Shameless “Be a Good Boy. Come for Grandma.” Review (Season 6 Episode 8)

Previously on Shameless. . .
– Feeling iced out by Queenie and Frank, Fiona moved in with Sean.
– With Nick presumably out of hte picture for a very long time, Carl tried to find his way.
– Lip reeled from his break up with Helene. Thankfully, he landed a new job and a new place to stay after being fired as a RA.
– Ian helped Caleb survive a wedding with his judgmental, homophobic family and continued to consider becoming an EMT.
– Kev and V remained an afterthought, but we did get to see the couple take a vacation.

On to this week’s episode, “Be a Good Boy. Come for Grandma.”

Pressure Points
Like a lot of Shameless viewers out there, I love Jeremy Allen White’s portrayal of Lip and it does not hurt that the actor is definitely easy on the eyes. That being said, sometimes the storylines written for Lip delve a little too much into how the character is objectified. In last night’s episode, Lip was still working through his post-Helene depression. He returned to the Gallagher house for a bit of a reprieve and met Queenie for the first time.

Queenie was clearly drawn to Lip, as she observed that he bore a striking resemblance to a younger Frank. Queenie offered her holistic remedy for Lip’s troubles, as she gave him a foot rub to open his mind to the benefits of reflexology. After touching a few pressure points and working through a blockage, Queenie helped Lip “release.” I have not been that mortified by a foot rub since the episode of Parks and Rec when the shoe shine Andy gave Ron got really weird.

On the surface, this is typical Shameless. The writers have never shied away from moments that make us shudder and experience the worst kinds of second hand awkwardness, which is even stranger because it’s all fictional. The Queenie/Lip scene served as a reminder of Lip’s very curious history with older women as a whole. I was reminded of the episode when a sexual predator moved into the Gallagher’s neighborhood and Lip and his friends set out to run the offender out of town in what would have very likely been a brutal manner had the person not been revealed to be a young, attractive teacher. Long time fans of Shameless will remember that what ensued involved peanut butter, hair removal and an intervention by Mandy Gallavitch who scared the woman away.

I’m okay with these moments being part of what Shameless is as a show, but Lip is long overdue for much more as a character. It’s disappointing that Lip has been so saddled with Helene and now Queenie, as I would much rather see him spending more time with his brothers. We have gotten some interactions with Ian and Lip, but I think Carl could certainly benefit from spending time with his older brother as well.

Purpose Driven Ian
Ian continued to get deeper into his relationship with Caleb and in doing so, has discovered a new lease on life. He’s expanding his social circles and studying to be an EMT. I have been holding my breath during the course of this courtship, as I was curious to see how Caleb would accept Ian’s inevitable disclosure of his bipolar diagnosis. I was really hoping the writers would not use it as a source of pain or contention for Ian, as I really want nice things for the character. Well, as nice as things can get on Shameless. Ian finally revealed his diagnosis to Caleb and in return, Caleb shared that he is HIV-positive. I liked the scene between the two, which led to Caleb insisted upon Ian being tested for HIV as well. I hope that the remaining episodes of the season will find Ian continuing on his current path to happiness and discovering what he wants from his life.

Debbie and the Maiesiophile
Unfortunately, any subplot dealing with Debbie continues to be my least favorite aspect of any given episode of Shameless this season. This week was no different, as Debbie met a very creepy guy who ended a lunch date with a very odd belly kiss. Tragically desperate for attention, Debbie accepts his invitation for a second date. Unsurprisingly, things come to a very uncomfortable halt when Debbie catches the creeper at Lamaze class with another woman, after which he admits that he is a maiesiophile or in lay terms, a guy with a fetish for pregnant women. I’m glad that Debbie’s desperation did not lead to anything more. I wish this was the end of Debbie’s odd ventures driven by desperation, but the previews for next week’s episode suggests that it is not. Ugh.

Gallagher of the Week
This week’s nod goes to the prodigal son, Carl Gallagher. Carl’s storyline, although at times painful to watch, has been the most interesting arc this season. It’s unfortunate, because the corn rows, gun running and casually dropping the n-word were often times needless distractions from what has otherwise been a very interesting period of growing pains for the character.

Although we’ve seen Carl reaping the fruits of his criminal pursuits, we have not seen the darker side of what it means to be in the business of running guns and drugs. This week, we got a long overdue reminder that Carl is working for a pretty menacing employer who manages performance issues with pistol whipping. The writers finally gave V some great material this week, as I loved her very frank conversation with Carl.

I was also happy to see Fiona finally break through with Carl as well. Frankly, it felt way overdue. If my younger brother had enough money me to purchase a home, an intervention is imminent. Although I’m still mixed on the Fiona/Sean relationship, I quite like how the writers have incorporated Sean into Carl’s storyline. By the episode’s end, it felt like we finally had Carl back and it will be interesting to see if he is fully free of his previous employer or if there will be any repercussions for what Carl did while he was in the “game.” For now, I am going to enjoy this development in his character and look forward to seeing Ethan Cutkosky without the corn and the whole tough guy facade.

Until Next Week!
What did you think of this week’s episode of Shameless? Sound off below!