SHAMELESS “Daddy’s Girl” Advance Review

SHAMELESS (Showtime) "Daddy's Girl"

SHAMELESS “Daddy’s Girl” Season 1 Episode 11 – Frank teaches Deb and Carl some of the family business, Fiona makes a new friend, and Tony becomes interesting in the ‘Daddy’s Girl’ episode of SHAMELESS. Meanwhile Karen and Ian deal with their daddy issues in very different ways. I had a chance to preview this very busy penultimate episode and it’s chock full of funny and dramatic goodness.

Monica’s visit, short-lived though it may have been, leaves behind many ripples. An unexpected one is that Fiona is forced to help the class moms at Deb’s school, where she meets Jasmine (guest star Amy Smart), who seems to be the one non-bitchy mom (parents take even more of a beating this episode than usual). We don’t often see Fiona with someone outside her usual circle, especially someone who can throw her off balance, so this is a fun pairing.

We now know that Frank isn’t Ian’s father and that Karen wishes Eddie weren’t hers. The two arcs form a nice counterpoint throughout the episode as Ian closes in and Karen lashes out. An oblivious Lip tries to help both Ian and Karen in his own way, but his efforts say much more about him than either of them. These sharply written and beautifully acted scenes are my favorite parts of this very strong episode.

Disaster of the usual sort once again hits Frank, so he decides to teach Deb and Carl a bit of the family business, providing some comic relief while leading to something that should have even longer-lasting effects than Monica’s visit. I had been dreading this particular development, but as twisted as it is, it works surprisingly well in the context of the story. I think it’s actually an improvement over the UK version.

Up until now, Tony has been mostly a prop–fun to look at and occasionally providing something for Fiona to lean on. He grows a personality here, though. Whether or not it’s a good personality is up for debate, and his actions have unintended consequences.

This intricately plotted episode weaves its stories together in unexpected ways and it’s nice to see Shameless rocking the good guest stars. In addition to Amy Smart, “Daddy’s Girl” features hilarious turns from Louise Fletcher and Leonard Earl Howze. The always well-chosen music is especially perfect for Karen and Tony this episode, not to mention Fiona’s very funny tribute to our national anthem.

I can’t believe next week is the season finale. There are so many open plot threads and I can’t wait to see what is resolved and what’s left dangling for next season. I wouldn’t want to be a Gallagher, but I love taking this crooked, bumpy ride with them.

A taste of the episode:

“We’ll find you another skanky hood girl to obsess about.”

“Yeah. It gives me more time to buy drugs and fence stolen goods.”

“He’s going to be a douchebag no matter who he is.”

“Are you up to date on your rabies shots?”

“You just made my boy parts get bigger.”

“It’s cool. I’m into older women.”

“Why are you being a freak and asking a question like that?”

After you’ve watched the episode tonight on Showtime at 10pm eastern/9 central, I hope you’ll come back and post your thoughts. Tony: love him or hate him? What do you think will happen in next week’s finale?

Follow me on Twitter @michstjame