Shameless Season 4 Review “Like Father, Like Daughter”

Episode 403

We knew from the moment we heard her name that Samantha Gallagher was going to spell trouble for the rest of the family on Shameless and, despite only interacting with Frank in ‘Like Father, Like Daughter’, that trouble has already begun. Meanwhile, Fiona has discovered her own addiction to “the rush of life”, Lip has taken both a step forward and a step back with college, and there’s definitely something fishy going on with Debbie’s new boyfriend (either that or he’s a nice guy?!).

The biggest story of the night, as is the case most of the time, was watching Fiona sabotage of her new life. We spend most of the episode hearing about and witnessing the middle-class problems of Mike’s family from Fiona’s perspective but, when she meets a kindred spirit in Robbie, things quickly escalate. You could see it all over her face after she realized what actually went down on the kitchen counter – she had something really great going for her and now, because she resumed her usual Gallagher behavior, she might lose her job as well as her man. The way she looked at Frank in those final moments said it all – she knows she’s an addict and she hates it about herself.

Debbie, meanwhile, is engaging in a lot less salacious activity than we expected. It turns out her new 20-year-old boyfriend isn’t actually interesting in doing anything particularly inappropriate but, in this case, his lack of enthusiasm points to some deeper issues aside from the fact he’s dating a 13-year-old. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled he isn’t taking advantage in that way, but I wonder what his reasons are nonetheless. It’s only a matter of time before Fiona discovers something up, after all, and I don’t think the fact that their clothes were on during the sleepover will matter all that much to her.

Lip’s experiences at college continue to be the best thing about Shameless season four, and his struggles to balance the work and the study of his work-study program have started to weigh down on him. Despite getting a much higher grade and praise from his teacher in one class, his commitments to shoveling food into the mouths of over-privileged college kids means that there’s not enough hours in the day to make the upswing anything more than a fluke. His phone call with Fiona was a wonderful moment, if only because this was the first time they interacted all season, and illustrated just how unhappy Lip is away from home.

But he’s probably better off away from the madness, if Frank’s new scheme to con his daughter into offering up her liver is anything to go by. Someway, somehow, a single day after Frank ‘saved’ her kid from a playground bully, the woman is offering her vital organs to Frank on a platter, and all he has to do is conceal the fact that he’s her father long enough to get them on the operating table. That might be easier said than done, given that she’s woefully misunderstood his offer of companionship, and I wonder if all of this isn’t just a way to humanize Frank and give him a family away from his own. We can dream, eh?

What did you think of the episode? Are Fiona and Robbie going to continue to explore their connection behind Mike’s back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.