Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Grab a Shovel and Start Digging"


GRADE: B+

Shameless faithful are all too familiar watching Frank make one poor life decision after another. For the most part, the storyline gets tidily patched back up by the end of the episode – usually with Frank passed out on the front yard – and we’re all free to sit back and watch his next bright idea brilliantly explode.
But in “The Sins of My Caretaker,” Frank’s antics finally catch up with him, and it’s nice to see that son-of-a-bitch actually have to help clean up the mess he left behind. To make a long story short, Frank buried his dead aunt in his backyard so that he could cash her social security checks, and with the city digging up the pipes in a few days, Frank literally digs skeletons out of his backyard. When Frank is weary to start digging, Fiona memorably tells him: “This isn’t a DUI, Frank. You buried a body...” This time it’s jail time. 


Without careening forward through all the storylines, this episode felt slower and more relaxed, which allowed for a lot of subtle character development. For example, Lip and Fiona are both struggling with commitment issues, which is not surprising considering the relationships they’ve endured with their parents. Lip fears his clingy girlfriend, Mandy, is getting overly attached, but he’s still too emotionally beat-up from a nasty break-up with his sex-addicted ex-girlfriend, Karen, who left town last season (nobody really liked her, anyway). But at the end of the episode, Lip breaks down and apologizes to Mandy after realizing that he doesn’t want Karen’s ghost still haunting him. He leaves a message on Karen’s machine thanking her for leaving him, screaming, almost in tears that: “we all owe you a huge fucking favor.”
Watching Lip’s tough fa├žade chip and then crack was a gratifying moment in the episode, not to mention, we’re getting fonder and fonder of Mandy who actually is starting to grow on me as she falls for Lip. Who knows? They might make a good couple after all.
Fiona is in a similar situation trying to connect with her significant other Jimmy who’s in the midst of an emotional break down after learning his father was gay. But with everything else going on in the episode – namely digging up a dead body in the back yard – Fiona didn’t have the energy to console Jimmy, who finally blows up at her asking her why she can care for so many people, but not for him. Unlike Lip and Mandy, Fiona’s story doesn’t have a happy ending: she calls him before she goes to bed to find out where he is, and the scene cuts to Jimmy on a couch with the beautiful Brazilian, Estefania, naked on his lap. Not surprising for Shameless, but not good, Jimmy... not good.



Loose thoughts:
o   At least, Carl doesn’t think he has cancer anymore – I really didn’t like where that was going. I know Shameless seriously has no shame when it comes to content – like the little boy in this episode who thinks she’s a girl – but, let’s be honest, chronic disease in children is really not funny. 
o   Debbie kicked some girl ass at the pool, after a pep talk from Fiona, and you can really see Debbie taking after her big sister. Like Fiona said, “Nobody fucks with the Gallaghers.”

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