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'Shameless' recap: Dawn of a new day

Season 5 | Episode 2 | “I’m the Liver” | Aired Jan 18, 2015

It’s Father’s Day on Shameless, but it is the Gallagher stand-in mother who really has reason to celebrate. Fiona is finally off house arrest and she cannot wait another second to get her ankle monitor off. Taking matters (and a screwdriver) into her own hands, Fiona frees herself from her shackles and heads to an NA meeting. She shows Sean, her boss/crush, her newly naked ankle and not so subtly makes her interest in him known.

Later, after Fiona waits patiently and professionally on very rude customers, they leave her with no tip. Southside Fiona comes out in full force as she follows them out of the restaurant to give them a piece of her mind. Things escalate and Fiona gets slapped. But it is when the male diner calls her a slut that Sean goes completely postal on him.

Watching Sean defend her honor gives Fiona the confidence to try to move things forward. She invites him to join her at a concert that night, but he walks out without giving her an answer. Confused, Fiona goes ahead with her plans, inviting Debs to go with her instead. As she’s getting ready to leave the house, Sean shows up to explain his swift exit earlier. Sean has it bad for Fiona, but what he understands is that the chaotic nature of her life is what makes her both incredibly appealing and terribly dangerous. Fiona, who should really understand the realities of addiction a little better, seems surprised that Sean would be running from her when they are clearly so compatible. Using the NA meetings as foreplay worked for Fiona because the meetings were a court-ordered nuisance that she didn’t really need. For Sean, they are life. Fiona brings out parts of Sean that he works very hard to keep at bay. He has a son, he has a restaurant, he has to make responsible choices. Recognizing the havoc that a relationship with Fiona could wreak on his life separates Sean from Fiona. She has never had the ability to walk away from temptation, even when she’s known there were potentially bad consequences (see: Robbie). There is a stark contrast in the maturity of these two people.

Fiona is so proud of herself for making it to the end of her house-arrest sentence, and Sean’s assessment of her feels like a slap in the face. But when she gets into a fistfight protecting Debs and has to run like crazy, dragging her 14-year-old sister behind her, the truth of Sean’s words begins to dawn on Fiona. How much progress has she actually made? She’s still making impulsive choices with potentially catastrophic results.

While Fiona is coming to terms with her deeper demons, Mickey is starting to realize that Ian hasn’t truly dealt with his. When Ian hears about a soldier dying nearby, he insists on putting on a uniform and heading to the funeral. Mickey goes with him, only to witness the love of his life go completely bananas at the Westboro-style protestors chanting anti-gay slurs and blaming the soldier’s death on homosexuality. Mickey beautifully manages Ian’s rage by promising him that they would come up with a plan to hurt the protestors, but flying off the handle in public is not the answer. (Especially because the Army is actively looking for him, and drawing attention to himself is the last thing he should be doing.)

When Mickey Milkovich says he’ll come up with a plan, he means it. They recruit Mandy, who lures the pastor of the protesting church back to the Milkovich house for sex. She convinces him to close his eyes while she fellates him, and then she tags out and has a male friend take her place. They break out the cameras and capture the homophobic pastor in this extremely compromising position. This is Shameless at its absolute best. A wonderfully executed plan that reminds us how resourceful these South Siders can be. It also illustrates how committed Mickey is to being there for Ian. His refusal to check in with Fiona even as it is becoming clearer that Ian is slipping is likely not the wisest move, but there is no denying his heart is in the right place.

Frank is contacted by the father of his liver donor and invited to a Father’s Day dinner with the other organ recipients. This man wants to give himself one last Father’s Day with his son, so he has decided to bring all of his organs (and their new owners) together for a meal. It is as depressing as it sounds, and these poor people have to deal with the fact that their son’s perfectly good liver has been given to a man with a commitment to destroying it. The profoundly sad situation is mitigated (at least slightly) by the comedic brilliance of Emily Bergl. Sammi is still desperately trying to connect with Frank, and her antics are getting more over-the-top. I am not a huge fan of the character, but she definitely lightened the mood of a very somber story.

Elsewhere on the South Side:

  • Debbie is getting more and more desperate to have sex. The rift with her friends is making her feel like a loser, and she believes that sex with fix things once and for all. She isn’t having much luck on her own, though, and so she enlists Svetlana for some advice. Svet gives her a beautiful haircut and a whole lot of makeup. Fiona is not happy with Debbie getting pointers from Svetlana.
  • V isn’t too pleased with Svetlana either. Kev and Svetlana spent the day together after running into each other in the park. They’ve formed a little play group that happens to include Svetlana breastfeeding Kev and V’s girls (!!!) and giving Kev a haircut. (V likes it long.)
  • Lip got a job doing manual labor at a construction site and is really struggling. He did have a really sweet encounter with Mandy, though. So there’s that.
TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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