This season of Shameless truly lived up to its name, as it always does. This season included but was not limited to three month blackouts, fake molestation, attacking someone with a car, stealing a dead body and all the alcohol, pot and cigarettes you can imagine. Last night the finale of season three aired on Showtime leaving us with something to think about all summer.
There are going to be a lot of spoilers here but that should have been obvious considering I’m talking about a season finale. This episode features our first Gallagher graduation as Lip (Jeremy Allen White) receives his High School diploma. In one of the show’s true curve balls Lip ends up celebrating his graduation by drinking all day with his father, Frank (William H. Macy). In some of the most charming scenes of the season, the show’s two biggest enemies, Lip and Frank, finally have a father/son moment. The past two episodes have been very important episodes for Frank. For the first time Frank actually shows some support for his kids. First Frank takes the blame for Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) to the cops and now he is legitimately proud of Lip and wants to spend time with him. This drastic character change goes along with the finale’s biggest plot point, Frank’s health. After collapsing in jail and later throwing up blood Frank is told that if he does not stop drinking he will die.
The theme of the rest of the episode seems to be running away or leaving. Karen (Laura Wiggins) who now has the inability to feel emotion, and Jody (Zach McGowan) leave with Hyme for Arizona in the hopes of healing Karen faster. After Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) gets married to a prostitute, a heartbroken Ian (Cameron Monaghan) decides to enlist in the army with a fake ID. Jimmy does not appear at all in the episode. Last time we saw him he was getting onto his father in-law’s boat. With his wife, a drug lord’s daughter, in INS holding Steve’s life is in danger from her angry father. While I love what the show did with Frank I am really not happy with what is going on with Jimmy/Steve. I have no problem with them using him as a cliff hanger but they gave us absolutely no information about what happened to him which I think is a cop out. They should have at least shown something about him, not just keep him off screen for a whole episode. It makes me wonder if the writers accidentally wrote themselves into a corner. They got Steve in a bad situation but are not sure if they can kill off such a huge character.
Ultimately this was another great season of Shameless but this finale suggests that the next season could be a very different show. With characters disappearing and moving the show is either expanding its locations or finding new cast members. What is really going to change the show is Frank’s impending health issues. A sober Frank Gallagher will alter the very structure of the show. I thought this was a B+ season and can not wait to see what happens to the Gallaghers next year.