Our House, In the Middle of the Street – was a great tune by the British band, Madness. It immediately takes me back to the eighties, and in many ways symbolizes what the Gallagher abode meant to them. It was home. You could never say it was a safe refuge from the outside world as more often than not, most every member of the Gallagher family drug their outside shit right back home with them. The opening montage alone set in the bathroom shows each unique member, and the energy the home pulsated with.
When sleazy Cousin Patrick pulled (another) fast one and defaulted on the loan, I was shocked, but not surprised. He’s the ultimate ghetto capitalist- It was a smart business move. Brilliant, actually. (And a great way to add another verse to Fuck you, Fiona.)
Losing the house hit Gallagher clan hard … Each member’s face registering shock and disbelief when Fiona was outbid and like them, we couldn’t believe it either. Whether or not they are all currently under the same roof is irrelevant- that was home.
While it could be successfully argued that it was a ramshackle shit box, the house was just as much a member of the family as they were. While never immaculately clean or in good repair, it was rather cozy and warm, and always a port in the storm.
Remember when Shelia’s house exploded? While that was shocking, losing the Gallagher abode feels different. This is just sad. As viewers, it’s just as watching them lose the house- We’ve literally watched them grow up within those walls – as it is for them to actually lost it. It isn’t a cliché to say they’ve laughed, loved, fought, cried and grown within those four walls… Oh, if only those walls could talk!
We all remember our childhood homes. Or a home in particular. Good times, bad times, it doesn’t matter. Indelible pieces of ourselves and our memories are tied to it. A simple smell can trigger memories long dormant and take us back in time in an instant.
It hit us hard as Fiona (Emmy Rossum showing us once again why she is worthy of the praise that has been heaped upon her since the show began) stole inside for a last look around, tears forming in her eyes as she traced the growth marks on the wall. As she looked on, we too welled up with emotion as we took our own trip down memory lane.
In many ways the house is symbolic of the family itself- the house being the nucleus, Fiona being that also and the family members each branching off and serving their own distinct and necessary purpose. What will happen now that they are separated from it?
Sure, everyone will have a hot and a cot somewhere, Fiona will see to that. Okay, maybe not Chuckie, Sammie’s Charles Manson-esque swastika on the forehead, idiot offspring.) But home?
Was Fiona right to assume Sean would take Carl in along with her? Unity and togetherness are what Fiona and the family need right now to keep them grounded. But was Fiona in the wrong to assume Sean would take Carl in too? I understand Sean’s reluctance, but the reality is if he wants Fiona in his life, he’s going to have to accept her siblings, they’re a package deal. He could have just as easily told Carl to tone it down while his son was visiting. It makes me wonder if Sean will ever be able to fully accept the Gallagher clan.
Maybe now that there is available real estate in the hood via Yanis fiery (yet horrifically funny) demise, the Gallagher clan can remove the pit bulls and plaster Greek statues and make it their home. While that won’t make the two Lisa’s any happier, we’ll all be relieved when the clan once again have a roof under which they can all call home.
The cliché about a house just being a house until love fills it is true where the Gallaghers are concerned, as anywhere they can all be together under the same roof, laughing, fighting and ultimately loving will be home, especially for this misfit family we can all identify with.
Shameless airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on Showtime