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Shameless “Emily” Review (4×11)

31 Mar

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Shameless has always been excellent when it comes to juggling comedic and dramatic storylines, and this episode proves it; simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming, it manages to provide our characters with some much-needed resolutions while setting up for the finale.

On the light side, we have Lip and Amanda’s situation, which turns out to be a very sitcom-y, yet insanely enjoyable sequence of coincidences. I’m seeing a genuine attraction between the two, and something like that’s most certainly good for Lip; he needs some kind of stability in his life, and college and a relationship can provide it.

Elsewhere, we also have the brilliant, cathartic coming out of Mickey, a moment that should not have worked at all. Yet, it does, and that’s due mostly to the work of Noel Fisher. I never thought Mickey would turn out to be one of the most complex and interesting characters in this show, but guess what? He has, and Fisher’s been doing some fantastic work; he’s brought a lot of depth to the character, and he’s been extremely adept at inserting those flickers of uncertainty and hesitation throughout. It just makes it all the more satisfying when he comes out in this episode; afterward, the conversation between him and Ian is a beautiful coda to one aspect of their relationship and a welcoming beginning to another. Now, that’s not to say it’s going to be all sunshine and roses from here on out; Ian’s someone who jumps from place to place, easily bored and seemingly unwilling to commit to any one thing. Mickey, on the other hand, attempts to put up a brave face, but there’s no question that he does care about his social standing.

Frank’s storyline also isn’t all sunshine and roses. In fact, it’s devastating, in particular the ending of the episode. I knew from the start that Emily was probably going to die, but that certainly doesn’t diminish the power the juxtaposition of seeing Frank heartbroken and crying for Fiona, and then seeing Fiona in the prison shower. He had a part in putting her there, and he knows it; earlier on, he apologizes to her through Emily, but he later has to watch himself (metaphorically) throw away someone else’s life. Powerful stuff right there.

The episode, as a whole, is a hilarious, heartbreaking hour of television, and I’m excited to see what the writers have in store for us next week. This has been a truly fantastic season of television, and there’s no question that this is one of the best shows on right now.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-I wish the show would be willing to let Frank’s character go, but every time I see a scene like the one in this episode–when he apologizes to Fiona through Emily–I’m reminded of how good William H. Macy is, and there’s a small part of me that wants to keep him. I wonder what his arc next season will be.

-When Bonnie took off her shirt, did any of you get a sense of possible abuse?

-“You’re free to go. If I arrest you, its gonna be a lot of paperwork; keep me there all night. I’d rather get home to my husband, Carlos.” That was sweet.

-Already at the end of the season? Noooo…..

Game of Thrones premiere and Shameless at the same time next week? Ugh.

Photo credit: Shameless, Showtime

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