Last season, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) was so worried Jimmy-then-Steve (Justin Chatwin) would leave her on Shameless because sooner or later, everyone has always left her. But season three of the Showtime series sets out to show that she may be her own worst enemy because when Jimmy doesn’t leave but in fact does the opposite and begins to take care of her and her household, she gets bored. Fiona wants to be a strong, self-sufficient, independent young woman, sure, but she also values excitement, and there is nothing sexy about a man with a mop! There is also something to be said for the example Fiona had growing up, though, and more than ever, Shameless’ third season is setting out to also showcase how far the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.
[Minor Spoilers Ahead]
When we pick up with the Gallaghers, Frank (William H. Macy) is gone again—this time for 137 days, which Debbie (Emma Kenney) tearfully counts each morning and then rushes home screaming his name each afternoon, like it’s Christmas and she expects presents under a tree, not a deadbeat passed out on the couch. It’s heartbreaking how much she misses him but more so how detached Fiona has become when she tells Debbie that 137 is nothing; once when she was nine he was gone for a whole year. Fiona is Debbie’s future, but at least thankfully Frank doesn’t have to be Fiona’s.
Frank rises in Mexico, having been on a blackout infused bender, but without his passport, or the willingness of his friends and family to bail him out, he has only illegal ways to cross back onto America’s side of the border. His troubles pale in comparison to his kids’, though, left to fend for themselves without him yet again. Instead, Frank’s story delivers some of the more outrageous moments of the return.
Shameless has always been known for delivering the kind of “out there” humor that could be deemed offensive to some—or if you’re just not in the right mood for it. This return episode is no different, mixing Kev (Steve Howey) and Veronica’s (Shanola Hampton) new racist business venture in with much more serious matters. Even Jimmy—with whom Fiona wouldn’t be so bored if she knew what his life was really like—gets into a situation with Estefania’s Dexter Morgan-inspired father that should seem borderline insane, but because we’ve gotten to know and love this show, we accept its crazy sensibility like we would any extended family member.
Lip (Jeremy Allen White) gets caught stealing and risks heading to Juvie alongside Mickey, while Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is still shacking up with Jimmy’s “not gay” dad (Harry Hamlin). But everyone around Lip is determined to see him succeed, even if he just wants to use his genius for silly things like Battle of the Bots. Fiona may be the heart of this show, but Lip truly is the brains, and watching them work in tandem to do every little bit they can for the family is our favorite part of this show. They have come a long way since the bickering of second season over how he wanted to run or ruin his life. Of course, they’re still siblings, and she’s still the head of the family, so tension is sure to arise even before she may pull rank again, threatening the closeness they have worked so hard to redevelop. But for now, they’re sticking together, and those are the Gallaghers we know and love.
Shameless season three seems to enhance everything we know about the Gallaghers. We’ve spent enough time with them to know what to expect from their behavior, but when the situations they find themselves in are that much more dire, they really have a chance to show their true colors. Watching Shameless is one of the most fun slice of life experiences we are able to have on television today, and we can’t wait to be inspired by their “dust ourselves off” spirit yet again. It’s the perfect way to start off a new year. We could all learn a lot about what’s really important, and how to make it through the rough stuff, from the Gallaghers.
Shameless returns to Showtime on January 13th 2013 at 9 p.m. Check out our video interview from the set for a little more scoop from Shanola Hampton and a cute moment with Emmy Rossum (more coming soon)!
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