Shameless “I’ll Light A Candle For You Every Day” Review

Shameless (Showtime) “I'll Light a Candle for You Every Day” Season 2 Episode 3 (2)

Sometimes things take a while to click. I didn’t like Caroline on The Vampire Diaries until season 2, and there’re a bunch of other characters it took a while for me to warm up to. I’ve mentioned several times that Frank is the least interesting character on Shameless to me.

This was the episode when the writers and Macey finally won me over. It’s not because he did something good. Frank did something worse than anything he’s done before – yes, even worse than Karen, and that was as low, I thought, a human being could go. This week he persuaded Dottie to marry him. Or he almost managed it. The proposal scene was brilliant. It was sweet and lovely and dark at the same time. Here was a woman who was so afraid of being forgotten that she’d marry Frank just to keep her memory alive. And here was Frank, a man so repulsive that it’s a credit to William H Macey’s performance that he managed to overcome such abhorrent circumstances to deliver a monologue to a dying woman designed solely to seduce her into marrying him – not because he loves her, but because she has no one and nothing and without him, her life is truly meaningless. That’s fairly pathetic and sad and at the same time kinda, sorta, sickly sweet.

And then Frank did one of the most awful things any television character has done. It was so dark it wasn’t even black humor, and maybe that was the way Macey played it and I think it really suited the episode: answering a page intended for Dottie, he found out that there was a single, rare, B positive heart out there. But he told the hospital she died. It was terrible, and the rest of the episode worked really well in dealing with Frank’s guilt. He acknowledges that what he’s done is terrible, but it completely adheres to his own survivalist philosophy.

The rest of the episode, whilst never really reaching the brilliance of Frank’s storyline, was still very good. Fiona carried on an affair with a married man, partially because he was an old unrequitted flame from high school, partially to get back at his wife for accusing her of stealing (which she did) when she was bringing back the money to pay her back. Fiona’s arc is going in a really interesting direction this season: last season it was all about how she could possibly manage to keep the family afloat. This year she’s entering into murkier, dare I say Frankier territory as her siblings grow up and become more independant.

I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season takes these character, because it’s gotten off to a great start.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.