Carl Gallagher (Ethan Cutkosky) has really come a long way since Shameless first premiered back in 2011. Ethan was just 9-years-old when he took on the role of Carl.
Initially, Carl was the deviant of the family. He was the problem child that enjoyed seeing what toys did when you put them in the microwave. He was also the child you worried was killing the neighborhood pets.
When puberty hit him, Carl had a very promiscuous stint. He even dabbled in being a drug dealer for a while.
Cutkosky’s character, however, progressed and matured beautifully, and surprised everyone when he took an interest in military school. Going to military school seemed to do a world of good for Carl, as he came back home a very different person.
Warning: The remainder of this article contains spoilers.
While his sister Fiona (Emmy Rossum) and all her internal struggles was the focus point of this season, it was also a rough season for Carl as well. The young Gallagher was forced to get a real minimum wage job and he was forced to deal with his sister trying to steal his girlfriend.
While Debbie (Emma Kenney) was not successful in stealing his girlfriend, he lost her in the process of his blind jealousy.
After losing his girlfriend, things got worse for Carl when he found out he got rejected to West Point. So, when Carl went to work during last week’s episode and someone tried to rob in at gun point, the young Gallagher unleashed all his pent-up rage on the robber.
The owner of the restaurant he works at approached Carl during the season finale, impressed with the young Gallagher’s actions to stop the robber. According to the owner, robbery is horrible for a business because once they get robbed, they become a target for any thug in the area.
The owner then told Carl he had a store that had a serious robbery problem and he wanted to make Carl a manager of the store so he could get the crime situation under control.
Carl responded to the offer by going home and packing up all his military school garb as he made the decision to accept the manager position. This was when his sister, Debbie, walked into the room and tried to stop Carl after realizing what he was doing.
What happened next was what female fans of Shameless hadn’t witnessed before – Carl expressed real and raw emotion. Viewers could feel the pain as he screamed at Debbie about how he was a wash out and was destined to go nowhere. According to Carl, working in fast food was the best he was ever going to do, and he just needed to except who he was.
@SHO_Shameless ugh I’m so sad for Carl! I’m his episode is heavy.— Rotten To(Matos) (@MarilynRox) March 11, 2019
between fiona leaving & carl wanting to give up on his dreams. this season finale has me in tears! ???? #Shameless— R I A???????? (@Ria_TooReal) March 11, 2019
It was a very powerful scene during the Shameless Season 9 finale, as you could hear the pain in his voice and see it in his face. While Ethan’s character has expressed a lot of emotions during these past nine seasons, pain and sadness was never one of them.
Carl’s character growth on Shameless is one of my favorites.— Jas ???? (@KissMyJ_azz) March 11, 2019
While Shameless Season 9 is over, the Showtime hit series has been renewed for a 10th season.