Shameless season 9, episode 4 recap: ‘Do Right, Vote White’


On this week’s episode of Shameless, Fiona and Frank serve as political polar opposites, with the end result being a brawl at an election facility and a do-nothing politician being back in office.

Debbie wading into wage equality and sexual preference conclusions has muddled her immediate future, even more so than Frannie. Carl’s homicidal rage is back, Lip is throwing away money and Kev and V are now consultants.

The 100th episode of Shameless helped to frame the rest of this lackluster season.

Mo White is beyond reprehensible. At first introduction, there was thick skepticism regarding the retired politician. Now, after walking the campaign trail with the newly-elected Mo White, a feeling of disgust is ever-present.

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Just as White had a child present at his ceremony. It’s obvious, it’s brash, it’s criminal, and yet, it is present-day America. The worst available option is allowed too much air to fester, because those claiming to qualified to run society, can’t seem to show they have the skills for proper discourse.

Speaking of proper discourse, how are Ford and Fiona going to make this work beyond trails of condoms through communal living? The only passion is arguments, it seems the rest is just a mundane living arrangement with some naked wrestling-for-sport benefits.

Business Fiona has lost the plot. With too many contending interests, the dichotomy of her lives is being contrasted very well. She is not handling the transition to independence well. Just because a couple of investments work out, it does not give Fiona the right to domineer the workplace with political nonsense. Not when she just stepped on two booths and all of her workers’ constitutional rights.

Fiona needs a Veronica night, with a bottle filled with alcohol and honesty. If she does not check herself, Fiona’s path will lead to her losing sight of self, and wrecking everything she built. With Lips’ struggles, Frank would have two kids following in the repeating cycle.

Debbie wants respect but has yet to extend the courtesy to others. She is short and bitter with the house Gallagher and no longer welcome in others. Her new self-centered approach to being a working single mother has left her isolated.

The tendencies of the lesbian to rush into housing situations with men hating straight women, well, it’s almost too cliche for anyone to have a problem with the abrupt ending. Size queens who settle with men for cash and comfort don’t make the best live-in girlfriend for other women.

Debbie is tracking more towards her mother’s trail of destruction. Ian has the medical storyline, but Debbie has seemed well past just overworked and exhausted as a mother. She made the choice to have a child, to the point of poking holes in the condom. She makes $18 an hour, which is way more than any other Gallagher at that age, and has more work than she can handle.

Fiona is fierce, Debbie and Ian are barely functional, but Lip is trying his level best to maintain his sobriety and sanity. Lip took care of Xan for a short time, but his emotional state and newly found will to be sober helped him see the destruction that happens to kids. It happened to him. Lots of kids are present but forgotten, abandoned, or just used for a welfare check.

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Lip wanted Xan to have a better life experience. However, Lip should know that she was too far gone down the road of a Southside hustler to truly be saved, so she could enjoy her youth with some level of innocence and bliss. Lip wants to do good by the world, but keeps finding the world does not care for his efforts, it just keeps on moving.

An envelope with $10,000 isn’t going to last Xan’s mom six months, even without drugs and addiction as a burden. Lip has an internal reckoning coming and must decide how much he is willing to throw away to avoid alcohol, or if he will throw himself back in his old ways. He can’t keep selling rebuilt motorcycles and dropping at a single mother’s feet.

Frank is again out of luck, in need of a new hustle in the midst of a drunk session, if not already passed out on the Orange Line.

Kevin and Veronica are bar safety consultants, making Southside bars safe for women again. When opportunity knocks, the couple answers. Sometimes Veronica answers in a lacy little number with a whip, while on occasion … Kevin wore that suit well.

Somehow, his male dancer days really gave him a new confidence in relating to women, somehow. The dynamic of the relationship has changed through the years, but Kev and V are still the classiest raunchiest kinkiest couple on television in the last decade.

Liam is the future of the Gallaghers into the next decade. Perhaps he was held back once, but now that he has been educated privately, public school is a breeze. Well, it is now that he has security.

Feeling secure has never been a Gallagher trait. Everything is slap-dash and last minute fire drills to avert catastrophe. Shameless now has several characters finding their comfort levels, even though it is detrimental to the progress and development of characters.

Fiona’s impending departure keeps the anxious, uneasy feelings just piqued enough to keep tuning in even though she is tuning out her old life’s core principles.

While most fans that made it this far will keep cheering for the Gallaghers to do everything in their power to reach their full potential, “Do RIght, Vote White” made clear that Mo White is done striving for anything except underage partners.

When asked: “what are you going to do now that you’ve won?” White simply replies, “Nothing, that’s the beauty of being in Congress.”

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Fans can only hope the level of discourse and the season’s development does not get infected with Mo White’s attitudes of indifference and toxic disrespect for opposing views. May the last seasons of Shameless rise above the politics of the show, and of contemporary America.

At least let Lip escape his demons. He is the only character that is still trying to find a life of good. Even Carl’s West Point admission required some dead dogs and some hot lead into a poet’s leg.

Watch the Shameless clan of Gallaghers lives unfold on Showtime, Sundays at 9 p.m. EST.