Every time that I think Shameless if giving an episode that is lame, unbelievable or just flat-out uninspired, I'm surprised at how the writers are able to turn it all around and make me remember why I love these characters so much in the first place. For just a few moments, I wasn't sure how much I would like the episode. For some reason, it bothers me with how dysfunctional this family, along with Sheila and Karen's family is. Dysfunction exists but not to this extent.
However, the show somehow manages to make me forget all that. I remind myself that this is a fictional show, not meant to show a realistic portrayal of poverty stricken dysfunctional families and the result is a highly entertaining, funny, dark and (very occasionally) touching show. With this episode, we somewhat get into the mind of Carl... I still am not sure he's as interesting as the other characters, who are a bit more three dimensional than him, but I did enjoy the little torture montage they had. Meanwhile, while Fiona attempts to prevent Carl from being expelled, Frank is forced to deal with a couple of guys to who he owes six thousand dollars. There's a lot of running on his part, and nothing really exciting happens.
As for Lip and Ian, things are starting to build up a bit. Lip gets caught cheating on the S.A.T tests for a student, but an Educational Officer realizes that Lip is really a smart student and offers him a spot at the University of Chicago. It should be interesting to see how this plot unfolds.. I'm not really sure, now that I think about it, what exactly Lip's relationship is with Karen.. but that's a random thought for another episode. Ian, on the other hand, learns that Cash is letting the store get robbed because of his fear of the guy doing the robbing. Based on this episode and the preview for next week, Ian's little tryst with Cash may be close to getting caught.
All in all, it was another solid episode from Shameless. Besides that ridiculous Canada episode, I've been a huge fan of the show and will definitely be sticking it out for however long it's around. There are moments in the show that reassure me there's a heart to the show. For this episode, it was when Frank and Sheila were laying in bed. Frank has been such an awful human, parent, father, everything... but there are genuinely nice moments where he opens up and shares kindness with somebody else. Hopefully the show can keep letting these characters evolve.