'Shameless' season 10 episode 2: Lip's breastfeeding and eventual breakdown is a milestone moment on show
Contains spoilers for season 10, episode 5
'Bad Moms', 'Working Moms' and even 'The Letdown' are some of the terms that women are often labeled with when it comes to being a single, new parent.
Women struggling to make ends meet, while taking care of their newborn all by themselves - trying to squeeze in naps in between bursts of crying and diaper changes with poop in their hair and not remembering the last time they showered, is something we are accustomed to seeing on the screen as a homage to the severe job of being a single female parent to a newborn.
But on Shameless' season 10, the gender roles are reversed as Lip Gallagher finds himself without any help, trying to take care of his days-old son after his girlfriend and the baby's mother, Tammi, hemorrhages following an emergency C-section. At the end of a difficult day, Lip breaks down finally and since this is the first time we have seen the guy cry on the show, it's certainly a milestone moment.
In the wake of Tammi still being in the ICU, Lip's job isn't just changing diapers or feeding his baby on time. The 20-something-old first-time dad even has to wear a prosthetic breast to get the baby into the habit of breastfeeding, as Tammi believes that helps with attachment issues. Meanwhile, baby Freddie has a severe case of green diarrhea and between sleep deprivation and Debbie holding his share of Fiona money hostage, Lip is too exhausted to go out to buy diapers.
Lip keeps promising he will quit smoking for good, but clearly nicotine is the only thing that is keeping him functioning. He wears three nicotine patches at a time, and a rubber glove to prevent the smell of cigarettes getting on his baby. And being up for over 27 hours, when he finally sits down to bathe himself and baby in the tub, the shit hits the bathtub.
It starts with his baby pooping again in the water, and in all the commotion, as he tries to get out, he slips and lands on the floor. But at that point, all Lip can care about is that he didn't drop his baby. Frank walks in on a drenched, naked Lip sitting on the bathroom floor with his baby huddled to his chest, and in the most unlikely development, tells Lip to "get some rest, son."
It is this moment of unexpected compassion from his father that gives us the treasured and tragic Lip breakdown that we have never quite seen in the show's past. At that moment, the tough as nails intelligent, funny, and charming Lip is a vulnerable young single parent, trying to cope with caring for a newborn baby for the first time. He is trying so hard and still coming up short and that's what makes this breakdown so real. It's raw and relatable, but that's something 'Shameless' has always done best as well.
'Shameless' season 10 airs on Sundays at 9 pm only on Showtime.