Shameless: Nick's Bike Crime Left Fans In Complete Shock

"Shameless" pretty much led the league in shocking scenes and head-turning twists during its 11-season run on Showtime. Sometimes those shocks and twists were comedic in nature. Other times, they came by way of gut-wrenching drama. During the show's sixth season, the travails of would-be gangster Carl Gallagher (Ethan Cutkosky) were a veritable hotbed for low-brow laughs and high-minded drama. And one particular plot line involving Carl continues to leave the collective jaws of the "Shameless" fandom on the floor.

That became clear soon after u/SOONOTCOOLJIMMYSTEVE opened a Reddit discussion by positing the question, "What 'Shameless' scene left you in complete shock?" While the original post named Monica Gallagher's Thanksgiving suicide as the one that wrecked them most, quite a few others chimed in to claim the Season 6 scene in which Carl's recently released prison pal Nick (Victor Onuigbo) takes brutal vengeance against a neighborhood thief as the one that truly left them shaken.

"Shameless" fan u/Nox-Avis was the first to note the scene — which comes in the season's sixth episode titled "NSFW" — commenting, "When Carl's friend kills the kid who stole his bike with a hammer." User u/icouldbeflying soon added, "This messed me up for a while after. Couldn't stop thinking about it."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Nick's storyline remains one of the most soul-crushing, according to some Shameless fans

As it was, Season 6 was more dramatic than most for pretty much any "Shameless" character boasting the surname of Gallagher. For Carl, it begins with his release from a juvenile detention center and finds him bent on continuing his crime-loving ways. To do so, the still pint-sized Gallagher enlists his brawny prison pal Nick for protection. That partnership indeed comes to a head in a shocking act of violence when Nick seeks prison-styled vengeance on the aforementioned bike thief. And it's all the more shocking as Nick had largely been depicted as a gentle giant on a long road to redemption prior to going to prison.

As u/adamtaylor4815 pointed out in one of several Reddit threads dedicated to Nick's heartbreaking "Shameless" turn, the shock of the moment was only heightened by the fact that Carl's thug-life antics had mostly been played for laughs leading up to it.

That thread also opens with u/adamtaylor4815 proclaiming Nick's brutal act of vengeance as one of the series' darkest and most powerful moments, with the user claiming, "I honestly felt physically ill after watching that," before applauding "Shameless" creatives for penning it. And yes, Victor Onuigbo's largely non-verbal work in the aftermath remains a highlight of the entire series.

As some Redditors note, the moment does prove pivotal in Carl's transition from playing young thug to playing relatively straight-and-narrow. User u/choff22 even goes so far as to state, "That moment needed to be brutal, otherwise Carl's shift in character would have felt forced." True as that may be, it hardly takes the sting out of Nick's violent downfall.