Shameless season 11 episode 4: Is this Carl’s great awakening?

ShamelessShameless season 11 episode 4 may be one of the most important episodes in some time for Carl Gallagher, let alone one of the most timely. This is, after all, an episode that showcased the character learning and understanding more about how policing can be damaging to the community with the wrong cop on the job. He may have thought that beating up bad guys and humiliating criminals was the right way to go about things — but, they are humans.

As a matter of fact, there’s a part of us that wonders if this was all a setup. Carl bringing the dealer back her wig was such a powerful moment at the end of the episode; she had been previously humiliated by her partner, who forced her to strip down and take off the wig while at gunpoint. This humanized the other side of law enforcement to him, and we wonder if this was just all a test designed for Carl to learn not to be the way he is. (If this was the case, though, it would suggest the dealer was in on it — not sure of that.)

Ultimately, the Carl story could just be Shameless finding an unexpected way to look at police brutality and present it in a way that you wouldn’t quite expect. Because Carl is young, he’s also still impressionable and capable of change. What we wonder is this: Will this experience cause him to not want to be a police officer anymore, or cause him to at least consider some of how he wants do the job. He’s now seen two extremes of cops, and maybe the best place for him to fall is somewhere in the middle.

Were there other big moments in this episode? Sure, with the Gallagher – Milkovich battle sitting front of mind more than any other. Yet, it’s the Carl one that will linger in our mind the longest.

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What did you think about the events of Shameless season 11 episode 4?

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