Was the hiatus really necessary?
Shameless Season 9 Episode 8 served as the show's midseason premiere following Showtime's decision to go all AMC and split up its most popular drama series.
Off the bat, it ruined the momentum it had been building. It all played out like one of those dull episodes as a show reaches the final run of the season.
We'll talk about Fiona first. It's difficult to understand whether we're supposed to feel sorry about her essentially becoming her father, or if we're supposed to be glad that she'll be well away from the action when Emmy Rossum departs.
Becoming Frank is something that Fiona would hate if she was in a healthy state of mind. Right now, she's consumed by hatred for having to give up her building and that it is being developed into luxury condos.
Turn this into more drinks.Fiona
It's undoubtedly a terrible direction to take the character of Fiona, especially when you consider just how much crap she's been through since she was a child born into a world with Frank and Monica as parents.
She made strides to better her life, and it was all going well. It sucks that she allowed everything to fall apart because of Ford.
Fans have long complained that the creative forces behind the show persist on having a man in Fiona's life. It's perfectly obvious she can stand on her own two feet without the intensity that comes from being in a relationship.
My one true hope here is that Jimmy/Steve or whatever the heck he's called these days does not swoop in to sweep her off her feet and claim that he still loves her because that would be a sucky conclusion for Fiona.
Jimmy has proven time and time again that there's always a scheme in the works, and Fiona needs some stability. I'll also be similarly mad if she finds herself in prison because that's becoming a tired old trope on this show when one of the characters depart.
Fiona's actions in Patsy's were embarrassing, but they also proved just how far down this rabbit hole she was.
If you watch Shameless online, you know that Fiona had big ideas for the diner and put her own spin on things to drive the customers into the establishment. Now, she's criticizing customers, showing up for work in the same clothes and drinking on the job.
My biggest issue with this direction is that Fiona agreed to take drugs. Did she forget what happened to Liam on Shameless Season 4?
The kid was in her care and almost died because of her partying a little too hard and having drugs in the house. That was around the time Fiona found herself in prison as well.
They say that people learn from their mistakes, but this only highlights how similar Fiona is to her father. In any case, this is just making me hate Fiona's presence on the show because of the number of tussles she's had with Frank about his drinking.
Another big hint that Fiona is headed for disaster is that she hasn't been paying the bills for the house ... even though her siblings have been giving her money towards them.
The electricity getting cut off was reminiscent of the show's early years when it was typical for the Gallaghers to go without power for days on end as a result of the finances being in dire straits.
I've been giving Fiona money for the bills. So has Lip. She just hasn't been paying them.Debbie
It's truly bizarre, but it looks like Debbie is about to become the Fiona of the earlier years. It was about time the squirrel fund made a return.
All of these siblings have money coming in from somewhere, so it makes sense to put any extra into the tin in case something like this happens again.
As for the pairing of Tammy and Lip, I'm not convinced. They have absolutely nothing in common, come from different walks of life, and there's a severe lack of chemistry.
The very notion that Tammy was urging Lip to get his own apartment for them to use as a "f--k pad" was ridiculous.
Tammy: What is this?
Lip: We share our underwear.
Tammy: You guys should each have your own underwear.
Tammy is not willing to commit to a relationship, so why should Lip be the one to make this big move?
Getting an apartment of his own would be a good thing so Lip could carve out a life for himself, but he doesn't appear to be in the headspace for that right now.
He's still very much in recovery mode after rehab. I don't doubt Lip would be able to source furniture from his friends and family, but the added pressure of more bills than he's ever been able to handle.
He needs to continue to treat whatever this thing is with Tammy as sex because the last thing he needs is being embroiled in a loveless relationship.
Tammy has been open and honest about her intentions, so she's not going to be sticking around for very long.
As for Frank and Ingrid, well, that storyline was plain weird. They barely know each other, and they're talking about having children?
Yeah, because that's going to end well.
Frank, would you fertilize my eggs?Ingrid
Frank's long life of consuming drugs and alcohol like they're going out of fashion was always going to come back to haunt him.
Well, I use the term "haunt" loosely because the only reason he will want a kid with Ingrid is to keep her sweet so he can continue to get money from her.
Using Carl as a sperm donor without so much as consulting him was just par for the course for this series.
This is all going to end in tears, and young Carl is going to have a child with a woman who could probably be his grandmother.
"The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Alibi" was a mediocre attempt at a midseason premiere. The show is starting to become laugh-challenged at this stage, and it's probably time to think about wrapping it up.
Before we know it, more cast members will be exiting, and the show is fast becoming a shell of its former self.
Other tidbits from the episode:
- Santiago's past is heartbreaking, and I hope Kevin manages to put his personal feelings aside to help reunite the child with his family.
- Chewing gum under tables has got to be one of the most disgusting things about dining in restaurants.
- Frank stealing Debbie's breakfast was predictable. Debbie should know better than to leave food lying around at this stage.
Okay, Shameless Fanatics!
What are your thoughts on the midseason premiere? Are you growing tired of the show?
Hit the comments below.
Shameless continues Sundays on Showtime.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.