'Shameless' goes 'politically shameless' for its milestone 100th episode
From seedy, sexual predators running for office, to women empwering sub-plots denouncing rape culture - Shameless season 9, episode 4 has it all!
A 100 episodes of 'Shameless' debauchery later, one would think there aren't any more questionable acts of indecency that the Gallagher's could get up to, but trust Showtime's hit dramedy to continue surprising us no matter what. But there's also been an interesting take and handling of the current socio-political climate, as portrayed on the show ever since the ongoing season 9 commenced.
While people, who have already seen the total of four episodes released so far, would know exactly what we're getting at here - for those who haven't caught up with the latest episodes, brace yourselves because of massive amounts of spoiler alert!
First things first - what is up with Mo White? The title of the fourth episode is 'Do Right, Vote White!' but seriously - could Mo White get any creepier? Not only is his name a fun play on the concept of reverse racism, (kudos to the show bosses!) since it's along the lines of campaigning for a 'more white' candidate, but Mo White also represents every man of questionable character fighting for the office.
The said Mo White was revealed to have suffered a massive blow to his political career due to his relationship with a 15-year-old girl, so naturally, you'd think he would ensure extra precaution trying to get back in the game. But no. The seedy old man, instead of opting for any damage control, furthers the display of his pedophile nature in the open.
Quite along the lines of the angry white men in office who are ever so audacious about their position by denying all charges of questionable acts in the past, right? But Mo takes things a whole notch higher, by watching school girls wait for their bus, and also chatting up a couple of not legal-aged voters. But of course, 'Shameless' takes the whole satirical spin to another level by showing Mo get elected, despite the past - very public - allegations against him.
And then there is Frank (William H Macy). It's one thing to be a pedophile and try to lurk your way back into office; it's totally another thing to campaign for the said pedophile. Moreso, trying to get him elected despite knowing about his past, just to benefit yourself personally? Frank Gallagher rises to the occasion with just that, currently having gone past the point of campaigning for Mo just for the money. Frank's inherent shamelessness has gone so deep that he actually hopes Mo to win. And what does he do to ensure that? He recruits a certain Mr. Milkovich for the task of keeping all anti-White voters away.
But Frank's prodigal daughter and the epitome of a hot mess, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) is no less. Out of nowhere, a political spark ignites in her right on the eve of election day; but worry not, it's not entirely out of the greater good. She tries to go hard and heavy with her campaign backing Ruiz, just because he is against rent control. So naturally, the up and coming real estate enthusiast in Fiona is driven by Ruiz's agenda. How does she do it? With some classic, Shameless bribery.
Fiona bribes them Patsy customers and employees with free nachos, and also a pass for coming in late to work. Even though her conscience topples her selfish needs and she eventually ends up voting for the pro-rent control female candidate, it does take a heavy earful from V (Shanolla Hampton) and also a political brawl where she effortlessly throws a punch to guide her back towards the right path.
Speaking of V, her character arc has been the most poignant one so far in this season. From running a topless maid webcam service along with her husband, V has toned into the shape of a bold, woman-empowering lady who is not taking any sexist sh*t from anyone, even if it means losing out on a few customers at their bar, The Alibi. She single-handedly convinces her husband, Kevin (Steve Howey) that their bar, which has been labeled the rapiest bar in southside by a newspaper article, needs to change.
Kevin is so driven to change the bar's ambiance to a non-rapey zone, that before inviting the said article's writer, he ensures asking each and every customer about their past sexual behavior. Their discussion on making The Alibi a “Vagina Safe Zone” gets so intense that Kev and V decide to separate sleazy, non-consensual actions into several categories, named after the current spew of celebrity sexual offenders who have been exposed since last year. Think along the lines of Harvey Weinstein, Kobe Bryant, Woody Allen, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, John Lasseter, and Bill Cosby.
Incidentally, an accused man running a campaign on the show was aired right around the time when the massive Brett Kavanaugh scandal is on full-fledged. And it's almost like playing further along the lines of the issue of sexual harassment, 'Shameless' decided to impart some subtle bits of wisdom, showing both Kev and V's work in changing the atmosphere of The Alibi. The recent episode shows the two of them getting recognized for their changed ambiance so heavily that other bar-owners want to appoint them to bring about similar changes in their establishments.
The subplots might be subtle, and the satire might be bold in this season for 'Shameless,' but at the end of the day, it looks like the show is doing its best to denounce rape culture. And what better way to do so than throwing in some casual politics in the game!