Shameless puts an end to its sixth season with ‘Familia Supra Gallegorious Omnia!’, an episode that was all about setting its characters to find their true path.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers
Was anyone actually expecting Fiona’s wedding to go well? In Shameless?
Aside from the bad luck that seems to be in the Gallagher’s genes, everyone seemed to be expecting some kind of shooting to take place during the wedding after Frank hired a hitman. It turned out that the writers had just introduced the murder plot to throw viewers off, and Frank decided to drag Sean down the way he knows best: by giving one of his classic Frank speeches that revealed that Sean is still using heroin. At least that’ll keep him from going to prison. And now for the big question: was Frank in the right? He did horrible things, he cared more about his pride as a father than about Fiona’s happiness and the way he approached the issue wasn’t right, but he did help Fiona save a bullet with Sean. What’s even weirder is that Sean didn’t even attempt to ask Fiona for forgiveness or to convince her to go on with the wedding. It’s true that he had established from the beginning that his main priority was his son, but it still seemed like he didn’t have a problem with leaving the ceremony, Fiona and everything else behind. Did Frank actually do them both a favor? It didn’t seem to really matter, as we saw everyone threw Frank off the bridge in the after-credits scene (couldn’t that be considered attempted murder? It was freezing!).
Aside from Liam (it’s hard to count him as a character when he barely speaks a word…), Lip, Ian, Debbie and Carl have always come as two separate packs: the eldest and the youngest. Following the trend that began in Season 4, Lip and Ian keep finding each other in opposite ends. While Lip was living the good life in college, Ian was struggling with his bipolar disorder. Now that Ian has managed to have his illness under control (or so we are told), Lip is finally facing his alcoholism problems. Mandy’s words helped Ian a lot and I can now only wish that Lip had been there to hear them too. If there was one line that defines Lip Gallagher, it came from this episode and it was “you have got to be the dumbest fucking smart guy I know”. Season 7 will most likely deal with Lip’s stay in rehab, so probably this will be the final step before he realizes that he’s more than a boy from South Side and that he has a brilliant future ahead of him. On the other hand, Ian realizes something similar after hearing Caleb’s words and an express visit to The Fairy Taile. Unlike Lip, who ha rejected every good opportunity he’s had, Ian keeps fighting against the tides and ends up getting his job back after he gives a very relevant speech on mental illness. If I had to choose Ian’s best moment from this season, this would be it.
As per the youngest, Debbie and Carl also find themselves at opposite ends. Carl has had the most compelling storyline of the season by far. He has learned from his mistakes and he’s finally acting more mature and learning to be responsible (even if it’s partially because he wants Luther’s approval). Meanwhile, Debbie is anything but mature. I was expecting the visit to the doctor to turn into something else, like having her baby taken away or maybe suggesting that she should give Franny for adoption. The thing that Debbie hasn’t realized is that her decisions don’t only affect her anymore, but also Frannie. I understand why she was mad at Fiona for a while, but it seems like the whole conflict has dragged on for too long. Debbie was, by far, the sweetest kid out of all the siblings and I’m sure she appreciates deeply everything that Fiona has done for her. I just find it hard to buy into this resentful version of Debbie, let alone like her.
If there is one storyline that really had me smiling, though, that was Kev, V and Svetlana‘s. It’s unexpected, but it feels highly gratifying. Kev and V have had their ups and downs over the seasons and now the addition of Svetlana to the relationship seems to have stabilized things. Polyamorous relationships are still very hard to see on television, so I can only hope that the series treats this as a serious relationship, and not as a “strange situation that needs to be fixed” or something that is just played for laughs.
Overall thoughts of Season 6? It had its good moments, like Carl’s storyline or the “finding your true path” theme, but it also was lackluster in many other aspects. The problem with this season is that the writers seem to be more worried about shocking the viewers than about making them care about the characters. Fortunately for them, we do care about the characters because we have been with them for 6 seasons and, strangely enough, the best and worst thing about this show is its characters. It’s the best thing because the Gallaghers were given great characterization during the first seasons and we have come to care about them, but it’s also the worst because the writers seem to have totally lost it this season to the point where many of the Gallaghers are unrecognizable and their actions make little to no sense. Fiona is the kid’s legal guardian, so why is she always willing to jump into marriages that are destined to fail? Lip was always the one to call Frank out on his shit, so why doesn’t he realize that he’s becoming more and more like him? Ian broke up with Mickey because he didn’t want him to worry about his disorder, so why is he dating someone else and telling lies about his past relationship now that he’s handling his illness? The series is no stranger to inconsistencies, either: since when is there a secret tunnel to the house and why didn’t Frank use it all those times that he complained about being locked out of his own house? How comes is Ian’s tattoo back? And how is Lip 22 when he should be 20 tops? Do these writers care about this story anymore?
In a season that’s been all about finding out who you want to be and what you want to do with your life, I can’t help but wonder if Shameless has already planned an endgame for its characters. The series has been renewed for a seventh season and I’m starting to wonder if there will be an eight one. The main actors have signed contracts until Season 7, which will probably open the door to many negotiations for new contracts, which would mean more money from Showtime. Will Season 7 be the end of Shameless?