Shameless boss breaks down series ending and final scene
Shameless spoilers, including for season 11, episode 12 'Father Frank, Full of Grace', follow.
Shameless recently concluded after 11 seasons and there have been plenty of questions about the season finale that aired on Sunday (April 11).
There was a lot going on in the last episode including Frank's (William H Macy) death and not bringing back Fiona (Emmy Rossum).
The final scene saw Frank with his beer, floating in a chair up into the sky above the gang below, as we heard him read an undiscovered letter he'd written to his family.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, show boss John Wells explained all the details about the series coming to an end, as well as discussing that unique last moment.
Related: Shameless may have just killed off a major character in latest episode
Wells said: "We never thought we'd last 11 years, so we started these conversations maybe five or six years ago, that we didn't think we could let Frank off scot-free for his years of abusing his body with alcohol and drugs.
"So we were always intending to do the alcoholic dementia story because it's a real thing, and then as COVID came up, we'd already written in the alcoholic dementia and it seemed like it would be inappropriate to not address the subject matter in this community.
"It's a very real thing that's torn through communities, so it seemed like the right thing to do. And we didn't really want to resolve everything in the show or do anything that gave the impression that everything was resolved.
"So that really led us to this. The kids are still together as a family, they love each other; Frank's passed away, but they'll figure it out because they're the Gallaghers."
Related: Shameless boss explains why Emmy Rossum did not return for show finale
When explaining the last scene that saw Frank float up to heaven, Wells revealed that he had always envisioned this as the ending.
"It was just always an image that I had in my head," he said. "And then Bill (William H Macy) really felt that he would write a note to the family, but not one that's like, 'I love you all forever.'
"One that was more narcissistic and Frank-centric. And then we wanted to mirror the opening of the series, 11 years ago, around the bonfire."
Speaking about the terrifying final moment with Frank being cremated, Wells added: "We couldn't go out on Shameless with an earnest image of everybody singing and Frank going up into heaven. It's Shameless, we had to do something."
Shameless aired on Showtime in the US. Seasons 1-9 are available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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