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The Underrated Scene That Always Brings Shameless Fans To Tears

Over the course of the past decade plus, Showtime's flawed but often fascinating dramedy Shameless has easily held rank as one of the raunchiest shows to ever grace the small screen (cable or otherwise). And as the series barrels towards its finale, it's become increasingly clear that cast and crew are bent on ensuring crass language, dastardly deeds, and candid sexual encounters will forever remain part of the Shameless legacy. But in spite of the series' unabashedly lurid sojourns into the dark, sometimes laugh out loud hilarious corners of life on the fringes of society, Shameless was — and is — a show about family. 

Sure, it's a show about a family of societal grifters who have personal and economic issues too numerous to count, but at the end of the day, the Gallaghers are as loyal and caring as any TV family out there (even if it feels like they're always on the verge of killing each other). Heck, even the Gallagher's boozy, narcotics loving paterfamilias Frank (William H. Macy) has brought some unexpectedly heart-wrenching drama to the family fray over the years. And when it comes to palpitating Gallagher family drama, most Shameless die-hards will tell you the show reached peak heartstring tugging in its fevered and frantic fourth season.

That season also featured one of Shameless' most relentlessly bleak narratives, with elder sis Fiona (Emmy Rossum) landing in serious trouble with the law after little Liam (Brenden Sims) got into her birthday stash of cocaine and narrowly escaped death. After some vintage Gallagher bendering, it also found Fiona heading to the big house for a rougher than rough 90-day stretch. Not surprisingly, Shameless fans continue to hail her homecoming moment as one of the series' most heartbreakingly underrated.

A season 4 finale moment still brings on the waterworks for Shameless fans

That scene came in Shameless' season 4 finale, which found Ian (Cameron Monaghan) spiraling into the same manic-depressive abyss that plagued the Gallagher's wayward mom Monica (Chloe Webb). In her absence, Fiona was more or less in the dark about Ian's state. She's quickly made aware by the reactions of her younger siblings Debbie (Emma Kenney) and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), who rush to her side, weeping upon seeing her home. Per a recent Reddit thread, the outpouring of emotion ranks this scene among the series' best.

Per initial poster madagascar, the scene resonates so deeply it continues to bring tears to their eyes. "The scene that will never fail to make me cry is when Debbie wakes up to Fiona in the kitchen making breakfast after she gets released from prison the second time. Debbie and Carl both run to her and cry and she thinks they're crying because they're happy, but they're really crying because they're worried about Ian." 

Equally passionate posts soon followed, with user revmy23 praising the episode as one of the series best, "The season 4 finale is one of the best episodes of the show. Apart from that scene, there's so many other moments in that episode that are incredibly emotional and impactful." Meanwhile, ScullyLeaves desperately asked which Shameless episode featured the tender moment so they could go back and watch it again, "Do you know which season/episode this was? I definitely want to rewatch!"

Hopefully the online conversation will inspire more Shameless fans to go back and rewatch the episode as well, because it really is one of the show's finest hours — not to mention a gut-punching reminder of just how good Shameless could be.