The election may be over, but Shameless is still hitting some big issues — and only like Shameless can.
In Sunday’s “Black-Haired Ginger,” the series tackled the #MeToo movement, the criminal justice system, and the healthcare system. (And that doesn’t even include the episode ending at Planned Parenthood).
So grab a beer, bail your sibling out of prison, and find out how shameless your favorite Gallagher was this week.
I was very tempted to put Ian at No. 1 (keep reading for why he’s a bit lower), but then I remembered that Frank spent all of the Mo White campaign money on alcohol, got ridiculously drunk, forced a hooker to clock back in to try and help him get aroused, electroshocked his junk with the assistance of his youngest son, and unstrapped a psych patient in hopes of scoring Vicodin. Never change, Frank. Well, maybe do change since you’re probably going to die soon if you don’t change.
It’s time for Ian to decide how he’s pleading in his case, and everyone has an opinion, especially Fiona, who wants him to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Unsure of what to do and tired of hearing from everyone but Shim, Ian takes Mr. Milkovich’s advice and runs, dying his hair black and heading for the train station. But he couldn’t quite go through with it, returning home to enjoy some ice cream with big brother Lip. After seeking guidance one last time from Shim and the Bible, Ian goes to court, accompanied by his supportive family, including Fiona who is now on board with whatever he does. Cameron Monaghan shines in the season’s best scene to date as Ian delivers a passionate and emotional speech before eventually entering the insanity plea.
Sweet, innocent, naive Liam is now a man. After being lured into a closet by the girl who had been bullying him, he runs home needing to wash himself. “I think I had sex with a trashy girl,” he tells Lip. “It was dark, I couldn’t tell.” Sissy soon comes to stay at the Gallagher house, saying she’s pregnant with Liam’s child. Debbie and Carl point out that it scientifically can’t be his, so they end up dropping a knocked out Sissy at Planned Parenthood. Classic Gallagher family bonding.
This might be a little high for Carl considering that during his hook up with Annapolis-bound Kelly, he cites the pact he signed with Kevin to not have sex with someone who is too drunk. He even records video to prove that he didn’t sleep with her when she passed out. That is respectable of him, so why is he at No. 4? Because I just remembered that his wife might have been killed a few episodes ago and he doesn’t seem concerned or bothered by it #whereiskassidi.
“You’re in America now, bitch,” Fiona jokingly declares to Ford early in the episode. Other than immigrant shaming, Fiona spends the episode threatening to torch a van, disappointing Ford, and chasing after Ian. By the end of a busy day, she comes to a sad realization: “He doesn’t need me anymore. I don’t know if any of them do.” And that my friends is what they call setting the stage.
Debbie really wants to be a lesbian. But even she has her limits, and apparently, eight hours listening to a woman cry over her past relationships is said limit. “You make me want cock again,” she yells at Alex. Does she though? Because she then pays a visit to Fiona’s old friends Nessa and Mel, seeking advice on how she can know if she’s gay or not. This prompts Mel to undo her robe and kiss Debbie, which Debbie seems to be very into, meaning she passed her lesbian test.
Someone needs a hobby! With Xan gone and the shop temporarily closed, Lip has a lot of free time and nothing to do with it. He takes up jogging (he was quite the runner last season), smoking in the bathtub, and racing motorcycles. I love illegal street racing as much as the next guy but maybe stick to the exercise. (Although, he will also soon become a sober companion to Courtney Cox).
Other than treating his twin daughters like dogs and making them pretend to be the same person, Kevin Ball has been a real saint this season. His work with “Vagina Safe” has now gotten him noticed by a women’s organization that wants him to speak at their next march. He’s honored and excited, that is until during a rehearsal he hears the speeches from the women speaking, which are full of stories of abuse, humiliation, and other troubling behavior that women, unfortunately, deal with. Later, Kevin shares his surprise at what he heard, prompting Veronica to tell him he must have blinders on. He decides to bow out of the speech and says he wishes he could just give all women one big hug, which V rightly points out is the last thing women need.