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Shameless

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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (72 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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    They never actually show Jimmy getting killed is this so they can bring him back in the future???

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    It will be interesting to see how the 2 boys come back to the fold.. It's not like the huge cast of Parenthood where you can have a daughter go off to college... The cast is too small already for one hour show ( a full hour as well since NO COMMERCIALS !!!)... I found it interesting the the post show clip that Macy actually had his head shaved!!!

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    ... We know that Ian is using Lip's identity to get into the military, and if Lip moves on to MIT, something will snag. I see Mandy actually going there with Lip. I think something will happen to the Mickey character. No sure, but don't see it developing anymore. Maybe I'm wrong? Anyway, great season, can't wait for Season 4!

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    Part 2:
    Okay, as for the final episode: I liked it, but didn't like being left out on what happened to Jimmy/Steve. But I understand from a TV perspective on why they did it. Of course, we all want to know now, right?? Looking ahead, well, Karen and Jody are going to some commune in Arizona, which seems odd. I think in real life Shelia would have not wanted her daughter to leave her and would have wanted to care for her now. Will Shelia regress into her old habits (agoraphobia?). Frank seems to be at a crossroads with his health: either quit drinking or die. I can't imagine him ever quitting, as far under and stubborn as he is? No way. The whole storyline with V. and V's mother with Kev is flat out weird. In Season 4, I would project that storyline to continue and quickly conclude, but we may not see Jimmy for a few episodes. I think he'll reappear, when Fiona is down on her luck and struggling. Don't see Fiona hanging out too long selling K-Cups. Ian, Mandy, Lip, and Mickey ... We know that Ian is using Lip's identity to get into the military, and if Lip moves on to MIT, something will snag. I see Mandy actually going there with Lip. I think something will happen to the Mickey character. No sure, but don't see it developing anymore. Maybe I'm wrong? Anyway, great season, can't wait for Season 4!

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    Part 1:
    I'm always a little sad when the season finale of "Shameless" ends. Although Dexter and Homeland will be coming on in a few months. I've watched Shameless from get go; the pilot was incredible and hooked me for good. I agree, William H. Macy is a great actor and really does a fantastic job with the Frank character. Emmy (not Emily) Rossom did a really good job this season, too. So did all of the actors. Jeremy Allen White (Lip) is good, and wonder if some of these actors will break away to other more lucrative gigs in film?

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    This is the best shameless season of all 3. I really loved this season. I often wondered why a talented actor like William Macy would take on this Frank character who is totally worthless and humiliating. No audience even remotely like Frank. Why would he do it except for a regular paycheck. Yet today he gave one of his best performance and all the 3 seasons of shit that Frank did was reverse in 1 episode and William Macy gave a great performance. His scenes with Emily who plays Fiona in this episode was the best. I wish both of them get at least nominated for the Emmys. My biggest question is whether Lip will go to college. I just wondered why he did not think of doing it for his family. His family really need him to make the big bucks!

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    I was relieved, at the end of Shameless last night, to find out there will be a Season 4. Seriously, given the number of transitions happening, it almost felt like a series finale. I'm hoping Jimmy is alive but I won't believe it until we see him in Chicago again; the point of Beto giving the money to Fiona was to make us, as well as her, believe he wasn't coming back (though she doesn't know his life was in serious danger). I thought Carl shaving Frank's head was sweet. It was very unrealistic, though, that Frank could pull out his IVs and walk out and no one in the hospital noticed. And yes, V's mom (Carol?) being pregnant right out of the gate but not telling them? Creeeepy. Great episode. LOVE this show.