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Shameless - Fuck Paying it Forward - Review



“Fuck paying it forward.” -Fiona

This week’s Shameless was the fourth episode to the show’s eighth season. It followed an episode in which the Gallagher clan came together to dig up their dead mother in order to fetch the drugs that had been buried with her. Ouch. A tough act to follow, right? Absolutely, but this is what I love about this show, every episode can be completely different, yet still entirely entertaining. While “Fuck Paying it Forward” wasn’t as awesome as last week’s epic episode, it gave us solid storylines and performances all around.

In this episode, each one of the Gallagher siblings had their own individual subplot, but that did not mean the characters didn’t come together to support each other through their perils. In my opinion, this is what Shameless does best. It’s quite incredible how much the characters have grown since the first season, and through all the shit that has happened since, they’re still all there for one another.

Lip’s mission during this hour of Shameless revolved around satisfying his most primal urge. Now committed to his recovery, the eldest brother has to wait at least a year before entering a relationship. If he doesn’t, he’s likely to fall back into his old drinking patterns. Lip really does seem to have turned a new leaf, and stopped following his alcoholic father's footsteps. This means he’s been abstaining from sex for...a while? I’m not sure how long it’s been but he’s hella horny, and wanking off just doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. So, “Fuck Paying it Forward” starts off with Lip’s wet dream interruptus, due to Liam and his action figures. Weird spot to play, kid, I have to tell ya.


“Another stiffy?” -Liam

So being cock-blocked, even in his dreams, Lip downloads Tinder, in the hopes of finding a girl down for casual sex, no strings attached. When he does, Lip meets up with his “date” at a bar. This scene was a huge moment for Lip, as he leaves the bar almost immediately, after tasting the rhum on the girl’s tongue. It definitely showed how committed he is to his sobriety. The Gallaghers are party people, and Lip in particular likes to act without too much regard for the consequences, they live in the moment, but Lip wasn’t willing to risk it. In the end everything finally worked out for the recovering addict, but I’m guessing Lip will have a hard time not getting attached. It’s what he does. He cares. We'll just have to wait and see.

Fiona’s issues this season have mostly surrounded her new source of income, and the problems that come with owning a property in a shady neighborhood. The newly appointed landlady, is woken by Nessa with reports of her resident Junkie stuck in a fence. As she finds the red-head seated in the kitchen, she asks for her help. Having been kicked out and dumped by Neil, Debbie is back on Wallace Street. The animosity between Fiona and Debbie has finally completely dissipated. I applauded the lack of drama surrounding Debbie’s return. The Gallaghers are all almost adults, and they can deal with their issues like adults, almost. The drama for Fiona turned out to be unrelated to her tenants, and unrelated to her sister, as Shaun makes an appearance at their front door opening her still fresh wounds.


“You don’t need him Fiona. You’re a strong independent woman, just like me.” –Debbie

My favorite moment of the episode was the sisterly talk between Debbie and Fiona. They haven’t had many moments where they act as equals, and not many moments outside their mother/daughter dynamic. Fiona leaning on her little sister, for once, was an appreciated change of pace, and beautifully showcased their growth. They’re on much better grounds than they have been for a couple of seasons now. This was further demonstrated by Fiona willing, and wanting, to help Debbie out with Franny.

Speaking of the new and responsible Debbie, this episode really demonstrated how mature she can be. Not only did the red head give great advice and support, but she refused her older sister’s offer to help. She’s independent, and she’ll try her best to be the parent her daughter deserves. She’s been a hard character to root for in the past, but it seems that like Lip, she turning over a new leaf. Getting dumped did wonders for her, I hope this new persona will stick.

Despite the eldest Gallagher’s best intentions to stand up the man who had hurt her in the past, Fiona simply had to show up. Shaun gets under her skin, even when if he shouldn’t. That’s always been the problem when it comes to Fiona and relationships; she’s attracted to unhealthy.


“Am I fucking step, in your rehab?” – Fiona

The restaurant scene between Shaun and Fiona did its job wonderfully, if its job was making me really uncomfortable. I cringed as they exchanged, and rolled my eyes at everything that damn Shaun would say. I felt bad for Fiona, but ultimately was happy she stormed off on him. After spending the night making a list of every promise Shaun broke when they were together, smoking Lip’s entire pack of Camels and drinking, Fiona was ready to face him again and tell him what she felt. It's always great acting on Emmy Rossum's part. Even if Fiona got everything off her chest to the wrong person, it seemed to work anyways, and she was back to her ways with the rest of the Gallaghers, by the episode’s end. They even managed to turn the whole situation on a much lighter note. But is this the last we’ll see of Shaun though?

Ian’s storyline is probably my least favorite one of the 6 kids. He’s a good guy, but I wish they’d give him something more interesting to do. As he’s trying to win back Trevor, he helps out the kids at the youth center, and without realising it, crosses the line with one of the residents whom he lets crash at the house. Carl on the other hand, was on hunt during this episode, literally. He was setting up bear traps and booby trapping the yard. Gentrification of the neighbourhood continues, and the Neighbourhood Watch Program gets his interest, but only after learning that the perp broke into a veteran’s house. He goes on full Carl-mode. His character is always a lot more fun when he has something concrete to do, a purpose. The episode comes full circle when Carl finally catches the perp and it turns out to be Fiona’s tenant. What are the odds?

In regards to the paternal Gallagher, an interesting question was brought at breakfast surrounding Frank’s new persona which none of the kids believe will stick.


“How much longer are we going to be dealing with Saint Francis of the South Side?” –Lip

This is what is so fun when it comes to Frank, or Francis, as he now goes by, it’s that the writers, and William H. Macy, can play with his character as they see fit. He’s such a deranged character that they can do anything with him, and we go along with it, because in a weird way, it makes sense. There has been so many variations of Frank. There was the gay rights defender Frank, there was the deadly ill Frank, there’s been an amnesiac Franks and now, there is pre-Monica Franks. And this Frank has decided he’s going to make right. The only kid who hasn’t raised itself is Liam, and he’s going to be parented the hell out of, for the time being.

Frank, the one who in season 1 wouldn’t have been caught dead in a school even when Carl was about to be expelled, decided he wants to be more involved in the school, joining the PTA and getting the attention from the moms at the school. This variation of Frank just might be the weirdest one yet.

After learning last week, of Kevin’s, aka Bart from Kentucky’s, origins, Kev, V and the girls road trip out to the woods in order to meet Kev’s biological family of inbreds, but it doesn’t turn out to be all that Kev made it out to be.


“I swear to god, if one of his cousin’s just looks at me racist, I’m gonna go Django on his ass.” –V

As Kev reminisces on the little time he actually spent as being part of that family, Veronica senses something backwards about them. They’re a bunch of rednecks, skinning racoons and naming their kids Bambi, but they’re not really bad people. It was nice to have that backstory for Kev. He’s got such a big heart, he deserved it. It was hard for him to learn that his family abandoned him at the gas station in the hopes of a better life, but he did pretty good for himself considering the low standards the rest of his biological siblings had set.

The episode ends on a positive note, for everyone, with pizza beer and laughs, and that’s a rare feat in a show like Shameless. They all get to witness Franny’s almost first steps, as she walks towards Frank.


“Holy Shit, he really is Saint Francis.” – Ian


Any thoughts on the episode?
What was your favorite moment?

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