“Shameless” Season 4, Episode 1 “Simple Pleasures” (Contains Spoilers)

Episode 401

Here we go “Shameless” fans!  Season four is already upon us with the early premiere of season four.  Once again, Showtime gives fans a chance to watch the premiere episode one week early via ShowtimeAnytime and YouTube.  If you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend you do before reading on since this post contains spoilers.

SPOILERS BELOW

The episode opens up at the Gallagher home where we see how much has changed in the household.  Debbie definitely has a case of the teenage hormones.  Fiona gets ready for an outing with her boyfriend/supervisor at Worldwide Cups.  Liam and Carl are the only males left and it feels very empty without the rest of the family.  The breakfast scenes seem less chaotic than usual and almost un-Gallagher-like.  With an empty home of her own, Sheila has taken to showing up at the Gallaghers and taking on the cleaning duties.

Frank is still battling his illness and is literally dropped off for his kids to once again help him get back on his feet.  It feels different this time though.  Frank is not his usually arrogant self and he seems to be scared of the unknown he is facing from his predicament.  Carl demands to take care of Frank while he recovers.  Fiona is reluctant but finally concedes.  Carl helps Frank get alcohol into his system using less than conventional methods and Frank helps Carl ease into his adolescent phase.

The Milkoviches are still as dysfunctional as ever.  It seems that there has been a shift and power in the family with Mickey’s recent marriage to “The Russian” and her pregnancy.  We see Mickey taking inventory of everyone’s financial contribution and it is as if he is thriving in his role.  Mandy is still with the guy she hooked up with at Mickey’s wedding and it seems that she has changed her look because of her new relationship.  The dynamic is certainly different with the Milkoviches without their Gallaghers to keep them in some form of balance.

Debbie has some new friends this season and it looks like she is diving right in to the dreaded pool of teenage angst.  She has met a boy thanks to these friends and it seems that Debbie may find herself in some dangerous situations that could prove too much for her to handle.  Fiona and Debbie always seemed close but it looks like they will be bumping heads a lot this season.

Lip is in college and seems rather lost in his new surroundings.  Not only does he look lonely, he looks like he is struggling to find his footing in this new place.  The only hopeful thing is that he is not all the way at MIT, so maybe we get to see Lip back home soon.  When we last saw Ian, he was making his way to the army.  No word on Ian yet, but it looks like we’ll get more insight into what he’s been up to in episode two.

Kevin and Veronica are struggling with the cost associated with her mother carrying their child.  They soon find out that Veronica is also pregnant, which while it is a blessing, can only add to their money woes.  Kev’s excitement about the news seems like the joy outweighs any of the negatives this news may bring.

The episode was written and directed but the man himself, John Wells.  I think (and hope) this sets the tone for the season.  We know that happiness and harmony are not everlasting when it comes to the Gallaghers.  The fans, myself included, have been waiting for this season and this episode did not disappoint.  I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen with our Shameless characters!

(See additional episode photos here.)

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