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‘Shameless’ Season 5 Finale Recap: “Love Songs (In the Key Of Gallagher)”

shameless love songs

So to get you up to speed before we wrap up season 5 of Shameless, here’s what you need to know.

  • Carl and Chuckie have been MIA since being put in juvenile hall recently.
  • Debbie and her boyfriend, Derek, had sex for the first time and Debbie is secretly hoping she can get pregnant so she can live “happily ever after” with Derek.
  • Lip is in a pretty serious affair with his married professor, Helene. Her husband is totally okay with the affair, by the way.
  • Frank has fallen in (unrequited) love with Bianca, the young and gorgeous doctor with terminal cancer, and the two have run away to Costa Rica.
  • Ian, who was arrested by the military (thanks to Sammi) for going AWOL, was released because of his mental illness into the care of his estranged mother Monica, who is also bipolar.
  • Although Fiona is still married to Gus, she rekindled her feelings for Sean while Gus was away on tour.
  • And while all of this has been happening, Debbie and Mickey accidentally “killed” Sammi in the process of trying to get revenge and torture her for sending Carl to juvie and turning in Ian to the military.

Whew, what a ride season 5 has been. Now on to the the finale…


Gus is back from his tour and the two of them have mad sex together. At first I thought Fiona was with Sean because I wasn’t sure if she and Gus were on speaking terms, let alone “romantic” terms. But I was wrong — apparently they are on speaking terms again since Gus came back from tour with a ravenous appetite. That doesn’t mean that everything is a-okay in their marriage, however, and Gus warns Fiona that he doesn’t want her family to get used to him being around in case things fall through, which is a big red flag coming from someone who is supposed to be her husband. No matter, though, Fiona still hopes she can make the relationship work.

Fiona goes off to work and tries to confide in Sean like she usually does. She tells him about Gus being back, and doesn’t get the same understanding Sean she once had heart-to-hearts with. Everything between them is awkward now. Sean seems to want nothing to do with Fiona anymore, and even turns down her offer for coffee.

Later that night she walks in on Debbie getting it on with Derek. Debbie, who had been telling Derek that her family doesn’t care what she does, is quickly disproved when Fiona becomes outraged that Debbie has a boy in her room. Derek, who was going to stay the night, quickly leaves Debbie during the ordeal and sheepishly apologizes to Fiona on his way out of the bedroom. This sparks a rocky relationship between Debbie and Fiona for the rest of the episode.

Later on that night while the rest of the house is asleep, Fiona thanks Gus for lending a sympathetic ear while she vents about the drama in her life, to which Gus answers: “What are friends for?” Fiona is dumbstruck to learn that her husband has demoted her to the friend-zone. When Fiona inquires about his comment, Gus responds that he wants Fiona to decide whether she wants to be with him or not.

The next morning, Fiona shows up to Gus’s apartment to find that his bandmate is the only one at home, and he ends up breaking the bad news about her marriage to her. “If you don’t love Gus, you’re gonna have to man up and leave,” he advises, and also admits to her that since Gus is a nice guy, he won’t be the one to end things, implying that Fiona should be the one to end it instead since she was the one that sent it downhill in the first place.

Depressed from her encounter that morning, she heads to Patsy’s Pies to see Sean. She ends up kissing him and confessing her love for him, and also about her splitting with Gus. She admits that she’s happy when she’s around Sean, but her happiness is quickly shut down when Sean tells her that being “happy” is overrated.


His affair with his professor Helene is still going on. He wakes up to find himself tied to her bedposts while her husband watches the two of them from a corner in the bedroom, which just makes everything weird. But when Helene asks Lip if they should stop, Lip doesn’t respond and allows her to proceed while she starts licking red wine off of his body.

Later that day in Lip’s dorm room, he finds Amanda, who claims she is hiding from her crazy lesbian roommate that is planning to set her on fire. When Lip suggests to report the homicidal maniac to campus security, Amanda responds by saying: “Nobody’s been homicidally obsessed with me before. It’s kind of a turn-on.” Clearly, she has been trying to make Lip jealous of her lesbian relationship, but it hasn’t appeared to have been doing anything. Lip hasn’t taken much notice of Amanda anymore since he started up with Helene.

In a later encounter together, Amanda goes straight to her point and demands to know if Helene is better at sex than she is. When Lip responds that Helene just has more experience, Amanda proposes that the two of them begin practicing the new tricks he learned together. She desperately wants to rekindle their relationship, but all her efforts seem to be in vain. She follows him into the library later and ends up causing a scene. She confesses that she’s in love with him and gets so worked up about his disinterest in her that she ends up punching him in the face, much to the onlookers’ chagrin. Amanda’s scene gets a round of applause, and Lip sarcastically thanks the onlookers’ appreciation while he nurses a split lip.


Ian and his mom are still hitchhiking out of town, and work up an appetite doing so. They are dropped off at a pit stop where they find a diner to eat at. Problem is, they don’t have money for food. Monica tells Ian to go inside while she leaves him and joins a group of truck drivers. Ian watches through the window as his mom disappears behind the truck with one of the drivers. He asks her about what she did for money, and she brushes it off by vaguely telling him she just sold the guy something. Ian decides to drop the subject and instead tries to connect with his mom again, but she doesn’t remember a lot of his childhood.

Monica orders a large amount of food for the two of them and Ian is skeptical about Monica being able to pay for all of it. He recalls a time when his dad Frank had to sneak a very young Ian out of a bathroom window once because his family couldn’t pay the bill, and Monica is under the impression the a lot of the illegal and flat out insane things the Gallagher family did back then were some “good times.” Monica seems more happy with the fact that Ian is beautiful on the outside, and is proud of the fact that she did a “fucking good job making him.” She didn’t do much of a good job at being there for him, and doesn’t seem to take much notice of how very ugly Ian’s childhood and life has been lately living in poverty and with bipolar disorder.

After eating at the diner, Ian goes with Monica to the trailer she shares with her significantly younger boyfriend, Walter White (sorry, Breaking Bad fans, I couldn’t resist). Walter and Ian don’t really hit it off well, and Ian is rather displeased with his current living arrangement. While Walter and Monica get it on in the bathroom of the trailer, Ian tries to distract himself by snooping around in his mom’s purse. He discovers a zip lock bag filled with meth and realizes that Monica had sold the truck driver meth to pay for their meal at the diner.

He walks out of the trailer, unbeknownst to his mom and her boyfriend, in a crazed whirlwind and finds out the trailer nearby is where Walter cooks the meth (what a coincidence). Monica and Walter come out of the trailer and find Ian with the bag of meth. Ian loudly brings his new discoveries to their attention and a fight ensues between Ian and Walter. Monica breaks it up and goes into the trailer to try and calm Walter down. After the fiasco, Ian is alone in the dark outside when he receives another call from Mickey, and he unfortunately decides to reject it.

Meanwhile, Mickey has been having a rough time without Ian. He desperately calls him often, looks at Ian’s picture on the wall longingly, and even tries to get his mind off of him by having (terrible) sex with a girl. Mickey even hooks up with another tall, timid and pretty boy to try and make up for Ian’s absence, but not before he tries unsuccessfully to give Ian another call. He’s seemed to have lost hope on Ian ever coming back to him at all.

But Ian decides he’s had enough of Monica’s nonsense and goes back to the family and friends that care deeply about him. This time, it’s Ian who gives Mickey a call to let him know he’s back in town. At first, Mickey is barely awake when he hears the phone ring, but once he sees that Ian is on the other line, he jumps out of bed and begins running down the street to see him. I’ll be totally honest, this induced a very heartfelt “awwwwww” from me to see how hung up Mickey is on his relationship with Ian. I want to see him fight for their relationship together instead of letting it fall by the wayside.

Mickey is extremely elated and relieved to finally see Ian again and tells him that he loves Ian unconditionally, bipolar disorder and all, and will continue to love him “through thick and thin, through sickness and health.” Unfortunately, their meeting doesn’t go as Mickey had hoped, and Ian gives him his personal manifesto, explaining that he doesn’t appreciate being treated as though he’s sick, and that he doesn’t want to live like something is wrong with him. By the end of the conversation, Ian ends up breaking up with Mickey. “I don’t need to be fixed okay? I’m me,” he tells Mickey, who still can’t believe he is being broken up with. His remorse can hardly last for long, however, because the last person anyone wants to see comes walking back into the neighborhood, gun in hand. Can you guess who that is?

Yes, it’s Sammi. She starts shooting at Mickey as he literally begins running for his life. Fiona and V witness the fiasco, and also are surprised when Ian strolls calmly around the house. Fiona is unbelievably relieved to see Ian, but asks about what’s going on between Mickey and Sammi. “Mickey tried to kill Sammi, Sammi’s trying to kill Mickey, something about her being in a box for a week,” Ian explains, as though it’s nothing out of the ordinary. I just hope that Mickey comes out of this alive so he can try to keep his relationship with Ian going.

I think you all know by now that Ian is my favorite Gallagher, and I think it’s mainly because Cameron Monaghan has done an outstanding job at playing him this season. Literally everything has been thrown his character’s way, and he’s gone above and beyond at understanding Ian, even though the character hardly understands himself. Ian as of late been a felon, a kidnapper, a  male floozy and a porn star, among many other things, but Monaghan has made Ian painfully human and in turn made the character evoke sympathy from the audience rather than hate. I really want Ian to heal in season 6, now that he’s brought out those skeletons in the closet and is out in the open about his disorder.


Debbie, in the middle of a tender moment with Derek, tells him that she loves him, and when he says that he loves her too, there’s no mistaking the look that comes into Debbie’s eyes. She has been intent on having Derek’s baby (even though he is unaware of it) ever since she saw his big, happy family. She’s banking on the fact that having his baby will get the two of them married and also give her an “in” to Derek’s close, tight-knit family, something Debbie’s never known she’s wanted until she saw it for herself.

During a fight she has with Fiona about her sleeping with Derek, Debbie accidentally blurts out that she’s pregnant. Fiona is in absolute shock and demands that Debbie get an abortion, which only escalates their fight even more as Fiona tries to reason with Debbie, who is screaming about getting married to Derek and having his babies and living happily ever after, away from the broken household she currently lives in. While Fiona tries to explain to Debbie that getting pregnant at 15 is a huge mistake, Debbie defends her choice as maturely as any 15 year old with a terribly thought out scheme can by claiming what she does with her body is her decision, and that’s the end of that.

Frank and Bianca

The happy couple is in Costa Rica together and having fun in the sun while remaining perpetually drunk. Even though Frank knows Bianca has a “shelf life” and has made it clear that she is not in love with him, Frank is still soaking up all the affection he can get from her. He also doesn’t seem to give a damn that people mistake the two of them for father and daughter rather than the odd couple that they are. Bianca gets particularly loopy one day and demands that Frank buy a gun.

The purpose of this gun is a bit disturbingly obvious. When Bianca gets the gun in her hand, she tries out a game of Russian roulette and gets a cheap thrill from the rush of it, sending her on a manic rampage, which results in Frank getting shot in the arm. (Again.) Which is interesting, because if Bianca hadn’t treated Frank for the wound on his arm back when she was a sane and straight-laced practicing doctor, the two would never have met in the first place. Frank laughs heartily after he gets over the shock of being shot again, but Bianca starts weeping uncontrollably onto Frank’s shoulder while he tries to calm her down.

Later, that night, Frank wakes up to the sound of Bianca in pain. She is lying on the beach not far from the shack and begs Frank for her pain medicine. He gives her the pills, which she washes down with beer, and comforts her. While Bianca is calming down, he finds the pistol that she had played Russian roulette with earlier. Bianca explains that she had tried to end her life that night, but was too afraid to shoot herself. The two sit in silence for a bit, and after a little while Bianca thanks Frank for making her happy, something she claims she’s never really felt before. Maybe “happy” isn’t as overrated as Sean thinks, and Frank seems fulfilled that he was able to offer Bianca something during their short time together.

The next morning, Bianca walks down to the beach in melancholy. She removes all of her jewelry and all of her clothing, along with all of her belongings on the sand as she skinny dips in the water. There is a sad eeriness throughout the entirety of the scene as Bianca immerses herself below the waves. Frank wakes up shortly afterwards, and finds that the table if filled with emptied beer bottles and a note from Bianca, for him and for her family. The container that was filled with pills is now empty, and Frank comes to the dreadful realization of what has just happened.

He runs to the beach and finds Bianca’s things, and her footsteps in the sand leading to the water and begins crying out her name hopelessly. Why the hell did Shameless have to end one of the best and most entertaining relationships of the series this way? Because the feels, that’s why. I’m not lying when I say I’ll miss Bianca. She was cute, funny, wild and free. Frank gave her a lot of things he wouldn’t even give himself, and even though he was a rat and always seemed to be mooching off of Bianca’s life savings, he really was the one who helped Bianca go out with a bang, just like she wanted. And all she wanted to be was happy, and the one thing Frank ever did right was by doing just that.

On another, more sinister note, I’m sure Bianca’s death will turn up again in season 6. She may have died peacefully, but it doesn’t mean that the aftermath with run smoothly. I can foresee Frank being blamed for Bianca’s death. Remember when Bianca claimed she was going to meet her family for chemotherapy, but ended up in Costa Rica without her family’s knowledge instead? How does it look from her family’s point of view if Bianca never showed up to chemo, was found dead in Costa Rica, and was associated with a sketchy homeless guy? The cards are not in Frank’s favor, but it’s not like they ever were.

V and Kev

V and Kev are giving their marriage another try. V demands that Kev gets tested for diseases thanks to all the coeds he had sex with on his crazy college drug dealing phase with Lip. Kev has an interesting conversation about his sexual partners with the nurse while V listens on. Many awkward lines and hilariously terrible confessions are revealed, much to V’s horror, but hey, she wanted to be there. Later at the Alibi, V confides in her mom about Kev’s “Rapewalking” days. Her mother’s advice in a nutshell: “Make your man happy and pretend to be a coed.”

She takes this advice and tries dressing up as a sexy schoolgirl for their one of their trysts together, but when Kev isn’t into it, V frustratedly runs out of the bedroom and locks herself in the bathroom. Kev pleads with V and tells her he doesn’t want a coed, he wants her just the way she is, and tells her to come back out so they can make up. At the same time, their twin baby daughters begin crying. When V sarcastically demands that Kev check on the babies, Kev refuses. V opens the door to find Kev waiting outside for her.

The two come to an understanding and agree to check on the babies together. Finally. Their dragging marital problems have apparently been solved. It was kind of a drag the entire season compared to all the other story lines going on. I wasn’t much of a fan of their martial strife storyline, in all honesty, so I’m glad it’s over. I really hope it doesn’t start up again in season 6. There’s bigger fish to fry in Chicago.


Debbie finally takes a pregnancy test. Guess what? It’s positive! “Oh shit!” Yeah, that was Debbie’s reaction too. Debbie’s not going to get her fairytale life. What’s most likely going to happen is Derek is going to freak out, not want anything to do with the kid, and will probably take Fiona’s side and tell Debbie to get an abortion. There is, of course, the 1% chance that he may be happy with her pregnancy, but then again, that wouldn’t make for a very interesting season 6 and it’s 99% likely going to be that Derek doesn’t take Debbie’s pregnancy too well.

Cut to a scene of Ian and Lip hot boxing in a car together. They begin talking about how Lip deserved to get punched in the face by a girl, while Lip laments about the facts that there’s “no such thing as casual sex anymore.” On that same note, he also tells Ian that he may be falling in love with his professor. Frank has returned home from Costa Rica and approaches the boys in their car. He takes a drag of the joint they’re smoking without asking, and everything about his manner is broken down and depressed. “She’s gone, boys. She’s gone,” he laments vaguely and leaves the two alone again. Ian and Lip look at each other in confusion and begin laughing at the randomness of his statement, unaware of his relationship with Bianca.

And lastly, in case you forgot about them, which you probably did because of all the other crap going on, the last scene of season 5 we are left with is one in which Carl’s gang faces off against Chuckie’s in juvie.

What I Want and Don’t Want From Season 6

  • I want to see Ian, of course, but I want to see him beat his demons. And I want Mickey to be there for Ian, granted that he’s still alive, because they’re now the best and most entertaining couple since Frank and Bianca’s thing ended.
  • I want to see Fiona with one guy or even better, no guy at all. She needs to get guys out of her life for now, plus I’m tired of her over-exaggerated man-drama. But you know that won’t happen. There’s at least two guys returning in season 6 for her: Gus and Sean. I guess we have to see what she does with them… But I hope she can finally get some “me time” at some point next season.
  • I want to know how Debbie’s pregnancy pans out, and I also just want Sammi to go away. But we all know her bat shit craziness is what drives the plot along, so I guess she won’t be kicked to the curb that quickly.
  • I don’t want anymore V and Kev drama. That really was just an absolute drag. It was funny at times, but it was just a really dull and rather immature plot that you just wanted done and over with.
  • We know that Carl and Chuckie in juvie is going to be a pretty big part in season 6, but I’m a bit lukewarm about it. I’m not worried in the least for Carl, in fact, I kind of don’t care what happens to him. It’s been made pretty clear that he’s running the place. I feel bad for Chuckie, who actually shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place, but at the same time we all know that it wouldn’t be a storyline unless Chuckie gets changed or messed up in some way, like even more than he was, as he goes through his 60 days in juvie. I mean, the kid now has a swastika tattooed to his forehead for crying out loud. You just can’t go back from that.

But so it goes in the wild weird world of Shameless. Until 2016, my friends.