How Did Fiona Leave ‘Shameless’? 6 Emotional Moments From the Season 9 Finale

Spoiler Alert
Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 9 finale episode of Shameless, “Found.”]

It was the end of an era in Sunday night’s Shameless finale as star Emmy Rossum bid farewell to the long-running Showtime series.

Rossum has played eldest Gallagher sibling Fiona since the show’s premiere in 2011, so her exit certainly hit viewers hard. As fans know, it was a rough road for Fiona in her final season, from financial problems to substance abuse, her life was heading down a dark path.

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The actress will depart the series in the second half of Season 9.

But the light at the end of the tunnel was presented in the penultimate episode when Max (Neal Bledsoe) offered to buy her out of their real-estate deal. The move put $100,000 in her pocket, allowing her to pay off her legal fees in her assault case, after she punched a woman for calling the cops on Liam (Christian Isaiah).

Ultimately, the finale saw Fiona leave the South Side for somewhere new. We’re breaking down the emotional moments that brought her to that point below.

Fiona Shares Her News With V

The friendship between Fiona and V (Shanola Hampton) has been unbreakable since the beginning, so it was great to see Veronica get excited for her friend’s newly acquired funds. It was also nice to see Fiona and V back to normal at the Alibi laughing after her recent struggles. And when V asks what Fiona plans to do with the money, you know she understands the opportunity Fiona’s been given.

Fiona Visits Ian

After departing the show midseason, Cameron Monaghan returned for a special scene between Fiona and his character Ian. The moment gives fans closure as Fiona originally missed seeing her brother off to prison. During her visit, she asks about his life there but also shares she’s considering leaving the South Side. When he asks where she plans to go, she only says “somewhere near the equator” for the warm weather.

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Emmy Rossum Previews Fiona's 'Shameless' Exit & Talks a Potential Return

Emmy Rossum explains her departure from 'Shameless' and if she'd ever return to the show in the future.

Immediately he tells her to go, supporting her plan. “Go. Go as far away from here as you can and don’t ever look back, okay?” he tells her. “I’ll always be here for you, always.” Despite the urgency of his statement, you understand that it’s because he knows what leaving means for his sister. She’s almost left so many times before but never made it, and he wants to make sure she does now.

Fiona Tells Her Family

When Fiona returns home, she begins packing a bag. When Debbie (Emma Kenney) and Lip (Jeremy Allen White) see what she’s doing, they are shocked but supportive. Lip and Fiona’s short but sweet exchange called back to the show’s beginning as they ran the house together, caring for their younger siblings. Fiona asks one thing of her brother: to watch out for the rest of the family and he promises he will. He then asks her to stick around long enough for a farewell party and the family sets off to give Fiona a proper goodbye.

Fiona and Frank’s Goodbye

Of course, Fiona doesn’t need a big fuss and decides to slip out of the house before her siblings return. But she can’t do so without bidding father Frank (William H. Macy) adieu. As she nears the door with her suitcase, his eyes fill with tears, and he says, “You did a good job. Monica wasn’t up to it, you stepped in and helped, thanks.”

This is his version of a heartfelt thank you, but Fiona doesn’t let him forget her worth. “Helped?” she says, “I did it all, Frank.” He doesn’t recognize her words with gratitude but instead leaves her with a snarky comment and it just proves she’s making the right choice by leaving.

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The actor 'left' the show earlier in Season 9.

Fiona’s Parting Gift

After returning to the house to find her gone, the Gallagher siblings proceed to have a party anyways. Debbie then notices an envelope on the fridge addressed to her. Inside is a simple note that says “love you” accompanied by a check for $50,000. The move serves as a metaphorical passing of the baton as Debbie will likely step into Fiona’s shoes as head of the house.

Fiona Flies

Fans saw Fiona at the airport once before when she planned to meet then-boyfriend Jimmy/Steve (Justin Chatwin), but she never made it past the gates. So many times she’s almost left and fans finally got the pay-off as Fiona buckled into her plane seat. We may not know where she’s going, but we know that she’ll make it — she’s a Gallagher, after all.

Shameless, Season 10, Coming Soon, Showtime