If you ever thought it was hard to be a Gallagher, try being in love with one. The members of the namesake family on Showtime’s hit series Shameless are just as likely to break hearts as… well, you name it: beer bottles, coffee shops, the law. And relationships have been a focal part of one of the series’ most emotional seasons yet, as past lovers returned and new lovers swooped in for a shot at love.
For Fiona, Frank, Ian, Lip and Debbie, love is just as much of a challenge as heartbreak. And while we HATE to admit this, Sunday’s season finale will mean the death of MORE THAN ONE of these five pairings below. Below, we quickly recap each of the Gallaghers in love… and what factors will make or break their relationships.
Fiona & Gus
What’s their deal? Fiona and Gus went from strangers to husband and wife in just two episodes (Listen, it’s Shameless, okay?). Gus was the one to fall in love with her first, bringing her down with him despite the highly-anticipated return of Fiona’s infamous ex Jimmy (which did not end well), and several steamy moments over the season with her boss Sean.
Why they’ll stay together: Though she had a very roundabout way at arriving there, Fiona has at last gotten to a relationship with the potential to go the distance: a man willing to care for her, a guy who reaches a part of her that was previously untapped.
Why they’ll break up: You have to wonder if Gus really fits into the Gallagher lifestyle, as his laid-back demeanor doesn’t actually gel with the insanity of Fiona’s life. And while Jimmy is at last out of the picture, Sean is still lingering on the sideline.
Frank & Bianca
What’s their deal? Bianca’s struggle with developing cancer has caused her to form an inexplicable bond with the drifter that is Frank Gallagher. But this completely unlikely pairing has done amazing things for both, their insane antics allowing each of them to live life to the fullest.
Why they’ll stay together: In the craziest of ways, Bianca has allowed Frank to love and care for someone in a way that he never has. Though it’s completely irrational and totally insane, Bianca has been the best thing for Frank in a very long time.
Why they’ll break up: Unless the writers have had a change of heart, it’s all but fact that Bianca’s cancer means her time on Shameless is running out.
Ian & Mickey
What’s their deal? The longest-running coupling on Shameless, Ian and Mickey have been on-again, off-again, sex buddies, worst enemies and fierce lovers–sometimes all at once. But their first time as bonafide boyfriends came with serious conflict as they both struggled to cope with Ian’s bipolar disorder.
Why they’ll stay together: If there’s anything Ian needs right now, it’s love and support from those around him. If he’s ready to accept it, Mickey is ready, willing and able to continue making their occasionally dysfunctional relationship work.
Why they’ll break up: Is love enough to keep Gallavich together? And with rumors of cheating going on in the finale as well as rumors about actors Noel Fisher and/or Cameron Monaghan leaving the series, the writers may be planning to give one–or both–of these lovers a shocking exit.
Debbie & Derek
What’s their deal? After finally getting the courage to admit her feelings for Derek, Debbie and her first real boyfriend have been inseparable, only growing closer as this season has gone on. But Debbie’s friends seem to have her convinced that getting pregnant will be the thing that solidifies their love.
Why they’ll stay together: It’s pretty clear that both Debbie and Derek are crazy about each other. In fact, of all the pairings here, they’re the two whose feelings about each other are most obvious. Everyone else, take notes!
Why they’ll break up: If Debbie becomes determined to be with child, it could cause a rift between her and Derek… not to mention what Fiona and the rest of the Gallaghers would think.
Lip & Helene
What’s their deal? Ever the playboy, Lip Gallagher wound up bedding his professor Helene–a scandalous tryst that only became underlined when Helene’s husband appeared and was totally cool with his wife having fun on the side. But Helene has also helped Lip realize his full potential.
Why they’ll stay together: Lip likes to have sex. Helene seems pretty good at it. Because Helene is married, there’s no worry about emotional commitment or drama. Has Lip finally found the perfect girl for him?
Why they’ll break up: Is this really the best Lip can do? Are things really over with him and Amanda? Could Mandy slide back into the picture? Never trust Shameless to leave a good thing alone.
Shameless airs its fifth season finale this Sunday at 9pm EST on Showtime.