Shameless Season 4 Review “A Jailbird, Invalid, Martyr, Cutter, Retard and Parasitic Twin”

Episode 407

After the traumatic events of last week’s Shameless, ‘A Jailbird, Invalid, Martyr, Cutter, Retard and Parasitic Twin’ was never going to be an easy, fun-filled watch. Just from the title alone, we knew there would be some hard days for the Gallaghers (and friends) ahead, and each character is headed towards the crescendo of their season four issues.

Starting with the titular jailbird, Fiona’s admission that she wants to make her risk of going to jail all about her was an interesting one. The best and most interesting thing about Shameless for me has always been the fraught relationship between Fiona and Lip, and their argument in the kitchen was a really wonderful moment. Lip and Fiona both started the season with new lives and the chance to be something more than they thought but, while Lip has embraced his experience at college and started to do well, Fiona is still on sabotage-mode. Lip, of course, isn’t having any of it and, though in the past they’ve had the welfare of their siblings in common, Fiona’s disregard for their happiness without her was most likely the last straw.

And she’s not the only member of the family in free fall, with Ian and Debbie both having difficult times of their own. Debbie, dumped by her boyfriend yet again for being too young, decides that she’s not done taking advice from her awful friends, and runs straight upstairs to self-hard. Hopefully her surprise at how much it actually hurt is enough to stop her from ever doing it again but, in that household, there are certainly plenty of triggers if she were to go down that dark path. Ian, meanwhile, has a chance to get his life back together now that he’s been rescued – by Mickey of all people. Welcome back Ian, we all hope you’re going to be okay.

Neither of the other background storylines – Kev and V or Frank’s impending death – moved forwards very much, unless you count their third baby being ‘absorbed’ by the other two. Is it just me, or could that doctor have been a little bit nicer about it? Their money issues are set to continue after the bar was robbed, we assume by one of the punters, but that’s nothing compared to the dire straights Frank has found himself in. Thrown out of the Gallagher household after Sammy gave him heroine as a bribe, they’re now squatting at Sheila’s while she’s out of town. With Sheila’s long-standing loneliness, I doubt she’ll mind having someone else to take care of – even if it’s Frank.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.