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Ethan Cutkosky Feels Like This Was His Most Shocking Moment In Shameless

Showtime's black comedy family drama "Shameless" is full of unsavory behavior, but it's not like every character wallows in muck throughout the 11 seasons of the series. For instance, there's a very good reason why fans consider Ethan Cutkoskys' Carl Gallagher the "Shameless" character with the best growth in the series. After all, the viewer gets to follow as the character quite literally grows up over the course of the show.

Cutkosky was just a kid when "Shameless" started, and the adult Carl in the show's endgame is a very different character from the young one in its beginning. Still, while Carl ends the series as a comparatively squeaky clean figure — as far as "Shameless" characters go, anyway — he's still a Gallagher. As such, he indulges in plenty of controversial behavior over the course of the series. But what particular Carl moment does Cutkosky personally rank among the wildest? Here's what the actor thinks was his most shocking moment in "Shameless."

The bald eagle shooting incident has lingered with Cutkosky

The Season 2 Thanksgiving episode "Just Like the Pilgrims Intended" shows how the Gallaghers spend this particular holiday, and the so-called festivities are just as depraved as you'd expect. One of the most prominent events in the episode is the complicated sequence of events that lead to young Carl acquiring an Uzi and shooting a certain national symbol. As Cutkosky noted in an interview with Euphoria, it's incredibly hard to pick just one over-the-top Carl moment, but this particular episode certainly stands out to him. 

"I don't think you can narrow it down to a single one," he analyzed his most shocking "Shameless" moments. "The first one I remember was when I was 9 or 10 on the first season, and they threw a bag of cocaine out the window and a machine gun. My character goes and picks up the two, looks at both, and whispers, 'Thank you, God,' and then ends up shooting a bald eagle with the gun. The family ends up eating it for Thanksgiving, so I'd say that's up there."

Cutkosky seems to slightly misremember the conclusion of the events, since the intended bald eagle feast actually changes to a proper turkey one at the last moment, courtesy of Steve Wilton (Justin Chatwin). Then again, the family does chuck the bald eagle in the freezer with the implication that it'll end up in the dinner table eventually, so perhaps Cutkosky simply knows more about the Gallagher's other Thanksgiving feasts than he lets on.