Shameless Season 8 Episode 4 Review: F**k Paying It Forward

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Fiona Gallagher is not ready to take a step backward. 

That much became apparent on Shameless Season 8 Episode 4 when Sean reappeared in what was very clearly a step on his apology tour after getting clean from drugs. 

Fiona is Upset - Shameless Season 8 Episode 4

Fiona was conflicted about how she was supposed to feel, and that's only natural. He betrayed her and then disappeared from her life leaving her dressed up for their wedding. 

His return must have been a shock to the system because she never really came to terms with what he did to her in the first place. All of her emotions rushed back the moment Liam let Sean enter the Gallagher household. 

It must have taken a lot of guts for Sean to go to her home because, well, all of her siblings are crazy and would not think twice about hitting him. 

He would have been wiser to approach her outside the diner in the first instance. The eventual meeting was tense as hell, and I loved how Fiona threw the cash back in his face, quite literally. 

Fiona: Maybe he wants me to know he got clean?
Debbie: You don't need him, Fiona. You're a strong, independent woman. Just like me.

If you watch Shameless online, you know that Sean initially appeared as a sweet man who wanted to save Fiona from her mundane lifestyle. He was similar to Steve. 

Fiona has a nasty habit of picking all of the wrong men, and it was quite shocking when it emerged that Sean was going to be another misstep for her romantic life. 

The way Fiona concluded off the bat that Sean wanted her back made me think that subconsciously she wanted him back and was thinking about how different things would be for them. 

Sean: Hey, I was hoping, uh, I might be able to catch you for a sec.
Fiona: Let's go, Debs.
Debbie: Liam, how many times have I told you not to answer the door for douchebags?

The thing about this plot was that it was glaringly apparent that Sean was going to say he was in a relationship with someone else, and for Fiona, that probably felt like he was sticking the knife in further.

It was great that we got to see Dermot Mulroney one last time, and it was shocking that he showed up so early on in the hour. It was the type of twist you would expect from the final few moments of an episode. 

With Sean's storyline now wrapped up, there's absolutely no reason to bring him back. Let Fiona continue moving on with her life because, without the drama of a relationship, she's done quite well for herself. 

Debbie: Neil kicked me out so he could live with that conniving physical therapy slut, Lakeyshia, so I'm moving back in. And I don't want to hear your mouth or anyone else's about it because I am not asking for permission. I'm a Gallagher, and I can live here anytime I please until I'm back on my feet. And I don't want to talk about how much it's going to cost because I'm going to pay my fair share.
Fiona: I was just going to say hi.

I don't know what to make of her new tenant yet. All of the tech being taken into the building made it seem like he was trying to hide something from everyone. 

On top of that, he wanted Fiona well away from the building after she opened up to him about Sean being back. Maybe she thought he would be as understanding as Nessa, but the man has an agenda. 

It will be far more interesting when we know what, exactly, he's up to. 

Frank's New Take on Life - Shameless Season 8 Episode 4

Then there was Frank who was still trying to play the role of the upstanding citizen, and I must admit, it's been a surprisingly fresh direction for the character. 

He wanted to play the role of the hands-on father, and he accomplished that goal during "F**k Paying It Forward." Unlike the other fathers around Liam's school, Frank wanted to be involved in everything. 

He was initially drawn to the school because of the way Liam was being treated, but he quickly realized the opportunity for him to be the father he never was to his other kids. 

I do think it was a bit of a stretch that all of the women seemed to be into him. His mannerisms are still very out there, but I guess the mothers liked the fact that he was so involved with Liam's education. 

If only they knew half of the crap he's pulled over the years. They would never look twice at him. 

The PTA - Shameless

I'm not digging the storyline with Kevin meeting his biological family members. It's almost like the powers that be are struggling to come up with content for the character, so they thought looking back to his past would be the way forward. 

Shameless has prided itself on having some crazy storylines that shock people to the very core, but would it have hurt to have Kevin's origins story to have been more grounded in reality?

There has to be another solid reason his father left him alone all those years ago because there were so many other children he kept. 

I know Kevin is sometimes a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but the initial reveal that he was left alone by accident because of how many kids were there should have been enough for him to realize his family was not good people. 

V picked up on the flaws with the story straight away, and it was evident she did not like them. A part of her is likely thankful for what happened because she would not have met him if he remained with the family. 

I dare say the family is going to follow them back to the Southside and try to get some money or some free drinks.

They seemed enamored to know that Kevin has made something of himself, and it would be too easy to assume the storyline was going to end after this trip. 

"F**k Paying It Forward" was a solid episode of this Showtime hit. There was humor, solid acting, and some crazy drama which all culminated in one of the best episodes in a long time. 

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Lip ditching his date because of her reliance on alcohol was an excellent move. He's learned from his mistakes and is determined not to make the same ones again. 
  • Debbie's storyline needs a jolt of life. It's circling the drain right about now. 
  • Carl going to extreme measures to capture the robber resulted in one of the most comical payoffs. 
  • Elliot was awful to Ian when it emerged that the teenager missed out on a placement. Ian did what he thought was right. It was not his fault that nobody thought to mention the placement. 

Over to you, Shameless Fanatics. What did you think of the episode?

Sound off below!

Shameless continues Sunday on Showtime.

F**k Paying It Forward Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (30 Votes)

Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Shameless Season 8 Episode 4 Quotes

Debbie: Neil kicked me out so he could live with that conniving physical therapy slut, Lakeyshia, so I'm moving back in. And I don't want to hear your mouth or anyone else's about it because I am not asking for permission. I'm a Gallagher, and I can live here anytime I please until I'm back on my feet. And I don't want to talk about how much it's going to cost because I'm going to pay my fair share.
Fiona: I was just going to say hi.

Fiona: Grab your blowtorch, my grown ass druggie tenant got his head stuck in a fence.
Debbie: Okay, you paying?
Fiona: Yeah, same shit money as usual.
Debbie: As soon as I pass my welding qualification final, my fee goes up to not shit money.