Shameless returns Sunday night following a long winter break, meaning Emmy Rossum will only appear in seven more episodes. Fans remain torn by the upcoming departure of Fiona Gallagher and shared their sadness on Twitter.
"Shameless is back tonight. My last seven episodes. So be there, okay?" Rossum tweeted Sunday morning.
This attracted a flood of tearful messages from fans and far too many crying emojis to count.
Shameless is back tonight. My last seven episodes. So be there, okay?— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) January 20, 2019
The new episode is titled "The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Alibi," in which Fiona continues her surprising downward spiral and leaves Debbie (Emma Kenney) to pick up the pieces in the Gallagher house. Meanwhile, Ingrid (guest star Katey Sagal) tries to get Frank (William H. Macy) to help her fulfill a lifelong dream. Tami (Kate Miner) also shows Lip (Jeremy Allen White) a new perspective on adulthood.
Don’t leave us ???— Cinthya❄️ (@xoxocindee) January 20, 2019
I’m not ready ????? pic.twitter.com/hgGz08cAH9— gσnnα lσvє mчsєlf,í dσn’t nєєd αnчвσdч єlsє? (@MrsObrienBooth) January 20, 2019
I- you just- DON’T MAKE ME CRY LIKE THIS, OKAY! pic.twitter.com/8qicknivR9— ??????? (@NeneMalik95) January 20, 2019
"There are few characters — female or otherwise — as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated," Rossum wrote of her character. "She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up. She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave."
Throughout Shameless' run, Fiona has been the center of the Gallagher clan, often forced to lift a family led by a terrible patriarch. However, at the end of "Down Like The Titanic," Fiona hit rock bottom herself. She lost her boyfriend and her apartment building. She was the one who showed up drunk at the Gallagher house drunk, and will have to spend the rest of her time on the show trying to pick her up. However, with most of her siblings grown up now, Fiona might learn that she no longer fits in the Gallagher household.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after the mid-season finale aired in October, showrunner John Wells said Fiona's struggles were inspired by real-life working class people who try to fix their situations and only run into more trouble.
? we're going to miss you pic.twitter.com/9lJ3FyxYFQ— Brady (@Brady52569023) January 20, 2019
"We wanted to tell the story of Fiona's bit of hubris that went along with inexperience about financial matters, which is a very real way that a lot of people get into trouble — whether that be taking out additional mortgages because you thought that you could handle a rental property because the market was picking up and then it doesn't," Wells explained to THR. "Or any number of things that happen to people when they're trying to get another step up the ladder. We thought in the world of the Gallaghers that that is what would be most likely to happen to Fiona."
Wells also told TV Line Fiona still has "some further to fall" before she can pick herself up. While he did not discuss what that entails, he assured fans that Fiona will not be killed off.
As for Rossum herself, she recently told PEOPLE she is happy with her decision to leave Fiona behind.
“The way I look at it is that the end of one thing is the beginning of something else,” Rossum said earlier this month. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to spend time writing, directing, and seeing what other characters I want to play. It’s both scary and wonderful.”
Shameless airs on Showtime Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME