Shameless, ‘I’m the liver’ review: What’s the Burning Man?

"Look at that. A new day and I’m still alive. Life is good.” 

When you’re young, playing footsies seems like a good idea and your parents are the ones reigning you in. Mostly, it’s for their own benefit—footsies between youngsters can disturb the other (read: adults) who are just trying to live.

Then, you grow up and maybe the words of your parents stay with you. Or maybe it’s just that you know yourself well and you decide that no, you can’t play footsies at a 12-step meeting.

Oh, you say that you’ll think about it, but you know. 

In ‘I’m The Liver,’ showrunner John Wells remins us viewers that oftentimes the scars that don’t bleed are the ones that have cut the deepest.

Scars is something Frank Gallagher (played by William H. Macy) knows a thing or two about. We see them in all their glory in ‘Milk Of The Gods‘ but let’s at least give him credit when credit is due—there will not be many things that stop him. As long as he’s (barely) alive and (barely) breathing, he will make it his mission to enjoy as much as possible, every day, being a sorry excuse of a human being and an even sorrier excuse of a (grand)father.

Sean Pierce (played by Dermot Mulroney) may throw a haymaker for Fiona Gallagher (played by Emmy Rossum), but the bloody lip she got out of this skirmish is nothing compared to the ways that her boss/love interest rebuffs her footsies overture.

The newly-free Fiona, who of course used a screwdriver to take out her ankle monitor, much to Sean’s liking/dismay, decides to fight chaos with… well, with her younger sister Debbie Gallagher (played by Emma Kenney). The end result, predictably, ends up poorly but this time, it’s Fiona who has to be the one throwing punches.

Lip Gallagher (played by Jeremy Allen White) is back and working at a student job like most students would do in the summers. (He has to pay for his education somehow, right?) To his credit, he continues ignoring some of the pitfalls that might have doomed him in past years and the only temptation he would gladly fall for is in Florida—oh, but he doesn’t have a girlfriend, just some “nice tatas.”

That is, until Lip sees Mandy Milkovich (played by Emma Greenwell). The two former lovelorn teenagers meet again, and Lip seems happy about it. Whereas they met and had so clearly grown apart in last season’s finale ‘Lazarus,’ it turns out that we were wrong that the Gallagher brother was at peace with it. Mandy is the one scar that Lip just can’t seem to shake off and the familiarity of being back in the South Side brings out a lot of feelings for him. He even concedes that she looks good, something we’re not sure we’ve seen often.

Ian Gallagher (played by Cameron Monaghan) feels a personal attack in ‘I’m The Liver’ and decides to do something about it… but thankfully, Mickey Milkovich (played Noel Fisher) manages to stop him just as he’s about to take off. It’s as if he tells him, ‘Remember, punches only hurt so long. Let’s inflict some pain forever.’

Carl Gallagher (played by Ethan Cutkosky) is firmly entrenched in his teenage years and, against all odds, he learns to his great joy, if not that of his sister Debbie, that a wheelchair is even better than scars.

Elsewhere, the characters play Russian roulette, as Svetlana (played by Isidora Goreshter) seems poised for a bigger and better role in season 5. She first starts teaching Debbie how to deal with boys and the mysteries of a seduction face.

And though she does help Kev’ (played by Steve Howey), she does so by inflicting a scar on V (played by Shanola Hampton). The result, in part because the change is so drastic and so, so obvious, sits poorly with Veronica. And you don’t blame her.