Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | Grade It Now!
Black Like Monica

But really, the lost opportunities here are myriad: Number one you've got Debbie's divided loyalties, which don't ever come up but should be central, considering she's the little general in charge of Liam and Frank both; you've got Frank's ambivalence about Monica, which comes up only a couple of times and is mostly nonverbal but could have provided the center of the entire storyline; you've got Karen's pretty incredible journey in this episode which expresses the themes of the kids better than their own storyline but there's no attempt at drawing that parallel whatsoever; and you've got Fiona's very real claims and complaints, which only come up as a conversational drive-by when in fact they're the heart of the show.

And I mean, that's pretty much everything. And you know what, I'm actually thrilled to have that many complaints because it means I do love this show, and not just because it's my job to think about this show, which is how it usually happens, but because if I'd stuck with it this long on my own -- of which there is no guarantee -- I would know, now, that I had come to love it.

Anyhow, instead of addressing any of those pretty glaring, 101-type issues, let's have this conversation we just had between Monica and Bob, where they are still interested in taking the baby after the DNA results, just like we just talked about. There's some more of that icky -- but fairly insightful -- thing about Bob convincing Monica that she is walking wounded and an emotional cripple, but it's written in such shorthand that it's mostly the actors doing it, which is nice of them but shouldn't be the case in an instance like this. Monica says X and Bob smothers her in her big old arms and says Y, and nobody's hearing anybody else, but not in a way that seems intentional.

Frank comes in and dicks them around with his anti-lesbian man-pride crap, long convo about the size of his penis, and then their storylines connect: Bob has realized she can't have her Liam-baby until such time as Monica feels comfortable leaving, which won't happen until Lip and Fiona stop hating her, so that's Frank's new task for getting his money. Of course, even Frank knows that's impossible because the kids all hate Monica because she is imminently hateable, but in terms of blackmail it's smart. Outside, there's a guy following Frank with a camcorder but we get just enough information about that to set up a joke in the third act, and no more.

Ian and Mandy -- whose hair is truly awesome this week, it looks like something out of The Hunger Games -- have a tricky conversation about how Mickey's in County Juvenile. I'm confused as to why this happened this way, considering Mickey was the one that got shot, but with no help from the script I think what happened is, Mickey couldn't very well explain that Kash shot him for getting buggered in the stockroom by their shared underage boyfriend, so they just called it self-defense and took Mickey away.

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