'Shameless' Cast Shares Their Goodbyes As Series Finale Closes Final Chapter on the Gallagher Family
By Zach Seemayer
After 11 acclaimed seasons, Showtime's dark dramedy Shameless has came to an end. Sunday's gritty series finale sent off the Gallagher family in explosive style, but not before the cast and crew said their goodbyes.
Several stars of the long-running series took to social media ahead of Sunday's big finale to express their own farewell and share memories of their time on set.
William H. Macy, who starred as the drunken and irresponsible patriarch of the show's dysfunctional family, shared a post to Instagram, showing the cast giving the most appropriate Gallagher family farewell -- flipping off the camera.
"Goodbye Shameless. End of an era," Macy captioned the cast photo. "Finale this Sunday on Showtime."
Monaghan, meanwhile, shared a slideshow of photos showing the cast together as a group, sharing some fun times and generally celebrating the end of an era in their lives.
"The final party. Our last episode of Shameless airs this Sunday. It’s closing time. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here," he wrote. "Thanks for being along for the ride."
As for the finale itself...
*CAUTION: Spoilers Ahead*
In the finale, "Father Frank, Full of Grace," the show came to an end in the way that many fans seemed to know and/or feared it would.
In a conclusion that felt frankly harrowing and cautionary, Frank (Macy) contracted COVID-19, and wound up on a ventilator, where he eventually died of the illness.
In his final moments -- after having previously overdosed in the penultimate episode and while suffering from alcohol-related dementia -- Frank sat alone in the hospital remembering his family through flashbacks.
He then, as a sort of ghost, rose up into the sky, and above the hospital, floating over the city and doling out advice to his family, which would likely never be heard. In a closing scene, Frank's body is being cremated, and is so saturated with alcohol that the crematorium oven explodes.
The episode wasn't without it's lingering unanswered questions and unfinished storylines that leave the world still a viable one of revisit in the future, even without Frank.
However, the one thing that many fans seemed to notice the most wasn't what was on screen, but who wasn't. Specifically, many fans were disappointed that Emmy Rossum -- who played Frank's eldest daughter, Fiona, until her departure in season 9 -- didn't return for the big finale.
Earlier this month, ET spoke with Shanola Hampton -- who has been with the show since the first season -- and she opened up about saying goodbye after more than a decade.
"It's surreal. It's funny because for 11 years, I always knew we were coming back. It's just the advantage of a hit show. So this is the first time we're not coming back. We said goodbye to sets yesterday [March 8] that we will not be shooting in again and that was surreal," Hampton told ET's Kevin Frazier. "Big sets: the Gallagher house, Kevin and V's house. It's been insane."
With Shameless production coming to an end, the 43-year-old actress says "it has definitely not hit [her] yet" that she won't be slipping back into Veronica's shoes again.
"We keep saying, 'This is the last time. This is the last time we'll do this.' But I don't think that will happen until you're supposed to go back. Like hiatus is over and then it's like, 'Oh wait, I'm not going back to Shameless,'" Hampton said. "That's when I think it'll hit."