Shameless Season 5 Review “I’m the Liver”

Shameless Season 5 Episode 2 I m the Liver 2

Back in those innocent days of Shameless season one, Fiona was the show’s undisputed protagonist. She was the matriarch, the alternative to Frank’s ongoing dysfunction and the destruction that came with him, and we as the audience were happy to follow her and the rest of the Gallaghers.

But now we’re in season five, and Fiona isn’t our only option for a worthy central figure in Shameless‘ world. We have Lip and Ian and even Mickey, and so the show is free to do what it wants with Fiona without fear that it could derail the entire narrative. Season four was the big test – transplanting the roles of Lip and Fiona and making the former the adult of the situation – and we’re still feeling the repercussions of that.

So went the story in ‘I’m the Liver’, which saw Fiona face up to her propensity for chaos just as she completed her period of house arrest. Right now she has everything going for her – her family’s forgiveness, a stable job and a couple of guys chasing after her affections – but for someone like her that isn’t often enough. She’s telling herself she’s changed, and she says as much to Shaun when he questions her suitability for a self-proclaimed “junkie junkie”.

But it all comes to a head when, stinging from Shaun’s rejection and Deb’s outburst, she suddenly sees how her actions are affecting those around her. It’s a story the show couldn’t really tell until Deb reached an age where it wasn’t entirely inappropriate for her to get the Svetlana makeover, but now it’s here it feels like a pretty natural way for things to go. Her look at the end of the episode said it all, and none of it was good.

The rest is filler, even if Ian’s story is a continuation of the spiral he’s been on since the beginning of last season. What’s heartbreaking is Mickey’s reaction, still adamant that he and Mandy can cope with his moods by themselves, avoiding the consequences of letting Fiona or Lip in on the secret.

V and Kev’s marriage is also on the rocks, with neither of them on the same page as the other, and the humor of seeing Kev bond with Svetlana over child-rearing turned suddenly serious when the weight of Kev’s stab at independence hit V. As long-time fans, it’s hard to believe that they won’t be okay in the end, but the stress of not communicating effectively in a period of intense stress is taking its toll on their relationship.

What did you think of the episode? Will Lip take Mandy up on her offer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.