Frank Gallagher put it best when he called Karen Jackson (played by the talented Laura Wiggins) as “a beautiful mess”, because never have those words had more meaning than when they were used to describe Karen. It’s possible that out of all the characters that she was the one who was the most damaged, and I don’t just mean that in reference to the state she left the series in. No, I mean emotionally damaged.
Which is ironic considering that when we first meet her it would have been safe to describe her as fun, bubbly, and full of energy. She was just the person we wanted with Lip because he deserved something good and wholesome in his life. Except Karen was none of those things. Yes, we could say that it was all due to having a fanatical father who didn’t know how to show love, or to having a mother who was too trapped in her own mental hell to truly be there for her daughter and they would be true. But, when it comes to having crappy parents she got the best of the bunch. In fact, I would harbor to say that plenty of others would have loved to have Sheila for a mother and not their own train wreck versions.
Okay, yes I understand that being called a whore in front of a bunch of people you don’t know by your own father has to be emotionally devastating, but up until that point she never gave any impression that she gave a shit about him in the first place. In fact, the only person she ever showed that she cared about as much as herself was Sheila and even that had its limitations. Karen spent most of her time looking out for herself and pursuing whatever made her happy.
Of course no matter how much of a raging bitch she may have been she didn’t deserve to be hit by a car. Of course who could have guessed that Mandy’s act of sheer insanity would lead to a nicer, more caring version of Karen? Shortly after she came home from the hospital she told Lip that she could no longer feel, I disagree with that statement. I think for the first time she was able to feel something for someone other than herself. It’s sad that it took getting hit by a car for her to have anything more than disdain for her own child.
Most Shameless Moment: Extorting money from couples wanting to adopt Hymie.
Least Shameless Moment: Threatening to kill Eddie if he kept laughing at her mother.