It’s not a spoiler to say that Emmy Rossum is departing Shameless following the end of season 9. The information was first reported last year; yet, we are now at the point when this reality is starting to settle in. Fiona is leaving soon, and the notion remains difficult to digest.
When you think about Shameless, what comes to mind? Obviously, the antics of Frank Gallagher are high on the list, and for good reason — there have been many antics, plus also Emmy nominations. Yet, Fiona is perhaps the show’s greatest narrative force. She’s climbed higher up the social and career ladder than anyone; even if she’s stumbled back down that ladder, perhaps further down than she ever was, we’ve experienced that arc. We’ve seen what feels like a pinnacle, but there may be a higher high still to come.
With that said, can Shameless climb that summit? Is there still time to reach a new height? There is a universe where such things are possible, even in such a short span of time; yet, there is also a universe where she falls deeper into the depths of despair.
In this piece, we examine three possible ways in which we could see Fiona venture off into the show’s sunset — in some cases, potentially for now. The departure doesn’t have to be definite … though in one of our scenarios, in almost certainly is. (If you want more discussion of Shameless at the conclusion of this article, watch the video below — subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube to ensure you don’t miss any others.)
1. Fiona gets an opportunity to reboot her life elsewhere – Maybe an old friend arrives, and in turn, gives her a chance to explore a new horizon. This is someone whose only world is the South Side of Chicago. She’s faltered and fumbled in this environment; with the support of someone else, she could flourish elsewhere. She’s just never had the means unless, suddenly, she did — but those means were dependent on her properties and her business in the area. Then, those means disappeared.
This scenario is a way for Shameless to bring a character or two from the past — and, at the very least, gives Fiona a greater sense of sovereignty into her own future. She deserves that if she can find enough inner peace to even accept what is in front of her.
2. Fiona vanishes – Maybe there is no known driving force behind her exit. Maybe she just takes off from Chicago in the middle of the night, with no plan for the future and with little to no communication as to why. Maybe there is no opportunity — other than the opportunity to be literally anywhere else. This would be a move based on desperation and seems to be the best way in which to ensure that Rossum comes back down the line. We want that, as she has been absolutely brilliant through nine years and is deserving of a potential curtain call.
3. Fiona dies – This is the darkest timeline … but also a reasonably realistic one. Remember that this is someone who has spent the better part of the past several episodes on a bender and is on the verge of even losing her spot in the family home. There’s a scenario where she overdoses or is killed by a mugger or some other unspeakable character on the street.
The question that you have to ponder to yourself with this scenario is merely this: How dark is Shameless willing to go? Does it benefit this series to dive too much into despair? We want to think that there’s hope for these characters and that the writers’ better angels come out to play. This just may be us projecting idealism onto the show where there is none; consider this article the written version of crossing fingers.
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How is it that you feel Fiona’s run on Shameless will conclude? Be sure to let us know in the comments. (Photo: Showtime.)