TV Show Review

TV Review: SHAMELESS: Season 6, Episode 1: I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing [Showtime]

Emmy Rossum Ethan Cutkosky Shameless I Only Miss Her When I'm Breathing

Showtime‘s Shameless I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing TV Show Review. Shameless: Season 6, Episode 1: I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing presented some surprising turn of events from last season. The first that reared its head was Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher)’s new situation. How did Mickey get a minimum eight year prison sentence? For what he did (and tried to do) to Sammi? The off-screen prosecutor had to prove intent, that Mickey tried to kill her. She definitely tried to kill him in broad daylight. What sentence did she get? If the prosecutor was so successful in convicting Mickey (Mickey wasn’t wearing gloves when he did what he did, etc.), he must have been doubly so with broad-daylight-shooter Sammi.

It seems Mickey and Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) are not as broken up as they were at the conclusion of last season. Ian appeared to be at least conflicted about Mickey during their brief meeting in I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing, fueling Mickey’s hope and his parting request. Whether Ian will be able to fulfill that request is dubious. Like Mickey said, eight years is a long time.

I don’t quite get why Ian doesn’t want to be Mickey anymore: because Mickey wants Ian to be something that he is not (i.e. not schizophrenic)? It seemed Mickey had accepted Ian for Ian some time ago. Each time something new came up with Ian, Mickey eventually adjusted to that new reality because of his love for Ian. Whatever no reality, depression, realization Ian had, Mickey could deal with it. He proved that time and time again.

Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter) integrated herself into the lives of the Milkovichs, the management of The Alibi Room, and the ghetto of Chicago flawlessly. With newfound cleavage in tow, she was completely at home in every situation, including with neighborhood newbie workers.

Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) completely throwing away her marriage was no surprise. Her carpet bombing of that (potential) relationship was complete. Will Fiona get a divorce? She doesn’t care about her husband’s feelings at all so what’s the point? When her husband’s friends said last season that Fiona wasn’t a good person, they weren’t far from the truth. It isn’t that Fiona doesn’t care, she just cares more about what is right in front of her.

Unfettered compulsion led Fiona to get married. Now its led to infidelity. Fiona is more like her father than she realizes. He enters a situation and creates chaos e.g. “I love you” and so does she.

Carl Gallagher (Ethan Cutkosky) getting out of prison was one of the highlights of I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing. Carl had completely assimilated to “the street” and the section of it he choose to associate with.

This was an inevitable.

Carl had no strong male role model in his life. He also didn’t have a stable family. Carl saw the drug world glamorized on TV and in film. Through dipping his toe in the drug sales ‘occupation’ and his incarceration, Carl was able to become indoctrinated into that culture, and he gave himself over to it without a second thought. Now he has a crew. Now he can potentially make fast money. Now he may have a song or a movie made about him one day (at least in his mind anyway).

Carl’s acceptance into that culture was chanted by the incarcerated juveniles in the guise of a humorous phrase, cementing the sentiment.

When Carl returned home, he had morphed into someone else mentally and physically. That was abundantly clear when he entered his former home and looked at the surroundings and his sister with foreign eyes. Everything that he was looking at had become unimportant to him. He had just been released from what was important to him. What was important to him was now on the streets of Chicago.

Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy)’s remorse over Bianca’s death was hilarious. Not heart-felt. Hilarious (e.g. Frank’s promenade through the various religions of Chicago, looking for emotional solace). He only loved Bianca because of what he was getting from her: free sex, basic affection, money, drugs, a temporary roof over his head, and an extension of his carefree lifestyle. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a person that delivered some or all of that with no strings attached?

It looked as though Frank’s narcissism had finally been cracked in I Only Miss Her When I’m Breathing (e.g. he told his children that he loved them) but he was still firmly entrenched in it. All of his children’s responses were the same to his paterfamilias sentiment: too little, too late, and way too obvious where all of this is coming from. The eye-rolling and deep-rooted disdain on each of their faces following the utterances let the viewer know exactly how they all felt about their ‘father.’

Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White) falling for Helene Runyon (Sasha Alexander) had a consequence the viewer didn’t see coming. Jealousy. Lip is the most level-headed of the Gallaghers yet became blinded by his growing feelings for his proctor. Now that Runyon sees what is happening, at least from Lip’s side of things, I don’t believe it will be long before she begins pulling away.

Lip being incited to pursue teaching instead of a high paying job, if followed to fruition, is Bull dong. If Lip gets a high-paying job after he graduates, he could help his family in any number of ways. If he takes a low paying job i.e. becomes a teacher, he won’t be able to do any of that.

That is the route that Lip Gallagher will take, guaranteed (or he will take a high-paying job, quit two seconds later, then become a teacher). The writers of Shameless want to keep the Gallaghers as close to poverty as possible and they also want to keep Lip in Chicago. Those reasons are why, for no reason (it was never explained), Lip didn’t go to M.I.T., and why he wouldn’t pursue a high-paying job after graduating from college.

Tiffany “I want to fuck you” Thomas (Paige Diaz) was a one-off anomaly that I do not believe could exist in reality. If a girl was that comely and DTF, she would have a boyfriend that she was tupping constantly. She certainly wouldn’t have to proposition a random guy in class. Then again, it was amusing.

Leave your thoughts on this review and this episode of Shameless below in the comments section. For more Shameless reviews, photos, videos, and information, visit our Shameless Page, our Shameless Google+ Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, or “like” us on Facebook for quick updates.

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Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

  • Kate

    This is one of the first reviews I’ve read that wasn’t praising Mickey and Ian’s break up as being just what Ian needs (but, head’s up-it’s bipolar disorder Ian has been diagnosed with, not schizophrenia). I’m in complete agreement with you-Mickey always accepted anything Ian did/said/wanted, their breakup rang completely false, unless the writers were trying to brilliantly show us how delusional Ian’s brain is making him-having Ian insist that Mickey wanted to “fix” him when Mickey never said any such thing-Mickey only said Ian needed “help”, not fixing (and he said that after Ian had unprotected sex with a porn actor and subsequently kidnapped and endangered Mickey’s son). Plus I’m glad you brought up Mickey getting a maximum sentence for what would’ve been his first offense as an adult for a “crime” that didn’t result in any injury and that had been carried out more than a week before the police would’ve even been looking for evidence. Anything they found would’ve been circumstantial, and the “victim” herself was unconscious when she was put in the box, so she wouldn’t even be able to testify that Mickey was the culprit. John Wells needs to hire at least a consultant who worked on a legal show-or better yet, hand the reins over to David E. Kelley and inject some actual humor and cleverness back into the series. But I digress. Ian’s “promise”, while likely to be broken, was at least made-and Ian said “yeah” twice, so I too think (hope, pray) they’re leaving things open for when Mickey’s sentence is inevitably overturned and he’s set free due to lack of evidence. All this talk that Ian is going to “shine” and “grow” this season without Mickey completely turns to dust when all we’re hearing is he gets a new love interest. How does that make any sense? Mickey hasn’t held him back, Mickey’s been the one to keep Ian alive and safe. He’s the one that has taken a knife, a cross grave marker, and a baseball bat out of Ian’s hands and kept him from going completely over a line he might never be able to come back across. If the show really expects us to enjoy seeing Ian magically “fall” for another guy in a few episodes and think he’s found a true partner who is going to help him be healthier and happy, they’re probably in for a very rude shock. Fans are already vocal and Ian hasn’t even met this “not Mickey” yet.
    I enjoyed your observations on the other characters, especially the comparison of Fiona to Frank. I’d also like to throw in that it seems like both Fiona and Lip are in weird relationships that scream they are each looking for a parent figure more than a lover-I’m hoping that’s what bringing Helene’s son into the fray is going to point out-Lip can have some sort of weird sibling rivalry for Helene’s affections and finally wake up and notice that instead of a girlfriend, he was looking for a mom. Ian was the only Gallagher to have found a proper partner-even Debbie and Carl have already been in toxic relationships-and for whatever reasons the showrunners threw Gallavich away, at least for now. I hope they notice quickly that if everyone’s in a crappy relationship, viewers are going to stop checking in.
    Oh, and about Tiffany? Totally insulting that she was such a bimbo-if she was as dumb as they made her seem talking to Helene, how was she able to be in either Helene’s or Lip’s classes? They could’ve made her a hot female with brains, but, nope.

  • Nancy Cottone

    Could’ent agree with both of you more. The only thing that other fans do not get is if they never wanted to bring Mickey back they would have killed him off. but Kate your right when this new guy shows up Gallavich fans won’t be happy and make it known the writers and producer’s better be ready to do a 1-80

  • Jo

    I don’t understand where this mentality comes from that the writers would have killed Mickey off if they didn’t want there to be a possibility of his returning. They literally said he was locked up for fifteen years. He’s not getting out early for good behavior because doing hits in prison for cash to send to his family is anything but law abiding behavior. They make a point of mentioning this within the narrative for the sole purpose of making it clear he’s locked up for good. If they wanted to write him out of the show temporarily, there were better, easier solutions that would have made more sense. And before anyone says “but he tried to kill Sammi of course he was put in jail for that,” just remember that 1) technically Debbie was also involved in this stunt and 2) this is the same show that has had Frank responsible for the death of multiple characters and blowing up Sheila’s house with a person inside with no repercussions whatsoever. I mean, I hate to be the jerk popping people’s bubbles here, but we need to be realistic. The only way Mickey would return is if the ratings slipped so severely they needed to do something to bring them back up, and with Shameless already renewed for a seventh season, that just seems unlikely at this point.

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