Sunday, January 17, 2016

REVIEW: 'Shameless' - Debbie Tries to Prove to Fiona that She is Capable of Taking Care of a Baby in '#AbortionRules'

Showtime's Shameless - Episode 6.02 "#AbortionRules"

Debbie's determined to keep her baby. Fiona's determined to persuade her to abort. Debbie carries a bag of flour around all day to prove Fiona wrong about her ability to raise a child while going to school. She quickly realizes people are not as accommodating to mothers and babies as she hoped.

This season Fiona has started to realize just how poor a job she has done being a guardian to the rest of the Gallagher family. She doesn't have to worry about Lip. He's more of a sensible peer than the rest of the family. Liam also seems to be taking care of himself - like he always has unless the plot needs him for some reason. But Ian, Debbie and Carl all need help. They need parental figures in their lives. They have Fiona. But for awhile all of the Gallaghers were able to go their separate ways and enjoy life. They weren't all working together to protect their livelihood. Fiona has become awareness of just how problematic their individual lives have gotten. She's now up all night long worrying about her family. She wants to protect them and have them make smart choices. But she doesn't want to be their mother. She just wants to be a concerned sister. That has gotten increasingly more difficult to do. And that has major consequences as well.

Fiona doesn't want Debbie to have a baby. Debbie is still just a kid with her whole life in front of her. Fiona wants better for Debbie. She doesn't want her to end up just like all the other girls in the neighborhood. She has seen Lip gone off to do great things in college. She wants that kind of a future for Debbie too. She doesn't want Debbie to have to make the same kind of sacrifices that she made. Fiona was 16 when she started fully taking care of the family. Debbie believes she is ready and willing to handle this responsibility. As this hour progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that that is not the case. And yet, Debbie and Fiona remain on opposing sides of this issue. Debbie wants to keep her baby and Fiona wants her to have an abortion. Fiona does come on a little strong. She's very forceful which does push Debbie away from being reasonable a little bit.

Debbie spends the entire day carrying around a sack of flour pretending that it's a baby. She dresses it up and gives it a name. She fully buys in to the fantasy of this experience. It's the exact same thing she did with her relationship with Derek. She is feeling all of these emotional things. She's in love with Derek. She's in love with this baby. She chooses to think of it as a baby and not as a collection of cells growing inside of her. This is what makes her the happiest in life right now. So that's why she is committing to it. She doesn't want to accept reality that Derek doesn't want to be with her and have this baby. She still believes they can live happily ever after. Even her experiment with the flour isn't too damaging to her perspective. Sure, many people see her as crazy for thinking it is actually a baby. No one takes it that seriously. Additionally, she only really learns what it means when she's talking to her friends who actually have babies. But even that doesn't sway her mind too much. The truly destructive blow comes when she learns that Derek was the one who choose to leave. He didn't want a baby. He just wants to be a pilot. Debbie didn't even know that was his big goal in life. That proves how much of this relationship she made up in her head. That's devastating. But she's still willing to have the baby. However, it now comes mostly out of spite for what Fiona is trying to force her into doing.

Moreover, Fiona has her own problems going on right now. She doesn't want Debbie to have a baby because she's so young and doesn't have the maturity to make this kind of decision. She's still just a moody teenager. However, the tables are quickly turned when Fiona learns that she is pregnant as well. That reveal comes completely out of blue. She's juggling so much at home and at work as the new assistant manager right now. She's trying to make sense of her siblings while trying to find her place as management at the diner. Her life is just as messy as the rest of the Gallaghers. But she's not a kid or a teenager. She is an adult. She's suppose to be the responsible one. She certainly is doing her best to look out for this family. But that really doesn't seem to be working. On top of all of that, she learns that she is pregnant and that Sean took some drugs the previous night. It's a lot to handle and shows that maybe she isn't as mature as she thinks she is when it comes to these life-changing decisions.

Fiona doesn't want to be the one looking out for Debbie's baby. She's struggling just looking after Frank and Monica's kids. She's had her fill of being a mother. It's a responsibility she choose to take on. She did whatever it took to keep this family together. It has been a real struggle for her. That is especially being felt right now when it seems no one actually wants her help or concern. Ian, Debbie and Carl don't think they are doing anything wrong. They think Fiona is just inserting herself into their lives for no reason. They think they are thriving in their current conditions. Debbie is happy being pregnant. Ian is fine with his current regimen. Carl enjoys being on top of a successful (and criminal) business venture. They don't want to change. Fiona is carrying all of their problems. It's a worry that Sean can't take away from her - even if the sex is great for her. Fiona doesn't want to look after another Gallagher baby. But that's purely when it comes to Debbie having a baby. She's in shock when she learns that she is pregnant as well. It's an added complication to the situation that she keeps to herself. She doesn't know what to do.

In fact, Fiona chooses to have more incredible sex and completely forget about the rest of her life than deal with all of her problems. It's very likely that Sean felt the need to use again because of the chaos that surrounds him in Fiona. He said so himself last season that that chaos wouldn't be good for him. Fiona needs support. She only gets so much more Lip and V. They have their own lives and problems right now. Fiona is committed to her relationship. But it may not be good for anyone. And now, it has produced a baby. A baby that Fiona is keeping to herself right now. She wants to handle the rest of her family's problems before trying to deal with her own. She wants Debbie to get an abortion. Fiona may not be ready for another baby either. But this situation is only getting more combustive. Fiona and Debbie get into an actual fight. One where Lip has to pull the two apart. It shows just how poorly the Gallaghers are communicating with each other. That's what has created all of this chaos. Talking about all of their issues like siblings probably won't help their situations at all. But it will lead to understanding and support. This family needs each other in order to survive. They've been allowed to drift apart for too long. They need to start understanding each other again if they want to bring even more Gallaghers into this world.

Some more thoughts:
  • "#AbortionRules" was written by Nancy M. Pimental and directed by Iain B. MacDonald.
  • Fiona also forces Ian to quit his job at the diner. That should help separate her work and family life this season. Though Sean will still be a major complication in both of those environments.
  • The big thing about Ian this season is that he is sleeping and very slow. Fiona worries that he hasn't been taking his pills. He continues to say that he has though. It should be interesting to see what happens with him next.
  • Lip is still sleeping with Helene. In fact, their relationship seems better than ever because they have playful banter about killing Helene's husband. Lip's not sure if she's being serious or not. If she is, that would be a really dark turn for this story to take. Also, Helene's son is just hanging around the house now while Lip has sex with Helene.
  • Lip is also given a summer internship which means he'll be spending even less time with the rest of his family.
  • The increased focus on the Alibi this season is a good use of Kev, V and Svetlana. It was voted the best shittiest bar in Chicago. That's a huge achievement and led to a really great scene. 
  • However, Kev and V are creating a lot of trouble elsewhere as the fighting between Yanis and the two Lisas gets even more intense. Kev is so fed up with all the noise waking up the twins that he accidentally cuts the break line on Yanis' bike - which very quickly leads to injury.
  • It's very suspicious that Carl is just able to let his friend come to school with him. And yet, the show does a satisfactory job of showing the teachers being concerned for a moment and then just going back to teaching.
  • Frank is still heavily in mourning over Bianca's death. He gets advice to burn all of her belongings. But then, he tries to move on by finding a new terminal cancer patient to fall in love with. Neither goes how he wants them too - with the woman dying before they can have sex and the fire he starts spreading to an entire house. It's really horrifying that he just leaves her dead body there by the train tracks.