Will Shameless go out with a whimper?
If Shameless Season 11 Episode 9 is any indication, then yes.
While "Survivors" started moving some of the plots along toward a conclusion, there was too much filler that made it difficult to care about any of the events.
Did we really need to follow V's mother to Kentucky? Carol has never been a big part of the series, disappearing shortly after realizing she wanted to keep the kid she was supposed to birth for her daughter.
The series desperately tries to make us believe that V fell out of her mother's life shortly after that, but we need to remember that V is raising two children of her own while simultaneously running a bar.
Carol's comments about no one visiting her were a bit rude when you consider that she could have called V or even went into the bar for a coffee and a catchup.
Moving to Kentucky seemed excessive, but I'm starting to get the feeling V will realize she and Kev would have a better life there.
The bar business is entirely different from the South Side, and I suspect she will have some big thoughts when she learns that the kids got high from the weed-laced brownies and went missing from the bar.
V has been desperately trying to get people to raise their voices for what they believe in, but she realized that most people from the South Side are leaving because of the way things are.
As for Frank's miraculous heist, it was more absurd than it was comical. His condition is worsening, but stealing art while the police are already sniffing around following Lip's life of crime was not the best course of action.
The art will probably make enough for Frank to do something for the family before he inevitably dies, but it doesn't ring true to the character.
If you watch Shameless online, you know Frank has consistently swindled his children. He never raised any of them, leaving their siblings to do the hard graft while he drifts in and out of their lives, causing problems at every hurdle.
The family is done with him, but will they come together in his time of need? If he does find a way to sell the painting and split the money with the family, it would be nice, but it doesn't feel precisely true to the character.
Mickey's search for meaning about his father's life was one of my favorite plots in a while, mainly because Noel Fisher took a leave of absence from the series for several seasons. Hence, it feels like there is still an uncharted territory with his character.
All of the other plots are moving sideways instead of in a satisfying direction. It would've been nice to meet with his mother, but this is Shameless, and nothing is ever easy for the characters.
The truth about why Terry was racist was out there, but it might have given Mickey the closure he needed to realize there was nothing he could have done to make his father a better person.
The more exciting aspect of this storyline is how it will affect Mickey going forward. I knew he would blame Ian for bringing the nun who killed Terry into the house, but it seemed like he realized there was no helping Terry in the end.
We know Ian and Mickey are open to the idea of bailing on the South Side, but where do they plan on going? We have a few episodes left, so I hope this storyline doesn't implode like the others.
Liam was similarly searching for meaning, but does anyone else feel like the family treats him as an afterthought?
His worry about being thrown out of his home was heartbreaking, but at least he finally found his place in the world when Lip vowed that he could live with him and Tami.
Everyone has been so quick to point the finger about selling the house, but they forgot to consult with Liam. Could you imagine being Liam's age and worrying that your family is going to abandon you?
Debbie making the house look like trash so Lip couldn't sell it was a typical Debbie move. Still, her comments about HIV and the way she entertained the possibility of saying she had sex with her brother to get him arrested weren't funny, informative, or even entertaining.
Debbie is so self-absorbed that she fails to think of others. She's always known that family comes first. That's how she was raised, but she's been so selfish in recent seasons that it's butchered her character.
She's the one character whose story I could care less about. It's hard to imagine there being any meaningful development for her with three episodes remaining.
"Survivors" was another meandering installment that moved few storylines forward. Maybe the show has exhausted all of the meaningful plots in its first 10 seasons, so we're left with stragglers that are not true to the characters.
What did you think of Frank's heist? Were you surprised to learn the truth about Terry's past?
Hit the comments below.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.