Mar 29 2015

Shameless – “Drugs Actually” Retrospective. Departures, Near and Far.


Season 5, Episode 11

Air Date: Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 9:00 pm ET/PT on Showtime



What’s a girl like that doing with Frank anyway?” – Mickey

Taking center stage in this week’s episode of Shameless is Frank (William H. Macy) and Bianca (guest star Bojana Novakovic), who continue their romantic interlude. Then, Kev (Steve Howey) and Vee (Shanola Hampton) finally come together (pun intended) while Fiona (Emmy Rossum) and Sean (Dermot Mulroney) take their friendship to another level. Mickey (Noel Fisher), Fiona, Lip (Jeremy Allen White), and Debbie (Emma Kenney) deal with Ian’s (Cameron Monaghan) recent arrest and visit him in military prison. And last, but certainly not least, there’s Sammi. What a…we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s see just how shameless everyone gets in “Drugs Actually.”

Look at what Sammi has done to Ian.

Look at what Sammi has done to Ian.

I can’t believe the depths Sammi sank to in “South Side Rules” when she reported Ian’s whereabouts to the military. I know Sammi has a few screws loose but I didn’t expect her to take things out on Ian in such a reprehensible manner. With Ian in military prison, I don’t blame Fiona for wanting to “set Sammi’s clothes on fire with her in them.” However, as Sammi gathers her things together to get ready to move out of the Gallagher household, it’s not Fiona she should be worried about. Sammi really needs to watch her back; that gun she has isn’t going to help her. I love all the ways writer Davey Holmes comes up with for the Gallaghers to get revenge on Sammi, and I especially enjoyed the visual as Debbie daydreams how she and Mickey are going to enact that revenge. I relish what happens in the end—it couldn’t happen to a better person.

A ledge is not the place to practice ballet moves, Bianca.

A ledge is not the place to practice ballet moves, Bianca.

Frank continues to show Bianca the best of life as he knows it. Drinking the most expensive liquor money can buy, smoking weed, and now wanting to try crack, Bianca doesn’t stop at anything to live life to the fullest. It’s nice to know there’s something Frank won’t do because it “wreaks havoc on the immune system.” I’ll admit, though, Frank and Bianca standing on the roof ledge gave me a bit of anxiety but nothing compared to what happens on the train tracks. Frank explains it best, “You want to feel alive to the day you croak.” Having an autoimmune disease myself, I understand wanting to have the best life has to offer, but Bianca’s actions are becoming more erratic than ever, leading Frank to do the one thing she asked her not to. Even though she forgives him, I wonder what Frank will do when Bianca dies. Because with only a 2% survival rate, you know that day is coming. Season six here we come!

Ian's loved ones try to the rescue.

Ian’s loved ones to the rescue.

The rage in Ian’s eyes when Fiona, Lip, Debbie, Mickey, and little Liam (Brenden/Brandon Sims) attend his military hearing is so intense, it could kill any one of them in a flash. It’s not easy hearing your loved ones tell a perfect stranger about your bipolar episodes. They’re only trying to keep him from being court martialed though. What surprises me most in “Drugs Actually” is learning Ian has been keeping in touch with his mother Monica (guest star Chloe Webb). And now she’s back, ready to take care of her baby as only she knows how, telling him he’ll never be able to make his family happy. I know in her sad demented mind, Monica loves Ian but what she tells him and what she does is unconscionable.

Even though Kev moved home last week, it doesn’t mean he and Vee have reconciled. Sometimes, though, it takes a crisis to bring people together and that’s what happens in “Drugs Actually.” A water leak at The Alibi does the trick by forcing them to work together to repair the damage. Watching Kev and Vee talk, as they learn about each other’s sexploitations while separated is hysterical. It’s easy to see how much they want each other but neither one is willing to give in first. Thankfully, Kev says just the right thing and the two reconcile in perfect Kev/Vee fashion. Long live love!

This is what happens when you 'dance' the night away.

This is what happens when you ‘dance’ the night away.

Sean and Fiona seem to be getting a lot closer these days. He’s always around when Fiona needs him, and vice versa, or as he says, “Using other people’s problems to ignore your own.” But Fiona is going to face her problems because Gus (guest star Steve Kazee) is on his way home. Still, even knowing that, she continues to flirt with Sean, especially after he tells her he’s “deeply attracted” to her. Did anyone notice that come hither look she gives him while dancing? If that doesn’t say ‘take me,’ I don’t know what does! What is up with Fiona? I know her upbringing wasn’t the best but why does she always choose the flawed man instead of the almost perfect man? Just once, I’d like to see her choose with her head instead of her nether regions.

I don’t know what to make of Lip’s relationship with Helene (guest star Sasha Alexander). He has to know it can’t go anywhere. Sneaking her out of his dorm room can only lead to trouble. And doesn’t he feel like a third wheel at her friend’s party as Helene and her husband (guest star Michael Reilly Burke) stand there arm-in-arm? Sure, she does nice things for Lip, buying him nice clothes and arranging a ride to the military prison, but I just don’t get it. Sorry.



As the penultimate episode of season five, “Drugs Actually” does a good job of setting up the season finale. Frank and Bianca have taken off for parts unknown, and Monica and Ian are in the wind. Debbie and Mickey may be in for heaps of trouble if anyone finds out what they did to Sammi, and Fiona has to make the biggest decision of her life before Gus gets home from being on tour. “Drugs Actually” has great dialogue, fantastic acting—especially by Monaghan who is turning in some of the best acting of his career—and superb direction by Mimi Leder. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

What did you think of “Drugs Actually?” Who do you think Fiona will choose? Hit me up on Twitter @SeasideTV, or leave me a comment below.

Tune in to Shameless Sundays at 9:00 pm ET/PT, only on Showtime.

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All photos © 2015 Showtime Network, a wholly owned affiliate of CBS Corporation. All Rights Reserved.



© 2015, Linda. All rights reserved.


Love TV, movies, and books--mostly mysteries, with a good love story thrown in every now and then. I have four adopted dogs who I adore. I love trying new recipes, and enjoy eating what I make. English language perfectionist. Reading in bed, Italian food, warm weather, the beach, all types of games = favs!

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