Shameless season 8, episode 5 recap: Fiona and Ian commence the first Gallagher war


Photo Credit: Shameless/Showtime, Chuck Hodes Image Acquired from Showtime Press Express

It’s Gallagher vs. Gallagher on Shameless as Fiona and Ian compete for the same abandoned church for very different reasons. Who will win?

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Well, that’s a Shameless first. The Gallagher siblings have fought, physically and otherwise, more times than you can count on all of their hands combined. They have fought over rent, pregnancies, their parents, sobriety, and petty little arguments. But we have never seen them engaged in real estate wars. That’s right. The Gallaghers are in a position to be able to wage war with each other over real estate. New priorities, who dis?

For much of Season 8, the Gallaghers have maintained a united front. There hasn’t been so much as a bickering match under the Gallagher roof. Even when that whole meth debacle ruffled some feathers, it didn’t reach the usual Shameless heights. Our Gallaghers have grown. But don’t underestimate their sibling bond and the dramatics they can display when a disagreement falls into their lap. Unlike the dust-ups they’re accustomed to, Fiona and Ian’s latest battle, the first of Season 8 and the first of its kind for the series, proves their growth in two ways: What it’s about and how they’ll handle it. So far, only one of these things is mature.

To her credit, Fiona’s operating under the mindset of career upward momentum. She wants to keep up the pace of grabbing deep-pocketed renters, and that means cleaning up the neighborhood. When she notices an abandoned church for rent down the block, she’s immediately interested in who’s biting. After all, whatever happens to land in the church will either help or hinder prospective tenants from renting with her. Fiona catches wind that an art gallery passed on the property and a shelter’s looking to rent. Well, that just won’t do.

However, what Fiona doesn’t know is that Ian’s leading the charge for said shelter to move into the church. Given a mission by Trevor to secure new housing for his at-risk youth, Ian wastes no time in scouting the perfect place. Whether his motives are getting back in Trevor’s good graces (which works tenfold — let’s just say Trevor woke up at Ian’s house) or finding the kids a home, he’s on the case. Unfortunately, that means running to a rich older man he pleasured in his dancing days for an investment. But his sister doesn’t offer any shred of understanding.

Photo Credit: Shameless/Showtime, Chuck Hodes Image Acquired from Showtime Press Express

Can you blame Fiona for wanting to avoid at-risk youth muddying the already dicey reputation of her building’s neighborhood? While she’s not entirely attempting to gentrify the block, she would like there to be fewer needles and sketchy behavior dropping property value. It’s smart, and she’s thinking like a businesswoman. But does that mean she should toss out her relationship with Ian and bark at him to find another church? You can’t really say. Sure, it’s awful to prioritize your work over your family member’s selfless endeavor, but we have to give Fiona and Ian props. They are both fighting for what’s truly important them.

Speaking of fighting for what’s important to you, we need to talk about Lip. The poor guy has been put through the wringer, and his dance with the devil hasn’t ended just yet. He and his coworker Robbie enjoy a casual sexual relationship, though “enjoy” is a relative term since she hits him, chokes him, and scratches him without remorse. Despite the discomfort, Lip doesn’t speak up, and he doesn’t either when his sponsor and best bud Brad starts showing warning signs of buckling under the pressure of new fatherhood. Lip’s been saved so many times that the act of saving others is still an intangible concept.

But he tries when he discovers Brad gives into the pressure and relapses. Lip finds him sulking in a bar, relieving his stress with their sworn enemy. For Lip, it’s a traumatic experience. Brad had never seemed to be on the brink of relapse. That hadn’t ever seemed like a possibility; Brad was his safety net. Yet he’s drowned his sorrows and looks to get behind the wheel, which forces Lip to intervene. Adding insult to injury, Brad beats Lip senseless and drives off. What do you do when your hero falls from grace? Let’s hope for Lip’s sake that he doesn’t follow down the same tragic path.

Next: Shameless season 8, episode 4 recap: One step forward, two steps back

Odds & Ends:

  • Frank has moved into his “forties” and really takes to imparting wisdom onto Liam. Is it healthy wisdom? Jury’s out. But Frank bites back at the cultural bias at Liam’s school, which catches the eye of a woman super turned on by his filth.
  • Debs, Debs, Debs. Just when she’s happily singing some Bruno Mars to Franny, she’s running into her baby daddy, getting drunk, and taking ecstasy on a road trip. I don’t know about you, but I can’t handle another addicted Gallagher.
  • Kev and V spar with Svetlana over their earnings at the bar, but the negotiations take a sobering turn when V can’t resist Svetlana’s advances. Meanwhile, Kev leans into his roots a little too much. Like, way too much. Stop it.
  • Carl’s side story was actually one Shameless’ most original in a long time. After holding his drug-addicted neighborhood thief captive in the basement and forcing him to get clean, the thief comes crawling back with his drugged out girlfriend and cash. Looks like Carl’s got an underground rehab service to make up for his lost scholarship.
  • Also, the Gallaghers have had a basement this whole time?

What did you think of the latest episode? Let us know in the comments!

Shameless airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.