Season seven of Shameless has come to an end and showrunner John Wells presented us with a phenomenal finale. “Requiem for a Slut” balanced heavy emotion with flitting humor. Wells carefully painted a story in the likeness of the woman who it was centered upon. Fiona and Frank’s contrasting reactions towards Monica’s death illuminated their disparate perceptions on the Gallagher siblings’ childhood.
Though Fiona had not been physically distant from the family, her season seven story-line had her creating emotional distance so she could identify and focus on her own goals. It was nice to see Fiona step back into the position of matriarch, while balancing both her compassion and frustration towards Frank. It seemed that the days of season one when Fiona would tend to her drunk father, too inebriated to move, were long gone. Familial relationships, however dysfunctional they may be, are often cyclical, with affection or tolerance ebbing and flowing based on the circumstances. The contradiction between the anger Fiona displayed while demanding Frank finally acknowledge the truth regarding the Gallaghers’ childhood, and the tenderness as she once again cared for him as he lay incapacitated on the kitchen floor, was stunning.
Aside from dealing with Frank’s reaction to Monica’s death, Fiona had to manage her own complicated emotions. Throughout the seasons, viewers have been awed by Fiona’s strength and the stratified layers of steel that seem to reside under her skin. The death of her mother could have exposed the latent vulnerability of a forgotten child, but instead Wells channeled Fiona’s bitter angst. In what is sure to become a classic Shameless moment, Fiona venomously spat, “Fuck you, mom” and proceeded to beat Monica’s dead body.
It’s difficult to see Fiona suffer, but it’s a joy to see Frank experiencing emotional hardships and pain. I’m not a sadist, but I am a sucker for psychology and getting glimpses into what has created this man, who is so devoid of redeemable qualities, is a rapturous romp deep into the DSM. There is no better view into the essence of Frank Gallagher than through his reflections on his relationship with Monica.
Something Shameless’ writers have done impeccably throughout the series is share stories about the Gallaghers’ younger years in bits and pieces that increase the viewers’ intimacy with the already familiar characters. In “Requiem for a Slut,” we were given a peek into the beginning of Frank and Monica’s relationship, as Frank waxed poetic about their connection during his eulogy. We also learned of Monica’s father’s well placed hatred for Frank, which was not at all surprising.
The storage locker caper recaptured some magic of the earlier seasons when Frank would exploit Debbie, Carl and even Liam’s devotion to him in order to selfishly better his position. It was surprising that Frank honored Monica’s wishes to give the meth to his children instead of keeping it all for himself. It goes to show how much Monica’s “legacy” meant to him.
Fiona’s reluctance to benefit from the inheritance meth was a testament to how far she’s come and the success she’s achieved. I was glad her siblings overruled her resistance. Shameless has shown us over the years, that doing the next right thing is not necessarily possible when you’re attempting to live your life within the confines of poverty.
- Frank’s eulogy was beautiful. This line especially got the tears flowing “So hate her if you need to, but she’s in you and that’s a good thing.” I can’t stand when Frank makes me cry.
- Where was Svetlana? I don’t mind seeing the “Thrupple” story line die, but I’d love to see the fall out.
- I think Ian would benefit from some therapy. I hope we see him in some sessions next season. A little Shameless/In Treatment mash up would be badass.
- That Ryan guy, I don’t trust him. I hope he isn’t planning to screw Fiona over in some epic way. She’s been doing so well.
- The scenes between Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy were for legends only. Emmy needs an Emmy for the work she has done on Shameless. It is long overdue.
- All things Kev. The Shameless writers have done an incredible job writing for him this season and Steve Howey has delivered every single line like a boss. It is so much fun to watch.
- Carl and Frank spray painting Monica’s name. The emotion of that scene evoked the same feelings I had during the season four finale when Frank was drinking with the Chicago skyline behind him and Carl by his side.
- The music in this episode was on point, especially the last song “Show Me Love” by Laura Mvula.
- Lip saying he may give college another try and reaching out to Brad when he felt the need to drink. He’s made so much progress and I’m so thankful. My broken heart is starting to mend.
- I loved seeing all the Gallaghers focused on their careers in the final scenes.