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TV Review: SHAMELESS: Season 4, Episode 11: Emily [Showtime]

Noel Fisher Cameron Monaghan Shameless Emily

Showtime’s Shameless Emily TV Show Review. Shameless: Season 4, Episode 11: Emily contained two moments fans of the show have been waiting to see for a long time. A central character was faced with losing the love of their life or making a proclamation. After losing this person previously and dreaming of them ever since, this character was not going to let “the mistress” walk out of their life again.

This central character’s ‘Declaration of Independence’ in front of a half-drunken crowd came and went with little fervor (it wasn’t directly affecting them so they could care less), except to four, specific people.

This character’s pronouncement saved them from the tyranny of Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter), even-though an earlier reality check had put her firmly in her place. What Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) said to the gaggle of onlookers completely eliminated the flimsy, covert leverage Svetlana still had over him. From now on she would have to take what he gave her, which wouldn’t be love, affection, or attention.

The ‘explosion’ that happened in the announcement’s aftermath had been a bomb waiting to go off for years, probably since Mickey went through puberty. It was going to happen at some point, what better reason than for love. Imagine the comic book Batman vs. Predator but in real life: Batman, with his hidden, true identity and The Predator, a violent, terrible force stalking those around it, going toe-to-toe in vivid colors. It was a ‘title bout’ between an aggrieved, dominated supplicant wishing to be free of their invisible, suffocating yoke and a person that hated himself and controlled his family with fear and abuse.

It was a bloody, uncoordinated altercation, and it needed to happen. Once uncorked, Mickey ‘drove the knife‘ as deep into his father’s heart as he could manage. He couldn’t take his father with his fists but he could beat him with sharp words and unsheathed hatred.

Neither Milkovich won their physical engagement, no one could win the type of fight they had endured. It was a transformative fist-a-cuffs though. At its messy finale, Mickey was no longer living in fear of his father’s wrath. He was free and in more ways than one.

The Emily (Aubrey K. Miller) subplot of the episode nearly stole the show in regards to emotion within the episode. I say nearly because Emily was a new character and thus there was only a surface amount of engagement from the viewer versus the total involvement of the viewer with the Mickey Milkovich / Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) storyline. Even with all that in mind, Emily’s scene with Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) was extremely touching. What Frank apologized for to Emily was an event he had never apologized for to Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) or Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White). The viewer listened to the apology and all they could think was: “Say that to them. They need to hear this. They need to hear that you are sorry.” Though that will probably never happen, the gratifying part of the exchange was that his words and attention mattered to Emily, it made her feel good and not alone. It momentarily filled a hole in her life that she had spoken of rather maturely during her introduction.

Frank’s admission to Emily was not the only revelation. His first one during the episode was even more important to his personality. A varying amount of abuse has transpired in the Gallenager family but possibly the most and worst happened to Frank when he was younger. It was only hinted at during a single moment but from the way Frank said it, the viewer knew it happened and happened more than once. The onion got pealed back a little more on why Frank behaves the way he does.

Frank’s urine bag / brownie scene was hilarious. It was pure, oblivious Frank at his finest. The way he just laid the bag on the doctors’ table while eating showed the old Frank was not far from a full re-emergence.

Fiona’s ‘trip’ during this episode was not as emotionally tumultuous as the one in Iron City but it was entertaining, enlightening (think of the ‘fresh fishes’ being delivered to prison in Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption), and more darkly humorous. One down, eighty-nine days to go.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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