Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Frank vs. Fiona


Are the Gallagher’s going straight to hell for their sins or will their redeeming humanity save them from eternal fire? This week, the Gallagher’s stole a dead body - which, sounds bad enough - but their intention was to pass the body off as their long-dead Aunt Ginger, forge her will, and take possession of her house. If you believed that the clan could really nick a dead body from a geriatric home, then you stopped believing it when they had to cut off a toe with a pair of bolt cutters – Aunt Ginger only had nine.   
But Shameless really isn’t about all its antics. The sex and the nudity are meant to keep our attention. The drugs and dysfunction are entertainment. The power behind the drama is seeing how tight family threads are woven, how strong sibling bonds can be before they snap under the strain of an alcoholic father who literally sleeps on the street. Humanity is really at the heart of this show and Fiona (Emmy Rossum) gives another stellar performance.
But this week the central question of the show, the pink elephant in the room, or the 800-pound gorilla, is why Frank (William H. Macy) is still in the picture at all? After all he has done to destroy his own family, for some reason or other, he always appears as the fulcrum of all the Gallagher’s problems. Fiona describes him as “scabies” that keep coming back, but I keep wondering what it is, exactly, that is keeping him from leaving. He definitely isn’t sticking around to look after the kids. And with a history of conning everyone that crosses his path, I’m sure he could survive without collecting welfare checks from the state. Whatever the case, the show finally addressed Frank’s uselessness to the Gallagher’s with Fiona taking legal steps to take custody of her siblings.
Although Fiona's actions are deplorable, her intentions are pure. She forges her dead Aunt’s will and steals a body that was slated from cremation, but she did it to prove to the courts she had a safe home to raise her siblings. She falsifies a W-2 form that she stole from the local bar to prove that she can support her siblings financially. She might not be going straight to the pearly gates, but damnation seems are far cry.  

What was memorable about this week’s episode was the emotional honesty that Fiona shows in court, while pleading with the judge to take custody away from the nefarious Frank. There are manic and maniacal explosions of emotions that take our breath away on Shameless, but this week, Fiona stood in front of the judge, solemn and introspective, with her heart on her sleeve. She told her earliest memory at six years old of driving around with Frank and her two younger siblings, when suddenly Frank leaves them on the side of the road and never comes back. With her brothers under her arms, she walks miles to the nearest clinic to save her younger brother who had a fever of 104. Fiona pleads with the judge, not on her own behalf or for admiration, but to spare her siblings the same horrors, and that’s why we love watching Shameless. Watch the clip above.

Loose Thought:

Karen is back! I know most of the Shameless community hates her for abandoning her baby with Down Syndrome earlier in the season, but I’m looking forward to more craziness that doesn’t involve Frank. A little worried about Lip falling back in love with her, but hey, it was only a matter of time!

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