Shameless Season 3 Finale Review: Here Comes the Sun

Shameless S03E12: "Survival of the Fittest"


When we last checked in on Shameless here at TV.com, the show was beginning its annual transition from dark comedy to darker drama as the Gallagher children found themselves scattered through the child welfare system in Chicago. That storyline could easily have been the primary focus for the remainder of the season, but Shameless moves quite a bit faster than most TV shows. It wasn't long before Fiona had fought for and won custody of her siblings, but doing so caused an emotional split with Jimmy, who'd been struggling with a dual role as Gallagher homemaker and virtual prisoner of Estefania's gangster father. It was an untenable situation, and one the writers quickly brought to a head as Jimmy walked the plank last week.

While I certainly would have liked to see an arc where Jimmy put the Gallagher family's finances in jeopardy and had to be saved by Lip, Jimmy's storyline had definitely run its course. Throughout his run, Justin Chatwin did an excellent job playing a character you can love or hate from week to week. The writers pushed his decisions to the desperate end of the spectrum, offering little hope for escape. His plan to return to medical school was flawed from the start—not only would moving Estefania be hard enough, he'd also have to continue concealing his duties as fake husband from Fiona. It wasn't going to work.

The delivery of a cash-filled envelope to Fiona may be as much of a confirmation of Jimmy's death as we'll receive, but it was also a deus ex machina that no fan of the show could mind. Fiona deserved that sales job, and Jimmy managed to provide for the family one final time.

"But we're Gallaghers, okay. And there's two things that we're really good at. Knowing how to get back up. And knowing how to party."

Fiona's pep talk to Carl and Debbie at the end of the episode was a perfect bookend to a season full of setbacks; each character was left in a different stage of disappointment, and with a good deal of questions regarding what will happen going forward. Let's run through them quickly:


Fiona

The job at Worldwide Cup is surely a coup. But as Fiona took a seat at her new desk, a co-worker happily recalled how she'd occupied that same spot twenty years earlier. The look on Fiona's face was not one of joy at the prospect of a long career. So now the clock starts ticking. A relationship with the boss might keep her around, but the challenges of running the Gallagher household will continue to be her primary concern. Plus, Fiona's always been as hardheaded as her siblings, and the lure of being a club mogul is still in the back of her mind.

But with that said, a standalone spin-off season of The Office, this time set at a plastic cup company in Chicago, would be quite entertaining...

Frank

It was quite responsible of Shameless to actually offer some consequences for Frank's years of drinking and drugging. With his body finally turning against him, Fiona had a chance to offer one more speech, and it was a great one, with a simple message: If Frank cares at all about his family, he'll change. And for the first time, Frank gave us a small shred of hope after taking the rap for Carl's burglary. Perhaps he knew the system would reject him as it always has, but in the moment, Frank's decision to be selfless, just this once, felt like a new and interesting direction for the show's villain.


Lip

Our high school graduate was a bit too proud of his accomplishment, appropriately getting a glimpse of one possible future life and failing to keep pace with his father for even a single day's worth of celebration. Lip's scene with Mandy provided a bit of closure on his dysfunctional love life, but made no guarantees as to his academic future. I could imagine Season 4 beginning just after the holidays, with Lip taking his sweet time deciding whether or not to accept his full ride to MIT. If that's the case, hopefully they'll start filming soon, as Emma Kenney's Debbie will look suspiciously older for only a few months to have passed.

Ian

Our Ian-and-Mickey 'shippers sure had a rough Sunday night, facing a development that's perhaps even more heartbreaking than Fiona's loss. Ian moved on by leaving town, using his brother's identity to finally join the army. Still, it's hard to believe we've seen the last of Ian, as his forgery surely won't stand the test of time.

Debbie

Her struggles throughout Season 3 point to a more adult Debbie to come, and in the finale she even discovered she could talk back to Fiona without consequence. Debbie's always had Fiona as a role model, for better or worse, but as she enters her teenage years the writers will have plenty to work with.

Carl

The recipient of the sweetest moment of the finale. After Frank's outrageous lie led Carl to believe he had "caught" cancer, there he was in Frank's hospital room, to shave his head and let the sunshine in to help cure his father, too. Despite his burgeoning criminal skills and a love for knives, it's possible that Carl was just a bit scared by his near arrest and the possibility of losing Frank for good. Maybe, just maybe, he can still avoid a delinquent future.

Kev & Veronica

A baby is on the way! And there will certainly be quite a hilarious pregnancy, as Veronica's mother is now very much a part of the family.

Sheila

Instead of leaving things vague regarding Sheila's future as an empty-nester, we got a great peek at her lucrative future as a salesperson. Perhaps she'll even be able to give Fiona some sales tips.



The finale also did a nice job of wrapping up some storylines that had been lingering for far too long. It's possible we've seen the last of Jody, Karen, and her baby as they work on her healing in Arizona. Those final Karen scenes were quite painful, especially when Lip realized the old Karen wasn't coming back. It's also possible—though less likely—that the Milkovich family may have had their curtain call. Both Lip and Ian deserve better at this point... if they're willing to branch out, of course.

Some questions for next season as Shameless starts to juggle characters who are possibly headed in different directions:

– Will we ever see a sober Frank?

– Will Lip do the right thing and go to MIT?

– Over/Under on Ian's return to Chicago: two episodes?

– Over/Under on Fiona's employment at Worldwide Cup: four episodes?


What'd you think of "Survival of the Fittest"—and of Shameless's third season overall?

Comments (80)
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They made us fall in love with Jimmy then took him away. What were the writers thinking when they were writing the storyline of the Brazilian wife. How silly was that? Shame on you. They could of explore the relationship of his two worlds colliding with his real family and Fiona’s family. He was great. I love the way he was beginning to fit in. The new guy sucks and he’s boring. Jimmy was so sexy. Please bring him back. He helped make the show what it is today. Please bring him back.
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I heard that the actor who plays Jimmy won't be returning. So either they allude that he's off being a drug mule for Estefania's father or he's dead. If they killed him off, part of me wants Fiona to know so that she can have closure, and the other part of me wants her to never find out so she can be happy. :/ I'm so conflicted. I imagine that when Ian returns home everyone is going to be pissed -especially Fiona. Please, please, please avoid as much drama with Veronica's mother for season 4. I love Veronica and Kevin, her mom though....not so much
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For all those who want to have Jimmy reappear... Why? This story is about the Gallaghers, and the Jimmy character was written-out by being made to be a peripheral and increasingly less important part of the main storyline. He no longer serves any purpose in advancing the story and in fact, was made into a distraction from it. I can't think of one thematic element of the main story that is advanced by having the character return.

Furthermore,I hope that Fiona is allowed to develop and exist on her own instead of being a foil to yet another strained relationship. She is maturing very rapidly and now that she is the children's guardian, it will be interesting to watch her grow into an even more responsible role. She's been transformed and the new improved Fiona-character is solid and can bring a lot without casting her into a needy "I'm so confused over my boyfriend" plot-line.

Indeed, at this point I believe that her character would be diminished if she fell into the arms of another fella' or if Jimmy was resurrected from his presumed, fatal bout of lead-poisoning and watery grave. The season 4 Fiona deserves better!

Apart from Fiona, I am most intrigued with the new possibilities for Lip. He does not drag anything forward and It's kind of a "clean slate" for him now. The MIT opportunity can't work out for him... Too easy, too clean. Nevertheless, he's been broken free of his other encumbrances. He has no love interests tugging at him, there are no compelling family obligations, he is no longer just a rebellious juvenile, he's clearly grown into a young man and though I am sure his path will continue to be difficult, his new life will be very interesting to watch.



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I want Ian to come back quickly, it's gonna be really messed up without him there sooo... and finally Mickey is a some kind of regular and I really don't want it to change;p
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i was really sad about the ending! I want jimmy to come back as well. I love fiona and jimmy together and honestly jimmy is a big reason to why i watch this show! JIMMY MUST COME BACK! and who can deny the chemsitry between fiona and jimmy! Jimmy come back!
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There is mention on this board of simply replacing Jimmy with another boyfriend for Fiona. Here's the problem: Such a suggestion is to say that actors are interchangeable, that the chemistry will be the same, regardless of who's filling the role.

I can confidently tell you that studio bosses would strongly disagree with that idea, because so many films and tv shows have failed because the cast didn't have chemistry.

More importantly, for me, I think the producers were plain sadistic in the finale. They took the majority of 3 seasons to build this relationship between their two leads, only to ignore a plot hole (Fiona seeking Estefania for answers), and tear them apart.

Worse, the writers have us watch as Fiona repeatedly calls Jimmy, knowing his phone is at the bottom of Lake Michigan. The whole episode would've been different if she had a clue what might've happened -- and we know that she knows Jimmy had to marry Estefania (remember, he told her all about the mafia entanglement). Pure manipulation.
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AMe and my family watch this and in different ways were hilariously F****ed up too!
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What's next for extremes on the show bombs shootouts escaped wild animals!
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I kinda liked BETO and ESTEPANIA!
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I LOVE SHAMELESS I want Jimmy back don't care how, is Carl not a sociopath anymore, the only characters I hate r Karen and Frank but Frank is necessary I LOVE DARK COMEDY'S TV or otherwise I wish Lip cared about Mandy's feelings I hope I can recognize the some of the random music playing in the background especially if it's a PUNK one, ...everything else seems almost self explanatory or based on opinion so yeah bye!
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Why didn't Fiona pursue Estefania for answers on Jimmy's whereabouts? Did Fiona think that marriage was that marriage was magically resolved. Jimmy told her they were married, and why -- which would leave any half intelligent person to wonder if the mafia might be involved in his disappearance!

And, remember, she showed up on their doorstep at season 2's close. She visited Jimmy's dad; why not Estefania? Huge plot hole.
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Huge plot hole? How would fiona see Estefania when she is in INS holding/ deported to Brazil?
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That's the whole point! Think about it. Fiona finds Estefania in INS holding, so she's going to know that Jimmy didn't ditch her, but he's in trouble with Nando. Fi doesn't need to know exactly what happened, only that Jimmy didn't leave her. That would change the whole tone of the episode.
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Really good point. She definitely knew that Estefania was still around... and probably could have even pieced together why Jimmy would be in danger if she thought about it long enough. Jimmy explained mid-way through last season that Estefania's father was a gangster who forced him into the arranged marriage.
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This season was so great, but I was disappointed in the finale. Too much left unresolved. The only part of the season I didn't like was the grocery store plot. Too unbelievable that anyone would do that kind of thing for a grocery job.
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I feel Lip is going to accept the college full ride for MIT, but what happens is he can't go because he is in the army. So it will force Ian to come back home, find out that he lied to the army.
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I don't see the problem with next season's timeline playing out just the same as the rest. Each season is a year... each actor is aging a year. 9 months from now when it is back the growth spurts and stuff will be mentioned once and then forgotten because they ultimately are aging at the same pace as the characters. On the plot, I think Jimmy isn't dead until there is a body. Probably a surprise pop up halfway through the season, maybe as Fiona is starting to date her boss or something... causing problems and ultimately costing her her job? Lip will take half the season to decide on if he is going to MIT, decide to go... and then something bad will happen that either costs him his full ride or changes his mind. Ian will be back right away after they discover he isn't who he said and isn't 18. I don't have a clue what they are going to do with Frank, it seems like the options are a clean Frank that doesn't know what to do with his time or a dying Frank. Everyone else will continue growing or being minor funny ridiculous plots revolving around growing up & babies coming. We won't see Karen & Jody again. Right or wrong, I can't wait for next season.
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Season 1 took place in the fall/winter. Season 2 skipped ahead only a couple of months to the summer and ended in the winter (you'll remember Monica's suicide attempt was at Thanksgiving dinner). Then season 3 traversed summer to Christmas again.

That would put season 4 on pace to start in the Spring or Summer, which might not allow much time for Lip to decide on college. Hence, my theory that they might start s4 in January/February. But maybe I just want to see a Shameless St. Patrick's Day.
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I was totally disappointed when I saw that S03 started in summer, can't yet understand why they messed up with time!

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The writers seemed to be trying to wrap up so many story lines that I wondered whether they thought maybe there would not be a fourth season, and this episode might have to serve as series ender. It was all too neat, and way too warm and fuzzy.
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Interesting theory... the renewal was announced in between the third and fourth episode of the season airing. No way to know how far ahead they had filmed though.
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I don't think Jimmy is dead.
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If Jimmy is indeed dead, it will be interesting to see how this show does in the ratings next season. It appears that I may not be the only one who will no longer watch if he's gone.
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wow wow wow. I would rather have Jimmy back, but it no way does it hinge on me continuing to watch this great show.
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It's a personal choice. I feel I've been deliberately manipulated by the producers. And I think Justin Chatwin is crucial to the show (check out "Just Like the Pilgrims Intended" as an example of what he brings to the show).
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But the bigger question, why would they bring him back at this point? I don't think shock value is enough.
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Jimmy returning wouldn't be about shock value, but the fact that he's a core member of the group. The crazy world of "Shameless" revolves around Fiona, and Jimmy has been her counter balance.

Re-watch scenes with him in the first two seasons and perhaps you'll see the value he brings with his charisma (e.g. the Thanksgiving episode when Carl kills the bald eagle, or the moments when Jimmy and Fiona are about to make love. The show needs him.
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He's definitely the closest to the straight man in Shameless' brand of comedy. But I'm sure any new boyfriend could play the same role right?

Most any boyfriend Fiona brings home would be at least a little shocked by the Gallagher household.
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My guess is that next season will happen like one year later. The pending decision of the characters are too big to be answered just "two months later". We'll see ian coming back, what decisions Lip and frank made and -probably Jimmy's return...As long as I don't see a dead body, I don't believe in his death.
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This episode was great. I'm a little confused on why Ian took Lip's identity and signed up. What was the point? Lip isn't going to be able to go to MIT if the government thinks he has enlisted.

I was surprised that Jimmy wasn't in the finale at all, but at the same time I'm glad. I feel like the character has run his course, and throughout the entire season he would come back to Fiona but whenever they had a fight he would just go f**k Estefania. I'm sure he'll be back in some portion for Season 4, but I'd be fine with him never returning.

Hopefully Karen, Jody and the baby's storyline are done. Sheila I could take or leave.

Fiona still my favorite character, along with Lip, Debbie, and Carl.

hahahahaha Can't wait for Season 4.
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" I could imagine Season 4 beginning just after the holidays, with Lip taking his sweet time deciding whether or not to accept his full ride to MIT". I completely disagree. I think next season will be set maybe 2 or 3 years in the future! We'll find out if Lip's doing well attending MIT, Ian on the Army and the kids will probably have a growth spurt that will make this possible. That would give the possibility for Jimmy to return and to find Fiona in a loving relationship of some sort and completely mess it up. It could also give the opportunity for Karen to comeback fully healed. Of course only time will tell. See ya next season!.
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I love the idea, but I think it would be extremely impressive if they can time that jump forward that with a growth spurt from actors who play Carl and Debbie!
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I love Jimmy: we never actually saw him die so I'm gonna hold on to hope. I want him back. He and Fiona belong together and I'm gonna be all kinds of pissed if he's actually dead. I want to see it with my own two eyes before I believe it. It ended pretty happy for them in the UK version. I want that in the US version as well. Please please please don't be swimmin' with the fishes!
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Both Ian and Lip deserve better in their love lives. Ditto
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I really hope Jimmy isnt dead, hes my favorite character. Can you really see fiona being with anyone else? If they were to kill him off i think they would show it. This just leaves it open for him to come back.
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I so hope he's coming back!! No one else is as right for Fiona as he is. They make such a great couple.
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Not a fan of the Worldwide Cup Boss? He's recently divorced and seems like a nice guy, but he's less of a pushover than Tony, the cop (who disappeared to another show).
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This is the year that this cast became the best ensemble on television. Every character had an arc and all played them out like the veteran cast they are. Only story that was skeevy but, still wonderful performances by all, was Kev/V/Mom/Baby. Kevin is awesome.

Carl and Debbie becoming every bit as interesting as their sibs with two stand out performances by Emma Kenney and Ethan Cutkosky. Those two give hope that America can produce quality young actors on a quality program.

Watching Fiona become a drone hit every note pitch perfect from bitchy territorial co-workers at first to gradual acceptance of the new girl, to group outing starting to seal their fondness for the new girl, to brokenhearted boss, who thinks he can save the beautiful girl, making clumsy passes. You comment that this show moves fast but that story seemed to develop smoothly and naturally.

Franks entire journey this season has shown it must be real nice to have someone of Bill Macy's calibur in that role.

Jimmy can't be dead. Naturalization has him as Estephania's husband and Marco needs him alive for that reason alone. If he's dead, she's deported end of story. Beto has been inclined to care about Fiona and I think the money was to help her and to make her stop looking for Jimmy which could get her killed. The money and her conversation with Jimmy's dad might be enough to accomplish that but I don't think it will. This story isn't over yet.

Is the Jackson family saga as it relates to the Gallagher's over? It would be an appropriate jumping off point. So strange to see that Karen devoid of feelings may have been the best incarnation of Karen. She couldn't hurt anyone anymore. Sheila alone may be a scary thing though. Joan Cusack, straddling the line between mania and depression, has been fascinating this season. Her sending her three "kids" off was the end of a long jouney for that character. Seemed like an ending. Yeah, Jody doesn't make it out of Illinois.....

As for the Milkovic story. Mickey and Mandy have to be back in some way shape or form. Mandy was kind of awesome this season. Its taken the better part of two seasons to get Lip to actually be nice to her or even the slightest bit appreicative and he finally gets there in the last episode - and the scene was simple and beautiful. I wouldn't be surprised if Mickey is the one to get Ian's deception discovered.

I could go on forever about how good this show was this year but won't. That's what happens when you only visit a program twice in what was easily its best season. Eagerly anticipating next season with so many questions left unanswered. Very thankful that this show got renewed to answer them.

Emmy love for Emmy Rossum, Bill Macy, Joan Cusack, and Emma Kenney - any one of them - would be too much to ask, wouldn't it. Fantastic season - there aren't many shows that do as much right as this one. Incredible cast.

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This has to be my favorite season finale of Shameless, purely due to the fact that it's a complete game changer... There are so many ways the four season can go and so much character development to be had in the younger Gallaghers. If Lip does go to MIT what does that mean for his position on the show? If Ian stays in the army will we ever see him again? What would Frank getting sober mean to the dynamic of the show?

There is so much that can happen in the fourth season!

BTW... I'm actually ok with the possibility that Jimmy is dead. His character has been drowning all this season and the latter part of season 2. But I'm pretty sure they didn't actually show him die in-case they decide they want to bring him back.... Just to keep it open.
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Carl shaving Frank's head, awe! I was on the edge of my seat when Frank was doing the push-up contest, expecting to watch him bleed-out on the bar-room floor, but then they just had him barf up some blood on the frozen pond instead.

I thought Sheila's sales pitch was kind of dead pan, considering how revved up she got when she wanted to use them in the past, but now that she's all alone, it could have been her depression talking.

I bet next season will have a lot more of KeRonica, but no idea what'll happen with Ian.
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Somehow I think we didn't see the last of Jimmy
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jimmy isn't dead. The father has shown that if he intends to kill somebody he'll do it right away. I believe we will see Jimmy next season. Probably not in the beginning though.
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Yeah, I think we'll find out he's in another country somewhere being forced to play husband.
But then again his character did kinda run its course, he was spiraling downhill the whole season.
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That was all because of the writing. Besides, what was downhill? He was entangled in a shotgun marriage because of the mafia, and he wanted to go back to school. Certainly sounds like a lot going on there.
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I agree with wisperin, I think it was fairly obvious that the bodyguard was giving Fiona the money and telling her to move on, not Jimmy. He (the bodyguard) has said on more than one occasion that she is too good for Jimmy. Maybe it is because he recognizes something of her in his failed relationship, maybe he developed a crush like the rest of us. But I never thought the money was from Jimmy. He was not prepared to ship off, and had no money to give even if he was.

Also, I don't think he's dead. i think he is going to be in South America where the father needs to establish his presence as a loving husband again for NIS to let Esty back into the country as his wife. And I'm not just saing that because I want to see her back next season. It makes sense, mafia guy wanted his daughter to live in th U.S, and forced Steve to marry her the first time. It fell apart a bit when she got deported, but the Immigration dept will let a spouse back into the country after a certain amount of time, I think 6 nonths, if the citizen spouse moves out of the country to be with her. Then the imigration games start again. The only problem I see is that Jimmy gave Marco his Steve passport, but I'm thinking the druglord can get a new one with the same info.

I liked fiona bypassing the party hostess trip to go for the full time gig with benefits. Debbie clearly needs dentures, as does the actress in real life, and I am sure the writers didn't want to explain her getting them in the off season as coming from the gov't dentists. that takes forever.

And I have a job in a cubicle in an office, with a supervisor just like hers, so I recognized that look of self pitying fear that Fiona had when she heard she was starting a job that sounded like a life sentence not a blessing.

Kev and veronica are hilarious, and a vital part of the Gallagher clan, so I really can't see them going away. the Milkeviches either, but mainly because they intertwine through Ian and Lip so well. And for families with no money, neighbors don't go away as easily as they do for the rich. You're stuck with them.

I liked Karen in season one, and part of season two. Walking away from the baby may have been the best choice for her, but I was never a big fan of her and Jody. Him , alone, I liked. Him with Sheila I liked, just not him and Karen. And his sex addiction scenes were funny as hell. But trying to keep a story going with a half-asain baby with DOwn syndrome would have been an anchor to the show. Karen was only suppose to be a supporting character, and that story was taking over her story.

And I know they hadn't announced a return date for season 4, but damn I am going to miss Shameless. And I hope to see William Macy and Emmy Rossum as nominees this award season. I know Homeland is still the front runner, but Emmy's performance as Fiona was amazing this season.
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SO glad Jimmy is gone, even though I think he deserved a better send off. I wanted to see what happened to him.

I also think V's mom will continue to hit on Kev! I don't think that mess/relationship triangle was really resolved because he never told V about the late night texts from her mom. Here's hoping they drop that entire story line and the baby is already born in season 4!
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I'm probably a lone wolf on this one.. but I didn't too much care for Ve/Kev storyline this season. Just creeped me out... and I wanted to see more of them in another setting besides that. Everything else you said pretty much sums it up. I really hope this is the last we see of Karen. I almost hate her as much as Lori from WD and that's saying ALOT. Cuz I hate that bitch with the passion of 1000 suns. I don't think Jimmy is dead, but I hope season 4 brings a new love for Fiona. This show still manages to get me to care about every ones story no matter what quirky/dark/hilarious/weird level they take it too.

Debbie is kinda sliding Ian out of his #3 spot as my favorite Gallaghers. Behind Fiona and Lip of course. Kudos to the writers for making me give a shit about anything involving Frank these last few episodes.. because I stopped caring during season 2. My fast forward finger was always itching when he rambled on during his scenes. Great season overall can't wait for season 4! Now its time for NURSE JACKIE HELL YEAH!!!!!!
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Totally agree on the recent redemption of Frank's character... earlier in the season I wondered if the show wouldn't be better without him. But if they actually flirt with the possibility of his changing, he could steal the show.
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Jimmy is dead but I don't think the money was from him or even a last request. That money came from Beto who had respect for Fiona and thought she deserved closure.

The Ian storyline is pretty far fetched. You can't join the Army with just a picture id. They require birth certificates, ss cards, finger prints, and plenty of other things. I assume Ian's foray into the Army will last just long enough to screw over Lip and keep him from going to college.

I'm glad Karen is gone and hope it's forever. Her character was a real piece of shi*t and the retarded baby bit was just as bad. They also need to do something with Sheila. At this point I don't even know why she is still part of the show.
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Ian's story line is where you're going to find issue with reality?! Do you really think Carl could've gone to that cancer camp just because his head was shaved and his dad said he had cancer?! And that's just one moment that required a suspension of disbelief.
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Do the world a favor, don't procreate. But, if you do, I hope karma gives you a child with Down Syndrome so you might understand how stupid and offensive it is to call a child with Down Syndrome a "retarded baby".
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You don't watch Shameless do you?
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Sure I do. Let me guess, your justification for the "retarded baby" comment is because they used the term in the show? Kinda like how people think it's ok to call somebody a N****r because they heard it in a Rap song? Pathetic.
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Your right, I just got done with that whole process, he did mention taking the ASVAB, but that's not enough, you have to go to MEPS, and spend the day there taking physicals and tests and need transcripts, social security card and a ton of other stuff. Not the 60's where all you need is an ID and the next day your on a bus to Basic Training
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I am surprised no one has said and or thought of this yet as it was immediately running through my head when Lip says he got into MIT. No matter how much he wants to go now he WONT go because as soon as Lip finds out Ian used Lip's ID to get into the army he will have to stay home. Sorry to say being a Student at MIT and a new recruit in the army are not possible. As soon as Lip signs any enrollment paperwork for MIT red flags would go up instantly! And being the deep bond Lip has with Ian there is no way Lip would do anything to put Ian in jeopardy of being arrested. So personally i think Ian might be gone for awhile (whatever time in between seasons plus first 2 or 3 episodes) hopefully that full ride to MIT isn't a super limited time only offer. I think it might be such a good thing that i like this show because i can identify with Lip so much...Meh

P.S Jimmy is Dead.
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Ian using Lip's name isn't enough to get Lip out MiT, he is Lip and wouldn't get in trouble for someone else stealing his identity..even if that someone if his brother. Ian would be the one to get in trouble with the military, but the easy answer there is that they aren't turning away willing recruits so they wouldn't look to hard at the idea of a hard working soldier who just follows orders and wants to serve his country. At least not until he needs benefits or medical carae later on.
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It seriously looks like next season, the Gallaghers aren't going to be together for awhile... that being said, it would be interesting to see how everybody will fair without a couple of their members around. 'Would mind seeing everybody in a year or so, instead of the usual couple of months later.

By the way... can someone tell me where the hell Frank was going at the end of the episode? Wherever it was, 'hope he gets there in a hurry - that Chicago weather is unforgiving.

For a guy who didn't care about his schooling, Lip sure graduated in a hurry... wish I thought about getting my diploma before the winter break too - three months to do fuck all before going to college! Genius!

Finally, the line of night, brought to you by Kevin "Once you go white, you always stay tight... Hey, I think I just insulted myself!"
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Best ensemble cast on television, sorry GoT. As I said in another post I would take Carl or Deb over a Stark kid anyday.
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They are fantastic, especially given their ages, but I don't think GoT requires apologies. GRR Martin wrote too many characters with too many concurrent plot arcs in the novels for the series to spend too much time on one group or another. There is too much ground to cover and a head-swimming number of characters to juggle for GoT to develop along the lines of an ensemble. That is not to say GoT isn't fascinating and fantastically entertaining, just that there is a lot going on.
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And I may be alone in the thought, but I believe Jimmy is alive. Unless I missed something (which is totally possible) where did he get the money? Had he not gotten robbed of his measly coffee-job check earlier?
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At the end of the day, if Jimmy somehow survives... he still ain't gonna be the same Jimmy anymore. No way he comes out of such a mess unchanged... And you know what? 'Kinda don't want to see that new Jimmy. So maybe we should hope his father-in-law made him swim eternally with the fishes.
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Personally i think the money came from the Security/Shofer/Spanish guy himself. He has been in the middle of this with Jimmy the entire time seeing how much he loves Fiona and how much he truly wanted to do right by her. If you look at Shofer guy's face on last week's episode when Jimmy gets on the boat its almost as if he feels bad especially when he tells Jimmy he cant call Fiona. He told a story of a lost Love of his own and being that doing stuff like that for his boss is most likely his everyday job i wouldn't think he would be affected by Jimmy's death unless it actually got to him on a personal level.

Furthermore as you said where would Jimmy have gotten the money he was really strapped last time he spoke of money so this again leads me in the direction previously mentioned. Anyway just a thought.
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I would still like the show if not for Kev and V but Lip would keep me from watching it, every character connected to him is poison and irritates the crap out of me (himself included, I found him almost insufferable in season 2) but because they're in the show I keep watching. I just wish they got more than one or two scenes an episode, hopefully this will be rectified in season four. Kev especially is staggeringly underutilized.
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While I'm a big Lip fan, I agree that his angsty refusal to do right by himself will wear a little thin if they stretch it out much further. That said, I could definitely see him pull a Tim Riggins by showing up at MIT and deciding against it an episode later.

But agreed that Kev & Veronica keep the show even, especially in more dramatic episodes.
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Shameless, best dramedy ever on TV. It was a little bit sad to see Gallaghers go till next year, I don't mind more episodes (may be two would be nice). This season was even better than previous one. This show is proving itself every season, every episode. Shame, that this show is flying under TV crirtics' radar and not attracting such big numbers of viewers as Mad Men or GoT. But it is still doing fine and getting renewed. I was laughing so hard during comedic (as usual) first half of the show. And dramatic second half was excellent, very raw and emotional. Only Jimmy character, his constant manipulations and crooked sly nature was getting on my nerves. If he's dead, I'm glad. He got to his point in this story. Don't flirt with brazilian mafiozo if you don't want to find yourself in stalemate.
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The Brazilians were definitely terrifying.

At the end of season two they briefly hinted that Lip & Estefania could possibly have a fling, but never came back to it. It's a shame as I would have liked seeing Lip try to outsmart some gangsters.
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After she realized she made a "sale" didn't the boss's boss say she was still going to be there on a trial basis? Like 2 weeks?

Hopefully she keeps the job, else that was a man's death-money wasted.
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I meant they "they" realized she made a sale. I realize she made the purchase with the death cash
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Ha! Great point. Though I think Fiona can definitely hold down the job long enough to get to full time status.
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- I hope/pray that this is the last we see of Karen.
- Ian will be back and I'm hoping he and Mickey will eventually get together. It seems as though Mickey realised his full feelings in this episode - Ian isn't just a lay he loves him.
- Carl shaving Frank's head is possibly the sweetest scene ever to exist.
- I don't think Jimmy is dead... they deliberately left it open for deliberation but I can see Fiona moving on in S4 only for Jimmy to return in the finale.

Basically this is the greatest show on TV and I'm mad it doesn't get the recognition it deserves... but hey, in this day and age most of the truly great shows go unrecognised.
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But wouldn't Jimmy coming back after half a season/a season just be a repeat of season 2? I hope he stays gone, even though I didn't hate him.
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I guess so, I hope he stays gone too.
I've been thinking the Jimmy/Fiona relationship has held both of them back in certain ways. It'll be nice to see a single Fiona with no Jimmy on her mind. I hope she sleeps around and enjoys herself in S4, she deserves a good time.
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So you want to see Fiona become a whore. More importantly, you want to see a repeat of season 2, because that's exactly what Fiona did while Jimmy was out of the country -- and the writers made a point that none of the guys could compare to him.
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Because I want a single woman to enjoy sex and enjoy being single I want her to be a whore? Okay, OKAY.
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Agreed on Karen being gone and Ian / Mickey being likely re-visited.

Carl's scene was tear-worthy without a doubt.

Bringing Jimmy back would be bold, but why would Fiona ever forgive him now? I was skeptical he was dead until the delivery of the money and Fiona's final voicemail goodbye. Now I'm pretty certain.

As for recognition, while season 2's performances were probably more attention grabbing given the Fiona / Lip showdown, Emmy Rossum and Jeremy Allen White were both great again this year. Maybe the Emmys will sneak in a nomination for one of them.
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