“Shameless”: “You Can’t Fix Me”

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So here we are, folks – at the end of another emotionally exhausting, consistently engaging, gorgeously wrong season of Shameless. The episode did more to set up the next chapter of the Gallagher saga than to wrap up any loose ends (save one very pretty one that walked into the ocean), but it at least brought our beautifully banged-up gang home. Let’s dig in!

Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has what looks to be really good sex with Gus (Steve Kazee) and his butt double (CALL ME). I guess that means welcome home? She asks if there were groupies on the road and he said here were plenty but he learned the hard way – via antibiotics – to avoid them. Turns out Fiona went to his show after all, and she compliments his music. Her favorite song of him is about betrayal but he insists he didn’t write the lyrics. And he’s ready for another round already.

Helene (Sasha Alexander) kisses Lip (Jeremy Allen White) awake. Good grief this episode is porny! Oh – and she has him tied to a bed and is pouring red wine on him. That’s gonna be hell to get out of the sheets. Lip notices that Theo is sitting in the corner, watching. Aaaaand there we have it. Lip asks what he’s doing and she says he’s just waiting for them to finish so he can come to bed. Lip decides to go with it.

Mickey (Noel Fisher) has sex with… wait, who the hell is that? Some girl! They’ve been at it for an hour and she needs a pee break (it took him a while to get hard, surprise surprise). Mickey looks at a photo of Ian on his wall and head-butts it.

Ian (Cameron Monaghan), meanwhile, is half-listening to Monica (Chloe Webb) rambling on about something in the cab of a truck. He looks at the trucker’s family photos on the walls and drifts off to sleep.

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Debs (Emma Kenney) is also sleeping, but someone kisses her awake. It’s Derek (Luca Oriel), who is dressing to leave. She asks him to stay longer but he needs to get home before his dad wakes up. She says “I love you” and he kisses her and says, “I love you, too.” Debs is over the MOOOOOOON.

In a mosquito-netted bungalow, Frank (William H. Macy) wakes alone. He finds Bianca (Bojana Novakovic) outside on the beach – the pain is keeping her awake. He offers to go to town to get her more pain pills but she’s got plenty. She goes into the water, ignoring his warning that sharks feed before dawn. Hey, I’ve seen this movie! (And that was no boating accident!)

Fiona comes home to find that there’s no food – she promises Debs she’ll go to the store today. They discuss whether Fiona and Gus are back together or not. Debs is skeptical, asking about Sean. Fiona insists he’s just a friend. V (Shanola Hampton) interrupts to whine that Svetlana and Kev are talking baby crap in her kitchen and notices that Debs has a hickey. Debs wants to hang out and gossip but Fiona chases her off to school, asking her to drop Liam off at preschool along the way. V is a bit shocked that Debs is on the pill at 13 – Fiona corrects her, she’s 14, so it’s totally fine. V says she started at 11, so whatever. She explains that she’s nervous that Kev slept around with a bunch of college girls, casually slipping in the fact that Kev is packing 15 inches. That explains… a lot. Fiona says she’s nervous that Ian is AWOL with Monica, because Monica.

Ian and Monica go to a truck stop for food but Ian says he has no money. She says no worries, she has money, and sends him in to get a table. Oh good grief – is she gonna pull a Flashlight Annie? Sure enough, she runs over to a group of truckers, gleefully leading one behind a truck. But she comes running back with money almost immediately – did she charge him for a flash? Or is she selling drugs? As they eat a massive amount of food, Ian asks if she can really pay for all this. Ian reminds her that when he was little his parents always made him dine and dash. She doesn’t remember. He asks how she got money from the trucker and she says she sold him something, it’s not important what. Ian’s phone rings and Monica sees that it’s Mickey and declines the call: “Fuck him.” She tells Ian he’s a beautiful man and she did good making him. This is trouble.

Frank offers to make Bianca breakfast, insisting that she has to eat. You know, Frank in sunshine is a truly unsettling thing. She says she’s not hungry and kisses him. She wants to go get drunk and buy a gun. Hey, that’s what vacations are for, right?

Patsy’s is busy and Sean (Dermot Mulroney) is there. Fiona tells him that Gus is back and they make awkward small talk. He tells her get back to work and gets a funny look on his face when she does.

Lip comes back to his dorm room to find Amanda (Nichole Bloom) there – she’s hiding out from Muff, who has gone full-on Notes on a Scandal on her. She thinks it’s oddly flattering. Amanda isn’t happy to hear that he’s still banging his teacher. They have a terse goodbye.

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At the free clinic, Kev (Steve Howey) insists he used condoms but V wants him to get tested anyway. The doctor asks how many girls he slept with and he ass whether anal counts, educating them on co-eds’ fondness for “the poophole loophole.” I need to wash my hands just from typing that. He counts on his fingers and when V balks he points out that it’s a big school. He estimates 22, 23 girls.

Debs buys a pregnancy test and a morning after pill and the pervy pharmacy worker leers at her. She throws condoms onto the pile, which just makes it worse. Men, it should be said, are pigs.

In town, a bartender tells Frank that his daughter is beautiful. Ha! Frank asks where he can buy a gun. It seems that they are widely available.

V tells Carol (Vanessa Bell Calloway) that Kev has been sleeping around and Carol reminds her that V kicked him out, and he is a hottie. Carol tells her to pick up some slutty college girl clothes to keep Kev happy.

Ian and Monica get out of a pickup in the middle of nowhere – there’s a dog and a trailer down the dirt road. She’s thrilled that her boyfriend is back – Walter, who is young, tattooed and shirtless and kind of scuzzy-hot. Oh goodness. This could go in all kinds of strange directions.

Fiona overhears Sean having a difficult phone call as she marries the ketchups. She asks if he wants to talk and he snaps at her, saying that they aren’t friends and her husband must be worried about her by now. After she walks off, he regrets having said it.

Amanda is still in Lip’s room that night when he comes home. She ordered a pizza but it’s cold – he’s fine with that. She asks if he’s been at his teacher’s but he’s been in the physics lab. Amanda asks if it’s just the sex or if Helene makes him happy. She’s clearly jealous, and she asks if Helene knows anything that he should teach her. Lip doesn’t answer – and when she goes to warm up her pizza, he bolts. Yep, headed nowhere fast.

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Liam is watching a gory zombie movie – Fiona changes the channel. She yells for Debs, who is nowhere to be found. She walks in on Debs and Derek in her bed – Derek in his underwear. Fiona tells him to get the hell out and when he leaves, apologizing, Debs tells her not to embarrass her. Debs tells her that she’s pregnant and Fiona laughs and says she isn’t. Debs says she thinks she is and Fiona says she’s getting an abortion tomorrow. Debs freaks out, saying that Derek’s parents got pregnant when they were her age and they’ve been happily together ever since – she says Fiona just doesn’t want her to be happy, ever. She storms out.

Frank and Bianca have more loud sex and she immediately asks where the gun is. She loads one chamber, points it at her head, calls his name, and pulls the trigger. He freaks and she does it again. They struggle and the gun goes off – grazing his other arm this time. Matching scars. He laughs and then holds her as she starts crying and hyperventilating.

Ian watches TV as his mom gets down to it with Walter in the next room – then decides to raid her purse instead. As suspected, she’s selling meth. Ian storms out, going to the other trailer down the road – must be the meth lab? He looks in the window and seems to recognize what he sees. Monica comes out and she says he’s just looking at the stars. He asks how old Walter is and she doesn’t know. He asks if she’s selling meth and she freaks that he’s going through her stuff. She insists that Walter makes her happy. Walter comes out, yelling at them to shut up so he can sleep. He and Ian get up in each other’s faces until she puts Walter back inside. She says she’s happy and that’s the most important thing, that she found someone to love, and she loves Ian, too. She says they’re going to be okay but he looks doubtful. She asks him for 3 minutes with Walter and he wanders off to lie in the grass, where he gets a call from Mickey. He doesn’t pick up. Mickey is calling from a cruising spot – and when Ian doesn’t answer he walks up to a guy on a parkbench: “Come on, cupcake.”

Fiona tells Gus about Debs, Ian, Carl, the whole mess (and she doesn’t even know the half of it). She admits to be doing a terrible job raising thee kids. She asks if they’re just friends and he says it’s a good place to start. He asks if she’s coming over but Fiona says she’d better stay there. She asks him to stay but he says the kids shouldn’t get too comfortable having him around – Fiona still has to make up her mind about what she wants from their relationship. He needs to know but not tonight. Soon would be nice, though! He leaves.

Frank wakes to find Bianca moaning somewhere on the beach. The pain is back – he runs for the pills and a beer. She asks for more pills and he resists but gives her another. He finds the gun beside her and hides it. She says she tried to kill herself but she couldn’t do it – she was too afraid. He says it’s okay. She thanks him for making her happy.

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Fiona wakes Debs and asks if she’s sure that she’s pregnant. Debs says she wants to have a baby and Fiona says she’s just a kid and isn’t ready to make that decision with a guy she barely even knows – Debs counters with the obvious retort. Fiona begs her not to do this. Debs says “I know what I want and I know who I love – even if you don’t.”

V wakes up Kev wearing a schoolgirl outfit. He’s not really particularly into it and clearly isn’t giving her the response she wanted – she throws his shoes at him and locks herself in the bathroom. He says he doesn’t want her to dress like anyone else but her. The babies cry and she tells him to go take care of them. He says no, he’s staying outside the door. V comes out to do something about it and they both go in to see the girls together.

Bianca takes off her jewelry and dress on the beach and looks around before walking into the sea. She only leaves one set of footprints. Which is normal, right?

Fiona comes home to Gus’s to find Chris there, but no Gus. She drops off coffee and Chris tells her that if she doesn’t love Gus she’s gonna have to man up and leave – Gus is too nice to do it. He then flat-out tells her that she’s not a nice person. Ouch.

Frank wakes up and goes outside to pee off the deck, missing two envelopes left for him on the table, one addressed to Bianca’s family. He finds them – and an empty bottle of pills. The gun is in the hiding pot. He runs outside into the surf, calling for her. Her clothes are still on the sand and he sits down next to them, defeated.

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Lip comes into the library to find Amanda there, furious that he abandoned her in his room. He tells her that he didn’t ask her to come over in the first place and she punches him in the face. She screams at him for making her fall in love with him and has a grade-A hissyfit that garners a healthy round of applause after she storms out. Lip bows.

Fiona goes to Patsy’s to tell Sean that she thinks she’s in love with him and she thinks it’s mutual. Sean says he doesn’t want to be the asshole who’s sleeping with another guy’s wife. She says she’ll split up with Gus and kisses him. There’s a rap at the window. It’s the staff – he lets them in and it isn’t awkward at all. She tells him that she’s happy when he’s around her. He says happy is overrated: “Grow up, Fiona.” Ouch!

Ian calls Mickey, who wakes up in a panic to answer – he misses the call but calls right back. Ian picks up. Mickey RUNS all the way to their house, where Ian is on the front porch. He says he hates the meds and asks if Mickey’s gonna make him take him. Mickey says he’s nuts when he doesn’t. Ian says Mickey doesn’t owe him anything and Mickey tells him he loves him. Through thick and thin. Ian asks if Mickey’s looking to get married like “a couple of old queens” – because he’s not interested. Mickey asks what’s wrong with him and Ian replies, “Too much. To much is wrong with me. And you can’t fix it me.” Mickey realizes that Ian is breaking up with him. He starts to cry. Ohhhhhhhh this show…

Suddenly Sammi (Emily Bergl) is there with a gun and her sights on Mickey. D’oh! Inside, Fiona and V hear gunshots and run outside to see what’s going on – Sammi chases Mickey down the street, shooting at him, and Fiona welcomes Ian back home. The cops go after Sammi. Later, Ian and Lip share a joint in the van and Frank comes by to take a hit and solemnly say, “She’s gone, boys. She’s gone.” They of course have no idea what the eff he’s talking about.

Debs takes a pregnancy test. Looks like she got what she wanted – and immediately realizes that she didn’t really want it after all. That’s a whoopsies.

Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) and Chuckie (Kellen Michael) face off in the prison yard, with Carl saying, “Let’s do this.” There are screams and running guards but we don’t see what goes down.

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Notably Absent: Svetlana

Sheesh – poor Mickey. Though I have the feeling that Mickey isn’t about to take getting dumped lying down, and that if Sammi hadn’t interrupted he and Carrot Boy would have found some common ground. Maybe I’m just in denial, but I don’t think it’s curtains for our beloved Southside Romeo and Julian just yet. Still, Mickey crying is the worst thing ever. It’s like watching a unicorn’s horn fall off. But I think it’s pretty clear that Mickey won this season, hands down, with Ian coming in a close second. Just fantastic work week after week.

Debs certainly picked the wrong time to actually do something stupid for a change. Ugh – are they really going to have her have a baby? Considering her temper tantrum about how she always has to take care of Liam, I don’t think she’s as ready for motherhood as she thinks she is. And I doubt Derek is going to be thrilled with her deceiving him like that.

Nice to see V and Kev fully on the same page, even if some of the mechanics of their breakup felt a bit… well, mechanical. I kind of like the idea of Svetlana sticking around as their third (maybe Lip can get some pointers from her), but who knows where we’ll find things next season.

Fiona’s picking Sean over Gus could go in any number of directions, especially since we don’t know what Sean did with the smack he pulled out of his pocket last week. I’ve loved having Gus around to pretty the place up, but character-wise he really isn’t terribly interesting, sorry to say, and we know that Fiona doesn’t do boring very well (remember Mike?).

Frank’s doomed romance with Bianca was one of the best storylines they’ve thrown his way in years, and they had fantastic chemistry together. I’m already missing her, but had the thrill-junkie thing gone on too much longer it likely would have gotten old fast. I think they made the right choice in letting her move on on her own terms.

In all, the season was pretty solid, if a bit somber. While it didn’t get as dark as last season did (though those last 30 seconds at prison were terrifying), it felt a bit less frivolous than past years, asking the characters to look long and hard at who they are and how they fit into the world (and yet it’s still being considered a “comedy”). I wouldn’t be opposed to a season six that got back to the show’s scrappy, scammy, wrongness-filled roots. But as it is, I’d give the finale a solid eight out of ten Old Styles:

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I want to thank everyone who joined me here on Monday mornings to share in the love of one of television’s most addictive, endearing, and consistently kickass shows. I’m looking forward to hearing what you thought of the finale, the season, and what the hell might be next for our beloved Gallagher crew.

Writer-filmmaker Brian Juergens launched CampBlood.org, the world's first website devoted to horror films from a gay perspective, in 2003.