Shameless season 9 finale review: How did Emmy Rossum leave?

Fiona -Goodbye, Fiona Gallagher.

The Shameless season 9 finale has now officially come and gone and as a result of that, we’ve now witnessed one Fiona Gallagher’s final ride off into the sunset. Or, should we say, her final walk onto an airplane. You forget just how sheltered she’s been within the world of the South Side; that final scene was of the first time she was on a plane, heading to a destination that really doesn’t matter. (For the record, she is clearly still staying put in the United States; no real time to get a passport here.)

Fiona’s exit came about as a result of her recent windfall, and the opportunity that she now found herself presented with. It was the fresh start she’d always wanted. She didn’t need to fail again within the boom-or-bust world of commercial real estate. She could just navigate a new world elsewhere, find a new place, and get a different lease on her life.

We don’t think Fiona will end up being Scrooge McDuck elsewhere, swimming through piles of cash. The first thing worth noting is that she left behind to Debbie a cool $50,000 — half of her earnings. She likely realized that with her gone, she wanted to find a way to help the other good Gallaghers pay it forward and there are some who are legitimately trying to. Debbie will be good to the money; she can fix up the house, maybe take a vacation, and start to actually live a little more comfortably … though the money will still dry up like anything in that recent South-Side heat wave this season.

Our vision of Fiona’s future is that she lands somewhere warmer, but also reasonably affordable. Think Florida, Arizona, Texas, or somewhere in Southern California that is not Los Angeles. She knows the value of a dollar and we don’t see her trying to get a $2,000-a-month apartment by herself. She can use the money to settle in, get a car, find a job, and then live a normal life free of demons, free of family stress, and more importantly, Free of Frank.

William H. Macy is a brilliant actor and his performance as the Gallagher family patriarch is consistently outstanding. Yet, none of this changes our feelings of Frank as a person — he is the worst and he proved it yet again with his farewell to Fiona. He thanked her for “helping” with the kids when, in reality, she did almost everything. He was grumpy and ungrateful as she wandered out the door. If this was Frank expressing love, this is also a reminder that he’s terrible at it. If Fiona wasn’t so desperate to leave, this would’ve been an awful way to say goodbye.

She ended up sneaking out while Lip, Carl, and the rest of the family was preparing a goodbye party … one that she knew she couldn’t attend. She wouldn’t want to leave on the other side! Her only proper goodbye came, ironically, with the one character in Ian we hadn’t seen in all of 2019. She visited him in prison and told him that she was ready to say goodbye before anyone. He encouraged her to do it, and this scene reminded us of how much we missed this dynamic and how valuable we think it really was to preserving something special.

This was special. Fiona was special. Her entire time on the show was special. Rossum delivered a great performance for Fiona’s final send-off, reminding us of the character’s highs and lows, her desire to start anew, but also her desire to ensure the Gallaghers did not suffer without her.

For more on the finale, watch our video reaction below, and remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube to secure some other insight on the show.

As for everyone else…

Carl may still have a future — and it’s entirely thanks to Debbie! Kelly may be officially the most forgiving person ever. After Carl and Debbie worked to tag her truck and she came back hungry for revenge, Debbie convinced her that Carl was giving up on his life because of their breakup. He needed her to understand that there was life beyond a chain restaurant and getting rejected from West Point. That’s why she visited him at the episode’s end, kissed him, and the two now have a future. Also, good on Debbie for really accepting responsibility for her role in what went down.

For Lip, he and Tani still have a lot to think about … but at least they’re happy? They’re at least as happy as they’ve been. There’s still no guarantee she has the baby, let alone keeps it — though it does feel like she’s leaning towards having it and then having a double mastectomy on the other side. Lip’s insistent that he can be a good father despite her insistences otherwise, and that’s the part of this episode we don’t get. Lip’s far from a perfect dude and he smokes like THREE chimneys, but he does care! He’s not a bad person and we think that he would actually be a fairly kind, caring father. Much of this is just Tani projecting her own issues and family drama onto Lip, something that is a little bit understandable given what she’s been through. Tani just hasn’t been able to see the other side, and nor has she wanted to after living in an environment where no one really affords her such a possibility.

CarterMatt Verdict

Frank is still miserable, and he’ll be that way more than ever as he continues his long road to recovery. Debbie, meanwhile, is trying to stay afloat while figuring out who she is. Lip’s a potential father, Carl is starting to get back on track, and Fiona is gone. Things are changing, but Shameless is still Shameless. It may not be the same as we look ahead, but we do think that it will be a show we know and very much love.

For more on when Shameless season 10 could arrive on Showtime, we suggest that you visit the link here.

Have any thoughts on the Shameless season 9 finale?

If so, we suggest sharing in the comments. (Photo: Showtime.)

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