SHAMELESS 4.09 ‘The Legend of Bonnie and Carl’

Shameless 409

Episode Title: "The Legend of Bonnie and Carl"

Writer: Etan Frankel

Director: Mark Mylod

Previously on "Shameless":

Episode 4.08 "Hope Springs Paternal"


Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) falls in love, Deb (Emma Kenney) gets even and Fiona (Emmy Rossum) adjusts to life as a convicted fellow in “The Legend of Bonnie and Carl."  Oh and Frank (William H. Macy) is probably going to die soon, but not if he can help it.

We know Fiona isn’t a “bad person." Though she’s made some pretty big mistakes this season, sleeping with her boss/boyfriend’s brother and leaving cocaine around for her baby brother to get into shouldn’t define the girl who has worked so hard to keep her family fed, clothed and in school, up until now. But for those who’ve only just gotten to know Fiona Gallagher, like Mike’s sister, she “is not a good person.” And there’s no argument there.

The Gallaghers> live and die by their choices. Frank has chosen not to support or even care about his family and it’s lead him to living out his final days in Sheila’s house with no one to look after him except the long lost daughter he tried to scam a new kidney out of. That seems fair, considering the hell Frank has put his children through. But Fiona makes one mistake, albeit a very big one, and she can barely leave the house without risking another stint in jail.

The difference between Frank and Fiona is that Fiona knows better and so we expect more from her while laughing off Frank’s outrageous schemes and ploys to rip off the government and/or his immediate family. This episode makes it easy to laugh at Sheila (Joan Cusack), in her oversized wedding dress, rushing to marry Frank so she can adopt her ex-boyfriend, Roger Runningtree’s kids. At the same time, the scene at the end of the episode where Fiona returns to World Wide Cup is extremely sobering. Mike’s sister reminds Fiona of what she did to their family and takes offense at her audacity to suggest the company lie to the federal government so she can get unemployment.

Again we’re brought back to the point that Fiona isn’t a “bad person,” as Mike’s sister so vehemently suggests, but she certainly has made mistakes. And it’s not like she isn’t paying for this one. No one wants to hire a convicted felon, even the hard partying neighborhood mom who used to trust Fiona with her children is backing off. Right now, the only real job opportunity Fiona’s got is hooking, thanks to her Narcotics Anonymous meeting leader.

Meanwhile, Lip (Jeremy Allen White) continues to support the family while avoiding Mandy’s boyfriend, who is looking to give him a beat down. Mickey (Noel Fisher) refuses to go home to his wife and newborn son, instead blackmailing rich older men in order to make enough money to keep his wife from calling his father. Debbie takes relationship advice from Mandy (Emma Greenwell) and terrorizes Matt’s new girlfriend, Sina by planting a snake in her car. Instead of scaring her off it looks like Debbie’s made a new enemy as Sina shows up outside the house with a baseball bat and a few words for her.

At least Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) is having luck with the ladies, when he becomes smitten with Bonnie, a girl from detention who gives him advice on making shanks. The two later rob a bodega with what Carl thought was a fake gun. Turns out Bonnie is not playing around, which naturally makes Carl even more enamored with her. Can't think of a better first date for the second youngest Gallagher than robbing a convenience store.

With Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Sheila (Joan Cusack) back home, Frank on his death bed, (though he’s still in denial) and Fiona in desperate need of a job, “The Legend of Bonnie and Carl” is heavy at times but also very funny. It’s definitely one of the best episodes of the season, coupling each tear with a laugh, as we watch the Gallaghers continue to try to buck the system, in spite of themselves.