Saturday, January 26, 2019

What I’m Watching: Shameless (Mid-Season Premiere)

Shameless: Season 9, Episode 8 “The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Alibi” (B+)

It’s a nice treat to have split this show’s season in half for the first time, enabling us to experience the twisted delight of seven episodes so soon after the first part finished airing in October. I want to note that I was not at all aware until recently that Ian won’t be coming back, as the last episode that we saw actor Cameron Monaghan in was indeed his final hour. He’s been a great presence, and I think sending him off to jail with Mickey is a fitting way to say goodbye to his character. Now, with him gone, the focus is on Fiona, who is in truly bad shape after finding out that Max is going to level the building to make much more than he paid her for it, and her passing around a jar of gum from under the tables to have customers guess just how much is in there demonstrates how strung-out she’s become in her perception of reality. Making fun of the allergies of a customer, played by Max Adler from “Glee,” is another sign that she’s losing it and just doesn’t care. It is great to see Debs taking charge of the family finances in her absence, with decent contributions from the rest of the family. Lip’s relationship with Tami, whose friends all refer to him as Jabby, is moving forward very quickly, and she seems completely set on changing his life at a rapid pace. Ingrid bringing Frank on a surprise trip to see her frozen eggs turned into Frank’s latest con, and I can only imagine how Carl is going to react when he inevitably finds out that Frank tricked him into giving sperm he could pass off as his own. Kev and Veronica’s latest child drama provides some interesting immigration commentary, and so far it’s not quite as cringe-worthy as it could be. The storyline that had me fully engaged and laughing this entire episode was Carl’s, as he and Kelly proved their prowess together, camping out in secret in her backyard and then charging hipsters to use the power scooters that he took from right in front of them. I’ve been earning free membership extensions on Citi Bike, New York City’s bikeshare system, for a while now because I redistribute bikes from crowded stations to empty ones, and I was pleased to see Carl and Kelly discover a similar financial opportunity in recharging the scooters, which apparently is a real thing.

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