Shameless “Drugs Actually” Review (5×11)

29 Mar


Don’t worry, the truck is going to drive off a bridge soon.

It seems like the writers anticipated the outpouring of Sammi hate following last week’s episode, and it shows throughout “Drugs Actually”. The show has quite a bit of fun with her character, bringing up possible Sammi death scenarios and showing us a nipple shocking and contrasting Mickey’s nonchalance with Debbie’s horrified reactions. It’s ultimately proved to be a fake-out after Sammi’s heard screaming from the truck, but it sure is satisfying to watch; the same can be said about the rest of the episode, which is an engaging and entertaining set-up for what I’m hoping will be an excellent season finale.

Let’s begin with Kevin and Veronica, who start to patch a few holes in their relationship by bonding over a flooded Alibi Room. This hasn’t been the most compelling storyline for me in recent weeks, but the way they get back together here–by having sex on a pool table–is certainly fun to watch. Of course, it’s interesting how this intersects with Lip’s storyline, since as you may recall, he was the one last week who told Kevin to get his shit together. By kicking Kevin out and giving him the push he needs to get back together with Veronica, Lip is also, in a way, distancing himself from his old life. This all comes to a head when Lip and his new friends come across Kevin and Veronica in the street, and the scene itself is a great distillation of Lip’s old life-new life conflict. We can see him start to gravitate toward Helene and Norbert and some-other-names-I-can’t-remember, and as Norbert says to him as they’re sitting on the stoop: “Oh, then you KNOW it’s a shitty neighborhood.”

Of course, this also highlights the need for connection, no matter who the people you’re connected to are. For example, Bianca and Frank–I’m sorry, “Diego Mustafa”–end up flying off together at the end of the episode, and what Frank is selling here is the idea of not dying alone. It’s clear that Bianca wants that connection as well, and she can’t necessarily get the kind of connection she wants with a family that is pushing her to go through chemo. What’s sad here is that Frank is capable of caring for Bianca–even going so far as to text her family in order to possibly extend her life–but he can’t do the same for his own children. “I’m not homeless…I have a home, but I’m just not welcome there.”

The idea of connection plays the biggest role in Ian’s story, though, and it’s definitely an extremely tough situation for all involved. As hard to watch as it is, it makes complete sense why Ian would leave with Monica at the end; after all, he has to sit and listen to his family lay out everything that’s wrong with him and compare him to someone like Monica, and it’s understandable that he would feel like he’s being a burden. To add onto that, he hears this right afterwards from his mother: “There are always going to people who try to fix us, and you can never make those people happy. You need to be with people who accept you for who you are, and you should never apologize for being you.” I think we can all agree that Ian’s best bet is, say, Mickey+others rather than Monica, but I’m not sure how much Ian hears something like what Monica says from the rest of his family. To him, his mother is the only one who “gets it”, and that’s where he finds connection right now.

Damn it, Gallaghers. You have to step up here. We’re all rooting for you.



-I gotta say, I am not looking forward to this Fiona-Gus-Sean love triangle BS that’s bound to come up in the finale. Emmy Rossum is going to kill whatever material they give her, but man, I’ll just reiterate what I’ve been saying for the past few weeks: she and her character deserve better. There are some nice ideas floating around in this episode about acceptance and self-sabotaging and appearances, but I’m not sure I want Sean to be the one the show explores those ideas with.

– “Top shelf here is the cheap shit, just on a different shelf.”

– “I’m dying and you’re an aging alcoholic with no purpose…no offense.” Okay, every word that comes out of Bianca’s mouth is amazing. Bojana Novakovic’s delivery is impeccable, and as I’ve said countless times before: Bianca is the best. Plus, that train track sex scene is really something else.

-One more episode! It’s going to be a great TV Sunday next week, as we have the season finale of Shameless followed up by the premiere of Mad Men. Any predictions/hopes for next week? Feel free to share below.

Photo credit: Shameless, Showtime

3 Responses to “Shameless “Drugs Actually” Review (5×11)”

  1. bobby927 March 29, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    A Frank classic:
    “The sex was great but I think it can be great without the train”

    • polarbears16 March 30, 2015 at 12:18 am #

      And Bianca’s response was hilarious too: “No, it can’t.”

  2. Justin March 30, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    I believe Ian will come back to his family, realizing that life on the run with his mother may not be good for him. That it’s the best way to be with the family that’s good for him than the family that isn’t. And I’m not a fan of the Fiona-Gus-Sean triangle either. I hate that Fiona’s arc this season has mostly defined by the men in her life. But I’m hoping that, in the end, she doesn’t end up with either Sean or Gus and that the point of all of this isn’t for her to decide which guy she should be with but to learn from these guys what she truly wants and needs in a relationship and realize she needs some more time to work on herself before she could be in the right place for a relationship whenever that comes.

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