S2E10: Shameless is a wasteland of broken hearts, but no shattered dream hurt nearly as much as Fiona’s this week. Monica whipped into the Gallagher home like a reformed hurricane of motherly affection and she keeps it up just long enough to fool just about the entire family - even Fiona. But old habits die hard and it’s not long before hers drive the family’s hopes straight into the ground.
“I’m here. It doesn’t all have to fall on you.” -Monica
Monica is around, cheering up the kids, making them sack lunches and breakfast in the morning, but our audience buzz is short-lived because she soon finds Fiona’s precious squirrel fund and starts spending it on drugs, toys, clothes, and a brand new car. She’s all smiles, thinking she’s got this parenthood thing under control. But it can’t last long.
By episode’s end, she lets Carl drive her car while she’s hopped up on GHB and the cops throw her in jail. In just one episode, Carl goes from looking at her with hopeful eyes to staring at her like an insane stranger on the street.
Still, her spell lasts just long enough for Fiona to try to take Meg up on her offer to work as a manager at the club. Meg already filled the position Fiona is qualified for, the only opening requires come college or experience managing - neither of which Fiona has. When she asks her GED teacher about it, he tells her to reach for more and take business classes at the local community college. She prepares to enroll, convinces Meg that raising her family is akin to running a bar and sets her life in motion to reach some of its original potential. She even starts running again and when we see her standing akimbo on Lake Michigan with the Chicago skyline behind her, we start to believe she might really be able to do this. It’s all too crushing to realize that it’s just a pipe dream.
“My wife is in love with another guy.” -Steve
Speaking of pipe dreams, Steve thinks he’s bringing Marco to the states to be with Esti, freeing him up to be with Fiona. The moment he tells her and then nuzzles her hair is clearly breaking her ridiculous resolve - and her optimism about her mother’s help probably doesn’t hurt.
Steve’s plan seems simple enough, except when he goes to the shipyards to find the shipping container Marco is in, it’s not there. It’s amusing at first to watch them literally play Marco Polo to find him, but the result is a wild goose chase to find the missing illegal immigrant. And if the pressure of losing Marco being the exact factor that would cause Steve to lose Fiona wasn’t enough, Esti finds out what’s going on and threatens to call her father if Steve doesn’t deliver her secret boyfriend. Lip helps Steve track down the container - they think - but he tells Fiona it’s in Florida and when we find Marco at the end of the episode, he’s somewhere snowy - in a metal box with nothing to keep him warm. He may very well freeze to death if they don’t find him.
”Your dad?” -Lip
Mandy won’t return Ian’s calls since her dad bashed him for being the father of Mandy’s out of wedlock baby, or so he thought. Mr. Milkovich vandalizes the market where Ian works and he’s desperate for escape. Monica helps him try to enlist in the army, but they won’t take him until he’s done with school. When he can’t take it anymore, Lip tries to help by concocting a plan to plant a gun on Mr. Milkovich so he’ll get sent back to prison for violating his parole. They get caught trying to plant it, and the angry father almost kills Ian until Mandy shows up and demands he leave Ian alone: it’s “their” problem. Her father sometimes mistakes Mandy for her mother when he’s wasted. She says it’s no big deal, but it’s one of the more heartbreaking elements this series has ever included. Ian offers to help her get an abortion because they share a best friend (fake couple) bond, and he has a bake sale at the Alibi Room to do it. Thanks to Debbie’s web of lies, the crowd is plenty and generous.
“It couldn’t be me; I’ve had so many abortions the next one’s free” -V
She and Kev are trying to have kids, but it’s not working so far. She goes to the clinic and finds out the issue is hers, not Kevin’s. Instead of telling him, she flips out on him and lies, saying she never wanted kids.
It later turns out she was lying and she tells Kev and they make up. They agree to adopt a kid and in the process solidify the fact that they can never actually stay broken up for any reason whatsoever.
“Life’s too short, why not just give in?” -Jody
Sheila and Jody are awkward after their hookup, or rather, Sheila is. He clearly thinks they’ve touched upon something great - and I’m pretty inclined to agree. She distracts herself with her first real hospice patient, a former drug addict named Ruben. She struggles with him for a while, hoping he wants her to euthanize him (no go) and feeding him creme brulee nonstop.
Luckily, Jody comes in to help Sheila with Ruben, and he knows sign language so he finds out that Ruben wants to have sex with Sheila. Naturally, Jody is protective and instead of allowing the sexual request to be Ruben’s final wish, Jody gets him more drugs. Even after that, Sheila still won’t Jody stay in the house. She resists his midnight serenade and his midday caresses. I have to hope she gives in - the relationship is just too perfect..
“What did you think was gonna happen, Fiona?” -Lip
“I thought it would be different.” -Fiona
Lip comes home for literally a split second - just long enough to bail Monica out and make Fiona feel awful for believing something good might happen to her. He says she should have known Monica was full of it, but Fiona really,truly needed to believe it so she could achieve her own dreams.
In the most heartbreaking scene yet on the series, Fiona tries to wake up her mother and instead breaks down crying , kicking the washing machine, before pickup up the pieces Monica left in disarray. In one swift movement, she lost all the money they need for the winter and she lost her dreams. No matter how downtrodden she is, a part of the audience always believes she’ll do better one day and this set back seems to be a huge indication that that’s just never going to happen.
Will Fiona ever realize her potential? Can Monica be a good parent? Do you think Mandy’s potential abortion is right for her age and circumstance? Let us know in the comments or get at me on Twitter @KelseaStahler