TV Review: Shameless (6×06) “NSFW”

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Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Shameless. Catch up on previous coverage here.

Despite a jarringly splintered episode it was also one that showcased some impeccably strong moments for each character along with one of the most disturbing scenes the show has ever done. It would seem that the Gallagher’s are once again being brought back together as the younger sibling’s lives because to rapidly unravel as Fiona tirelessly tries to get her shit together. Being so splintered however it’s easy to focus on each characters individual story.

Carl

I haven’t made it much of a secret that I’ve been deliberately ignoring Carl’s storyline this year and it’s been for a number of reasons. Introducing Nice at the start of the season stunk of racism and Carl’s entire existence involving one deplorable action after the next. However, Nick got a second or two each episode to evolve as a character, a kid who never got to own a bike and was proud of his only possession. His anger at it being stole was never going to lead to a happy ending, but the writers didn’t have to twist the knife by having him tell Carl he was going to live a clean and legal lifestyle and work on a far, only before he goes and brutally murders a kid for the stole bike. Nick was never going to be more than a character to sacrifice for the sake of Carl’s plot development, but the cries of the boys mother that ring through the house and out the door, and Nick’s blood splattered figure is a lasting one and a haunting one and it’s a shame that the show decided to go this route instead of giving the character more depth.

Carl ending up at Sean and Fiona’s door was satisfactory but then he witnesses her breakdown and drops a bag of money at his lap saying to buy their house back. I’d hoped that at the very least Nick’s actions would lead to Carl having an awakening of how dumb he’s been acting, but apparently not.

Debbie 

Debbie, another character I try to gloss over, for a moment seemed to be another participant in Nick’s anger against the boy who stole his bike and the moment she got in the car I was worried that Nick was going to get in an accident and she was going to loose the baby. Luckily that seemed like a misdirection as Debbie is still naively happy and pregnant by the episodes end.

I’ve once again grown sick of Frank’s meddling however, as him pimping out his daughter to Erica is gross. Her going into remission and learning about it is a nice upswing for the character but makes Frank all the more desperate for Debbie to latch onto the family in order to stay. It’s really, very difficult to mine any humor out of this sort of plot.

Lip 

Poor Lip. Are we over this storyline because boy does he sound deluded and dumb when he tells the board determining Helene’s fate at the college that they’re in love. The board rightfully believes he’s been taken advantage of and Helen is keeping her distance from Lip but he’s bullheaded and self-righteous and doesn’t see what they could have possibly done wrong.

Not a great look for the character and I’m worried that this signifies the beginning of the end of his streak of good things happening for him. He was the lucky Gallagher for a moment but then he got caught, his professor gave him a drink to help numb his worries (hello Frank jr.) and Fiona made a mention about not having to be her siblings caretakers and just their sister. All signifies that this is just the beginning to what might be Lip’s rock bottom.

In other news, so long Amanda, I could care less now that you’re leaving since the term “femanazi” makes me want to be violently ill.

Ian 

No one is more surprised then me when I say this, but Ian has been having one of the most steadily interesting plots of the season as we see him grow beyond South Side, his ex’s influence and his mental illness. All are major parts of him, as demonstrated at his date, but they’re not all that he has to be and it’s nice to see him get a little piece of happiness.

Fiona

If I had to go through what Fiona did in this episode I don’t think I would have handled it nearly as gracefully. Her getting the abortion was a relief after I’d begun to worry that she was going to choose not to but that all adds to her growing discontent with her life. She wants to buy her house back after the first buyers deem it unfixable and in order to that needs a Gus to cosign and agree that he has no holdings on the house. Gus, being Gus, aka the worst tells Fiona he won’t do it and pours coffee over the paperwork,this after making her wait hours for him to show.

I know there are people who understand Gus’s point over view but in all reality, before they got married they knew each other for what, a good solid week? What on earth was he realistically expecting. Sean is such a good, calming fit for Fiona that it’s hard to see Gus as anything more than an annoying, prickly road block.

Her breakdown at the end is well earned, as is her thought that she needs to weight of her families happiness off her shoulders for once.

I don’t think I know a Shameless where Fiona isn’t trying to pick up the pieces of some mess but it will be interesting to see her focus on herself for once.

7/10

She is a 23 year old in Boston MA. She is hugely passionate about film, television and writing. Along with theyoungfolks, she also is a contributor over at TheMarySue.com . You can contact her on Twitter (@AllysonAJ) or via email: allyson@theyoungfolks.com.