"Shameless" Episode 4 "Casey Casden"

2/04/2011 Posted by Admin

"Shameless" Episode 4 "Casey Casden"

Television Review

By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover

I might be alone in this based on what some TV reviewers are saying, but I felt like the fourth episode of "Shameless" was a big step backwards. The biggest problem for me was that it focused primarily on a couple storylines that are just more extreme variations on points that the series already explored, namely Debbie's issues with her lack of a "normal" family life and Frank's issues with, um, tough love.

The big storyline this episode was Debbie's kidnapping of a local boy from a birthday party happening nearby. The scene where Fiona and Steve realize what Debbie's done after they walk in on her cross dressing the kid were great, but things go downhill when the situation swiftly escalates. I might be totally wrong about this, but it seems pretty ridiculous that a kid can be missing for an hour and already the national news is on it while the police department has choppers flying overhead and officers doing drive-bys. I get that the writers felt the story needed to go huge to get the most laughs and hence the implausibility, but I don't see why it needed to be such a big event.

Yeah, Debbie's kind of loopy, but did we need to be hit over the heads with that while the entirety of Chicago's police community is out looking for this kid? The crux of the story wound up being Debbie's inability to lie, which made returning the kid harder, especially since the stakes had been raised so much. Theoretically, this plot point was meant to show us how innocent Debbie is, that even when she's kidnapping local little boys and dressing them up as mini Aunt Gingers, she's still the most angelic Gallagher. But we knew that already, if only for the heartbreaking scene of her crying in the nursing home last episode.

The B-story was even weirder and far less plausible. Eddie Jackson returned home because he couldn't afford to support his estranged wife and kid and have his own place and instead of having a normal reaction of getting a little irritated that Frank had already latched his leech self onto his wife so quickly, Eddie bonds with Frank...over their mutual understanding of just what it means to be romantically involved with Sheila. While it was great to see Joel Murray again, and he does an excellent job being sympathetic and downtrodden, the whole thing just felt like an excuse for the writers to make an awkward pairing.

Still, on the C-story, some interesting developments happened that could offer big pay-offs for the series. Kev winds up proposing to Veronica because of a lie that goes awry, a lie that it should be said so far makes Kev out to be one of the more valiant characters on the show despite what follows. As if that wasn't enough, Kev winds up confessing to a pretty big secret that will undoubtedly be the focus of the next episode and perhaps more.

As erratic as the focus of "Shameless" has been, and as much of a misstep that "Casey Casden" was, the bomb that Kev drops should keep everyone tuned in and if "Shameless" does it properly, it could be the type of thing that stabilizes the show and clears the air. If nothing else, it was nice to see some real development with Kev outside of making him out to be the cranky, abused neighbor.

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  1. Anonymous said...

    For the record..my nephew was 8 and missing and we had helicopters flying overhead in less than 30 min. I was shocked myself but they respond very quickly to an abducted child. That said..I didn't love this episode as much as previous ones myself.