Shameless Season 8 Episode 1 Review: We Become What We ... Frank!

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The Gallaghers are back, and if Shameless Season 8 Episode 1 is anything to go by, they are trying to be better people. 

Fiona deciding she was officially over casual sex was a good move. There are too many dangers associated with meeting randoms on the internet for the sole purpose of sex, and with Fiona's career hitting a high, she decided it was time for her to move on. 

Swearing Off - Shameless

I love everything about the apartment block. If you watch Shameless online, you will know that Fiona has worked her butt off to get to where she is, and she really deserves to get some good luck. 

I'm not entirely sold on the idea of Jessica Szohr's Nessa being her new friend. Despite Fiona's claim that she was not gay, there was evidently some chemistry between the pair. Making Fiona question her sexuality would be a plot that's not been done for the character, but I'm not sure how it would play out. 

Veronica: So, no more Tinder?
Fiona: No, V. I'm done with it. No more pointless sex bent over a dirty sink in a club bathroom, scraping my ass on a rusty ally dumpster with my underwear scraped around my ankles.

Nessa's girlfriend will probably go nuclear if she ends up getting closer to Fiona. It always good to be friends with your tenants, but Fiona may run the risk of getting too close to Nessa, and that could result in them falling out. 

Jessica Szohr as Nessa - Shameless Season 8 Episode 1

Nessa seems nice enough, but Fiona should probably keep her distance if she wants to keep an element of professionalism in her career. Nessa knows the ins and outs of the apartment block so she could be an asset to Fiona, but she could also be detrimental to the success of the building. 

Then there's Debbie, who is continuing her career as a welder. Something drastic needed to be done to bring this character back from the doldrums, but the way she is treating Neil is not okay. 

She was way too flirtatious with the guy in the bar who liked her hair a little too much. I get that being busy with work and school can result in a hectic lifestyle, but would it have killed her to stop for a few moments to check in with Neil?

All she seemed to do was throw orders his way. Debbie only got with Neil in the first place because it presented an opportunity for her to get Franny back. There's no real chemistry between Debbie and Neil, and now that Debbie is living her life, she realizes that she wants something more. 

Debbie is Back - Shameless Season 8 Episode 1

This is going to end in tears for both of them, and I feel like the storyline could pave the way for the end of Debbie. Emma Kenney has been signed to appear on ABC's Roseanne revival which is slated to debut in 2018. 

Obviously, there is every possibility that Emma remained a series regular on Shameless Season 8, but if the show goes beyond this season, there's a very real possibility that there's going to be less from Debbie. 

Maybe it's time for the character's journey to come to an end. Out of all the characters, her story is the least exciting nowadays. 

Lip pining over Sierra was natural. He wanted to romance her for much of Shameless Season 7, but at the same time, he went off the rails, and that's why Sierra does not want to give him another chance. 

She maintained that the only reason she was giving Charlie a second chance was that he was the kid's father, and that shows that she wants to do the best by her kid. However, it was very stupid of Lip to pay her bill for her. 

Sierra Hates Lip - Shameless Season 8 Episode 1

He knows she is struggling, but he's putting his feelings out there, and Sierra knows that. Giving the money back for the rehab at the close of the hour came conveniently after Lip realized he stood no shot with Sierra. 

He knew fine well that if he had the money, he would continue to spend it on her, and that she would become his replacement for alcohol. Lip has been through it all over the years, so he knows he needs to strive for change or he's going to run the risk of becoming like his father. 

Speaking of Frank, there's absolutely no way his new leaf will stick. We've witnessed this man take on multiple personas throughout the years, and while it gives William H. Macy a lot to work with, we've seen it all a little too much. 

The way he was parading around the Southside thinking he could make up for all the things he did wrong in the past was very reminiscent of NBC's My Name Is Earl. That show was a delight, and I could do without a rehash of it on a weekly basis. 

Frank's New Life - Shameless Season 8 Episode 1

The funny thing about all of it was that Frank is generally off of his face because of drugs, and that proved problematic when he tried to think about all of the crap he has put everyone through. 

Thank god the storyline for Frank is not as dull as the one he had on Shameless Season 5. That was around the time his beer making skills blew up poor Sheila's home. That also marked the final appearance of Joan Cusack. 

Frank: It came out great, Carl.
Ian: Where the hell have you been?
Frank: Smoked up all my meth, got over your mother and now I'm a new man.

Am I the only one who does not care about Ian getting back in Elliot's good books? As far as I'm concerned, Ian should be glad that Elliot even acknowledges his existence. Sue was right in her assessment that he was an ass. 

How could Ian realistically expect Elliot to be waiting around while he ran off and had sex with his ex-boyfriend? Ian is deluded if he thinks Elliot will ever be able to trust him again. While it's clear Elliot cares deeply for Ian, he knows that Ian is not the right man for him. 

All of the young men at the home may be enamored by Ian, but Elliot knows what he's really like. It was evident all of the men were talking about Ian based purely on his appearance, and that's actually pretty sad. 

You don't know someone based on their appearance. It's what's inside that matters. 

I did not expect Kevin to find himself getting tested for cancer. Being Shameless, I expected the whole scene with him getting touched all over by the older man to result in him accepting some more money for some more time. 

Now that there's a chance he's going to need some treatment, it will light a fire under Veronica to try and get the family back to the way it was before Svetlana waltzed in and romanced them into signing over their bar. 

I had to laugh at Svetlana for turning it into a shrine for Vladimir Putin. That was a typical Svetlana thing to do. Getting to see Veronica have her sent away was satisfying to watch, but I won't rule out some legal loophole allowing Svetlana to remain in the United States. 

If this was the end of the storyline, it would have been tacked on to the conclusion of Shameless Season 7. There would have been no need to drag it all the way through the hiatus leaving fans questioning what was going to happen. 

So, Svetlana will be back, and she will be taking the offer of them returning to being a throuple off the table. She has connections, and Kev and V should probably think about making their way out of the Southside. 

"We Become What We ... Frank!" was an excellent return for the Gallagher clan. It successfully set the wheels in motion for what is sure to be another thrilling season of this Showtime drama series. 

Stray thoughts:

  • Having Liam be the token child of color at the school was awful. There was a reason he was given a free ride to the school, and I can't wait to see the family take revenge. 
  • Am I the only one jealous of the new hot tub? It's a far cry from that terrible pool they had for years that the homeless people were bathing in. 
  • Fiona should probably not speak about having sex with randoms in any of her workplaces. That poor man was only eating his breakfast.
  • Frank blaming Monica for being the person who turned his life to crap was laughable. They were both as bad as each other, and everybody knows it. 

Over to you, Shameless Fanatics! What did you think of the season premiere? Sound off below!

Shameless continues Sundays on Showtime!

We Become What We ... Frank! Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Shameless Season 8 Episode 1 Quotes

Frank: It came out great, Carl.
Ian: Where the hell have you been?
Frank: Smoked up all my meth, got over your mother and now I'm a new man.

Veronica: So, no more Tinder?
Fiona: No, V. I'm done with it. No more pointless sex bent over a dirty sink in a club bathroom, scraping my ass on a rusty ally dumpster with my underwear scraped around my ankles.