest illustration of that idea is seen in this episode’s Frank storyline, one that takes him back through his own “night to remember” filled with Porsches, parties, drugs, prostitutes, buying prosthetic limbs, and stealing those prosthetic limbs back afterward. It’s a very “Frank” storyline, and although I do want to see more exploration of the fallout from Sheila leaving, the guy going through his usual shenanigans can make for some laughs. The episode is filled with various “Wait, what?” moments for him, and each realization seems to build upon each other until he and Carl are siting on that front step at the end, fairly exhausted as they pass a bottle back and forth. These moments punctuated with an air of melancholy seem to be popping up quite often in the show these days.
We get the same idea with the Veronica and Fiona storylines this week. “I need to be objectified,” Veronica asserts, and she winds up having an orgasm as she’s grinding against a guy at the club. Her “Wait, what?” moment comes immediately after she has that orgasm, and it’s a moment born out of a sense of loneliness; she has a family, but understandably, she misses the thrill of being young and single and not giving a damn, and we can see the rifts between her and Kevin growing wider with each passing week.
As for Fiona, we can see that she’s still the same person Sean called out a few weeks ago. She’s attracted to chaos, she’s quite impulsive, and she constantly gets into phases that potentially lead her down questionable paths. Marrying Gus after only a week would certainly fall into the “Questionable” category, and Rossum does a fantastic job displaying her wide grin and goofy laugh alongside uncertain eyes. She and Gus are aware enough to constantly question what they’re doing, but at the same time, they both feel a deep-seated thrill with how they’re going about their relationship. “You make me feel sane,” Fiona says, but we know that this marriage probably isn’t going to wind up as a loving, stable marriage. The closing shot of the episode mirrors the one we got a few weeks ago with Fiona and Debbie; here, we start to see her take note of the mess she’s gotten herself into, and her expression at the end says all that needs to be said. Fiona Gallagher may have a night to remember, but at some point, she’s going to wake up.
-I like the Miami Vice feel of the opening Lip scenes.
-There’s been discussion of whether Fiona has bipolar disorder herself. Any thoughts?
-It’s no secret that Amanda isn’t very fond of her dad, and seeing him and Lip bonding a bit is definitely getting on her nerve. We’ll see what happens between them, and this is another instance where Lip is moving away from his old life and toward a more upper class one.
-The Carl storyline doesn’t really interest me right now; we’ll see where that goes. I’m sure it won’t end well, though, just like with Debbie’s storyline regarding the guy she wants to “train” with. It’s revealed that Holly knows about the rape, and even though Debbie’s pursuing a new interest, the past is undoubtedly going to come back to bite her.
-Last season’s episodes 5 and 6 were two of the best television episodes of the year. Let’s hope that season 5 follows that pattern.
-In other news: Congrats to the Patriots for winning the Super Bowl. Congrats to the Seahawks for making quite possibly the dumbest call I’ve ever seen. Congrats to Tom Brady for getting a Chevy that he doesn’t need. Congrats to the Nationwide kid for dying.
Photo credit: Shameless, Showtime