This had the makings of a great episode, but it was the court room scene that really stood out as strong here. Both William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum gave outstanding performances with their monologues, really delving into what motivates their characters Frank and Fiona, and it was just truly compelling television. This show can be funny, but it is the dramatic moments like this one that stand out to me.
If this episode doesn't get Emmy Rossum an Emmy nod, I don't know what else they're looking for, because Nurse Jackie and The Good Wife are simply not pulling their weight compared to this show. I know this is an American adaptation of a Brit show, and in many respects that is in character name only. And this episode is a great example of that. Seeing Fiona break so many laws to stop Frank from ruining the kids lives anymore than he already had was fun. Seeing the look on her face when she cut off the toe of the corpse she was using as an Aunt Ginger sustitute after seeing that Debbie was going hungry in foster care was brilliant. Kick-ass momma bear.
This show can sometimes make her character come off as a self sacraficing saint, and this episode was one of those, but there's always enough of the Gallagher DNA in her to see how easy it is she crosses over to the darkside/Frank side.
Frank had a good couple bits in there, not a fan off seeing how easy he swayed a recovering alcholic back to drinking in one little speech, it felt a bit too muck like and Aaron Sorkin moment, and his character isn't one who anyone holds in any respect. So it felt a little unbelievable. But having him steal 30 and 60 day recovery chips like it was just a game, and being so relieved that Fiona would have all of the responsibility was just classic. And not for nothing, but in the cold open, where he says you didn't miss much last week because he was a little light in the episode (where he holds clean urine in his mouth to pass a drug test) had me laughing from the get go.
Karen is back and that makes the Lip/Mandy story more intersting, especially when she shows that she is devoted tto helping him get to take the SATs and get him into college like she promised in the earlier episodes.
And Jimmy/Steve's antics are just getting more and more desperate. Not just with Estefania and his bodyguard-keeper. Though I predict the next pregnancy is theirs. But also with him clearly feeling trapped in a family not-of-his- choosing with Fiona. He wants her for a fun and sexy relationship, but the qualities that drew him to her are also what have her make decisions for her kids that he doesn't like. And since I can't imagine an American version of this show surviving without the two of them to counterbalance Frank's chaotic disfunction, I am looking forward to see how the Fiona and Jimmy story moves forward. And come Emmy time, Ms Rossum better be on the list of nominees.