A quick review of tonight's “Shameless” coming up just as soon as I'm ankle-flirting with you…
We're still at the relatively comic, low-stakes portion of the season, with hijinks including Frank ruining the dinner hosted by the parents of his liver donor, Ian and Mickey and Mandy conspiring to humiliate the pastor of the Westboro Baptist-style hate group, Mickey's wife stirring up trouble between Kev and Vee and between Deb and Fiona, and Frank continuing to preach against the evils of gentrification.
But trouble is never far from the Gallaghers, and the most interesting thing that “I'm the Liver” does is to point out that Fiona – for so long held up as the most responsible sibling – has an unwitting knack for finding trouble. There were plenty of warning signs with JimmySteve(*), and obviously she burned down every good thing in her life last season. This season began with her working the steps, trying to focus on her job and taking care of her brothers and sisters, but she has a problem – just not the one she goes to the court-mandated 12-step meetings for. Sean calls her out as a chaos junkie, and twice in this episode, she creates a situation where a man who's attracted to her is forced to physically attack someone on her behalf. When it happens the second time at the club, where she foolishly brought Debbie, the look on Fiona's face is one of pure bliss – of a woman who takes enormous pleasure from the exact thing she told Sean she tries to avoid.
(*) As came up in the comments last week, I had forgotten that Dichen Lachman's character (the one who flirts with Fiona at the diner and gives her huge tips) was seen at the end of last season with JimmySteveJack. Presumably, he sent her to keep an eye on Fiona, for reasons that have yet to be determined.
Again, Fiona is Frank and Monica's daughter, and for all that she has tried to become her own person, we've seen that she (and Lip, and Ian, and maybe the younger kids) have inherited some of mom and dad's worst, most reckless traits. And so long as the show remembers that, even the wackiness of these early season, warm weather episodes carries with it an undercurrent of dread. Bad things are coming for the Gallaghers, I presume. The only question is how much of that will be Fiona's fault.
What did everybody else think?