Sunday, October 30, 2016

REVIEW: 'Shameless' - Fiona Looks at Her Financial Future While Debbie Gets into a Fight in 'Own Your Sh*t'

Showtime's Shameless - Episode 7.05 "Own Your Sh*t"

Frank learns that a billionaire philanthropist has bought the homeless shelter and he and his clan can stay. Fiona gets smart financial advice from a Tinder hookup. Ian struggles with his feelings for Trevor.

The Gallaghers have had to deal with the Department of Family Services many times over the years. The siblings were frequently being taken out of their home when Frank and Monica were in charge. Fiona had to take Frank to court in order to get guardianship of her siblings. Lip had to step up after Liam got into Fiona's drugs and prove he could provide a safe and stable family environment. All of these instances of the family almost being ripped apart have a common thread. The audience wants this family to stick together. No matter what, the Gallaghers will support each other. They thrive when they are united. But Debbie potentially losing Franny/Harriet is slightly different. It needs to be if the show is going to use this plot development yet again to shake up the family and the season. Is the audience suppose to want Debbie to keep her daughter? Will the family rally around her just like they always have? Things haven't been so great between Fiona and Debbie for a long time. Is this the thing that will bring them back together. Does Franny/Harriet need to stick around for that to happen? There's a bit of an uncertainty by this big plot development that happens at the end of "Own Your Sh*t." It really could go either way.

Debbie hasn't been a great mother. She's just a teenager and is being forced to look after a baby all by herself. She resents Fiona for not wanting to help. Franny/Harriet is a Gallagher just like everyone else. But Debbie feels isolated from the rest of the family. She hasn't totally grasped the reality of her situation. She isn't able to come up with the money for the first of the month. She has no plan for financial security. She expects her siblings to help. But they can't afford her cut of the bills in addition to their own. You just know things are bad when Debbie goes to Frank to learn how to make money fast. He's doing quite well for himself with his new family and homeless shelter. He gets a lifeline from a philanthropist billionaire who saves the shelter from the rest of the neighborhood. Frank is still imparting his wisdom on the other people living at the shelter. He's the king on top of his castle. He's destined to come crashing down. But right now, it seems like he's doing something right and Debbie wants that as well. She is so desperate to be a good mother. She wants to provide for Franny/Harriet. But she doesn't have her own life together yet. She has no ambition and no idea what to do next. Right now, she has a baby and that's about it.

Debbie is a Gallagher. She will fight for what's hers no matter what. And yet, she needs to think differently now that she's a mother. She believes all she needs is to find a partner to help finance her life. It's either that or begging on the street for money. But when Debbie gets into a fight with another homeless woman, it actually turns physical. It's an intense sequence because Debbie is carrying Franny/Harriet throughout it. Debbie is willing to fight for this street corner and provide for her daughter. But she's potentially risking her health in the process. It only takes one bad move for this to take a horrifying turn. Thankfully, nothing happens. Debbie wins. But she still loses as well. This incident is the thing that alerts family services to Debbie's situation. It's recorded. More importantly though, someone from Derek's family was also there to see it. Debbie has largely stayed away from Derek's family after he left wanting nothing to do with her. A lot has changed since then. In this moment, she gives off the impression that she's homeless and one step away from prostitution while also getting into fights on the street. That's not a stable environment for a baby. So, this could lead to a nasty custody battle. If Franny/Harriet is taken away from Debbie, what would she do? It could be a powerful story for the rest of the season. She needs to get her shit together and figure out her life. She can't just keep finding a way to just get by. She has a daughter to think about now as well.

Will the rest of the family help Debbie out of this situation? They had no idea how she was making money or the fight she had gotten into. There's video proof but the fallout could still be severe. Fiona is getting her life together right now. She's getting her act together to provide for her family since no one else seems to be doing it. In doing so, she needs the siblings to step up and take care of their own problems. Fiona can't make something of herself if she's always looking out for her family. That has caused a lot of tension amongst the family. Fiona is alienating herself. She's doing so because she wants to own something and be proud of it. She has done a great job at turning Patsy's around. She's proud of it. But she's still just making the same amount of money as she was making before. She's working harder and still struggling to prove her worth to Margo and Chad. She's still trapped in a corporate hierarchy. She is making this business work for them but getting very little of the reward. She's still just learning how to be a businesswoman. She's getting financial advice from a Tinder hookup. Plus, she's looking to invest in a local laundromat that may be going away soon. She sees it as an opportunity to own something. She already has ideas of how to make it more successful while still having the essence of the South Side. But again, how focused will she be on all of this if she has to help Debbie with these new problems?

Plus, it's clear the rift between Fiona and V isn't going away any time soon. Both of them have changed so much in such a short amount of time. Fiona is now a businesswoman while V has a new wife, son and father-in-law living with her. Their lives are chaotic. They've hardly had any time to get together and talk about their lives. Their friendship has been so strong over the years. It's not surprising that the show is trying to challenge that bond. How much change can it withstand before it breaks? Will it break? The two are upset right now. But how long will that actually last? The rest of the Gallaghers still believe that Fiona will ultimately do the right thing. They don't think she'll follow through with her threat to kick Debbie out of the house if she doesn't come up with her share of the money. They also think that she'll be able to work things out with V. And yet, no effort is actually being made to make that happen. This rift is very real. Debbie potentially getting kicked out is just as real too. Fiona wants to be a changed person. She wants to be a great businesswoman like Margo. She is able to hold her own when Margo stops by the diner to know why Fiona thinks she's so special. She doesn't get everything she wants. But she does get another raise. That's a step in the right direction. That's something she's willing to fight for. There is just very little in the rest of her life that she has the same amount of passion for right now. The family, Kev and V have always been there for her. She still counts on them. But if she continues to go down this path and become successful, does that mean she's saying goodbye to all these people who helped her get to where she is today? That's a distinct possibility.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Own Your Sh*t" was written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Christopher Chulack.
  • Ian tries saying that Trevor is just a friend. A friend who is introducing him to a new world while also welcoming him back to the club scene in a way that isn't too damaging to his personality. And yet, the show never really played them as friends. So, it's weird to see Ian insist so for a lot of this episode.
  • However, it's just a lot of fun watching Ian try to explain his situation to Kev. Ian has some big concerns about what it means to be with a trans guy. He would love to hook up with Trevor. Those feelings are present. He just doesn't know what that actually means and Kev really doesn't understand it all either.
  • Lip decides to go back to his unpaid internship. The company is starting over after the raid from the FBI. It's just rebuilding up again like nothing really happened. Lip is still an unpaid intern getting lunches and delivering dogs to the groomers. Nothing has changed even though the bosses know he knows how they make money.
  • Lip's story largely just serves as a reintroduction of Joaquin. The two of them hatch a plan to hack into the company's service and steal from them because they don't know any better. They are just a bunch of rich assholes content with operating the same as always and seeing how long they'll last until the feds shut them down. The record is 20 months but Lip has some plans to be more covert with his crime.
  • Before family services shows up to potentially ruin her life, Debbie seems to finally find a perfect situation for herself. Begging on the street and taking advice from Frank is a low point. But that leads to her meeting Sierra's brain-damaged brother who could need someone to look after him when she's working.
  • Everyone seems supportive of Carl's desire to go to military school. And yet, he doesn't make the cut because he's not diverse enough. It's just a simple story where he gets his DNA tested to prove his blackness - like Liam. Instead, he discovers he's one-third Native American. This family lineage is so complicated. But it's mostly just a setup for the final joke about Dom's father being of Pilgrim descent.
  • V and Svetlana set out to adopt each other's babies so it will be easier and more lucrative for them when it's time to pay taxes. The story takes a weird turn into a conversation about vaccinations that doesn't really work at all though.
  • The washing machine at the Gallagher house breaks down. Fiona mentions that it's the machine JimmySteve gave the family. So for a second, I thought that he would pop up again to cause trouble. His return isn't necessary at all but I had that fear.
  • Similarly, Svetlana mentions that her baby daddy is in jail. She says so because the social worker thinks Kev is the father. That too could be set up for Mickey's eventual return. It's important that the show reminds the audience that this is his son too.