Shameless Season 8 Episode 8 Review: Frank's Northern Southern Express

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Even with his back against the wall, Frank Gallagher still finds a way to reverse his fortunes.

On Shameless Season 8 Episode 8, the Gallagher family patriarch continued his new business venture, and he quickly realized it was one that will help him flourish in the midst of his unemployment. 

Fiona's New Friend - Shameless

While I think it was downright laughable that Frank managed to get his clients from the U.S. into Canada without any input from the law, it was still a decent enough plot to keep me glued to the screen. 

Frank was mostly a tour guide and who would not want a tour guide like him? He was playing games with his clients and having them sing along to Justin Bieber tracks. He was a hoot, and it looks like he has a successful business plan that's going to see him rake in the money. 

Being unemployed is tough, and it's refreshing to see Frank so cut up about it. His new business may be unorthodox, but he could have easily returned to his former ways, running up a tab at the Alibi before ghosting Kev and V. 

What we got to see from Frank was a caring side. He knew exactly what to do when the lady fainted and had her on his back within moments. Before Shameless Season 8, Frank had become a one-note character. 

Frank's New Job - Shameless Season 8 Episode 8

Now, the layers have been peeled back, and he's exciting again. Who would have thought that was even possible? Not me!

I don't know what to make of the situation with Fiona and Ford. Fiona is at her best when she's not in a relationship. She strives to carve a better life for herself, and she ultimately wears her heart on her sleeve when she's in a relationship. 

If you watch Shameless online, you will likely recall her relationships with Jimmy/Steve and Sean. Fiona puts her feelings out there and never seems to reap any of the benefits of being in a relationship. 

She has a knack for pulling in liars, and I don't really see what Ford has to offer her aside from the stunning Irish accent. Yes, he took her sight-seeing in an attempt to let her know that while the Southside had so much more to offer than drunks and crime.

But my perception of him completely changed when he called Fiona's situation complicated. What gives him the right to brand her life as complicated when he's known her for all of five minutes?

Fiona is vocal about her family, but she barely even scratched the surface. The look of satisfaction on Fiona's face when she found out about Ford's status as the biological father to much of the Southie children from same-sex said it all.

It was like a lightbulb moment for Fiona because she envisioned Ford to be living a carefree life with no dependents. What I liked about the scene Fiona found out was that it showed that he was still very much involved in his children's' lives. 

A Happy Moment - Shameless Season 8 Episode 8

He was the life and soul of the party because he did such a great thing. Nessa will make a great parent, and I'm sure her hard-as-nails girlfriend will, too. It was interesting to find that both women are pregnant. 

They were looking for one child, and they got two. That happens often, but in this case, it was very unexpected. There's something about the two women going through the various stages of pregnancy at the same time that makes the plot poignant. 

The storylines that come from the apartment block are giving shameless some new life. It's an easy way to bring in some new storylines without them seeming forced. Storylines meshing together naturally are great. 

"Frank's Northern Southern Express" was a solid episode that successfully changed things up for some of the characters proving that the show still has a lot of steam left. 

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Lip should have told Sierra in the first instance about Charlie. Despite her being worried about her father, she is going to be mad when she learns the truth. 
  • Carl's girlfriend is a bit of a loose cannon. I do not want to be him when he inevitably breaks up with her. That is not going to go down well. 
  • Is anyone else aside from V loving that Kevin is now officially sticking up for himself? The way he did the opposite of what Svetlana was asking of him was great. It was about time!
  • Debbie's denial about the pregnancy tests saying she was not pregnant was natural. I hope this is a learning process that she cannot have unprotected sex.
  • Ian and Trevor teaming up to save the kids is great and all, but there's a severe lack of spark between the two characters. 

Over to you, Shameless Fanatics! What did you think of this episode?

Sound off below!

Shameless continues next Sunday on Showtime!

Frank's Northern Southern Express Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Shameless Season 8 Episode 8 Quotes

This poor child couldn't help himself once the devil got inside of him. Sum 1013 says, "I will not look with approval on anything that is vile." I hate what faithless people do, I will have no part of it.


Until America can distinguish between good brown people and bad brown people, it's my goal to get you into America.