WARNING! Spoiler alert
If you thought “Shameless” couldn’t get more shameless – you’re wrong.
In the latest episode, the sixth of season four, which aired last Sunday, the show takes a turn from dark humor to just plain dark. We left off last week with Liam in the hospital from a cocaine overdose, with Fiona getting carted off to prison.
The most important thing this week is that Liam will be OK. And while it’s great that he was discharged from the hospital and appears to be his normal self, this incident won’t go without its own set of problems for the Gallagher clan. Fiona has been charged with possession of illegal drugs and reckless endangerment of a child, and Lip has been taking over the responsibilities of the head of household. Lip’s biggest issues are currently on opposite sides of the Gallagher spectrum of worries: He just recently started grasping the various duties of college students and true time management skills, and he also has to keep his brother out of the foster system, made difficult by his dying/absent father and his felon sister.
We definitively found out this week that Frank is going to die, and soon. After his mishap in the Native American sweat lodge, Frank’s prognosis is not looking too good. His newest/oldest daughter, Sammy, took him to a slew of hospice homes where Frank proceeded to have a meltdown, probably realizing his own mortality.
However, I don’t think Frank (or any of the other characters for that matter) has fully accepted his impending death, and I don’t really think he has to. I find it hard to believe the writers would kill off Frank’s character, just because he’s a jerk. He’s our jerk. I would even argue that Frank is the only real, human antagonist on the show, as his drinking problem and aloof nature have created countless hurdles for the rest of the family.
I have a theory, and it might be a longshot but it’s something. Since Fiona’s in jail, I think she’ll have no choice but to give her liver to Frank.
She claims to be the only character that keeps the family together, but when she posted bail and came home to find an empty house, it became clear that Fiona has lost sight of the important things. Fiona has lost her way, distancing herself from her family in order to keep a job that pays well and consistently, and she needs to realize that leaving her roots is going to be more difficult than selling some cups.
She is Liam’s legal guardian, and with her in jail having endangered Liam’s life, and Frank on his deathbed, her options seem to be either put Liam (and probably Carl and Debbie too) into the foster system, or save Frank’s life so he can take over as parent.
The episode ended with Fiona alone in the house with a passed-out Frank (maybe they aren’t so different after all?) while Liam was discharged into the loving arms of the rest of his family. Hopefully next week we’ll find out if Frank and Fiona’s fates are sealed. Tune in to “Shameless” this Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime.