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Where Has This 'Shameless' Been All Season?

By Emily Cutler | Shameless | April 4, 2016 |

By Emily Cutler | Shameless | April 4, 2016 |

“We’re human. We make mistakes, have faults.” “You are a fucking asshole, Frank.”

It was nice of Shameless to sum up the entirety of its show in a couple of lines for us. What I don’t understand is why it took so long for them to get to this point.

As I mentioned earlier in the season, season 6 of Shameless seemed to have absolutely no idea where it was going. Which is a shame, because I really like where they ended up. In short, this entire season was about fucking up less and how surprisingly difficult that can be. And, as in real life, some people did that significantly better than others. Let’s sort the “Well Dones” from the “Try Harder Next Times” and just for good measure throw in a couple of “I’m Not Even Sures.”

Well Done
I’m as surprised as anyone, but well done, Carl. In a slight twist on the standard motif, it wasn’t the love of a good woman that made him go straight, but the going straight that earned him the love of a good woman. I’m horrified at the idea that Carl might ever actually become a police officer, I’m completely confident that Dominique is going to eventually crush him, and I’m worried that Carl will eventually become some sort of black ops solider, but in the meantime, whatever keeps him from ever making this face again is cool by me.
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Also surprising, well done, Ian. I have to admit, I almost never care about Ian’s plot, unless he’s doing something with a Milkovich. (And as a sidenote, I’ve always thought Cameron Monaghan carried himself adequately, but knowing that he’s capable of this makes me angry that he hasn’t been doing it the whole time.) But this season proves that Ian might actually be the only Gallagher who’s going to make it out. With a real career and a smoking hot boyfriend, let’s hope he actually does.

Maybe Try A Little Harder Next Time
Oh, Debbie. Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. I don’t believe in giving up on people. But I also believe in being realistic. And in poor Debbie’s case, I kind of feel like this girl
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was always going to end up trying to be more adult than she actually is. Despite dropping the hammer on Deb earlier in the season, it looks like Fiona is, in fact, allowing Debbie to live at home and in her own ways helping Debbie to raise Frannie. The youngest Gallagher hasn’t actually helped repair her mother and aunt’s relationship yet, but Debbie’s stubborn, parental pride at least forced her to attend Fiona’s wedding. I can’t tell yet if Debbie’s stubbornness will lead to her ultimate undoing or is the only thing that could possibly save her, but I do know it’s going to complicate the hell out of everything for a while. Best of luck, Debbie. You have no idea how much you’ll need it.

Also needing to try harder? Lip. Phillip Ronan Gallager (yes, that is his middle name. Don’t bother double checking), I’m not mad. I’m not even disappointed. I’m just terrified. You’re unfortunately too old and too fucked to be stubborn at this point. Which, of course, is all the more reason for you to be raging at the unfairness of the world. The fact that you can’t afford to rage at the world is just another in a line of slights against you. It’s cruel and unjust and you’re just going to have to fucking get over it. The world has been filled mostly with people who have abandoned and disappointed you. And now you will get your ass into rehab because you have no other options. If you become Frank, I will burn this place to the ground.

And finally Fiona. I feel bad about this one because in most respects, she did try harder. She did learn from her failed marriage to Gus. Maybe she should have learned more, but she recognized that her big mistake before was not rushing into the wedding but rushing into the relationship. She knew Sean before she agreed to marry him, she knew his flaws, she knew how they worked together during a crisis. She tried hard to do it right. But she picked the wrong guy. It’s an easy mistake to make, but it’s not like she wasn’t aware of the red flags. And I don’t actually even mean the heroin addiction. I mean the fact that Fiona was careful with her heart as far as Frank goes, but not as far as Sean goes. Fiona usually puts everyone else first. Sean puts Will first and himself second. No relationship can survive where one member is 9th at best. At least this time she learned before the certificate was signed. Better luck next time, kid.

I Don’t Even Know
Kev, V and Svetlana, let’s have a chat. This thing that you’re doing?
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I’m cool with it. You’re consenting adults and whatever sort of relationship you’ve worked out is fine by me. If you’re happy, I’m happy. But why in the sweet holy hell did you waste all of our time with random orphans and Greek, paralyzed neighbors when this was coming down the pike? You couldn’t have spent more than an episode developing Svetlana and Veronica’s relationship? Kevin got an entire post-credits clip to work out how he felt about the fact that his wife had A) cheated on him again and B) wanted to turn their two-person marriage into a three-person one? That is a significant story, one that deserved to be fleshed out and that didn’t need the distraction of completely unnecessary detours.

Which, I should mention, was the problem with the entire season. There’s a cohesive plot underneath all of the noise and garbage. There are concrete examples of everyone trying, failing, and in some cases succeeding to get better. Why did the writers insist on filling episodes with ultimately irrelevant nonsense when those struggles should have been the point? Remember when the family lost the house? But then maybe were gong to get the house back? But then totally lost it again? But then miraculously reclaimed it? That was all garbage storytelling that ultimately amounted to nothing. It was a waste of space in a season that should have focused on the small struggles instead of the “high stakes” drama. The whole season needed an editor with a happy trigger finger to take a hatchet to this thing. But, like the characters, hopefully the showrunners will do better next season. There’s no reason to believe they don’t have it in them.

And just because it has to be included, Frank is a total garbage person. He’s got no redeeming qualities, and I’ve begun actively loathing him. I hope you die in that river, Frank. I hope you die and no one notices and you’re never mentioned again. You’re the worst.