Spoiler Alert: Red Alert! In this week’s episode of Shameless, two major twists were revealed. In the following post I am going to talk about one of them. I just thought I’d give you a heads up.
For eight weeks now, I have come out with weekly posts that chronicle each week’s funniest moment of the week. This week is going to be different. This week’s episode of Shameless was so brilliant that it not only deserves its own post but it has changed this Week’s Funniest Moment of the Week to the Best Moment of the Week. I want to be very clear; this post is not going to look at anything that is remotely close to humor. This post is going to look at one of the most devastatingly brilliant fifteen minutes of television I have seen in a long time.
For two full seasons now, the Gallagher family has let their viewing audience know that their mother, Monica Gallagher (Chloe Webb), suffers from a severe bipolar disorder that can only be kept under control with medication. Throughout her five episodes on the show, Monica has done some terrible things that range from abandoning her kids to trying to take Liam away to spending all the money that the family spent the summer saving. We have seen Monica do terrible things but until last night, we had never seen her disease really take effect.
After a drug and alcohol fueled adventure with Frank (William H. Macy) that was funded by the Gallagher clans Squirrel Fund that they have been saving all summer, Monica fell into a deep depression. When we first see her this week, Monica is basically a zombie. Lying in bed and refusing to eat or drink Monica can barely speak or move without help. Spending every moment harshly judging her thoughts, looks, decisions and life, Monica eventually realizes that she no longer wants to be herself anymore. Her depression increases in severity until even Frank realizes, though he doesn’t like it, that Monica needs to go back on her medication. The realization comes too late and Monica’s mental state leads her to commit the ultimate horror. At the Gallagher family Thanksgiving dinner, Monica slits her wrists.
It was one of the most intense scenes I have seen on television in a very long time. After hearing a noise in the kitchen, the entire Gallagher family races to the kitchen to find their mother bleeding out on the ground. Shocking doesn’t come close to describing the graphic nature of the scene, showing not only the wounds themselves but blood spurting out of them as Steve, who they now call Jimmy, desperately tries to apply pressure to the wounds and keep Monica alive until the ambulance arrives. The rest of the family is forced to watch in shock and horror. I was actually watching the episode with Rainbowchair and I think he put it the best: the shock and horror I felt when the camera landed on Monica was the same as any of the Gallagher children. The way that the scene was shot and contrived put me in the shoes of a Gallagher child, watching their mother struggle to live on the kitchen floor. The scene was well done and utterly shocking and brutal, leaving me feeling emotionally and physically devastating. The performances given by everybody in the scene, which included every Gallagher except for Lip, were outstanding and Monica’s performance throughout the episode was the best I’ve seen from her thus far. Sunday’s new episode of Shameless was one of the best episodes of the season. Though at times it was difficult to watch, it proved that Showtime really does make some of the best television on the air right now.