Shameless “Pimp’s Paradise” Review (Season 6 Episode 7)

Previously on Shameless . . .
– Carl saved the Gallagher family home with the profits from his gun running business.
– Helene saved her job and ended things with Lip.
– Ian’s awkward date with Caleb ended on a pretty strong note, as Ian once again rushed to the aid of a person in need.
– Debbie found out that she is having a girl and her live-in nanny situation became a little less secure with the news of Mrs. Wexler’s vast improvement in health.
– Kev and V continued to be woefully underused by the Shameless writers.

On to “Pimp’s Paradise” . . .

Debbie Does Erica?
Thankfully, no. But let’s talk about that ridiculous close call and the storyline that may have led me to reconsider watching this show. No one bothered to tell Debbie that Carl saved the Gallagher home. With Erica in remission and Debbie having no knowledge of her childhood home being back in the Gallagher family, Debbie was desperate to keep a roof over her head. Initially, I thought her pulling the baby card and asking to bond was Debbie’s way of trying to forge a relationship Erica in the same way she once bonded with Sheila. Thanks to Frank’s influence, Debbie was willing to do whatever it took to stay with the Wexlers, including offering up sexual favors to Erica. I’m glad that Frank finally bothered to tell Debbie to come home and that someone in the writers room remembered that Debbie is still only 15-years-old.

Okay, that was not the only thing that frustrated me. I was also bothered that there was no payoff to the conversation between Debbie and Fiona in which the latter made it very clear that if Debbie intended to have her daughter she would need to find somewhere new to live. Granted, I never expected Fiona to stick by her word and it is totally possible that this may be revisited in a future episode. Fiona did not mince words in that conversation with Debbie, so I would like to see some call back to it. Although I am not at all fond of Debbie and Frank, I am curious to see if he will have any time for his youngest daughter now that he is no longer desperate for a place to stay.

Carl
I thought that we would finally see a change in Carl, particularly after where we left him at the close of “NSFW.” Granted, Carl did not exactly go right back to normal, as though nothing had happened. He was clearly weighed down by the stress of what happened with Nick and trying to find his way. Part of that journey included trying to give money and drugs to the family of Nick’s victim, which was rejected. I no longer know what to make of Carl’s storyline at this point, but I remain interested in the character and his trajectory for the remainder of the season.

Lip
Lip lost his job as an RA, along with free room and board, because of the painting on the wall that allowed everyone to connect him to the nude pictures of Helene. Thanks again, Amanda. LOL. In what was a very convenient plot contrivance, Lip stumbles upon a new job (also with room and board) literally moments after departing from his dorm room.

Although I’m glad it did not take Lip long to find a new source of income and a place to stay, he is clearly quite broken because of what happened with Helene. We’ve seen Lip get past breakups in the past and that Lip would have totally gotten drunk and indulged in the girls at the sorority house. Instead, Lip got drunk and yelled outside of Helene’s house.

The writers have not been subtle at holding out the drunken professor as an example of what the future may hold for Lip. I hope that Lip will turn it around soon and it would be nice to see him do so without necessarily getting into another relationship.

Fiona
I don’t know why Fiona is surprised at how much can change at home when she spends a few nights away. This literally happens every time she takes a break from the daily grind with her siblings. That aside, it was refreshing to hear Fiona admit that she likes being all up in her family’s “sh!t.”

After being iced out by Queenie and Deb, Fiona unsurprisingly accepts Sean’s invitation to move in with him. I too was uncomfortable with the idea of Liam staying at home with Quennie and Deb. Although most people in Fiona’s position would be relieved to move away to peace and quiet with Sean, I suspect that Fiona will not be happy until her family needs her and she’s back in the thick of it again.

Other Thoughts And Observations
– I did not think it was possible for the Shameless writers to make the Sammi/Chuckie nonsense from last season any worse and yet, here we are. The writers are further entrenching us into a group of characters in whom I refuse to invest because they’re just too annoying to be entertaining and in doing so, they find new ways to make Frank the absolute worse. I just can’t get behind the idea of the person responsible for Sammi overseeing the home as a good idea. Granted, Queenie at least recognized that Sammi was the worst.

– Although the writers have made it clear that Chuckie is not the brightest bulb, I can’t imagine that it would be difficult for someone to pull him aside and very concisely tell him to quit it with the Nazi BS.

– The “what the [bleep] were you doing last week instead of watching Shameless” continues to be one of my favorite ongoing bits of this series. This week’s, in which Lip raised the question to the class for which he TAs, was pretty funny.

– I was slightly peeved that Debbie totally ignored Carl sharing that he had too much on his mind to tell her the secret to lesbian sex.
I was glad that Fiona at least noticed Nick’s absence and that both Sean and Dominique recognized that something was off with him.

– I am still frustrated with Kev and V being underused, but I did enjoy their vacation b-plot in this episode.

– I would be perfectly fine with Queenie taking Frank along with her when she inevitably leaves.

– The Chuckie storyline is such a waste of time, but I did get a laugh at Frank referring to him as a young Trump in the closing moments of the episode.

Gallagher Of The Week
With Carl and Lip spiraling a bit, it makes me happy to give the nod to Ian. Caleb unexpectedly invites Ian to a family wedding, where it quickly becomes apparent that Caleb’s family is homophobic. It’s quite uncomfortable because they’re not rude enough to outwardly express their contempt, so Ian and Caleb basically endured hours of side eyes and uncomfortable stares. Ian realizes that Caleb invited him to the wedding just to make his family uncomfortable and gives the firefighter a swift, effective lesson in how to properly get a bit of comeuppance with a judgmental family. After some very suggestive dancing at the wedding, some awkward chatting and a kiss, it looks like Ian and Caleb are getting even closer. More importantly, it looks like Ian is closer to giving being an EMT a try.

Until Next Week!
I liked the conversation between Carl and Sean about hitting the reset button. In many ways, we saw several characters in this episode trying to hit the reset button in their respective lives. Overall, I continue to be frustrated with this season, which feels all over the place in terms of the plot. Unfortunately, the reset button is not available to the Shameless writers, so I hope that what lies ahead will salvage what’s left of this season.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Shameless? Sound off below!