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Shameless “The Legend of Bonnie and Carl” Review (4×09)

16 Mar

shameless2_6I’m scared for Fiona Gallagher.

Just when you thought you saw her hit rock bottom already, this episode happens. Every single moment in this episode is heartbreaking, especially the subtle ones like Fiona joking with Veronica about flipping burgers or trying to make light of her felony charge.

Those moments make the big ones hit even harder. Fiona faces a multitude of criticism here, from the woman–someone who could very plausibly end up in a situation like hers–whose kid she babysat to Robbie’s sister, someone who’s completely justified in verbally tearing her apart in the middle of the office. Even the offer of a hooking job is implicitly degrading, reducing her to an object, someone who’s desperate enough to go through the motions and collect the cash. Only a few months ago, Fiona had everything, but her self-destructive behavior’s really taking a toll.

The most devastating part about her visit to World Wide Cups and her subsequent scathing putdown is the look of absolute defeat on her face as she leaves. That’s going to stick with her forever, and while earlier, she was able to muster up the effort to rush home on time, now, she’s slowly walking out, utterly alone and pretty much at rock bottom. She ventures over to the person who started this all–Robbie–and even he’s helpless; there’s no emotional or physical reprieve to be found anywhere for Fiona Gallagher, and this is not going to end well. Still, kudos to Emmy Rossum for slaying me every week.

Lip, meanwhile, is getting chased through his school–hilarious scene, by the way–and being set up with a schedule by Amanda. You can’t help but feel glad that he’s at least in school, figuring things out; yet, just like with Carl and Debbie’s storylines, there’s also a sense that things are about to go very, very wrong. For example, it’s great seeing Carl get his first kiss, but that comes after armed robbery. Debbie also crosses the line with the snakes, and she’s threatened by Matt’s girlfriend.

Everything’s teetering on the edge here, and some people are just trying to find a sense of normalcy; it’s so great to see Kevin bringing the Alibi to Frank, and it’s so great to see everyone doing something for this guy. He’s by no means an angel, but he deserves a shred of love and comfort before the end.

Ultimately, Shameless is once again able to effectively balance comedy and drama, delivering a really well-rounded, simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking episode here. For, that’s what the Gallaghers are all about, isn’t it? They’ll make us laugh and cry, but at heart, they’re the same crazy folks we’ve come to know and love.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-“If my hand is anything like the real thing, it’s off the chain.” Oh, Carl Gallager, who, by the way, is played perfectly by Ethan Cutkosky here.

-“Roger and I were going to get married and adopt them before he showed his true color, which is evidently brown and not red.” Sheila’s back.

-I fear for Mickey and Ian’s relationship, but I do love seeing them work together like this. “Now they’re black and blue balls.” Also, “Go tell them you have AIDS or something.”

-Oh, Mandy. That turned dark very quickly.

-“Microeconomics.” Alrighty, it’s so easy to find Lip now in this huge college campus!

-William H. Macy’s reaction to the Alibi Room is just perfection.

Shameless is on a roll right now. This might be my favorite season thus far.

Photo credit: Showtime, Shameless

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