Shameless Season 9 Finale (S09E14) “Found”

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Bing bang boom, bye-bye Fiona. Just like that, we have ourselves a finale. Tonight’s finale is dedicated to Emmy Rossum as she departs from Shameless after playing the lead, Fiona, for 9 years. As we say goodbye to Fiona, the family deal with their own issues, cementing Fiona’s realization that they don’t need her anymore and it is time for her to leave.

The episode kicks off with Fiona staring at the $100 000 check that Max wrote for buying her out of the zoning deal. She’s quit her job at the gas station and uses some the money to pay the fine for for assaulting her neighbor, and also leaves a check for half of it for the family. The check is made out to Debbie, as Fiona knows Debbie will be the one to step up and care for the household, much like she has been doing in the last few episodes.

As much as this episode is a good-bye, it seems a bit out of place. The title “Found” speaks to Fiona finally finding her peace and the episode follows in such, having a very calm tone. For the first time in her life, nothing is turbulent. She knows the right thing for her to do is leave, start anew, even she doesn’t know exactly where and what to do yet.

None of the drama and chaos of the previous episodes of trying to keep the household together exists in this episode, and everyone seems completely and immediately on board with Fiona leaving. As Fiona observes the family around her, she notices how much none of them need her. This has been the case for a long time but seems especially set up to encourage her to leave. That being said, the show could have done a lot more with Fiona’s goodbye, as they’ve known for a long time that Emmy Rossum was going to leave. The episode “Lost” and Found could have been a two-parter instead of having her good-bye set up as a lucky break at the end of the last episode.

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Frank, confined to couch and driving everyone crazy, is still trying to get oxy, his intake of which is being carefully monitored by Debbie. The family take turns caring for him and eventually make plans to find him a healthcare worker. As for Frank and Fiona, they share very few words. After an entire episode of Frank mentoring Fiona, and after 9 years of Fiona constantly trying to kick Frank to the curb, I was expecting him to say more about his eldest leaving. Frank tells Fiona that she did a good job, stepping in where Monica couldn’t, but Fiona says she didn’t just step in – she did everything. Although at a lack for words, we can see that Frank is affected by her leaving – she did the job which he could never, picked up the slack and raised an entire family and now she has grown up and is about to get out of the South Side with a fresh start.

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In this episode, Liam is discovering just how different he is from his family and what that means. When Debbie finds him at Todd’s house, he tells her he is feeling a disconnect from his cultural identity and knows nothing about his racial heritage. The Gallagher’s have always accepted Liam regardless of the fact that he looks a little different than the rest of him because he is their family and they accept and support him. However, Liam’s struggles with his identity goes hand-in-hand with feeling unnoticed and marginalized in the Gallagher household, as he doesn’t feel like he fits in. He tells Debbie he has moved out and that he is denouncing his Gallagher name.

What does not seem at all right though, is Fiona leaving without checking on Liam. Liam is still in her legal care, and she has in all regards raised him since he was a baby. Out of all the Gallagher’s, Liam is the only one not working, dealing with relationship drama, or trying to figure out what to do with his life next. Having received some really good private school education and always staying out of trouble, Liam is the only Gallagher on the genuine straight and narrow, with a really good prospects of doing great things in his future.

Fiona has raised the entire Gallagher family, but the difference between raising Liam and the others is that they were all old enough to understand Frank and Monica were deadbeat parents who could never be around to depend on. Liam has only ever known Fiona as a parental figure, and no matter what is going on, everyone always made sure to take care of the youngest, most impressionable Gallagher.

When Fiona visits Ian in prison, she tells him Liam might be missing, as casually as mentioning what drama’s the other Gallagher’s have been up to. Liam has never been the one to get into any trouble, so him suddenly missing should be a big worry. She doesn’t make an effort to find him – this instead is a role which Debbie assumes throughout the episode, which is a set-up for her to take charge of the family.

After so much of Fiona’s criminal life being related to Liam – her going to prison and for leaving cocaine out on which he overdosed and punching the woman who was racist toward him – one would think we would have seen more of a goodbye with Liam.

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Our favorite ginger makes an appearance when Fiona goes to visit Ian in prison, and I could not be happier! Cameron Monaghan’s guest role in the finale was no surprise, as the show wouldn’t send Fiona off without seeing Ian. Ian tells Fiona to leave, to get as far away from the South Side as she can, and of all the characters, this seems like the most genuine reaction. Ian has been the only Gallagher who has been close to actually leaving – back in season 7 when he almost left with Mickey to go to Mexico. He is the only one who knows what it feels like to actually have the opportunity, the freedom to feel as if he could just leave.

Prison doesn’t seem like it’s been treating Ian too awful. As far as we can tell, him and Mickey are still an item (don’t worry Gallavich stans), which leaves the door open for Mickey’s return as well. While we do absolutely adore Gallavich and love Mickey, his return is not confirmed. Noel Fisher has not mentioned anything, and neither has Shameless showrunners. However, we absolutely adore Ian and couldn’t be more excited to see what’s in store for Ian now that Cameron Monaghan’s return in season 10 is confirmed.

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Carl, still feeling heart-broken and rejected, is completely demotivated and has no idea what to do next in his life. He decides to quit military school, after feeling like his life has amounted to nothing – he tells Debbie that he is a loser with terrible education and has a family history of drug and alcohol abuse that is bound to catch up with him at some point. Carl has given up and completely doubts himself. He feels like the best life will ever get for him is having his job at Captain Bob’s – this coming after Captain Bob offers him an assistant manager job with good pay.

This time, it is Debbie who sets aside her feelings and helps Carl. She confronts Kelly for breaking Carl’s heart and blames her rejecting him for Carl’s decision to quit military school.  Kelly arrives at Captain Bobs’ and full on tackles Carl, announcing that he quits working there. She convinces Carl to go back to school, and the two make up when she tells him she still has feelings for him.

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Lip and Tammi continue their back-and-forth fight as to what will happen with their baby. While Lip is clearly pushing for Tammi to have the child, she pushes back even harder. After learning that she does have the breast cancer gene that her mother had, albeit the ‘baby good’ kind in which having a child can diminish her chances of having a child, Tammi is even more conflicted as to what to do. She doesn’t want to die when the child is young, just like her mother did, and isn’t comforted by the thought of Lip raising a child either. With his struggles with alcoholism and smoking, Tammi doubts that Lip could live very long either to be the best kind of father.

Eventually Tammi tells Lip that she has decided to carry the baby to term but wants to give it up for adoption – a decision which doesn’t sit well with Lip, and the two are back to square one. Lip and Tammi aren’t in love with each other, and the fate of their relationship seems dependent on what happens with the baby.

When the family discover Fiona is leaving, they decide it is a necessity to throw her a party and take off to get supplies. Fiona, however, decides to leave before they return. When Lip returns to find her gone, he smiles and we can see he is happy for her – she’s finally committed to going, to finding her own happiness. Along with the check Fiona left was a note, saying simply, “Love you”, and everyone enjoys the party in celebration for her. Even Ian, from the prison basketball grounds, stares up at a plane – presumably the one Fiona boards with her one tiny suitcase – which is taking off and smiles.

“Take care of ’em for me, will you?”

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All in all, although not the best execution, this episode was very heartfelt. To see Fiona move on with her life after all that she has been through, and to watch the family be happy for was very heartwarming. Fiona deserves to be happy, and after 9 season’s we say goodbye and thank you to Emmy Rossum for playing such an incredible character so well. With Fiona gone, Ian set to return, Lip facing possible fatherhood and Liam learning more about his culture, I am very excited to see what season 10 will bring.

Hi there, thanks for reading! Watch this space for show updates and more, and we’ll see you in fall for season 10!