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Showtime’s hit series Shameless is now over halfway through its seventh season. Like every season before it, one of this year’s most entertaining aspects of the show has been one of the middle Gallagher children: Carl. Back in season one, Carl’s young psychopath gimmick had him at the center of many of the hilarious moments each week. As the show has moved through the years, Carl has grown up. While he was getting in trouble up until last season, he started to turn a new leaf towards the end of season six. This season has seen Carl try to set his life on the path of good, and became interested in military school. After finding out he was part Native American, Carl was accepted into military school down South during episode six of season seven, titled “Defenestration of Frank”. At the end of that episode, young Carl would say goodbye to some of his family members as he hopped on a Grey Hound bus to start his new life. While Fiona and Ian were saying goodbye to one of our favorite Gallaghers, fans were left to wonder, is this the last time we will be seeing Carl? Fans got good news during the episode’s credit scene when we got a quick glimpse of Carl punching a kid at military school, showing he was not to be messed with. It was classic Carl and gave fans the hope that we would be seeing more of him while he was actually away from Chicago. But then the season’s seventh episode, “You’ll Never Ever Get a Chicken in Your Whole Entire Life”, aired, and there was no sign or mention of Carl. This left many fans even more curious about the status of Carl as the season and series continues. With Carl being such an entertaining part of the show, and in this fan’s opinion, the best part, could he really be gone for good? I would like to hope not, but a multiple episode absence is certainly possible. A few seasons back Ian Gallagher was off the show for a handful of episodes after running away to join the military, which makes me think this story line will likely follow a similar path. It may not be until the season seven finale, which would really stink, but I do feel Carl will be back. It would be too abrupt of an exit for such an integral character. Maybe Carl will beat up too many members of his class and get sent back home. Or maybe he will be the perfect soldier and have his military career become his arc moving forward. Only time will tell for sure, but one has to hold out hope that Carl will be back this season. And if he does not return this season, then I will begin to seriously worry about his return for the show.

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