Shameless‘s season 9 finale episode, “Found,” plays off last week’s “Lost” episode, which felt like an ironic label. That is to say, Fiona Gallagher was already finding herself, and the rest of the family was falling spectacularly to pieces. The series has now said goodbye to actress Emmy Rossum without growing overly sentimental and without much fairy-tale magic. Justin Chatwin’s Jimmy-Steve didn’t swing back into town with a cleaned-up act to whisk Fiona away from the South Side. Instead, Max did what he should have done already and bought out Fiona’s $100,000 property investment that she thought was gone forever. Then she promptly got the hell out of Chicago, skipping out on her official goodbye party and quietly leaving half her money with Debbie.
It’s not a dramatic send-off, nor did it appeal to a vocal contingent of fans who believes that scam-artist Jimmy was the least harmful boyfriend in Fiona’s past. It was telling that his original courtship-mechanism (buying her an appliance) broke down seasons ago. That’s one reason why the writers’ apparent refusal to bring Jimmy back feels like an earnest effort to allow Fiona to be responsible for her own destiny. After all, that $100,000 was rightfully hers, not a gift.
Where, exactly, did Fiona go, though? We never hear an actual answer to that question, nor do we know if she’ll return. We do see her taking an airplane for the first time, and she briefly mentioned to Ian (who urged her to flee) that the equator was calling with warmer temperatures. It’s hard to blame her, given that the polar vortex has been atrocious in Chicago lately, but even more than that, Fiona’s frozen-over by over a decade of raising her siblings after Frank permanently fell down on the job. Although Frank and Fiona did some form of twisted bonding while she was boozing hard a few episodes ago, he stayed true to his narcissistic pattern by downplaying Fiona’s role as she left.
“Well, see you around,” he sputtered as Fiona headed toward the door. “You did a good job. Monica wasn’t up to it. You stepped up and helped. Thanks.”