Shameless recap: A Yurt of One's Own
In “A Yurt of One’s Own,” Fiona finally admits that she jumps from one guy to the next without taking a breath, a behavior that massively contributes to the overall mess that is her life. It was a surprising moment of self-reflection from her, but the clarity didn’t last long. Meanwhile, Carl is taught a painful lesson about minimum wage; Lip spends a night in the hospital; Ian receives a surprise call from a Milkovich sibling; and Frank, Debs, and Chuckie head to the peace-and-love commune that taught Queenie all about foot chakras. (I’ll never in my life emotionally recover from last week’s episode.)
Queenie, Frank, Debs, and Chuckie
It’s official: Debs is a dropout. She’s going to go live in Queenie’s commune, which is obviously called The Soaring Consciousness Eco Village — 100 acres of hippies, chanting-while-cross-legged, octogenarian orgies, and yurts. (And a little something else.) Fiona is not particularly impressed by Debbie’s decision, but she doesn’t really get a vote anymore.
It’s normally not Frank’s scene, but he’s still being hunted down by G-Doggg (yes, three G’s, according to Showtime’s press site — my apologies to Mr. Doggg for only using one G last week) for replacing half a bag of cocaine with powdered laxative. Earlier in the episode, Frank manages to escape a drive-by shooting with the kind of skill and supernaturally good fortune normally possessed only by non-superpowered Avengers in a Marvel movie. (Seriously, how is MCU Hawkeye still among us?!)
The commune is pretty much what you’d expect, but Frank is not particularly interested in doing chores nor in sharing Queenie in nightly orgies. Mainly, he wants to know where the weed is, but there isn’t any. Nope, as Queenie reveals to him just as he’s about to take off, the commune grows poppies for opium in enormous supply. Maybe he’ll finally overdose.
Meanwhile, Debs is as happy and rested as can be, thanks to the commune’s maternity tent, which is entirely free of male energy. (Where can I get one?) Oh, and Chuckie might have been eaten by a mountain lion. That’s one way to write off a character who is contributing…well, not much. Not much at all. Sorry, Chuckie.
NEXT: Is Lip a full-blown alcoholic now?
Lip is a disaster. Last week, he appeared to have come to terms with what happened between him and Helene, and he got back to his partying ways. But now he can’t seem to rein it in.
His burgeoning alcohol problem was foreshadowed very briefly when Youens told Lip to stop drinking in order to regain full control of, uh, his erections, and Lip expressed that quitting alcohol for a day or so might be difficult. I thought he might have been exaggerating, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
When Lip wakes up with a girl in his bed after what was clearly a rough night, he downs some booze immediately. When he meets up with Ian later in the day, he pulls a beer can out of his jacket pocket, claiming he needs the buzz to forget about grading terrible papers. And when he acts as bartender for a party at the sorority house, he takes a shot for every drink he serves.
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The next time Lip wakes up, it’s a little more dire: He’s in the hospital after one of the sorority sisters — Brina — finds him passed out in the freezing cold, unresponsive and soaked in his own urine. He had a BAC of .32, which can be pretty lethal. “You’re lucky to be alive,” the nurse tells him, but Lip is not so sure. Of course, like anybody who has a problem they’re not willing to face, he gets pissed off at Brina for calling 911 because the ride in the ambulance and his overnight stay in the hospital will cost him a cool $2,000 — America!
This problem of his kind of came out of nowhere, right? He’s always been a partier, but this progression to full-blown alcoholism seems out of left field.
NEXT: A Milkovich returns, and Ian admits to missing Mickey
Ian (and Mandy)
Mandy is a high-paid escort now, and she’s back in Chicago on a job. She calls Ian in a panic — and begs him not to tell Lip — because she’s got a dead john on her hands. She’s also on crank and wants to roll the body up in a shower curtain and toss it out the window. Since hotel windows don’t open, Mandy then considers taking the body out in segments, scrambling for her phone to call her brothers. Cooler heads prevail, however, and Ian convinces her to just call 911 and say that she met the guy in a bar and brought him to her hotel room and that he had a stroke. They give their statements to the police and head back to the Gallagher house.
Despite all that — drugs, escorting, being totally chill with cutting up a dead body — Mandy tells Ian the next morning that she’s fine, and that’s the impression we’re meant to be left with. She tells Ian that being born in the neighborhood doesn’t mean you have to die there and that her escorting gig comes with health insurance, payroll checks, and enough money to own a Jeep, fancy clothes, and a convincing blond dye job.
While she’s on her way out and back to her life of hotel Jacuzzis and a roster of “regulars like boyfriends,” Lip stumbles into the Gallagher house after his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad and Expensive Hospital Stay, and they make eye contact. He, with his rumpled clothes and bleary-eyed expression, and she, with her well-tailored dress and trenchcoat, high heels, and new hair. The dichotomy, I’d assume, is meant to convey that now he’s the one with his life out of sorts and she’s the one on the right track. But…the crank? The body? I’m not judging her for being a sex worker — but is she really all that together? Perhaps it’s just that getting the neighborhood out of one’s system is not as quick and easy as moving away and that one is bound to slip up. Who knows?
Before we move on to Fiona, I must also mention that Ian and Mandy talked briefly about Mickey. Very briefly. She spots the medical textbooks on his nightstand, and he tells her that the new guy he’s seeing is a fireman. “A black fireman,” he adds jokingly, prompting Mandy to say that Caleb sounds like an “upgrade” from her brother. “I miss Mickey,” he says, “but this new guy’s nice.” Ian intends to “enjoy it while it lasts” — he’s not so sure Caleb will stick around for any great length of time given his family situation and bipolar disorder. The pessimism is not entirely unwarranted, but Mickey’s not the only guy who can handle a tricky situation.
In the end, I wish we had heard more about how Mandy got this job, and how she got away from her abusive boyfriend, Kenyatta. Last we saw Mandy, she had moved with him to Indiana. Or are they still together? Did he get her into escorting? Tell me more, Shameless!
Anyway, ’til next time, Mandy. Please stop doing meth.
NEXT: I don’t want to shock you, but Fiona is experiencing relationship troubles
Fiona is really starting to exhaust me. But let’s do this.
Gus shows up at the diner with a bottle of Maker’s Mark and apologizes to Fiona for their last encounter. He’s ready to get a divorce and to get his ring back. She agrees to keep things simple, and he hands her his lawyer’s business card. They agree to meet at 2 p.m. the next day, and Fiona needs to figure out how to get the ring back from the pawn shop.
Although she only received $1,900 for the ring, the owner now wants a whopping $6,000 and is not willing to put Fiona on a payment plan. On her way out of the shop, she spots an advertisement for a cheap lawyer I’ll just call Oscar, as he’s played by Office alum Oscar Nuñez. Basically, she just wants to keep from getting sued for not having the ring, but Oscar finds out that Gus has family money. Fiona insists she wants to keep things simple, but when Gus finds out that Oscar requested a list of assets, he’s pissed — it’s game on.
During arbitration, Gus’ lawyer says that the ring is no longer at the pawn shop and they want $50,000 for it. Fiona gives Oscar the silent go-ahead to go after half of everything Gus is worth.
But let’s circle back for a moment and check in on Sean. Sean is still furious with Fiona for what happened with Will — he can’t get the image of him holding Carl’s gun out of his head. Fiona and Sean spend the episode passing each other like sad, passive-aggressive ships in the night, and it looks like they’re going to break up. He avoids her attempts at haing a conversation, and she tells him to just get it over with because she can’t lose another night’s sleep wondering if he’s going to break up with her. He’s on the verge of losing custody of his son because of her, and she tells him that it was an isolated incident. And then Sean brings up the whole Liam-nearly-overdosing-on-coke thing. You know, that little thing. “So I can get my head around you being a heroin addict and an ex-con having killed a guy, and this is the dealbreaker?” Fiona responds, tears in her eyes. I mean. Yes. Probably. Generally, yes: If you are instrumental in your boyfriend losing custody of his son, that’s a dealbreaker, in my humble opinion. But this time Fiona ends the conversation, telling him that she needs to go get divorced because she spends her life jumping from one relationship to the next and that maybe she should spend some time alone. Yes!! Yes, you should!! Definitely do that!! Finally!!!
As arbitration continues, Sean shows up to save the day. He’s got Gus’ ring — Sean used his credit card to pay the negotiated price of $4,000. Although he was and continues to be upset, “that’s how it is sometimes,” Sean tells Fiona. “But I don’t want to lose you over this or anything, ever again.” And then…he proposes. Right there. In the middle of the law office, as Gus & Co. look on from the glass-walled conference room. It was highly secondhand-embarrassing, and I’ve got three problems with it:
1) I had thought, for one naive moment, that Fiona would actually spend some time alone and figure out what she wants from her life. Stupid.
2) Maybe Gus won’t let go so easily. He might have gotten the ring back, but maybe he still wants to go after Fiona for the house or whatever other meager assets she holds to her name. After all, this proposal is just further proof that she had been carrying on a relationship while married.
3) Finally, I had thought at the beginning of the season that maybe these two f—ups might be good for each other, that they might balance each other out. But from their weird sex to the fact that Fiona might have just lost Sean his son, doesn’t it seem more likely that they’ll destroy each other?
Whatever. Mazel tov.
NEXT: Carl just had sex, and he’ll never go back to the not-having-sex ways of the past
It’s never too early to get a lesson about the American economy. When Carl receives his check for his first couple of dishwashing shifts, he thinks Sean is joking. He is not! Carl’s wage barely covers his bus fare to the diner, but as Sean points out, it’s better than being in prison or dead. Incidentally, I’m glad that Frank’s bungling of the coke shipment hasn’t landed on Carl’s head…yet. After all, G-Doggg did say that Carl is not yet off the hook.
Anyway, now that Carl is acting like a real person instead of playing dress-up, his school crush, Dominique, is interested in him. And they have sex! She was the last virgin in her friend group, she says, and even though he first pretends that he’s had sex before, he admits to being a virgin as well. They’re super young, but whatever — they were safe, at least, as they made their way through Dominique’s condom and two of Ian’s. Practice safe sex, kids!!!
Kevin, V, and Svetlana
Svetlana angers the wrong Alibi patron. When she keeps his $5 change for a tip, the customer asks Kevin a series of questions about where Svetlana is from, how she got here, and how she gets paid. (Russia, a crate, under the table.) He works for Citizenship and Immigration Services, and everyone’s in trouble.
Although Svetlana is married to an American — Mickey — she never got her visa, and that would be a little difficult for her to do now that he’s in jail. She decides to take off to Kentucky in an effort to dodge the USCIS, but Kevin offers to marry her. He’s still married to his ex, though, so V readily takes the baton now that same-sex marriage is legal across America. (#LoveWins.) Does that mean she’ll get a divorce from Mickey? Or was that wedding not the most official?
Kevin gets jealous, however, when he finds out from Svetlana’s V notebook — they need to study up on each other’s likes, dislikes, and family history, after all — that V doesn’t like his nachos?? And so he forbids them to get married??? The whole thing made him uncomfortable from the jump, and it’s hard to tell if it’s because he’s simply jealous or whether he’s uncomfortable with same-sex marriage. Either way, it’s ridiculously narrow-minded and obtuse from a character who’s generally a well-meaning cinnamon roll of a person. (Though, yes, also a confused doofus of the highest order.)
She’s been indispensable to Kevin and V and their twins, but Svetlana’s future is now up in the air.