By the time you get to season 4 of Shameless the only thing to look forward to is how quickly it will end. Not because it went off the rails stylistically or because the acting, writing, or directing became putrid or unbelievable or exchanged honesty for the saccharin or the trite but instead because the noose has tightened and the brutal facts of the American gulag are catching up to the Gallaghers.
There is no getting around the issue of responsibility to oneself and to those close to you but it is well past time that fact was presented to the people who manipulate the system and exploit poverty for their own gain.
Is Fiona responsible for leaving the blow where Liam could find it?
Is she responsible for her self loathing that has led to self-destructive behavior that includes fucking her boyfriend’s brother who supplied the coke?
Well, The Ink says she’s about as responsible as George W. Bush, the coke-addicted, alcoholic wastrel half-wit who butchered tens of thousands of people, destroyed the economy and took a monstrous dump on the Bill of rights.
Which is not to say Fiona isn’t guilty of nearly killing her baby brother.
It is to say that the wealthy commit crimes ranging from nationwide fraud to mass murder and walk away to sign lucrative book deals, get paid for giving verbal blow jobs to Wall Street, and get to retire without having to worry about time in prison or lectures about responsibility.
But poor people get fucked. The siege never ends. The poor eat each other and themselves.
In the end Frank as a drunk Ahab dares god to do worse, and laughs at his efforts; laughs at god’s inability to snuff him out and finish the job. But the answer is coming. The universe will grind Frank into a shit pile and the walls will start to close in on the Gallaghers. The colonizers are moving into the South Side. The psychotic rhythms of the generations are banging the drums. Recovery will come but only in the form of a reprieve. There is no victory only not being defeated.
This is how revolutions begin. The despair becomes rage and the rage eats itself. Right before it turns on you. And that is the tragedy of history – history as a trap for everyone from which there is no escape. We’re cannibals – American cannibals.