Sunday, January 20, 2019

REVIEW: 'Shameless' - The Family Grows More Concerned About Fiona's Behavior in 'The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Alibi'

Showtime's Shameless - Episode 9.08 "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Alibi"

Fiona's downward spiral continues and Debbie steps in to pick up the slack at the Gallagher house. Carl and Kelly continue their relationship in secret despite her father's strict expectations. Ingrid ropes Frank into fulfilling her lifelong dream. Tami shows Lip a different version of adulthood.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Showtime's Shameless.

"The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Alibi" was written by Joe Lawson and directed by Zetna Fuentes

Shameless was only truly finding an interesting hook for its ninth season in the episode right before it went on a hiatus. That made it seem pretty clear that the scheduling of this season was determined by the network executives and not the creative team. As such, it still feels like the season is picking up exactly where it left off. Sure, there are some stories were it feels like some time has passed. Kev and V have miraculously been approved already as foster parents and have a 12-year-old immigrant placed with them. That's something that is happening much too quickly especially considering it's a story the show has previously told with them and may just be conveniently forgetting here. Meanwhile, Fiona still has a cast on her arm following her accident. Her downward spiral has really given Emmy Rossum some fantastic material to work with during her final season. The last few seasons have featured Fiona as the most successful of the Gallagher siblings. And now, she is seemingly losing everything. Her latest relationship with Ford completely imploded. She was left in financial ruin and only barely got out of it by selling the apartment building. It doesn't seem long until she will be fired as the manager of Patsy's as well. She has become completely destructive. Instead of doing anything to hopefully turn the tide in her favor once more, she is drinking her sorrows away. In fact, she is repeating the same patterns and behavior as Frank. That's so tragic. She is now the one who wakes up and is stealing from the rest of the family. She is drinking throughout the day and causing harm to the world around her. She is lashing out because society isn't falling in line with what she expects out of life. That's so unfortunate. And yet, it also further proves that none of the Gallaghers have a clue when it comes to economic responsibility. Fiona took out several loans in order to finance her business aspirations. And now, everything has gone up in smokes. That happened because she didn't have the proper relationships and understanding of how to make some quick money. Meanwhile, Tami comes into the Gallagher household trying to teach them how to be functional adults. The Gallaghers don't see anything wrong with the way they have been living. And yet, it's rightfully terrifying to anyone new in this world. Tami has a certain understanding of what being an adult means. Sure, she may still be an awkward and bad influence on Lip because she invites him to have more fun in his life instead of caring for so many people. However, it's still perfectly reasonable for her to suggest that the siblings have their own soaps, pick up new sponges and stop sharing underwear. Those are her simple fixes that suddenly seem obvious to the family. It also comes at a time when the family is once more struggling to pay all of the household bills. Debbie is stepping up in that regard as the maternal figure of the family. She is making sure everything is paid. She is fulfilling the role that Fiona can no longer handle. The roles are reversed. Fiona is now the one who needs to be looked after by the family. She's the one who passes out from drinking all day long. The family at least still cares about her. None of them care about what's going on with Frank or the ridiculous things he asks of them. They just want him out of their lives as quickly as possible. Sure, that makes Carl susceptible to an awkward and unexpected suggestion for sperm. But it still shows the differences between Fiona and Frank too. The family knows that Fiona is spiraling. However, they may not be equipped to handle the situation because of how little Frank has changed throughout their lives. She may be following that same path now which would be so tragic.