Shameless is one of the only shows on television that can recycle similar storylines without ever getting old or boring. Season 3 is shaping up to be bigger, while still maintaining the fresh-factor that comes along with genuine heart. Episode 2, “The American Dream”, saw Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) once again attempting to make a better life for her and her family, only to see success slip through her fingers grain by grain. Also, Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) worked as a valet. Carl is 10.
Fiona: Has there ever been a more devastating moment for Fiona across the series than during tonight’s episode? As we slowly watched her rack up debts surrounding her big debut as a club promoter, there was clearly no way things would end up working out in her favor. From an under-the-table liquor deal with the mob, to paying off a twisted government worker to hide her lack of permits, we knew she’d end up losing out. Still, you know what they say about omelets… you have to break a few eggs. That’s why I, for one, love Fiona. She’s not simply satisfied with perpetuating her situation any longer. She wanes in and out of sensibly sustaining her family and fighting for her right to “The American Dream.” I also love how Veronica (Shanola Hampton) and Kev (Steve Howey) are always there to champion her.
Lip: Seriously, how likable is Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White)? After some of the crap he’s pulled over the course of the series, and specifically tonight, we could very well hate him. Still, his logical nature juxtaposed with his self-sabotaging ways only makes us sympathize with him more. I’m always angry at Lip for chastising Fiona, considering the fact that she is, for all intents and purposes, his guardian. Lip spent episode 2 making back the money he’d assumed Fiona would lose by cutting underhanded deals and scamming rich kids. He undersold illegal immigrants by selling working hours to high school overachievers looking to volunteer. He also scammed the same set of kids into thinking some lame band was playing at Fiona’s club night and ran the valet.
I Love Carl. I also really like Mandy (Emma Greenwell), for what it’s worth. By the way, is it me or does Mandy not seem as hopeless as she makes herself out to be? Intellectually, she seems like a fine match for Lip. Can’t somebody say something nice to her? Although Lip’s scolding of Fiona at the episode’s close was kind of tragic, I like the balance they bring to one another.
Frank: Jess the bartender said it best; I don’t think Frank (William H. Macy) has ever had as low of a moment as he had tonight. Desperate to get back in the house, Frank took to using Debbie’s (Emma Kenney) soft spot for his alcoholic self. Still, when Frank stumbled through with two fellow wasted jerks and ended up smashing Debbie’s school project, her tune changed. While it was incredibly sad, how spectacular was that moment when little Debbie beat the living daylights out of Frank with a pillowcase full of soap bars? Spiteful after Fiona and the gang refused to let his disgusting group sleep in their beds, Frank anonymously called child protective services. He inevitably convinced Sheila (Joan Cusack) into letting him crash in exchange for playing nanny to Karen’s baby. He gave the infant Valium to shut him up!
Steve: Next to all of the heart-heavy drama going on between the Gallagher clan, Jimmy/ Steve’s (Justin Chatwin) crime-lord escapades seem downright comical. Only on Shameless! Steve continued to be tailed by one of Estefania’s father’s men. Steve’s drug of choice is illegal work, and he spent the episode attempting to sneak away from the Maroon 5 lovin’ thug’s field of vision. Just before Steve could get away with stealing a Porsche, the thug popped up to snap his pinky sideways. I mean, that visual..!
Etc: Ian (Cameron Monaghan) was happy to see Mickey (Noel Fisher) pop back into town a few months early for good behavior. Mickey is another one of those characters I just like, and I can’t figure out why. Hey, nice shave by the way. Mickey’s trying to buck Veronica’s “dirtiest white boy ever” label, huh? The real question is, though, does Mickey have genuine feelings for Ian, or is he just using him for sex? Veronica and Kev also hit a pothole in their relationship. Kev’s old wife popped into town unexpectedly. It looks like both situations will come to a head next episode.
What did you think of Shameless Season 2 Episode 2, “The American Dream”? Do you like Fiona better when she’s sacrificing for the kids or striving for greatness? When will Lip buckle down and embrace his potential? Where are Mickey and Ian heading? Are you fearing for V and Kev’s perfectness come next week?
Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Shameless, Season 2 Episode 2, “The American Dream”!