Emmy Rossum's final episode on Shameless gave her character Fiona Gallagher a graceful exit, helping her see she was no longer needed in the hectic household.
In "Found," Fiona realized her siblings did not need her to be around as a maternal figure, especially with Debbie (Emma Kenney) stepping up in her absence. Her case for punching the woman who reported Liam's (Christian Isaiah) lemonade stand was dismissed, and then Max (Neal Bledsoe) bought out her interest in the plot of land. Now, Fiona really had no reason to stay in Chicago.
The first person she told about her plans to leave was Ian (Cameron Monaghan), who is still in prison. He told her she deserves to get out of Chicago and should "go as far away as you can." She then told Debbie and Lip (Jeremy Allen White) about her plans, and they also encouraged her.
The only person who did not seem all that excited was her father, Frank (William H. Macy).
"You did a good job…you stepped in and helped. Thanks," Frank told her.
"Helped? I did it all, Frank," Fiona reminded her.
"Well, if that helps you sleep better," Frank grumbled back.
Fiona gave Debbie half of the $100,000 check she got and left the Gallagher home for good. It was not clear where she went, but she told Ian she was thinking about some place warm.
Rossum announced her plan to leave Shameless during the show's ninth season back in August. She called the opportunity to play the character a "gift."
"There are few characters — female or otherwise — as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated," Rossum wrote in a Facebook post. "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."
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly before her final episode aired, Rossum said her onscreen goodbye scene with Frank would remind fans of the show's very first episode.
"At the very end [of the finale] he's trying to acknowledge what she did for the family and it's in some way reminiscent of what Fiona wanted to hear in the pilot when he was passed out drunk in the living room," the actress explained. "Now, of course, she doesn't hear those exact words because Frank is a terrible narcissist and not very generous with words. But there's an understanding that happens and I think the way [exec producer] John [Wells] blocked the scene was so smart. There's a separation between the characters but there's a lot unsaid and understood between them."
Despite earning acclaim for her performance, Rossum has never been nominated for an Emmy. In 2012 and 2014, she earned Critics' Choice TV Award nominations for Best Actress in a Drama series.
Since Rossum was such a major part of Shameless, there was some speculation that Season 9 would be the show's last. However, the show was renewed for a 10th season in January, just one season shy of the original 2004-2013 U.K. series it is based on. Showtime also said Cameron Monaghan will be back, after a brief departure in Season 9 to work on FOX's Gotham.0comments
Shameless airs on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET on Sundays.
Photo credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME