Shameless

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 6 USERS: D
YOU GRADE IT
Punishment/Redemption

Lip's calling his people one by one to tell them their scores are invalidated, leaving voicemails for the people that don't pick up promising to explain face to face, because he is totally honorable when he's not stealing things from little kids. Eventually one of the bug guys from the bathroom shows up and punches him and then chases him upstairs and starts just brutally knocking his head into things -- which is when the rest of the Gallaghers spring into action -- and eventually he's hanging Lip out the window by his feet, and only Carl and the Killing Bat are enough to scare him into relenting.

And then when everybody's safe, Carl strikes out in this triumphant slo-mo and breaks the kid's legs anyway. So you've got this entire family of white people standing around while a nine-year-old ruins a football-hopeful's knee, for no reason, and then they cheer him and literally raise him up on their shoulders and carry him through the house like this was a good thing. I don't get that at all. Maybe it was the inside of Carl's head and none of that actually happened? Maybe it's the show once again suckily going for "shameless"? I dunno, but it sucked.

And like that isn't enough of a bummer way to go, the little sting in the middle of the credits is the principal getting the teacher stoned off Steve's pot and asking if she's ever fucked a black guy before. "Does rape count?" she says -- not funny -- and then "I was acquitted" -- not funny. So yeah. Rape jokes, racist jokes, whatever. Shameless.

But what sucks is, right before the football kid shows up, Steve and Fiona are having a neat little discussion about how she did not need his help, and she clearly did, and now she's acting pissed because he did. Not because she's actually pissed or actually didn't need the help, but because of the precedent that it sets and the way it's at odds against her own propaganda, which is that she needs nobody and is this supermom. But Steve, and this is canny, knows it's even scarier than that:

"You're afraid that if I keep on showing up and actually helping, that you'll like it. And liking it will lead to relying on it, and by relying on it, you'll be less of the You you've made yourself into. A kick-ass You, that you like. And I like, too. But you're afraid that if you learn to rely on me, then one day when you really need me to show up, I won't. And then you'll be angry at yourself for believing in something you've only seen in the movies. Something that I'm determined to prove to you actually exists."

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Shameless

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