Shameless “Rite of Passage” Review (5×05)

8 Feb


“Rite of Passage” is all about transitions, about being caught between an old life and a new life, about becoming stuck in a limbo of sorts as you attempt to figure out where you want to go next in life. After all, that’s what a rite of passage is: an event that marks a person’s transition from one status to another. We see the past and the present clash with each other throughout this episode, and in fine Shameless form, it’s yet another entertaining episode punctuated by poignant and genuine moments.

It’s a struggle for these characters to move from one state to another. We have Debbie and Carl, both transitioning into a very adult-driven world by learning to fight and dealing drugs, respectively. We have Kevin and Veronica, transitioning from carefree, single people to stressed, conflicted parents. We have David’s dad, still trying to keep his son’s memory alive by hanging out with Frank and viewing him as his son. We have Ian, unwilling to accept his illness, doing a porno, and at the end, stealing a baby and leaving Mickey in the dust. We have Lip, starting to realize that he can’t live in both of his worlds: the higher-class college life and the South Side “shoot up that coffee shop” life.

We also have Fiona, caught between the past (Jimmy) and the present (Gus), and while all this is happening, she’s unsure of her future even if she feels great with Gus. As she states early on in the episode, it’s “so fun living in a bubble and keeping a secret”, but the reality of the situation is bound to catch up to her sometime. Jackie’s overdose brings up difficult memories for Sean of his past, and it’s moments like that when reality and mortality slap them in the faces; in addition, it wouldn’t be surprising if this all brings back some memories about what happened to Liam last season.

In the end, Fiona and Gus finally admit that the marriage might be a mistake, but it’s at that moment when JimmyJackSteve decides to return and throw a wrench into everything. The look he gives Fiona at the end is weighed down by a heavy history, and it remains to be seen how Fiona’s going to deal with it. One thing’s for sure, though: him dropping in during the middle of a huge transition is not going to be easy for Fiona to deal with. Then again, it wouldn’t be the Gallaghers if things weren’t difficult, right?

It also wouldn’t be the Gallaghers if we didn’t get a wonderful scene between Fiona and Lip. It’s one of the most poignant scenes the show has produced, and it’s fun and light and heavy and meaningful all at once. Although Lip’s gravitating toward his college life, he’s still drawn to Fiona; their bond will never be broken, and that’s a wonderful thing because this whole situation is about to get rocky moving forward. People may go through transitions and see better lives and move on, but at the end of the day, they still have others who love them and are happy for them, and it’s important that they realize that.



-We need more scenes of Kevin trying to hit on women at playgrounds.

– “If I go upstairs to check on our crying children, you’re gonna leave?”

– “As your legal guardian, I’d be obligated to say that violence is wrong, but those bitches deserved it.”

-Man, people are leaving Mickey, and he seems to be the one who’s most there for Ian. That last scene between the two of them is heartbreaking and wonderfully acted by Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher.

-Oh, Frank. William H. Macy is so entertaining to watch, and although there are times when Frank gets a bit too much–even for this show–there’s just something endearing about his storylines even though he’s not a very likable character. For example, this whole David plot is clear manipulation and is very perverse, but it’s just so Shameless that it fits.

-And so, the big experiment begins. How is this show going to handle Jimmy the second time around? Please don’t let him ruin anything, show.

Photo credit: Showtime, Shameless

4 Responses to “Shameless “Rite of Passage” Review (5×05)”

  1. Justin February 9, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    I would like to think the purpose of Jimmy’s return is for Fiona to come to terms with an unresolved chapter of her life because if they do get back together, I fear it would just be a repeat of the last time and the time before that. Fiona and Jimmy grow close until crap from Jimmy’s shady life gets in the way forcing them to part ways.

    • polarbears16 February 9, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

      Right, I think there’s a key element here involving closure perhaps. If she–and the show, therefore–falls back into the same patterns, it’ll be weaker for it.

      • Justin February 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

        I agree. And it just shows how hopelessly trapped Fiona is by her addiction to drama for her put herself back in a relationship with Jimmy which is bound to be filled with drama and mostly not the fun kind.

  2. Mel February 9, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    I don’t think this is the same Jimmy. For one I think he has more means than he had before. The woman working for him (the big tipper) seems extremely professional and make s me think that Jimmy is in a position of power. If they don’t show us what happened on the boat, I’m gonna be pissed. Not just tell us. Show us. Also Jimmy has been around since the first episode but only chose to show himself when he heard Fiona got married. I’m hoping they handle it well, as well. But I don’t think Ian’s story-line ends happy at all. He stole his child. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mickey kills him. I know that’s brutal but that’s where I see that story going.

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