Shameless “A Beautiful Mess” Review

Last week Shameless really went for it in terms of what they could allow Frank to do without becoming completely despicable, and it somehow worked brilliantly, in a way that was shocking, poignant, horrifying and a little funny. What really helped were the scenes after Dottie’s death, where Frank went into a spiral of guilt. This week Frank is up and out of that spiral and he’s not changed too much, and maybe for that reason this episode, as enjoyable as it was, is just a fine episode of Shameless, and not a “what just happened” like last week’s episode.

All of the Gallagher children (Liam excepted, for understandable reasons) are really interesting characters. It’s unual that I would actually like to see an entire episode concentrated on any one of them. This week’s episode put much of the focus on Debbie, who broke into a stress rash thanks to all of the responsibilities she’s been taking on, from looking after her own siblings to running the daycare centre. When FIona realizes this, she soon sees to it that Debbie has a sleepover. Only problem now is that Debbie has no friends. The show did a great job of introducing a range of shifty characters for her to interact with – from the girl straight out of Sucker Punch to the lovely boy with chess cred and a busy schedule – and did an even better job with the fallout of the sleepover.

The best scene of the episode was Ian and Lip’s argument over Karen. Karen is Lip’s best friend and he hates the idea that this Jody thing might be permanent. He goes about trying to destroy it, either by digging up dirt on Jody or setting up a trap for him. Ian can see of course that as much as his brother cares about Karen, he doesn’t care about her enough to ensure the same kind of stability that Jody can. It was a touching scene, and a disturbing one. Karen is fairly psychotic, but Lip was never a knight in shining armour either-as Ian reminds him.

The other major storyline had to do with Fiona. I’m glad that the beau from episode one is back, and hopefully he’ll drag Fiona out of “the swamp of fairly uninteresting storylines elevated purely by Emmy Rossum’s performance”. This week she had to deal with the scorned wife, and as interesting as the gender role reveral was for the first five minutes, it was a joke that went on far too long.

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