There’s really no other way to describe this episode, which is the culmination of a group of storylines that portray the dark roads the Gallaghers are going down. It’s hard to watch what was once a happy, carefree family struggling like this, but as I’ve said before, it’s a necessary step for the show.
What “There’s The Rub” is all about is a lack of control, whether it be through Fiona’s, Lip’s, or Frank’s storylines. The main focus here is Fiona, someone who’s always had to deal with stress; yet, nothing’s ever blown up quite as much as it does here. Her relationship is dead, and to add insult to injury, it’s essentially her fault that Liam overdoses on cocaine. It’s not shocking for the sake of being shocking, but rather shocking as an understandable outgrowth of her actions; it’s certainly a punch right to the gut, though, and I hope the kid’s okay. It’s a gutsy move, really, having the fan favorite Fiona at fault here, and I’m glad the show’s taking this step and conveying a life in shambles.
I’ll also have to commend Emmy Rossum for her performance, as she brilliantly portrays a woman losing hold of her life, a woman who’s finally at the end of her rope. That final scene is absolutely heartbreaking, and throughout, Rossum has this disheveled look going; take a look at her scene in the office with Mike, and you’ll see why she’s one of the best working television actresses on right now.
Elsewhere, Ian’s storyline is just as heartbreaking, and here’s a scenario that ties into Lip’s lack of control. He can’t get through to Ian, and to add insult onto his injury, his big sister gets arrested at the end, evoking in him a sense of disappointment never felt before. He realizes that the Gallagher family literally can’t live without him, and what’s sad is that it means he might abandon his hopes for success. He’s a good brother, though, and I’m glad he still has Debbie; their scenes together in this episode are heartwarming.
Finally, even Frank’s losing something. In that short, yet fantastic, scene near the end, we get a sense of a rift opening up between him and Carl, the person who’s been by his side throughout all this. Frankly, the Gallaghers are not doing well right now, and this episode does a great job of tying together all the storylines and conveying that idea. These guys are fighters, but sometimes they’ll get knocked down.
-Sheila’s storyline is amusing, but I’m not very invested in it.
-I hate Robbie.
-Good on Mike for being a great guy about the whole situation.
-I’m interested in seeing how this is all going to go down in terms of the law.
Photo credit: Shameless, Showtime