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Shameless – Recap: More Pills

Shameless continued its darkest season yet tonight with the violation of Fiona’s probation. While Veronica gave birth to twins, did the time finally come to say goodbye to Frank?

Episode 10 of Season 4 of Shameless, “Liver, I Hardly Know Her,” kicked off with Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) violating her probation big time. While Lip (Jeremy Allen White), Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), Debbie (Emma Kenney), and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) began the search for their missing guardian, Sammi (Emily Bergl) and Sheila (Joan Cusack) came up with one last wacky way to attempt to save Frank’s (William H. Macy) life. Finally, Veronica (Shanola Hampton) gave birth to twin girls, but with Mickey (Noel Fisher) on the prowl after an embarrassing mugging at the hands of Kev (Steve Howie), was her family already put in danger? Here is the Recap and Review of Season 4 Episode 10 of Shameless, “Liver, I Hardly Know Her”!

Episode 10 began with Fiona’s epic failure. We don’t know if anything sexual happened with Robbie following the end of last week’s show, but Shameless sure did a fantastic job of letting us know that copious amounts of drugs and booze lead to no good. Fiona’s vision of the world spun completely out of focus, and before we knew it, it was the next morning, probation was violated heavily, and she was dragged along for more drugged out adventures with Robbie’s friends.

To kick off the recap, I’ll cover some loose ends. First, Debbie was gifted her very own shiv from Carl, though we didn’t get an encounter with Matty’s new girlfriend this week. We’re to assume it’s coming. Meanwhile, Carl and Bonnie continued to grow closer this episode. It’s such a strange arc, this storyline that follows Carl’s first love, but for Shameless, it’s actually been a sufficiently adorable story to follow. We rode along with Carl and Bonnie in a stolen car, which of course only adds a sense of panic to Fiona’s legal situation, but by the time we realized they were robbing convenience stores for candy and chocolate milk over ATM machines, we knew there was more to the story. Bonnie lives in a van with a ton of siblings, and it seems she’s learned to help her mother fend for her family from a very young age. Bonnie, whose father will be in jail until she’s thirty, helped Carl to cope with the looming death of his own father, even lending an ear when Carl admitted to not being so sure of what he wanted his final words to be. Lastly, it’s important to note that the Gallagher clan is getting fed up with Ian’s apparent drug habit. This week, he nearly took a knife to Mandy’s (Emma Greenwell) abusive boyfriend’s throat when he realized his best friend has now become trapped in a cycle of domestic violence. Hopefully, Mickey will help Ian get a grip soon. This Season 4 look is not doing him any favors no matter how many instruments he learns how to play.

Kev and V:

Veronica kicked off her arc this week by giving birth to twins! It was sort of funny how Shameless handled this moment considering how big of a scene it could have been. It was nice, but it was more so written into the “Where’s Fiona?” storyline than used as a great standalone moment. Of course, Fiona would never miss the birth of Veronica’s children.

Still, Episode 10 possibly put an end to Kevin’s unhealthy obsession with protecting his family. His efforts started off as admirable, but this time, things took a turn for the worse. Mickey has an infant to feed to, of course, though he’s not nearly as invested emotionally as Kevin is. Still, business at the Alibi whorehouse has seen better days, and Mickey took it upon himself to clean out Kevin’s register of his decent amount of overdue dollars while Kev dealt with the birth of his daughters. Kevin, now a new dad, actually “mugged” Mickey with his own gun to steal back the taken cash, a move that infuriated Milkovich to no end. I use the term “mugged” loosely because we know that Kevin is not a thief or truly violent. This more so set up tension to come.

Showtime "Shameless"

Showtime “Shameless”

At home, Kevin grew increasingly paranoid of the looming threat of the clan of Milkovich thugs coming his way. While we witnessed Ian attempting to calm down Mickey at the Gallagher house, everything seemed to set Kevin off, though Veronica was left completely in the dark. In the end, Kevin mistook some firecrackers in the street for gunshots, whipped out his rifle, and headed to do battle. Upon learning the truth, Kevin walked back inside relieved, tripped on a baby toy, and accidentally fired a bullet through a glass window in the house. Shameless did an amazing job of creating a mini heart-pounding moment here as things went silent. Luckily, the bullet missed Veronica and her babies, though she could barely stand to look at Kevin afterwards. Clearly, no more guns.

Fiona: You would think one drunken, drugged-out night of partying would find Fiona Gallagher waking up absolutely mortified and in a state of tremendous panic; however, most of her story during Episode 10 focused on her slow recovery back to the world of the sober. Robbie seemed to think it was fine to let his druggie buddies toss Fiona in the back of a van and drag her along for more of their shenanigans, though, for what it’s worth, Fiona didn’t really partake in any more illegal activity. Mostly, she just recuperated while this van drove further and further away from home.

They might not have been the ones to actually find her, but there was a great scene where an angry Ian and Debbie visited a hungover Robbie at his apartment in search of answers. Man, did I want to see Debbie use that shiv on Robbie.

Showtime "Shameless"

Showtime “Shameless”

One of the best scenes during Episode 10 occurred when Fiona was ditched at a faraway rest stop gas station and used the dingy, dirty bathroom mirror to get a good, hard look at herself. I’m starting to think Emmy Rossum is actually at her best in her solo moments, which is not something I could say about most actors. I’ve said it in past recaps, but Shameless needs to start getting more recognition for its cast of actors, especially Emmy Rossum at this point. The subsequent scene where she plopped down on the sidewalk and sat alone for a time in the freezing cold before an attendant came to help her out was also another great moment.

In the end, Fiona used the man’s phone to leave a message for Lip, who continued to juggle schoolwork with family crises this week. Lip eventually drove to pick up his big sister, who’s been a true screw-up for all of Season 4. In a very nice turn of events, however, Lip didn’t use this as another typical moment to chastise Fiona. Instead, he chose to be supportive and sympathetic to her through this rough patch in life. It was also great to watch him thank her for everything she’s done for their family over the years, even going as far as to recognize the fact that Fiona is way more than simply their parent, and she’s entitled to make mistakes, even giant ones, every once in a while. Fiona simply does not want to become Frank or Monica.

Lip accompanied Fiona to the police station where she prepared to explain all to her probation officer (Regina King).

Frank:

Showtime "Shameless"

Showtime “Shameless”

Speaking of Fiona’s parents, Frank was a hair away from death this week, spending the entirety of Episode 10 in silent stillness as his time grew near. This is where things got seriously interesting. Sammi’s prescription drug dealer caught wind of Frank’s ailment and filled Sammi and Sheila in on his connections to a black market surgeon who could perform a liver transplant with a matching donor for $25,000. Sheila, in her desperation to marry Frank, offered up her savings to purchase her future husband a new liver. Sammi, for what it’s worth, was very skeptical the entire time. The man had always sold her good drugs, but an illegal liver transplant was different. Sheila, Sammi, and Chucky met with “Dr. Johnny” at a local diner. The man was a taxi driver but moonlit as a black market surgeon, having apparently been professionally trained in Bangladesh. Again, Sammi wasn’t sure whether or not to trust the man’s credentials, while Sheila remained ignorantly optimistic and adamant, even going as far as to bond with Frank’s voluntary donor over picking out wedding heels.

The six-hour surgery took place in the basement of a dirty warehouse but apparently went seamlessly. The women were instructed to wait ten minutes before calling for 911 and having Frank taken to a hospital. Mostly, all of this seemed like a very comical way of buying us more seasons of Shameless with William H. Macy, but the next turn of events took things closer to tragedy yet again. At the hospital, Sheila and Sammi were informed that they’d been duped entirely. Frank had a kidney stolen and received no new liver.

To close out the Recap and Review for Episode 10, word spread like wildfire that Frank was about to die and get married. Sheila donned her wedding dress and prepared the flowers, and Kermit acted as their officiator. Frank, needless to say, was entirely incapacitated and mere hours from death. Carl and Debbie had two small, quiet moments in which they said goodbye to their dad true to character, simultaneously recognizing that Frank is a cockroach and could probably miraculously survive to live another day. Sheila “married” Frank just seconds before the hospital crew came bursting into the room. Because the apparent stolen kidney situation left Frank in critical condition, he was bumped to the top of the liver transplant list and rushed into surgery. I’m not sure if that’s entirely realistic, but at least we won’t have to bid William H. Macy farewell just yet.

 

What did you think of Season 4 Episode 10 of Shameless, “Liver, I Hardly Know Her”? Will Frank ever get a wakeup call? What does this mean for Fiona?

Thanks for reading my Recap and Review of Season 4 Episode 10 of Shameless, “Liver, I Hardly Know Her”!

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