Shameless Season 3 Review “The Sins of my Caretaker”

We’re playing the dangerous game of ‘my tragedy’s bigger than your tragedy’ on this week’s Shameless, ‘The Sins of my Caretaker’, as the pressure of Jimmy’s secret life on top of last week’s revelations about his father finally cause him to explode. Fiona’s life might be exponentially harder on a more frequent basis, but that’s still a lot to deal with at one time.

The driving force behind this week’s shenanigans is the digging up of Aunt Ginger before construction workers discover her body in the Gallagher’s back yard, and Frank actually makes himself quite useful in the effort (as he has the most to lose should she be discovered). Meanwhile, Fiona is being terrorised at work, Lip is getting frustrated with Mandy’s clinginess, and Deb decides to stick up for herself when a gang of mean girls pick on her at the public pool. Those lessons in holding her breathe actually came in handy after all.

Starting with Lip, it’s really brilliant to see him put his issues with Karen to bed after she left at the end of season two. Of course, his cathartic phone call and the line drawn under the relationship means that Karen is probably due a return, but I really hope his and Mandy’s relationship can flourish in her absence. With Fiona and Jimmy heading to splitsville with alarming speed, the show needs a romantic anchor to lift our spirits from week to week, and Lip’s slight wobble in this episode will only make their relationship stronger.

Ian and Mickey’s love affair is also flourishing, as a side comment about the latter being afraid to kiss a guy in public strikes a chord. By the end of the episode, Ian is shocked to find that Mickey might be opening up to the idea of being a fully-fledged gay couple, as Ian’s dalliance with a rich, older man has probably shaken his confidence in their connection. Mickey still isn’t a likeable character but, with a little more development and some real romance between him and Ian, the audience could grow to love him as a partner in crime. It’s more likely that it’ll end in tears, but we can live in hope.

Fiona’s life is looking like it’s only going to get harder, as child protective services finally arrive to check up on Frank’s anonymous call a couple of weeks ago. He’s the lowest of the low, but we can hope his efforts to get the kids back to Fiona will redeem his actions that got them taken away in the first place. I can’t see the character cleaning up his act for any extended amount of time, but maybe he’ll do something for his family in the short-term? In the previews, Fiona promises him the run of the house should he help them, so there’ll be some incentive for him to follow through.

No matter what the outcome, this storyline has added some much-needed realism and emotional weight to the show when there was a danger of it becoming too farcical. Some of my favourite episodes of the show were in season one when Fiona was forced to confront her maternal role at the head of the family, and there’s plenty of potential for that to happen again. Just looking at the events of this episode, Jimmy and Fiona’s relationship isn’t likely to last until the end of the season, so there are some tough times ahead for the Gallagher family.

What did you think of the episode? Will Frank help Fiona to get the kids back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.