This season of “Shameless” launches the Gallagher family into new territory. The family’s dynamic has always been at the core of the show, but it approaches a turning point now that the kids are grown up (with the exception of Liam). Fiona (Emmy Rossum, “The Day After Tomorrow”) must cope with her siblings’ resistance to being told what to do, and she seems to lose her sense of purpose in the transition.
The episode “Pimp’s Paradise” shows the calm before the storm. After getting evicted when their house is foreclosed, the Gallaghers navigate a series of hurdles to regain ownership of their home. They hope to return to a sense of normalcy, when their lives aren’t getting torn apart by drugs, jail or romantic strife.
This is normalcy for the Gallaghers: Liam getting lice, Debbie (Emma Kenney, “Epic”) seducing her employer recovering from cancer, Lip (Jeremy Allen White, “Afterschool”) getting his professor fired after nude pictures of her are leaked from his phone and Carl (Ethan Cutosky, “The Unborn”) using his (likely) drug money to pimp out their house with a slide and DJ booth.
As the family’s individual subplots drift further apart from one another, the episode struggles to reincorporate the driving element of the show’s drama: Frank (William H. Macy, “Fargo”), the only character who never changes. His attempt to reclaim his status as head of the household prompts Fiona to throw in the towel and move in with Sean (Dermot Mulroney, “The Grey”). With Fiona’s history of doomed relationships and Frank’s pattern of flighty opportunism, another upheaval is bound to hit soon.