For 10 seasons, viewers have grown attached to the irreverent Gallagher family on Showtime's Shameless. In the early seasons, Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) effortlessly served as the family's fill-in matriarch, and she raised her five younger siblings to the best of her abilities.
As time went on, it became clear that Fiona was struggling in Chicago's South Side. After her breakup with Steve, her short-lived marriage, her failed engagement, and some poor financial decisions, it was evident that she needed to escape Chicago if she wanted to have a chance to move forward.
Fiona left the show at the end of Season 9, and her void has been filled by her siblings.
Where did Fiona go on Shameless? Read on for a refresher on how her character left the show in Season 9, and to find out what Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy said about her ever returning.
Where did Fiona go on Shameless?
Emmy announced she would be leaving the Showtime series back in August of 2018, ahead of Season 9 of the series. With this knowledge, the writers let her ultimate exit be a slow burn throughout Season 9; Fiona's struggles became more serious as the season went on, and the character began to unravel.
Before Season 9, Fiona was running her apartment complex and Patsy's Pies, and she had finally moved out of the Gallagher household. She was in a successful relationship with the brooding Irish carpenter Ford Kellogg (Richard Flood), and things were finally looking up for her.
But, by the middle of Season 9, Fiona realized she couldn't afford her next real estate investment, and she ended up having to foreclose her apartment complex. She later learned that Ford was actually married, and he had been lying to her the whole time. While this was going on, she also had to move back to the Gallagher house, and she didn't fit in quite like she used to.
Fiona's downward spiral was cemented when she began following in her father Frank's footsteps by drinking all day and night.
She spent half of the season buying bottles of vodka and taking swigs. When her brother, Liam, was yelled at for having a lemonade stand in front of a racist woman's house, she punched the woman and got arrested. She also left the door of Patsy's Pies open while she was counting the cash one night, and men came in and attempted to rob the place.
She was fired from the restaurant, and her last source of income was gone.
Luckily, Fiona reached a turning point and realized that she needed a change. First, one of the buyers from her botched potential real estate investment agreed to buy her out of the apartment building. With a cool $100,000 in hand, Fiona realized she needed to travel somewhere else, and get away from her South Side demons.
She visited brother Ian (Cameron Monaghan) in prison, and he encouraged her to move on. With his blessing, Fiona jetted off to "somewhere warm" and she took the first plane of her life. In a move typical of the early-seasons Fiona, she also left behind half of her earnings to ensure that her siblings would be okay.
Fiona's conclusion was satisfying, as she had spent her early adulthood raising her siblings. Because it was an open-ended exit, fans have wondered if she will ever come back to the show.
Will Fiona come back?
Since Cameron Monaghan announced his exit from the show in the middle of Season 9 and promptly returned full-time in Season 10, viewers have hoped that Emmy Rossum will reprise her role as Fiona at some point in the future. Emmy told Entertainment Weekly back in March of 2019 that she would be interested in returning at some point, if it made sense for the character.
"I would never close my door on the family," she said. "Like I said in what I wrote [on Facebook about leaving the show] and what I said to them repeatedly, they should just think of me being down the block. I'm just in New York. It’s not like I’ll never be in L.A. or Chicago ever again, so I'm not that far away."
"But for me, quite honestly, I'm not sure what more story can be told for her," Emmy continued. "I really liked the way we ended it. But never say never; I really love all the people I work with. There’s so many other things that I want to do but I love my family."
Her on-screen father, William H. Macy, also noted that he wants Emmy to return as Fiona at some point before the series ends.
"It doesn't feel like goodbye forever. Fiona's got to come back," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "She's going to leave clothes there!"
William also told Variety that he thinks Emmy would want to reprise her role at least one last time.
"I think Emmy will come back and make a guest appearance before this thing sets sail. She better, otherwise I’m gonna grab her by the ear and bring her back," he joked.
While Shameless's fate beyond Season 10 has yet to be revealed, it's unlikely that the show would go off the air without a farewell season.
Shameless airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.