Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Canadian Reach-Around

Nice visual callback to the UK version here: Fiona combing nits out of Carl's quarter-inch buzz while they all sit around watching TV once again. Steve calls after a few minutes of some show about a superstar geneticist -- see, they're classy too sometimes, I guess is the implication, or it's something Lip and Ian wanted -- and then he's outside, with a van full of roses.

Not just the roses, but the van: That's quite an apology, especially since he says it's for hauling kids around with. Like I said, we've been doing this for a long, long time; all he knows is that he wants to have a family with her, and she's already got one, which makes him want her more, because they are amazing. He apologizes for the kidnapping, and the more he sells her on the van, the worse job he's doing; she runs inside to get cash to pay him back for the washer, and he's so sad-eyed, and she's so brittle and bright trying to do the right thing and fake-smiling through it and he's like, "It was a mistake. I thought I was doing you a favor, with your dad." He was. That's the problem. She leaves him outside and rejoins the family, Veronica patting her arm, tender and quiet.

Next morning Frank comes down in a peach kimono, popping Tylenol and sitting on his ass pillow again, while Karen looks on. She's bemused, and knows enough to know Frank is hardly better than Eddie, but she's so cute that it's just sort of lovingly tsk-tsk. And then in the credits one more: A new pair of faulty fluffy pink handcuffs on QVC that they're apologizing for... Just as the firemen are coming to free him from same, and of course he's naked but for fluffy pink pasties to match.

So on the one hand, the kimono and the ass play demonstrate the degree to which Frank is willing to be feminized/demeaned in pursuit of Sheila's government check, willingness such that a Canadian reach-around probably sounds good, whatever that is. But on the other hand, you can only make that joke if it's about Frank and not a statement on sexuality, because then Ian is just fake multiculti BS. And we've already got Weeds trying to have it both ways, and how many shows like that do you need? All of which I know is not the case -- and thank God, honestly, for Joan Cusack -- but I can't help feeling a little yicked out at this moment in the story, because what's going to get a bigger laugh: The sixteen homophobic trials of Frank Gallagher, that unconscionable prison-rape joke, or... Anything else that's happened this week?

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