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It’s appropriate that David Threlfall, the one constant of this unfeasibly durable show, steps behind the camera for its final-ever episode. And fun, too, to see Anne Marie Duff’s Fiona joining the likes of Lip (Jody Latham), Kev (Dean Lennox Kelly) and Carl (Elliott Tittensor) in one last doomed attempt to tame the wild beast that is Threlfall’s Frank Gallagher.
The plot, for what it’s worth, sees most of the Gallagher brood reuniting for funeral so farcical that Fiona determines to take the remaining kids back down south with her. Can Frank, just out of prison and with itchy feet, rediscover a modicum of interest in fatherhood? A couple of half-hearted jokes about Jesus and abortion show that the series hasn’t entirely sacrificed its aggressive taboo-busting for cartoonish irrelevance. But this is a shabby, subdued finale to a show that once fizzed with vigour, invention and purpose.