Shameless Season 8 was confirmed back in December, but it is currently unclear if this will be the final chapter in the story of the Gallaghers. With Monica (Chloe Webb), the family matriarch, dying at the end of Season 7, could it be that the eighth season will end with the death of Frank (William H. Macy), the patriarch?
Because Shameless Season 8 had yet to be confirmed at the time the Season 7 finale was being made, it’s unsurprising that the season ender ended up feeling like the end of the road for the Gallaghers. In the episode, Frank and the children said goodbye to Monica — thus literally burying their past — and each was shown moving forward in his/her own life. Fiona (Emmy Rossum) became the owner of an apartment building, Lip (Jeremy Allen White) revealed his intention to go back to college, Debbie (Emma Kenney) started welding classes, and Ian (Cameron Monaghan) was back at work.
If not for the lack of closure in Kevin (Steve Howey) and Veronica’s (Shanola Hampton) story, the Shameless Season 7 finale could have very well served as a series ender. However, as fans have pointed out, the show will have to end with the Gallagher siblings finally truly getting on with their lives, and that this cannot happen unless Frank is gone for good.
Since the first episode of Shameless, Frank has been more an obstacle for his children to overcome than a loving parent. The alcoholic and drug addict is the epitome of a deadbeat dad, paying little attention to his children and relying on his criminal ways to survive. In the Season 6 finale, Frank’s kids threw him off a bridge into the icy Chicago River — another attempt at letting him know that they want nothing to do with him.
Despite his deceitful ways and lack of regard for his family, Shameless executive producer Nancy Pimental told the Hollywood Reporter that Frank doesn’t see himself as a bad father. “In his own sick and twisted way, he believes he’s a good dad and was doing the right thing,” she said about Frank crashing Fiona’s wedding in Season 6. “But he’s a sociopath who sees it that way. It’s so frustrating to the family and Kev and Vee that he never gets it.”
Will Frank ever become the father his children so badly need? Or will he remain as he is, continuously bringing grief to the family? As some fans have pointed out, Shameless is all about the Gallaghers overcoming various challenges in their lives. And because Frank has been the main reason for most of those challenges, it may not be until his death that the siblings actually get to achieve happiness and success.
Shameless Season 8 spoilers indicate that Frank could either finally get sober or drink himself to death when the series returns. If Season 8 does turn out to be the final chapter for Shameless, either of these scenarios could lead to the same outcome: Frank dies. He could redeem himself and finally become a good father — briefly — before being killed off. Or he could exit the series as he entered it: a mess. Either way, there has to be a closing with Frank.
Incidentally, Macy, who plays the dysfunctional Gallagher patriarch, was recently the subject of a death hoax. Earlier this month, a prank news site published a preview article about the actor’s supposed death from a heart attack. The article quickly circulated around Facebook and Twitter, but Snopes later debunked the “news.”
BREAKING: Actor @WilliamHMacy woke up this morning, realized he was NOT dead... so had breakfast. Don't believe the hoax. Follow Bill.— Michael Wilde (@WestgarthEnt) March 13, 2017
Shameless Season 8 is currently without an official release date but is expected out sometime this year.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]