It’s really complicated…


A very wise man – I think it was Martin Lawrence – once declared that there’s a thin line between love and hate. But the same can be said of the narrow border that divides guilt and full body lust. Just ask Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum)…

Here she’s got what seems to be the perfect guy on her hands in the form of corn fed, apple cheeked Mike Pratt (Jake McDorman). Sure he can be a bit of a stage five clinger, and it’s true that his musical tastes leave more than a little to be desired… and yes, his constant, almost condescending lecturing seems reminiscent of the squarest of tv dads – like say Mike Brady.

However beneath all of that high school guidance counselor moralizing, lies the heart of a stand-up guy who appears to genuinely want the best for those whom he loves. And let’s be honest, anyone whose drunken exploits consist of singing REO Speedwagon at the top of their lungs can’t be that bad of a person. Can they? Well Pratt with that in mind, before you throw away the oars forever, it’s time to take a quick inventory of those closest to you.

Yes Shameless fans, it appears that our darling Fee is succumbing to the Gallagher rot – a particular brand of self-sabotaging born only of Frank’s (William H. Macy) toxic DNA. Instead of concentrating on her boring albeit upwardly mobilizing sales job and her burgeoning relationship with Good ol’ Pratt – a supportive man whose undeniably DTC (down for cohabitation)-  she’s having quickies with his dangerously cute, ginger-flecked older brother, Robbie (Nick Gehlfuss).

A recovering alcoholic and cokehead/’screw around’ of the first order, he and Mike, despite their closeness as kids, no longer see eye to eye. Apparently, ‘stick-around’ Mike thinks it’s time that his big bro claimed a bit of responsibility for his actions – aka paid back the 20,000 dollars daddy lent him for a fancy Canyon Ranchish rehab and actually tried to live like a functional adult – while Rob thinks Mike should shut the hell up and grab life by the balls for once.

As Fiona witnesses herself during what starts out as a Walton Family Gathering and devolves into dinner in August Osage County, these two have issues. So many in fact, that you’d think our girl would want to scurry safely to her man’s side – or at least follow Switzerland’s lead in this ongoing battle. But instead, much like a moth to the flame, the de facto mother Gallagher is slowly finding herself caught up in it all.

It doesn’t help that despite Mike’s ardent convictions that his brother has his back, Robbie seems to have more schemes up his sleeve than a sober Frank – one of which involves getting sweet Mikey so unconsciously drunk that he leaves his beloved girlfriend unsupervised. Yet in the end, Fee can’t blame anybody but herself for the hickey-giving, panty-hoes ripping, kitchen counter quickie that ensues while her steadfast bf sleeps off his booze coma in the other room.


Post-tryst, it appears that she’s going to have to confront exactly what kind of woman she truly is, but as the dust settles after tonight’s episode, two things remain abundantly clear: 1.) Both these brothers have a magnetic albeit preachy intensity – and spew enough personal credos to keep a cult of kool-aid drinkers shooting for the stars for years. And 2.) I haven’t seen a female that conflicted onscreen since Diane Lane took the train home to Richard Gere after humping Olivier Martinez.

Nor have I seen such great options open to a girl… Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) would certainly kill for some of that ginger loving. He’s missing a still MIA Ian (Cameron Monaghan) so badly, that even a skank with a bad red die job at The Alibi will temporarily do – so long as she’s willing to get her best German Dominatrix on and pelvic thrust him like the little piggy he wants to be….Though next time, some sort of strap on apparatus might be useful.

Not to mention a quarter for the bathroom, because V (Shanola Hampton) and Kev (Scott Howey) don’t give a damn if you’re a pseudo straight man who wants to be screwed like it’s your birthday, nothing’s coming free at their bar anymore. They got four kids on the way and no clue how they’re going to put food in the little brats’ mouths at their current tax bracket, so that means a quarter to use the loo and 5 bucks for some treats from the Ghetto Nurse’s goody cabinet – although cheaper if you buy in bulk.

Clearly, V doesn’t have time for charity any more – or to clean her place for that matter – and anybody, even an increasingly Beiber-esq Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) – or is it the other way around? – who wants a Perky C or a Zanny is going to have to cough up the cash. Therefore, broke as a joke but still very much on his quest to keep Frank’s brain and body free of torturous sobriety – and blocked by the masterlock on V’s cabinet – he’s had to become particularly resourceful.

As with anything however, you win some you lose some, and while the many hiding places in Liam’s stroller make for a great place to stash stolen groceries, the parade of dingy kidnapped terriers that he plans to ransom for dough proves overwhelmingly unsuccessful. Perhaps Golden Retrievers might work better next time?

Of course, poor Carl would have had the 40 bucks that Sheila (Joan Cusack) gave him to food shop for the house, but apparently, Frank’s need to smoke the ganga trumps all the corporal needs of his children. If only eternally optimistic, one might say naïve Sheila knew how often her good intentions bred less than honorable results. Like her sweetly earnest attempt to break out of her doldrums and join Christian Mingle – which thanks to Deb’s (Emma Kenney) suggestion to include DTF, makes hers quite a popular profile on the Jesus-loving site (go figure?) – or her slightly racist efforts to express her newfound Native American heritage (1:34th to be exact).

SHAMELESS (Season 4)

In fairness, she is entertaining a gentleman caller by the name of Roger Running Tree, and what better way to show her pride than some strategically placed feathers, earth-stones, and dreamcatcherish looking earrings??? And Running Tree doesn’t seem to mind. He’s simply happy to strum his guitar for his new squaw… though who knows how he’ll feel once he finds out what she wants to do to him with her totem pole? Until then, all she can do is take comfort in the joy that comes with discovery of one’s true self, and be thankful that she isn’t Lip (Jeremy Allen White)…

Still struggling to keep his head above water as he juggles a work study job and a full curriculum at a demanding university that his crappy South Side high school didn’t even begin to prepare him for, the boy is seriously going through it. On top of that, he can’t afford a laptop, the roommate and his annoying girlfriend continue to have awkward sex like rabbits, and those damn flash mobs just won’t freaking stop! But hey, on the bright side, Lip did manage to pull off his first college all-night paper writing session without the aid of Aderoll – or whatever new drug the kids are taking now to party, procrastinate and still not fail out of school. Hang in there, Lip, and just think of 77 as an Ozark A!

And speaking of the Ozarks… we come at last to eternally upstanding father of the year, Frank Gallagher. Yes folks, just like the thin line between love and hate, or guilt and lust, so exists the slight division separating incest and scumbaggish moochiness of the first order. As we found out last week, Fiona is not Frank’s oldest daughter. There is in fact another Gallagheress living close by who too shares the privilege of coming from the loins of the decrepit patriarch. Her name is Samantha (Emily Bergl) and she lives with her quiet, sensitive? pre-teen son, Chuck, in a trailer that makes the Gallagher house look like Mar-a-Lago. (She also sorta looks like Martha Plimpton, but that’s neither here nor there).

Anyway, just like daddy, Sammi hates avocados and butterscotch, carries herself with an appropriately claaaasy swagger, and seems ready to hump anybody that shows her even the least bit of interest. This means that even dog-breathed, scabby Frank has a shot at the prize, especially since the single mom has no idea who he really is.

Episode 403

Having surreptitiously weaseled his way into her life in typical Frank fashion (by paying a playground bully with a joint to rough up Chuck so that ‘Grandpa’ can heroically intervene just as mom’s arriving to pick him up) Sammi simply thinks he’s a sweetly downtrodden bachelor with a kind heart. Soon they’ve become quite the little nuclear family and Frank’s confided to her about his liver failure.

In an act of surprising gullibility – certainly for any Southside Gallagher – Samantha seems willing to help out the ailing stranger when it’s discovered that surprise surprise… they share the same blood type. Although with three ex-husbands and a romantic past overwhelmingly apropos of typical Gallagher dealings, she seems willing to do and believe anything for companionship other than her mute son.

Who knows? Perhaps Frank has a moral compass buried somewhere deep down below all of those drugs and gesticulating toxins… Either that, or incest is the one thing that this dirtbag wouldn’t do for a Klondike Bar.

We’ll have to wait until next week  to find out…

Oh, and P.S., Deb- We now know what Matty (Allan McCune) would do for a Klondike bar, and where he would put it! Sadly, you do not have the parts to make him cray when you exposé the sex-a. Enjoy the homemade Scampi and David Lynch films, say a prayer for the “sick cat” and be thankful that at 13, you have both a newfound friend with good taste, and your virginity still intact.