I sometimes wonder if we’ve gotten a little soft as to how far Shameless is willing to go.
Because this show has never, ever, been PC in anything it’s done.
Now, that’s not to say that’s a good or bad thing, but quite frankly that’s one of the reasons we all ever fell in love with this show in the first place. But still—I find myself sometimes surprised at what does surprise other audience members.
Why don’t we just get the giant Ian Gallagher elephant out of the room, shall we?
There is absolutely no denying whatsoever that what Ian said to Caleb was oozing biphobia.
Sorry guys, but sometimes your fave is problematic.
I have so much to say about everything that went down with Ian and Caleb that I practically want to bullet point this shit. Because let’s say it again, Ian was biphobic and WRONG and there is no defending that in this review.
But—we were served a sort of messy plate from both sides of this breakup.
First things first, I feel like the two of them were just looking for an excuse to end things. That it was this weird sort of disrespectful, judgy kind of fight to do it was, unfortunate, because I think a lot of things were lost amongst the whiplash of people wondering if Ian really did just say that.
Let’s break it down.
Caleb cheated, plain and simple. There is no excuse for cheating that makes it okay unless you are in an open relationship which—newsflash—would actually not make it cheating.
The simplest definition of cheating is to have intentional sexual relationships with someone else, without your partner knowing, or I guess maybe even without their consent if we are talking about open relationships.
Now of course there is also emotional cheating and all that, but let’s just not even go there for the sake of this particular episode.
So Caleb, it seems pretty shady to me to make a vague accusation of sleeping with a woman behind your boyfriends back ok, because she’s a woman? Sorry, but no.
Not only does this entirely contradict the idea that he’s bisexual by saying that she essentially doesn’t count and therefore making it confusing as to whether or not he is attracted to women or not, but like Lip so brilliantly stated, it’s cheater’s logic.
“Yeah, well, Caleb’s trying to argue that no one’s 100% anything.”
“It’s cheater’s logic.”
Adding onto this whole mess, Caleb then had the audacity to suggest that Ian can’t be 100% gay? I mean at this point in the episode I was like oh fucking hell, I’m gonna have A LOT to write in this recap.
Because to be honest, I could write an entire article on their arc in this episode alone, so forgive me for trying to run through this fire without getting too burned.
Ian claiming that no guy is bi is ignorant bullshit. The act of cheating should have been the catalyst, not who it happened with. The persons’ sexuality should not be the problem, and blurring those lines with what Ian said left us all with a bad taste in our mouthes.
I agree with the idea that no one is necessarily 100% anything. But I don’t feel like that was what was being said here. If anything it felt like Caleb was trying to say that if you haven’t slept with whatever your sexual preference isn’t, you don’t know if you like it. Maybe I took that the wrong way, but personally, I don’t agree with that idea because while again, maybe it’s true, it’s an unfair pressure to put on someone when they have no urge to do it.
Basically, in the most hypocritical sounding sense, I don’t believe people are necessarily 100% something, but I also don’t believe that they can’t be only gay or only straight. There are so many different types of sexual preferences in the world I say live and let live and accept what people tell you they are without trying to change their own preference for experience sake.
“So you’re like 93% straight.”
“It’s like 96% straight.”
Watching Ian sleep with a woman was uncomfortable to say the least. It was actually nearly painfully uncomfortable because we all knew he didn’t want to. Despite the physical uneasiness of it all, it was pretty sad to know he was putting himself in this situation because of someone else’s words.
Now I watched this episode with my roommate who is let’s say, only a lesbian and is in a relationship with a bisexual woman. Watching her go from supporting Ian and feeling bad for his shaky self resolve to wanting to strangle him was fascinating because it brought up a really interesting question that we both spent some time discussing.
Should television show us what is, or what should be?
In other words, it was incredibly realistic for Ian to say those things to Caleb. Whether they were out of anger, or true feelings of not wanting to date someone he doesn’t see as ‘100%’ gay, it was a realistic view into the world and how difficult it is for bisexual people to be taken seriously by their community.
Not to mention, the anger overlooked the idea that maybe Caleb himself is confused about his sexual orientation, and that that is ok too.
But is this what we should be showing on tv? If it is so shitty, should we be showing the way that it should be handled instead of the way it actually is? I’m honestly not so sure. I see both sides to it.
I think that a larger part of me believes that media should be showing accurate portrayals of how life is because it tends to provide a more visceral reaction. I mean look at how we all felt after this episode.
Still I see the benefit of showing a better example for everyone watching in a hope that this can help provide change. This can also backfire though, without an accurate portrayal, those that are refusing to see the problem in the first place, never do.
It’s a question to be debated for sure. One that I’m not sure we’ll ever really be able to know the answer to. I think if anything, the best way media can help create change is by showing the reality of the world while also showing the aftermath of the things that have been said and done.
I want to see that from Ian this season. I feel like we are going to get a lot of growth from him in season seven, and I would hope for nothing less.
On a very different note though, Lip Gallagher is just emotionally destroying me this season.
Reminiscent of season four, Lip is once again reminding me why he is one of my favorite characters in this show.
Using him as the voice of reason-esque sounding board against Ian’s concerns and complaints this episode was brilliant. In fact I would go so far as to say we got to see Lip in one of his wisest and most accepting roles yet.
“God! Man, if I sucked some guy’s dick, I wouldn’t be half as dramatic as you’re being right now.”
The sibling dynamic in Shameless is the life of the show. Season seven is already light-years better than both five and six because of this reason.
You know, I think that Lip’s maturity arc is slower and subtler than some of the other Gallaghers, but it’s sure as shit there.
“Starting to remind me of him.”
I would have applauded Lip walking away from his beer after that line, but I was too busy being curled in a fetal position crying.
No but really, the AA chip trade in for a beer shtick that they have going on this season is one that’s plucking my heart strings in all the right ways. Aside from the obvious symbolism of an AA chip, the fact that Lip is still carrying them around with him holds a bigger more powerful punch.
To me, it shows that Lip himself put more stock into rehab than he flippantly let on.
One of the hardest things that we as humans have to do is to look at ourselves from an unbiased perspective. It’s almost impossible to step out of our own way and more so than that; it’s especially hard to go through change that can’t be instantaneous.
Addiction, for example, is one of the hardest things to grow from.
There are so many factors both universal and specific that go into having an addiction and recovering from one, that I’m not gonna try and go into it here. But one thing specifically that we are getting to see from Lip is how he now enters a bar with a very different attitude.
Watching him go out with Fiona and Sierra held a vibe than we’ve never seen in him before. All of a sudden it was a question of decision. As much as alcoholism is a destructive disease, it’s a habit too. When that’s shaken, you’re kind of left with a now what?
Sierra seems to be an interesting character right off the bat because of her immediate friendly demeanor with Fiona, and seemingly hard working attitude. To top it off she has a kid, and is straight up about it.
I am praying that whatever relationship she has with Lip is one that is healthy because I truly believe this is the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen him. The neurotic manner in which he’s allowing himself to continue to drink can so so so easily be tipped, and I would hate to see that be because of another character.
If Lip’s gonna spiral, I gotta say, I want it to be because of his own accord and struggle. Similar to Fiona’s breakdown circa season four, it was her own emotional turmoil that did her in, everyone else was just a catalyst. I think to really feel the effect of a potential breakdown for Lip, it’s gotta be the same way.
I just hope that we keep the Ian and Lip brotherly bonding going strong no matter what comes their way.
Speaking of brothers, I cannot tell you how worried I was for Carl’s penis in this episode.
I honestly thought that we were gonna go the ‘Carl loses his junk’ route and I was panicked because he’s so young and that would be so sad and traumatic and ugh—
It was ironically one of the most anxiety-ridden points of ‘Swipe, F**k, Leave’ for me.
“I already feel like enough of a freak being the only Gallagher who’s not circumcised. Thanks for making me feel worse about it.”
I know we were all thinking jesus christ Carl this whole thing is insane, but this point actually hit home on a new level of reminding me just what it was like to be an insecure teenager.
I mean, I once literally gave myself a tattoo with pen ink and a needle. PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
Did I regret it? Kinda. But I did it, and now I have it and I actually love it because it reminds me of just how dumb you can be when you’re younger.
Still, if someone at that age had come up to me and told me how jacked up it looked, I would have freaked because hey—it was already done.
It’s fun to watch Ian drive around as an EMT because he actually is one and not because they’re all doing some elaborate con. It adds a new layer to being ‘the older brother’ because watching him and Lip pickup Carl from school was straight up adorable.
He needed his brothers to help him out and it was poignant to show that they realized they fucked up, and made up for it.
Someone should maybe be looking out for Debbie too though cause that girl is all over the place.
Although if I’m being completely honest, she’s so in her own wildly naïve world that I don’t think I’d have the patience to help her out.
You almost KIDNAPPED A BABY DEBBIE.
Oh right, I forgot, you did that season one.
Stop stealing and get your shit together. Just like Carl, you made a decision, you can’t change it now.
For the first four seasons of this show, we saw these characters as semi-victims to their environment. It was easy to blame other people and situations for why they had to do what they did.
Ignoring five and six, I would say season seven is a great example of showing us how eventually; we all need to take responsibility for our own lives. Of course there are still wildly unfair things that happen outside of our control, but it becomes harder and harder to shift blame the more and more we are the ones making our own choices.
I’m looking at you Debbie.
I don’t have a ton of things to say about Kev, V and Svetlana in this episode aside from the fact that Kevin was extreme levels of adorable the whole time. His arc in particular nailed home my plea for Shameless to just let their characters live.
I mean we watched him stay home with babies the whole episode and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
Watching Kevin be so upset at V and Svetlana for saying he did nothing all day was a really good way at showing just how much a stay at home parent, be it a mom or a dad, really does.
Although c’mon Kev… you literally started a food fight when they asked you to clean.
Also, I truly thought topless maids actually cleaned too.
This review is getting mighty long so I’m gonna end it with our girl Fiona.
She did exactly what I hoped she’d do in this episode. She took no shit.
Listen, no one likes their manager, not really. Even if they’re a great person, they are the metaphorical obstacle to everything that work prevents you from doing in your own life.
So considering that, Fiona is not there to make friends.
She owes her current employees the same respect that they give her and if it’s between them all losing their jobs, or firing someone, you gotta fire someone.
I’m sorry but she has enough to deal with already. Frank literally cement blocked off the entire second floor of the house.
And while this was so childish and shitty of him, it did provide some of my favorite scenes of the episode, which was watching them all camp down in the living room. Actually, my truly favorite scene of the whole episode was when the raccoon fell from the ceiling.
Every Gallagher cracks eventually and I was happy to see V lovingly drive this idea home into Fi’s head in a way only a best friend can do. It’s shitty to hold things inside because they eat you up, always.
I’m hoping that the literal breaking of walls this episode was a way of showing us that Fiona is not gonna be eaten up from the inside out. I’m so into this badass version of her, I would hate to see the ghost of her non-wedding destroy it.
Break more cement blocks, fuck swipe and leave away. Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot in the process, or like, get an std.