Shameless 4×08 Review: Hope Springs Paternal

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Remember those strong emotions I talked about last week?  They still apply this week.  Fiona and Kev really hit it out of the park this week, as both of them made me choke up at different times during the episode.  Many Gallavich fans may be rejoicing, but I can’t help but feel disappointment and disgust with Ian and miss the person he used to be.  But before I get lost in my feels, let’s go over what went down in “Hope Springs Paternal”.

s2Can the real Ian Gallagher please stand up?  Because this not-giving-a-damn stripper boy isn’t him.  I’m starting to want the Army to catch up with him going AWOL, so maybe he can get some sense knocked into him and start caring about what happens to himself again.  I couldn’t help but roll my eyes in disgust when Fiona tried to talk to him about going back to school, and he said, “Nah, screw that.  I’m done doing what other people want me to do.”  So he thinks working in a strip club and getting strung out on drugs is blazing his own path?  I’m sorry, but that dog don’t hunt.  I didn’t like how Ian manipulated Mickey either.  When he was pretty much demanding Mickey give him a blowjob, I wanted Mickey to give him the finger and storm out.  But he just fell to his knees, and that smug look on Ian’s face was disgusting.  That interaction ruined the rest of this episode for me.  All I could think is, “Mickey’s kissing fake!Ian…oh look, fake!Ian is taking Mickey to some party.”  This may seem harsh to some, but I can’t help how I feel.  That tool using Mickey is not Ian.  In previous seasons, Mickey and Ian were on a more equal playing field, but in this season, the balance has shifted.  I used to think that Ian was too good for Mickey, but now look how the tables have turned.

This was just a Crap on Fiona episode, and I felt really bad for her.  Fiona was going stir crazy being under house arrest, and her family did her no favors by giving her hell whenever they could.  She had her first meeting with her parole officer, who was played by the lovely and extremely talented Regina King.  Lip still didn’t trust her alone with Liam, and every interaction was filled with thinly-veiled hostility from Lip.  I get it; Fiona screwed up big time and I was angry with her too.  But at some point, something’s gonna give.  I think some of Lip’s frustrations have to do with him juggling school, his work study, and the home situation, but the way he just raked Fiona over the coals was really unfair.  Should she have been drinking?  No, but that doesn’t mean she was trying to burn the house down.  It was extremely hypocritical of Lip to lecture Fiona and then dump his brothers off into a drunken dorm party so he could study.  Oh yeah, Lip…that’s really responsible, you’re so much better than Fiona.  I was glad they reached some sort of truce by the end of the episode because I don’t think I could have stomached any more of Lip’s self-righteous indignation.

My mistrust of Sammi deepened in this episode, and I am still baffled by how they have completely taken over Shelia’s home.  The scam to fake sell the house is pretty clever, but it’s totally messed up that they are selling off all of Shelia’s things.  If I was Shelia and I came home to that, I would have pressed charges and had both of them thrown in jail.  But knowing Shelia, she won’t do that.  But returning back to Sammi, we saw Debbie pull a complete 180 and become all chummy with her.  I am so done with this self-absorbed teenager routine.  Debbie has acted like a total brat since this season started.  That virginity chart in her bedroom was the creepiest thing I have ever seen.  I hope her plan with Matty backfires, if only so she will find something else to focus on.  I don’t like her incessant preoccupation with sex and how closely she seems to tie it to her self-worth.  I would have liked to have seen a sex and period talk Gallagher girl style, but Debbie was too busy being a brat towards Fiona and would much rather cuddle up next to Sammi.  I raged when Sammi gushed about finally having a sister, and Debbie replied, “Me too!”  Chick, you already have a sister, one that adores you and has bent over backwards to provide for you!  I hate how utterly selfish Debbie has become.  I hope in season five she mellows out some because this bratty teenager trope is tiringly cliché.

s3One down, two to go!  Kev, Veronica, and Carol welcomed a healthy baby boy into their odd little family.  Kev, after being robbed, has become extremely preoccupied with the defense of himself and his own.  One of the Abili Room’s regulars gave a terrifying example as to why we need more gun control laws in this country and gave Kev his connection to better arm himself.  We saw that Kev has really taken the loss of one of his and Veronica’s babies to heart as he held Veronica close waiting for Carol to finish delivering the baby.  Carol clearly didn’t want to let the little one go and became upset, reminding Veronica that she didn’t even want the baby after she got pregnant, while Kev was overjoyed by the birth of his son.  Veronica had him give the baby back and took him out into the hallway, which led to one of the most heart-breaking scenes of the episodes.  I think it was a mixture of not wanting to take care of three children and her guilt for what she said and tried to get her mother to do that caused Veronica to let Carol keep the boy.  Kev was clearly devastated, and I just wanted to throw Emmys at Steve Howey’s head for choking me up like that.  You’re supposed to make me laugh not cry, damn it!  I hope Carol and Kev can have a good co-parenting relationship, the two of them having always got along in the past.  And I hope that Veronica’s labor and delivery goes just as smooth.

We’re starting to enter the final stretch of episodes of this roller-coaster ride of a season.  It looks like the final decision on whether Frank lives or dies will be made in the next episode or two.  According to the brief summaries on the Shameless Wikipedia page, Fiona’s road has a couple more bumps in it before we reach the end of the season.  So what are your thoughts on this episode?  Were you as annoyed with the majority of the Gallaghers as I was?  Did Veronica and Kev’s scene at the hospital tug at your heart strings?  Whatever your thoughts, comment below and thank you for reading!

Author: Sarah Sue


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  1. Agree with you…the Ian we are seeing is just not the real Ian…fine, people change, but it doesn’t feel natural with Ian…where, I too, felt Ian deserved someone better that Mickey, the tables have indeed turned…Mickey misses him, etc. but he should have more self-respect and knock some sense into him

    What Sammi did with Sheila’s house was not cool no matter what the reason…i can’t even begin to like Sammi as a character and Debbie is slowly making her way into the list

    1. My mom thinks that Ian is bipolar like Monica. I really hope that ends up being the case. The I know I’ve come to know and love for the past few seasons wouldn’t throw everything away to be a stripper or an electrician.

      Yeah, I’ve been on the fence about Sammi since she was introduced and this just really cemented me not liking her. Again, Debbie is a brat and needs to grow up.

  2. I agree I felt bad for Mickey, he truly loves Ian, and is scared to let him out of his sight, afraid Ian will leave again. (like sleeping at the party, Mickey has his hand on Ian’s arm, yes aww cute…but I think Mickey wanted to be sure Ian wouldn’t leave him there alone). I DO think there is something wrong with Ian (Monica traits are showing). Yes Ian was a little mean with Mickey with the whole suck my d–k thing, but remember Ian was soo hurt by Mickey, maybe he just wanted to be a little spiteful, this relationship has always been on Mickey’s terms because of his fears. I think Ian wants himself to come first for once. But as the episode went on, Ian was nicer to Mickey…seeing how Mickey was trying to go along with this Ian’s new world (even though he HATES it). Can’t wait to see how this plays out! Oh what was up with Fiona scrounging around for money??

    1. Like I said in the comments above, my mom thinks that Ian is bipolar and I really hope that is the case here. I understand that Ian was hurt, but Mickey Milkovich isn’t worth screwing up his whole life over. I know that they had to sneak around because Mickey was terrified of his dad finding out (and rightfully so), but he never forced Ian to do anything. And that scene in this episode where Ian was like, “Suck my d–k whenever I want” was completely vile and totally manipulative and, like I said, completely tainted the remainder of their interactions. I can’t cheer for them with Ian like this because he’s manipulating Mickey’s affections for him because Ian was hurt. So I can’t help but feel Ian is just pretending just to string Mickey along. Until Ian’s mood balances out and he becomes the person I used to know and love, I can’t support his faux relationship with Mickey.

      With Fiona, she was trying to find money to pay the bills because she can’t actively go out and earn it herself. They’re living on food Lip steals from work and barely have enough money to pay bills. So that’s why she was scrounging for whatever she could find.

  3. I agree, Debbie is being a massive brat. But, since I’m not super far removed from being a teenager (mid 20s), I can sympathize a little, especially since her friends are such a negative influence and sex (or lack of it) becomes such an inflated thing for teenagers. I’m getting so tired of Ian’s drugged out twink mess. I know he’s trying to dive headfirst into a pile of sex to hide from his problems and he’s probably only 18 at this point, but I found myself sighing a lot about the person he’s pretending to be. Can’t wait to see next week, Svetlana is NOT going to be pleased Mickey blew off the birth of their kid to hang out with Carrot Boy…

    1. I’m in my mid-twenties, so I get that as well. I want her so much to get away from those girls! They’re just awful and give Debbie the worst “advice”.

      OMG, me too! I can’t stand him blowing it like this. It almost makes how Fiona crashed and burned look tame. I had been hoping that Mickey would have whipped him into shape, but now they’re spinning down this black hole of creepy codependency together. I sooooo want Svetlana to rain holy hell down on Mickey. I’ve grown to like her, and even though he was pretty much forced to marry her, that doesn’t mean she should have had to go through that labor alone.

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