Shameless Review: Changing Lives

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At times Shameless Season 3 has been up and down in terms of story and direction, but "Survival of the Fittest" put past concerns to bed with a superb, and emotional, finale.

Lip's Graduation Party

Perhaps the biggest change, of course, is Frank as a likeable human being. We’ve been privy to glimpses of Frank actually being a father to the kids in the past, but all of it ended up being for a con he’s trying to pull. None of us have any doubts that Frank’s ultimate Achilles’ heel would end up being his drinking. The only lingering doubt is when his drinking would catch up with him, and what the aftermath would be for him.

Tonight it finally happened: if he doesn’t go cold turkey, he’s a goner.

Frank’s very real and sudden shock of death might not be enough to pull him completely out of a beer bottle – because we have no idea where he’s walking off to, it could very easily be a bar – but at the very least Frank is a father in the best way he knows how to be. His scenes with Lip are oddly touching, he’s very visibly proud that one of his kids got through high school.

Throughout the season we’ve also witnessed Frank and Carl become close, and when Carl shaves Frank’s head so he can get better just like he did with his “cancer,” it’s a very Shameless scene, but it’s also a wonderfully emotional one too. Frank has no qualms about his head being shaved, praises Carl and takes comfort in it as he leans his head back.

Frank’s field trip to somewhere is the first of many questions we’re left with. Jimmy is still very much out of the picture and, if we’re optimistic thinkers, still on a boat. With Fiona completely out of the loop with Jimmy’s other life, she’s left worrying and wondering if he’s cut and run or not. While I’ll always wonder why Jimmy just wouldn’t clue Fiona in on his other life – the Gallaghers are experts are getting out of jams – in the end it’s a necessary contrivance.

Fiona is constantly putting her family ahead of herself, and she continues to do so, but she’s also been undergoing a process of trying to find her own place and figuring out her own future. With Jimmy’s final sendoff to her coming in the form of cash, Fiona is able to better her own circumstances by getting herself promoted to the sales department... and she’s able to give Jimmy one final voicemail telling him goodbye.

The final question is Ian’s next move. He’s impersonating Lip to join the army, and Lip now has a scholarship to MIT. It’s bound to come out quickly that Lip can’t be in two places at once, and it can easily spell a quick end to Ian’s dreams of being in the army.

It’s a good thing Shameless Season 4 is happening.

A Few More Thoughts:

  • V’s mom being pregnant from the first week is so creepy.
  • Loved Ian and Mickey’s scene together, and Mandy’s verbalization of what we’re all thinking.
  • Lip’s waffling between Mandy and Karen is giving me whiplash. One minute he’s getting down and dirty with Mandy, and the next he hates her guts. I suppose it took getting an acceptance letter to really put into focus the extremes she’s gone to to get Lip out of poverty and make something of himself.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (74 Votes)
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Shameless Season 3 Episode 12 Quotes

Mickey: Don't.
Ian: Don't what?
Mickey: Just
Mandy: Hey, I got the nitrous. Meet you outside?
Mickey: The fuck do you want?
Mandy: Really, That's all you're going to say to him? You're a fucking pussy.

Fiona: Be the fabulous narcissist you are and do it for yourself.
Frank: What if I don't want to change?