Shameless 9x13 “Lost” Review
Next week, the ninth season of Shameless will come to a close, and Emmy Rossum who plays Fiona will make her final exit (as far as we know). The seasons to come must be carried on the backs of the remaining Gallaghers we’ve come to know and love. But what does the future look like for those whose lives will continue to play out offscreen?
In the second to last episode of the season and Fiona’s onscreen story, we begin to get a glimpse at what her life may become, and how she might get out of the Southside in a more positive way than her brother Ian, who may show up again next season as teased by Cameron Monaghan, who plays him.
After being given an ultimatum by Lip, Fiona seems to wake up having done a complete 180. After helping an injured Frank get to the hospital, she meets with a public defender who tells her if she gets a job and attends AA, a jury may believe she’s contributing to society and overlook her previous felony when deciding how to rule. This is, of course, in relation to her punching a woman while drunk a few episodes back. Fiona follows the woman’s instructions, attending a meeting and getting a job at a gas station doing the overnight shift.
Kevin and Veronica get into their own legal trouble when the daycare they’ve sent twin daughters Gemma and Amy to discovers that they aren’t the same person. The nuns give them two options: Either they can pay a hefty fee, or Kevin can play Jesus in an upcoming pageant. He’ll need to drag an extremely heavy cross the 150 feet from the school to the church, but Kev agrees, thinly avoiding being charged with fraud.
Meanwhile, Lip chases a closed-off Tammi around town after discovering she’s going to see a doctor without him. Lip wants to support her and his unborn child, especially after her father showed up at his house questioning his motives, but Tammi doesn’t want any help making decisions regarding her and the baby. Eventually, she confides in Lip that she got tested for the BRCA gene, which will determine if she’s at high risk for developing breast cancer and if so, whether or not having children will decrease her risk. This is essentially where the conversation ends, as Lip can’t get much more out of Tammi.
Across town, Frank undergoes surgery after stumbling out of Fiona’s old building just as demolition starts. The hospital staff attempts to figure out how they can get him out as quickly as possible, as Frank has a reputation for stealing pills and not paying any of his bills.
At work, Carl faces an armed robber and wins by using his pent up anger from Kelly dumping him and beating him with various objects on the counter. When he gets back to the house, the bad blood between him and Debbie continues as she hangs out with Kelly. The two girls bond while shopping for military gear, as Kelly is about to head back to school. Feeling closer than ever to her, Debbie attempts to kiss Kelly as they’re cuddling on the couch. Unfortunately, her feelings are not reciprocated and she’s left feeling sad and a bit naive when Kelly decides to leave.
Though Debbie is heartbroken, Carl manages to cheer her up, and the two bond over their hatred for the girl who hurt both of them. It’s a nice moment between siblings especially after the strain that’s been on their relationship lately. Carl also tells his sister that he didn’t get into Westpoint, to which she offers a simple but sincere “Sorry.”
And all the while, Liam is at his friend’s house playing video games, watching movies, and eating homemade biscuits. Though his siblings have been texting and calling him all day, Liam is bitter that it’s taken them two days to notice he’s gone (I don’t blame you, Liam). So, he doesn’t answer any of them and continues to live lavishly with his buddy — which definitely beats staying in the Gallagher house.
While Fiona is working her first shift, Max comes into the store. He tells Fiona that the building she invested $100,000 in actually is going to be turned into a nursing home at some point in the next year, and that he wants to buy out her share. Stunned, Fiona can’t do much except agree to figure out logistics in the morning. It looks like this might be her first and last shift at the gas station.
So, it looks like Fiona isn’t going to leave Shameless in a cop car or a body bag after all. Throughout her emotional decline, it’s seemed like the eldest Gallagher sibling might not be able to pull herself together. Her siblings weren’t helping her, her friends weren’t helping her, and she certainly wasn’t helping herself. Now, though, Fiona has a chance that the audience thought would be handed to Frank through the Hobo Loco games — a surplus of money. And with the family just not the same as it once was, I won’t be surprised if Fiona decides to abandon the home she’s spent most of her life building.
In this episode, Fiona and Lip did finally have a conversation about getting back up and trying again. This particular conversation is extremely satisfying, but again, seems long overdue. Having been through an alcohol addiction and the recovery process from that addiction, there’s no reason Lip couldn’t have encouraged his sister to get up and try again when she got fired from her job for being drunk all the time on the clock.
And, sidenote, how is it that Fiona was spending her entire last paycheck on alcohol just last episode, but now seems to be having no trouble refraining from drinking? Even just one shot of Fiona looking at a bottle longingly for a few seconds could’ve made her crawl out of alcohol dependency more believable. Even if she isn’t actually an alcoholic, it’s hard for me to follow that she’s suddenly fine, going to an AA meeting and getting a job all within one episode.
This brings me back to my issue with the show’s pacing this season. There were so many episodes of Fiona walking around town drunk, interacting with a few people, going home and going to bed. All of this filler could’ve been replaced with actual plot points, like Fiona getting arrested and fired, a lot earlier. Then, she would’ve had this motivation to get better and we would’ve watched her struggle to do so. Unfortunately, we now have one more episode for a grand total of two in which Fiona is attempting to recover and get her life back together, and it’s being fast-tracked by a large sum of money. Can somebody say “rushed”?
Ignoring the pacing, this season has all around been fairly uneventful, sans Fiona and Lip’s storylines. Lip says he might get to see Xan in a few days, and Tammi might be keeping the baby. There’s a lot of what ifs right now, and a lot that I’m hoping the finale will resolve or at least raise the stakes of. I’m having trouble caring about Xan when there’s also the pregnant Tammi storyline, though even that is hard to care about when she’s so standoffish and argumentative. I feel like she and Lip are just going in circles about what’s going on with the baby, and I for one don’t know how much longer I can stay on this ride — I’m getting dizzy.
This episode felt like a lot more filler, Frank being given a completely new storyline that can’t go much of anywhere with just one episode left in the season, and Debbie and Carl resolving a petty fight over a girl. And then there’s Kev and V, picking up a long-abandoned storyline after Kev’s vasectomy provided a couple episodes of laughs and not much else. Even Liam, who’s been absent for a while now, spent the episode playing video games with his friend.
The highlight of 9x13 was Fiona being offered her $100,000 back. Though it’s out of nowhere, I guess we just have to accept that this is how Fiona is going to better her life — unless of course she gives it to Frank to help pay off his medical bills, but I somehow doubt that’ll happen.
In the preview for the finale, we see Fiona visiting Ian in prison and also sitting down with Lip, asking him to take care of Liam, presumably, for her. I’m glad that we’ll finally get some loose ends tied up and even see a familiar face before the season ends. I’m just having trouble figuring out what questions we’re going to be left with going into Season 10, besides maybe Tammi’s decision regarding her pregnancy.
Going into the season finale, I’m hoping and praying for a huge plot twist. With the relatively slow and uneventful nature of this season, it only makes sense that the finale would be totally unexpected and jaw-dropping. As a lot of people probably are, I’m hoping deep down that Jimmy/Steve will make his return to whisk Fiona away and start a new life with her. I’ve always been on the fence about them as a couple, but I think Fiona has shown us that she needs her life to be exciting. I’d love to see Jimmy/Steve come back as a better person, but still with that dash of recklessness that Fiona needs. Regardless of if this happens or not, I just hope Fiona finds adventure somewhere. All will be revealed next week, I suppose.
Shameless airs Sundays on Showtime at 9/8c.