Shameless Season 4, Episode 4, “Strangers On A Train” Recap

shamelessThroughout the fourth season of Showtime’s Shameless, Mike Aurigemma will discuss the ins and outs of each episode. Please beware of spoilers.

I thought this was a great follow-up to the last episode as it continued to build on a lot of the good plots the show built last week.  I was definitely afraid that it might have just gone back into a rut, but I was glad to see that ended up not being the case.

Onto the episode now as we saw that Fiona has some serious issues of her own to deal with.  There is just no way she gets out of this with her job and life intact as she is seriously messing everything up for herself and family at this point.  She is being extremely selfish and it is clear that she has her own addictions problems.  I was definitely surprised we did not see any more interactions between her and Frank, but I do still think that is coming. It is also very clear that Robbie is trying to hurt his brother at this point.  There is some definite tension between the two of them and we know for a fact that that will boil over at some point and that is when Fiona will be out of a relationship and a job.

I actually liked the Debbie storyline for once this season as it finally came to a head.  I also thought the scene with her and Fiona was great, but that Fiona should have done a better job of being an older sister and trying to stop her from going down the same path that Fiona took.  It will be interesting to see where she goes from here, but I am hoping it goes to a place that makes me feel a little less awkward watching.

One thing I loved about this episode was Mickey and how his partnership with Kevin might be a genius idea for the two of them.  They both were in a corner and found a way to get out of it, but I am definitely hoping this might lead to some issues with Sasha down the road.  I would love to see a twist like that where certain people are coming at Kevin or the Gallagher’s due to a decision they made.

Frank finally came clean to his daughter, which I still feel might end up not being his daughter in the long run.  He also received some really bad news as they were not a match and she could not save him by giving him her liver.  I have a feeling that this relationship will continue and she will not fade away as fast as some other characters Frank has tried to steal from have.  It would be interesting to have her meet Fiona as they are both at completely different stages in how they feel about their father.

I continue to save my discussion on Lip for the last because really he is always the best in each episode.  He had three or four fantastic scenes throughout this episode where you could see his character maturing and changing throughout all of it.  The first scene with the professor was great, but then he went right back to his old ways when he did not get what he wanted by smashing windows out of all the cars.  He had a great conversation with Mandy that showed how much she thought of him.  Instead of wanting him to come back to her, she knows what he can achieve if he continues to try, but still it did not get through to Lip.  The next scene came when he was talking to Kevin and once again he was told to suck it up because of the opportunity he has in front of him.  I still thought that after that it was not going to get through to him with the way he took the words of advice, but in the end he showed up waiting for his professor.  Everyone always talks about that one teacher who impacted his life and changed the way he worked from there.  I think Lip might have met that one guy and hopefully he continues to put the work in that he finally understands he has to.