"As with every episode of Shameless, 'Slaughter' opens with a meta 'Previously On' segment introduced by one of our characters, in this case Ian just trying to enjoy some peace and quiet in the bath," says Myles McNutt of Sunday's episode. "As always, he is put out by our need for a refresher, judging us for failing to properly recall what happened in the preceding episode. However, in the show’s final season, I would argue that his judgment is misplaced. It’s been three weeks since Shameless aired its first episode of 2021, and six weeks since the episode before that, a schedule that would wreak havoc on the storytelling momentum of any show. But Shameless isn’t just any show: it is a show struggling to find anything to say in its final season, with these lengthy breaks exacerbating those struggles. 'Slaughter' is maybe not objectively worse than the other episodes so far this season, but waiting three weeks for a new episode only for the show to stubbornly refuse to course correct from a bunch of dead-end storylines that you had barely thought about in the intervening weeks makes it feel worse. It also makes me wonder how anyone who isn’t being paid to write about the show is weathering this release schedule instead of just holding out until they can catch up with some semblance of regular timing."