The Spectacular Now
director James Ponsoldt directed last Sunday's episode from a script by showrunner John Wells. The Spectacular Now
is one of the most flinching yet empathetic portrayals of coming of age in a broken home I've seen in a long time, and he was absolutely the right choice for this episode. He never forces the drama or sells the comedy. He knows that the moments playing onscreen this episode are impactful enough on their own, and lets the direction and camerawork be invisible.
After the previous week's black hole dark ending, this episode was about picking up the pieces, and how the Gallaghers really do pull together in a pinch. The scene at the end where the whole family swarms Liam as he's wheeled out was one of the most uplifting this show has done in a long time, even though everything is far from okay.
the implications for Liam are real and significant, and Lip finds himself at the head of the household.
I liked the way that was handled. Liam will probably be alright, but there's every chance he won't be.
Fiona's phonecall to Lip was some devestating TV
Another perfectly handled scene. It would have been easy for Lip to be furious or screaming or cruel. Instead, he's just overwhelmed. He doesn't leave Fiona hanging, but he doesn't shield her from how serious things are. And the ultimately, she's just not his highest priority.
Yeah, you gotta think Fiona will definitely be rolling on the brother. She has no reason not to, especially once they realize he's just another addict and they'll have to get him to roll on someone.
Except that Mike was the one who bailed her out. She'll probably feel that after all of the shit she's put Mike through, she can't get his brother incarcerated on top of it. Mike would probably wholeheartedly support turning his brother in, but that's not the way Fiona's wired.
That being said, I can't imagine she'll be spending whole seasons in prison, so odds are she probably will roll on the brother sooner or later.
Frank's situation seems pretty dire...is he being written off the show? Not sure how many more seasons this show has left, but they could probably do one Frank-less season. Not sure about more than that.
I was wondering the same thing. My guess is that Fiona, after walking a mile in Frank's shoes, will end up donating part of her liver to save Frank. And Frank, in classic Frank fashion, will proceed to squander it.
That sequence of "processing" Fiona through the system was one of the best jobs I've ever seen done on that, be it TV or film. Partial credit to Emmy Rossum for that. I've never been through that process myself but now I almost feel like I have been (and never want to do it again).
I agree completely. Most shows and movies skip over the process entirely or show it as a montage, and most characters that go to jail in movies and on television have been through it a million times before. Emmy Rossum nailed it. Fiona had no fight in her whatsoever, she felt she deserved to be there, but that doesn't mean she was ambivalent to the process. We've seen Fiona naked many times on this show, but Ponsoldt widely avoids nudity in this context. The camerawork during the cavity search was absolutely perfect; the whole thing plays out before our eyes, but all we remember is the expression on Fiona's face while it's happening.
After being really icked out by Debbie's storyline, I loved that her way too old boyfriend was a true friend when she really needed one. I just hope that that's where things stay with them.
There's something so poignant to me about the way Sheila maintains an immaculate house and prepares a perfect poached egg with toast breakfast even though there's nobody else around to witness it. "Eleanor Rigby" pops into my head during these scenes. Joan Cusack walks the tightrope of Sheila's benign racism like the pro she is. I love that Sheila knew that they were pulling one over on her with the faux Indian names and continued to use them affectionately anyway. And the degree to which Roger Runningtree's youngest niece responded to Sheila's motherly warmth just about broke my heart. You just know Roger's sister is in the Monica/Frank ballpark.