Shameless: My Oldest Daughter Review

Lies big and small come crashing into the light this week. But Frank's secret leaves even the most jaded viewer wheeling.

There is no shame in keeping secrets, if they can remain hidden. However, when they bubble to the surface like they did for Frank and Fiona on tonight’s Shameless, it can create for some hilarious, if genuinely embarrassing moments. Fortunately, these characters learning humility is about as likely as a Gallagher breaking into the middle class the same day that Frank quits drinking. In short, you have a better chance of meeting a well-adjusted Miklovich before that day comes. Thus, the best way to approach tonight’s episode is by ranking the many failed attempts at discretion from least consequentially negative to most. The show gets to business right at the top of the hour with how Kev and V must overcome the death of the bar’s owner, Stanley Kocheck. After Stan was killed with a maliciously intentional zero amount of fanfare last week, even from his state-run nursing home, Kev and V are there for the will reading when Stan’s LGBT son also made his first appearance.  Kev remarks to the completely affable and well-mannered Alan Kocheck that “he didn’t even mention you existed. He always talked about having a daughter.” The son laughs. “That would be me.” This is not so much a secret, as a disdainful homophobic dig that pulls families apart. In a show where Frank is the supposed patriarch of the Gallagher clan, his one saving grace is the context he is set in with a world of far worse parents, such as Hurricane Monica, Papa Milkovich, and now this latest reveal about Stan. The middle-aged Alan seems completely unsurprised when the will reading leaves him berated for being gay and the bar left in Kev’s name. Alan even decides on the spot to let Kev keep the bar, provided Kev sends him a check for $500 every month for the next two years. This is a happy ending for all, as Kev now has four babies coming since V is having triplets, plus the mama baby that Kev will never allow Veronica to terminate. Meanwhile, Alan gets a sweet send off too when he is allowed to take the urn of his father’s ashes…and smash them on the piss stained floors of the Alibi Room. So, it’s a win-win all around. Too bad the Alibi Room is broke… The next lie that could have disastrous consequences is Debs pretending that she is 16-years-old with her new car cruising boyfriend. I wrote “could” because despite her new “friends” urging her to have sex with this seeming nice guy, she blurts out immediately her 13 years of age when they sit down at his place for dinner and reality TV. Debs made the right choice, which shows the smart, if scared, young girl from the previous seasons is still under all that pubescent angst. However, this reviewer was instantly skeeved out about how not-phased her South Side gentleman caller is to this news. He could generally be cool with it and wish to be her friend. But how many high schoolers befriended middle school kids with dinner for two? It is only a matter of time before the creeper shoe drops, and when it does, Shameless be headed for some truly nasty places. Then again, Debs has her own sort of anger issues, so perhaps he should be the one to worry? Moving on up the latter brings us to Fiona, whose career at World Wide Cup seems to be charging forward to an almost cartoonish speed. Six months ago, she was a temp in the office, and now she is acting as their sales rep in what would appear to be high-end meet-and-greets with management at the United Center Arena. At this rate, she may even be able to afford to finally see a Bulls game there…if the first cracks of Gallagher self-destruction hadn’t already appeared. Fiona is still obviously recovering from the greatest of abusive liars with the disappearance of Jimmy—I expect his body to wash ashore any episode now (or he somehow becomes Frank’s doctor)—but that does not mean she is ready to settle down with Mike. When he asks why she didn’t call him the night before (as she had promised to do), her instant kneejerk is to turn it around on him for being needy. I think we all see where this is headed. She is immediately pushing him away faster than Adam from Season 2. My only hope is that the writers don’t end up spinning their wheels with this “love interest” as they did with all the non-Jimmys from Season 2 (Adam, Jasmine, and whatshisface old guy). However in the show’s favor for avoiding that sort of filler, there is the simple fact that he is her boss, which requires their issues to be fully explored. Indeed, she ends up lying to him in both capacities about what is to come, pulling the first thread in the Gallagher yarn of doom. During an incident that is really not her fault, Fiona is cut off by a road raging moron who curses her out. She returns the favor and questions the size of his dick…which he then proceeds to confirm its diminutive nature by stopping both their cars dead and attacking her windshield with his baseball bat. Instead of admitting the accident, which went viral online, Fi chooses to lie that a branch fell on her car while at the stadium. Of course, Mike gets even more pissy about this (an instant turn off for a girl like Fiona), and their relationship strains even more in its second episode of life. Good thing he doesn’t hold her “career” in his hands, right? However, the most stunning lie, even for Shameless, is the bombshell Frank ends the episode with. Mostly because it puts the whole series into a new light of dysfunction: the entire episode Carl is busting his butt for Frank. At least when he isn’t making moves on Deb’s ‘easy-going’ friends, “I’m saving an image for my spank bank later” (he is totally going to get her in a future season) or actually making deposits in said spank bank, Carl is running all over Chicago to save Frank from dying of liver poisoning. Sadly for Carl, none Frank’s adult children seem to care. Ian is still MIA and Fiona has given up on her dad long ago. Even cynical Lip, happy to hear from anyone from the old hometown while at college, could not care less that Frank is dying. They all know what Carl is still too young to understand—Frank is a waste of a perfectly good liver. Why wade through Fiona’s used tampons for that?! Thus, when all hope seems lost for Frank, and Fi refuses to give him part of her liver, Frank levels the entire Gallagher clan with the reveal that he’ll just call his eldest daughter. Hint: it’s not Fiona! What do we make of this? It honestly could go either way and will be decided by next week’s episode, entitled “Like Father, Like Daughter.” Frankly, this sort of fourth season reveal could be the sign of desperation as played out in generic family sitcoms when they need to revitalize the cutsey dynamics every five years or so. Then again, Shameless COULD use some new blood in it, particularly with the show finding it harder and harder to keep Lip and Ian onboard. Who would this daughter be? Another offspring of the unholy union that is Frank and Monica? Somehow, I doubt this, because she would have been discovered by this family by now. No, she is from a previous fling, if she is indeed Frank’s daughter. And how Fiona will deal with not being the top of her family unit could open a host of possibilities. Certainly more than Lip, who while secret-less, is sinking far too easily in college. Besides getting killed by exams, he appears to think he can talk to all women, even if they are from the South Side, like they’re either Karen or Mandy. It is a foregone conclusion Lip will drop out, but I sincerely hope the show can find a better reason than he can’t swim in a university setting.  Most Shameless Quotes of the Week: -STAN KOCHECK (via will reading): [I] leave to my sniveling, faggoty, fag of a fago-rama daughter by the name of Alan Willard Kocheck my gun collection in the hopes that she’ll kill herself before she chugs another AIDS cock. KEV: I’m sure we’ve all heard that before. -FIONA: Ah Carl, please, please stop worrying about Frank. He’s a black hole of endless need that will suck the life out of you. -KEV: Baby, you know what this means? I got a magic dick! I don’t know whether I need to be flipping out or thrust my all-mighty dick in everyone’s face! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!


3.5 out of 5