shameless season 4 recap

If you haven’t watched Shameless, shame on you, and yes, there are spoilers!

To all honestly, Shameless is the only show I consider writing an episode recap each week because there’s always something to rant about and its 4th season was no exception. With all that was going on this season, from liver failures to jail time, I decided to do a different kind of TV-show post because Shameless deserves a celebration to its craziness. Considering the length of it, I went a bit crazy myself.

Are you all sick and tired of me ranting on about Shameless because now that it’s over my excitement should wear off in about a month or so, until then, SHAMELESS! This doesn’t mean I’m not excited about season 5, I’m just practical when it comes to these things and as I don’t want to torture myself with the long wait, I usually start looking forward to things a month before. So, I figure in December my anticipation will hit the ceiling and my Shameless obsession will be back.

There are already some feelings of wanting to see season 5 because the finale brought some stuff to the surface that people are either raving or complaining about. It’s typical and then again, with this show the choices people make and the decisions they approve aren’t necessarily morally correct or logical to us normal people. It’s usually over the top, unnatural even and considering I’ve never met people like the Gallaghers keep encountering – their family is like a magnet for trouble – I don’t mind that one particular trouble-maker is back for a new season. Before I get to that shocker, let’s have a quick (or rather a long) rundown of some of the more colorful characters this season by examining their story line. The ones I might leave out, sorry, it’s just.. I’m making choices here and I can’t write about everybody so I’ll write about the characters that I’m most passionate about.

I really really loved one particular storyline this season and you all know who he is, it’s Mickey Milkovich. He was the heart and soul of this season with his transformation from being a beaten down hateful youth into a brave and caring man – I have nothing but love for Mickey and Noel Fisher for this season, nothing but pure love. In the beginning of the season we witnessed him struggle with himself, he was afraid to admit that he missed Ian (Cameron Monaghan) who left for the army at the end of season 3. Many of my favorite moments of this season were Mickey related and even though Ian wasn’t there in the beginning of the season, as the two stole the show mostly together, Mickey was still the most interesting character with his new wife and new business. By the way, let’s talk shortly about Mickey’s wife Svetlana.

We first met her last season when Mickey’s asshole father decided to beat and fuck the gay out of his son, I, being completely honest, did not like Svetlana! Then again, I didn’t necessarily hate her either because it was his father’s doing and the poor woman was just trying to survive… but that’s something I realized after season 4. Svetlana is a very complex character, she is probably the most complex character I’ve ever seen on TV because I still don’t know what she’s all about. She definitely cares for Mickey for some reason, she seems to be homophobic and yet, she’s now a lesbian? Well, I don’t know what is up with her but I want to find out. Her actions in the finale left me speechless, it was a great scene with her and Mickey and it raised a lot of questions. She seems to be extremely mean at Ian and yet, when she saw him at his lowest in the finale, Svetlana seemed caring. I’m telling you, she’s still too complex to be figured out. Also, Svetlana’s accent is just brilliant!

The dynamic with Svetlana and Mickey is something I look forward in season 5, I mean, they have a kid together and like Svetlana said, it’s not his fault that he got stuck with messed up parents. Given the fact that Mickey cares so much for Ian, I’d see him as a caring father if he ever you know, let his guard down with the kid. Speaking of Ian though, I’m gonna give Cameron Monaghan a standing ovation for his performance this season (him and Noel both!). He was all over the place and though we all knew why, the show kept the fact that Ian was bipolar hidden until the finale. Though, I mean, we all knew and I wasn’t that shocked to find out.. and neither were the Gallaghers. Mickey seemed the most scared, as did Mandy but the Gallagher reactions were a little less emotional.

What bothered me the most was Fiona’s straight up let’s put him away to a facility kind of mentality because when I did some reading, I understood that hospitalization is needed in case of manic episodes which goes together with bipolar I disorder. As far as I can tell, Ian is suffering from bipolar II disorder which involves hypomanic episodes followed by depression so I just don’t understand why Fiona’s attitude was towards dumping Ian into somebody else’s care. Mickey was straight-up protective of him and acted as I expected Fiona to act.. sort of, I don’t know. It’s just very problematic in general and it’s a very bold decision to feature such a disorder with a main character.

Since I’ve talked about Mickey and Ian for so long now, I have to praise Carl this season as well, that boy is becoming somewhat fascinating and adorable. He had his first crush and it broke his poor heart which was sad to watch but I’m betting it’s not the end of Bonnie and Carl. Also, Carl’s dedication to helping out Frank is somewhat praise worthy, everybody else seems to have given up which is something he deserves and yet, William H. Macy has a knack of making Frank’s character irreplaceable. This season we almost lost Frank but it didn’t really matter that he was close to his end because crazy things kept happening to him – his new daughter hit on him and apparently gave him a handjob (oh, Frank), he became highly addicted to drugs and got married to Sheila while being unconscious in the hospital. His new liver probably won’t last for long as he pretty much started drinking right after (giving Carl his first sip as well) but we’ll see, he really seems invincible by now.

Like father like daughter, whilst Frank was suffering from his mistakes and decisions he had made in the past, Fiona was making her own bad decisions. Literally falling into a hellhole in the beginning of the season, Fiona was a wreck though she was the most put together character so far. It made sense in a way, even the strongest have their breaking point. And even though I din’t care for it after the whole kitchen sex situation which in a way was intriguing because I can see her having a sex addiction.. not the nymphomaniac type thing but something. Her ankle bracelet scene was pretty good though and Emmy Rossum is a great actress, probably the bravest one considering what her character did this season. Yet, even in her lowest moments when she is totally stripped down to her lowest of lows, she pulls through. And if we have anything to learn from her mistakes this season, is that at the end of the road and some harsh jail time, there’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

That’s right, season 5 will be epic beyond epic if they have Jeffrey Dean Morgan and I’m pretty sure they do because he portrays Fiona’s new boss and she goes to his NA meetings. There are no words to describe my happiness about this, I mean, this guy has been my favorite in all the shows he’s been in (Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy) and though his movie credits don’t really scream amazing, he’s so ruggedly handsome that I just can’t help to swoon when I see him. There’s already talks of him and Fiona hooking up, it’s pretty much inevitable since it’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I mean, if I were a writer for Shameless, I’d have him naked in the first scene of season 5 and that scene would be 50 minutes of raw Jeffrey Dean Morgan banging me.. I mean… Fiona!

Talking about new characters in season 5, we have Jack… who’s Steve… who’s Jimmy – that’s right, the bare ass in the Shameless intro who was supposedly dead is back and he will most likely cause some serious trouble. Now, there’s hate for Jimmy/Steve/Jack and I get it, he didn’t really have a great end to his story line back when they decided to send him away but part of me liked him nevertheless. I mean, the scene with Jimmy, Ian and Carl at the kitchen table where Jimmy has just found about his dad doing it with Ian, is just priceless (some great Shameless writing right there)! Aside from his comedic ability, Jimmy was also quite caring with the Gallagher clan and despite his whole persona being a lie, I’m a bit interested to see what Jack is all about. Though I like Jimmy/Steve/Jack, it would be also great to see him get beaten up by Jeffrey Dean Morgan…

Now, I’ve rambled about Shameless for so long and yet, I feel like there’s so much more to talk about so if you’ve made it so far, congratulations, there’s more to come. I’ve already mentioned Frank’s new daughter, well, her name is Sammi and I’m conflicted about her. She is a great addition to the cast, I must admit that but I don’t know what else she could bring. Most of her plot revolved around caring for Frank as nobody else would so it would be interesting to see what she can do now after Frank’s fine. Emily Bergl is a regular for season 5 so I’m thinking she’ll have a story line on her own, probably arguing with Sheila and managing her kid who is simply awesome! One good thing about Sammi is her kid, really, that boy brings so much comic relief and he doesn’t even do much. You know who else is offers a lot of relief to me, Kevin!

Kevin is the coolest character on Shameless and he has the biggest heart! He did not only become a father this season, he also became a bar owner and a business partner for Mickey and in a way, his support person. The scene in the finale, where Kevin declares that nobody cares who Mickey bangs, shows that he is the coolest guy ever! He is simply so pure and clean from all that hate in the world! I mean, it’s hard to describe him without sounding spiritual but as far as personalities go, I hope I meet a Kevin one day because I know he’ll be there for me, he’ll support me, he’ll understand me, he’ll love me no matter what, he’ll be content with what he has, he’ll be always looking out for people around him and caring for them and Kevin is just awesome! As far as his magic sperm goes, I hope there will be some great daddy moments for Kevin in the upcoming season because this one didn’t really have them.

With all that was going on with people back home, we also got to see Lip struggling at university in the beginning of the season. There were some great moments, there were some low moments and then there is his crazy Asian girlfriend who is too weird to comment. I’m glad Lip is doing well in uni but let’s not forget who got him there – Mandy Milkovich. That girl loves him, she has shown nothing else but love for him for seasons and yet, Lip continues to make the wrong choices. Granted, there has been some crazy things Mandy has done and I think her previous actions which affected her relationship with Lip might have left a mark. She was more.. subdued this season especially considering her stupid boyfriend which makes me wonder whether Lip broke her – if that’s the case, I dislike Lip. But seeing Lip with Liam this season really clouds my thoughts about him because he was so darn good with him, and considering that he was managing so many things at once this season, I must give him some praise.

Shameless has been one my favorite shows since it started, and since it started, I’ve not been a fan of Debbie. Yes, she is cool at times and yes, she handles herself rather well in difficult situations, but I’ll be completely honest, season 4 was her best so far. Maybe it’s the fact that she is finally having a rather colorful story line with some really ridiculous friends and an older boy friend or maybe it’s because Emma Kenney is getting better and better (as do all the young ones!), but I’m starting to change my mind about her. Which leaves me to wonder if I’ll ever hate any of the main characters on Shameless because so far, I like all of them for some reason.

Yes, I even like Frank because he has his moments. Remember when he explained gay sex to Carl, I mean, for a drunk he really is extremely understanding! And he never judged Ian for being gay, he was never mad like Mickey’s dad was! Though, I did love how Mickey came out to his dad, wow, that was some great acting by Noel right there.. and that brings me right back to the start of this endless discussion, Noel Fisher… all the awards for season 4 of Shameless go to Noel Fisher. Every bun, every emotion, every facial expression, Mickey Milkovich stole the spotlight and Noel Fisher is my new favorite TV actor! I just hope season 5 will bring as many great moments for Mickey as it will for Ian because whilst everything for them has gone wrong in the past, this just has to work in the long run, it just has to. I’m sorry but there’s no way Mickey Milkovich could end up with somebody else and not Ian! So, Shameless writers, if you’re reading this, if this couple won’t make it to the end, I’ll hunt you down and destroy you.. or I’ll just quit watching Shameless because whilst the show is great cake, Mickey Milkovich is the cherry on top of that cake and without it, the show just does not shine.

Cakes and cherries aside, season 4 of Shameless was not the strongest, I must admit, but it was the most powerful for my favorite characters. This season was focusing on family dynamics, the problems Gallaghers had this season were mostly their own, caused by themselves and they did a great job handling it.. minus some situations. Whilst it’s impossible to predict what will happen in season 5, I know by now that Shameless will not disappoint. This show is rather consistent, despite the fact that its story lines are all over the place and extremely outrageous but that’s Shameless for you!


  • Oh my god! I love Shameless, such an underrated show :). Did we just become best friends?! Can’t wait for season 5! Absolutely brilliant season this year, the Mickey and Ian side-tangent grew on me and now Mickey is probably my favourite character lol. Actually, everyone’s story line this year was really amped up compared to previous seasons. What’d you think of the scene during the credits?!

  • I just got rid of Showtime so I am glad you posted this… I stopped right around when Fiona hooked up with her bf’s brother. I cant believe Jeffrey Dean Morgan was on it and I missed it. You are right… ruggedly handsome is a good way to describe him. πŸ™‚

  • I particularly loved Mickey and Carl this season too, but I’ve always liked Lip (and now even more). Mandy is probably my favourite female character, I wish she had more screen time. Debbie was a little annoying, but I feel sorry for her. JDM looks so cool, I can’t wait to see what his character becomes in the next season. I was NOT expecting Jimmy to come back, but I do hope he stirs things up.

    Overall, great season, more emotional than the others, but also funnier. And great post!

    • There wasn’t a lot of anybody next to Mickey and Ian and Carl it seemed.. Frank was there not as often and so on.. but then again, the writers focus on specific characters each season and when they are apart like they were this season, some just stand out and are more present in episodes.

      I don’t know what to think of Jimmy… who knows. πŸ˜€

  • “And if we have anything to learn from her mistakes this season, is that at the end of the road and some harsh jail time, there’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan.” oh my God πŸ˜€

    YES to his bare ass and him beating Jimmy, these two situations would be equally hot. I find Ian extremely annoying but Mickey makes it all work, he is so funny and interesting and Noel is doing an amazing job. I really hope Fiona hooks up with a man this time – her choices in guys are TERRIBLE especially last season with boring ass boss and his asshole brother, neither of them was hot or interesting.

    Also Sheila’s arc is such a disaster.

    • Well, I think it’s the best life lesson taken from season 4. JDM will be waiting….. with a neck tattoo! God, I hope he’s the real man for Fi!

      I like Ian because I like what he brings out of Mickey.. plus, he has grown up so well that he is so good to the I don’t even mind the ginger. πŸ˜€

      Sheila was great when she had the baby and was banging her daughters ex boyfriend! πŸ˜€

  • will finish reading this post asap, but first: MICKEYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! I get butterflies in my stomach every time I see him. MICKEY IS THE BEST!!!

  • No, excuse me, since you too brought it up twice — MICKEY! MICKEY! MICKEY!!!! I loved his relationship with Kevin and it was one of the funniest things in the 4th season and well of course, Mickey and Ian are the fucking greatest couple ever!!!!! (I do not wish to be reminded of these comments when it’s not 8:17am and I haven’t just watched some 12 hours of Shameless straight btw :D) GREAT post, Mettel!

    • Well, welcome to the Shameless wagon and Mickey fanclub.. now here’s to waiting for the 5ths season because the wait is going to be long and painful. πŸ˜€

      • Well… I know the original excitement will pass, but for the next month or so I’ll be rewatching all seasons. All the time. I can’t believe how great it is!! πŸ˜€ But I feel the pain. I’m so worried about Ian and Carl’s future and Frank’s liver and excited for the guy who played Dad on Supernatural and the ghost in GA… πŸ˜€

  • OMG, I love shameless, it’s my huge current obsession. Great post by the way. But I don’t agree that S4 was not the best. I found it most challenging and interesting because all main characters are changing, they move to different level and it’s kind of very interesting.

    • It didn’t really come together to me as well, it was messy in a way that it didn’t really use its supportive characters as well.. like, I felt the guy who messed up Fiona should’ve gotten more depth before that thing happened and Lip’s roommate’s girlfriend felt undeveloped.. but I mean.. it was still freaking good so who am I to complain!

  • I’m back! I just re-read this post and cheers to you for mentioning Carl!! He is so great. I’m still not over Mickey, nor do I think I’ll ever be, but I’m finally seeing other characters around him. In the background.

    THOSE PROMOS OH MY GOD!!!!!! How excited are you for S5?

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