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'Shameless' fan recap: Here's to the night of bad ideas

Season 5 | Episode 4| “A Night To Remem…Wait, What?” | Aired Feb 1, 2015

If you’ve seen any of the movies in The Hangover franchise, this week’s Shameless probably seemed familiar. Frank wakes up hungover on the day he’s supposed to receive his insurance check for over $120,000 (for having Carl break his leg). He goes to collect the check, only to discover that he already got it the day before. Thus begins an episode-long search to find the funds he accidentally spent.

It’s hard, as is often the case lately, not to feel that Frank is taking valuable screen time from characters we actually want to see. The caper ends when Frank learns that he blew his whole wad on prosthetics for child amputees. It’s tempting to feel frustrated that Frank didn’t hold on to the money, but that’s exactly the point. To someone with Frank’s level of dependency, money is often a means to more bad choices, not better ones. (And at least this did some actual good.)

While Frank is stumbling around trying to find his fortune, Lip is walking in to somebody else’s. After barely making it out of the construction site alive, Lip decides to bail on the job with Tommy and take Amanda (Nichole Bloom) up on her offer to visit her in Miami. Amanda’s home is every bit as magnificent as one might imagine, and Lip is entirely out of his comfort zone. Last time Lip saw Amanda’s parents, they were offering him $10,000 to never see her again; naturally, the first thing her father (Ian Kahn) does is ask for his money back. It feels like there is no way Lip is going to make it through the visit without some major fireworks, but things take a delightful turn when the two men realize they share a passion for engineering. What started out as Amanda’s attempt to get under her father’s skin turns into a fortuitous relationship for Lip. By night’s end, Lip has the promise of a future paid internship and the opinion of a very successful man saying he has a successful career ahead of him. Not to mention that they share a joint.

It always bothered me that Lip’s natural intelligence was completely forgotten when he got to college. I get that it illustrates his unfamiliarity with hard work, but there was an innate brilliance that he had in high school that all but disappeared when he arrived at college. It was fun to get to see smart Lip again and to watch him interact with someone who shares his interests. As with all of the Gallaghers, anytime someone encourages them and makes them feel worth something, it’s a major win.

As the episode goes on, we continue to watch Frank trace his mistakes step-by-step. Perhaps it is to remind us that Fiona inherited her spectacular ability to make terrible decisions. I didn’t do a full recap last week, so I missed the opportunity to tell you all how much I loved (LOVED!) when Gus played the guitar for Fiona, and they shared their first kiss. I had so much hope for them. He is kind and talented, and she seems like the best version of herself with him.

But, of course, she had to go and Fiona it up. Even when she thinks she’s making good choices, surrounding herself with people who seem safe, she manages to be impulsive and stupid. It’s as if Fiona thinks the sex haze she and Gus were living in was a pretend world, a world in which the things she did wouldn’t have real consequences. Which is why when Debbie calls her—a real person from her real life—it occurs to her for the first time what she has done. She can’t even tell her sister she got married—or rather, she realizes that she got married and her sister doesn’t even know. It’s insane, and Fiona knows it.

I’m bummed. There’s no hope for this relationship now. Maybe Sean was always supposed to be endgame for Fiona, at least this season. Maybe we’re supposed to be hoping for a Jimmy reconciliation (for the record, I think that would be another bad Fiona choice). Whatever the plan, I liked Gus (Steve Kazee is something special), and now there is no chance that this will last.

Debbie may have more luck in love this season, though. She asks Fiona if she can go on the pill, suggesting that she thinks her inappropriate experience with Matty will lead to more sex. I’m hoping that it has the opposite effect, and that when push comes to shove, the whole mess will make her realize how unready she is.

Later, when Debs runs into her ex-friends, Holly calls Debbie out on her inability to get a guy to sleep with her consensually. (Seriously, though, how did she possibly find that out?) In response, Debbie punches her square in the face, inciting a four-on-one fight that Debbie can’t possibly win. An adorable boy comes to her rescue, and it momentarily appears that he’s into her before he tells her she’s pathetic and she shouldn’t start fights she can’t win. He is (conveniently) wearing a shirt with a gym logo on it, and Debbie tracks him down. She decides it’s in her best interest to learn how to fight, though she likely just wants to spend more time around the boy. I have a feeling this is just the beginning for these two.

Final Thoughts

  • Ian continues to spiral further out of control. His manic episode is getting harder to deny, and Mickey and Svetlana are officially concerned. It remains to be seen what they will do to intervene, but it’s safe to say things are going to come to a head soon.
  • Carl has begun selling drugs. That’s all I have to say about that. Carl just makes me so sad.
  • V and Kev continue to struggle after the birth of their babies. Kev is having a much harder time separating; V is desperate for couple time. It culminates with her sorta accidentally climaxing while grinding with a guy at a bar. Oops.
  • Anyone miss Sammi?

Shameless airs Sundays at 9/8C on Showtime.

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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