Shamelesshas always been at its strongest while highlighting the contrasting personalities of the Gallagher siblings. The conflict between the siblings reached a tipping point this year, especially because two of the youngest Gallagher’s are all grown up now, and ready to make their own bad decisions.

Carl the gangster.

Carl gets out of prison this season and attempts to become a functioning member of society yet again. The impact of prison on his malleable mind manages to get the best of him very quickly, and he ends up reverting to life as a gangster.

He hooks up with one of his prison buddies and begins to deal drugs for one of the local gangs.

He ends up becoming extremely rich quickly, and he uses the money to impress a girl, buy a car and even save the Gallagher house from being auctioned off. The repercussions of his lifestyle choices catch up on him fairly quickly though, as his friend commits murder and goes back to jail. The gang he works for won’t let him quit either, so Carl ends up tagging Frank into dealing duties and calls it a day on his life as a gangster.

Ian finds love.

Ian’s journey involved coming to terms with his sexuality and depression until this point. The series shows Ian work through the struggles tofind some semblance of happiness this season. With Mickie locked in prison, Ian tries to work on a relationship with a fireman named Caleb. Unlike any of his previous partners, Caleb tries to make Ian open up about himself and put the intimacy on the back-burner.

Ian goes through a whirlwind of a ride, trying to put himself out there for someone else’s sake, and opening up to unique experiences.

Lip finds the bottom of a bottle.

While Ian’s journey takes a positive turn, Lip experiences new lows this season. First, his complicated relationship with his professor comes grinding to a halt because of his ex-girlfriend. Lip chooses todrink heavily in order to subdue his grief, and ends up making a mess of his college and personal life in the process.

He finally gets thrown into jail for acting violently on campus, and ends up getting a mini-intervention from his friends back home who warn him that he is turning into Frank.

Debbie becomes a mom.

In what is possibly one of the boldest arcs of the series so far, Debbie actually decides to keep her baby despite being a minor. This decision causes a lot of conflict between her and Fiona who also happens to be pregnant at the time. She tries to convince Debbie to come along with her to get an abortion, but Debbie is set in her decision.

She ends up finding help in Frank, who comes up with innovative but messed up ways to help Debbie raise money for her unborn child.

In the end, Debbie has her baby, and after tackling a bit of postnatal depression, she ends up taking care of her child responsibly while the family starts to help her as well. The name the newest Gallagher Frannie, after the devil himself.

Fiona falters.

Fiona tries her best to find love and makes things right for her family, but things never go her way, and her own decisions make it ever harder for her. She goes through several struggles this season, first by having to raise enough money to save her house from being auctioned off, and then by trying to make things better with Gus and Sean. Her pregnancy gets a lot trickier with Debbie becoming pregnant as well.

In the end, Fiona manages to save her house with Carl’s cash, set things straight with her ex Gus, and even gets close enough to Sean and his son to agree to get married. Franksteps in at the last minute and ruins everything by proving to Fiona that Sean has been using heroine for a long time. Fiona breaks off the wedding with Sean and isthoroughly distraught. The entire family unites at the end of the season to throw Frank into the Chicago River in order to set him straight for his actions, but I doubt that will make any difference to Frank.

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