Shameless returns tonight on Showtime, kicking off the final five episodes of season nine, so, we thought everyone could use a little bit of refresher as to what crazy antics the Gallagher’s were up to in the front half of the season. Turns out, we forgot a ton of stuff that happened. Check out our Gallagher breakdown below and be sure to tune in tonight as Emmy Rossum’s final episodes begin.
Frank started off season 9 in the most Frank Gallagher of ways – starting an STD epidemic amongst the parents in Liam’s grades thanks to his extramarital affairs with pretty much all of the moms. He soon transitions his efforts over to politics when he discovered that he could make a little bit of money removing signs and eventually he became an even bigger player when he pulled Mo White out of retirement to run in the congressional election against Eleanor Wyman and Isaac Ruiz.
Later in the season, Frank’s generic liver meds left him with erectile dysfunction, leading him to resort to “jump-starting” his privates and naturally ending back up in the hospital. There, he meets a woman named Ingrid (Katey Sagal) whose familiar personality and bipolar disorder leave Frank a happy man.
When season 9 returns, Frank and Ingrid will still be on the path of dysfunction as Ingrid reveals that she wants to have a baby.
Despite the fact that Emmy Rossum announced season 9 would be her last playing Fiona, things could not be going worse for the eldest Gallagher. The season kicked off with Fiona trying to get a $50k loan to bail an extremely content Ian out of jail. Ignoring the advice of both her family and Ford and Ian’s admission that he couldn’t promise her he’d show up for his court date, Fiona is still determined to get the money. On top pf all of that, someone named Patty keeps calling Ford.
After deciding to not bail out Ian, Fiona spends some time thinking of what her next investment opportunity will be with the $50k. With the help of Liam, Fiona manages to secure a share in an LLC project involving new senior citizen housing, with the promise of another $50k investment. With $100k on the line and Ian’s court case on the horizon, things started to get a little shaky for Fiona and Ford after they decided to move in together. Soon after signing a lease, Fiona learns she needs to invest $25k more into the Sunset Brook Senior living project, which the bank was unwilling to give her.
At rock bottom, a drunk and defeated Fiona tracks a missing Ford to Patty’s house who turns out to be his wife. Oh, and he has a son too. Needless to say, that just added on to Fiona’s no-good very bad day, which concluded with the cherry of her drunk-driving and hitting a parked car. The whole mess results in her missing Ian’s last day before going to jail.
The season ended with Max Whitford offering to buy Fiona’s now for sale apartment for the exact amount she owed and covering the additional $25K investment with interest, leaving her with essentially nothing. The last we see of Fiona she’s totally wasted in the backyard yelling nonsense, and when season nine picks back up, things aren’t looking much better. With only five episodes left of Fiona’s story, there’s no telling if she will get a happy send-off, but it looks as though things are going to get much worse before they start getting better.
Lip kicked off season nine with Xan, Eddie’s niece that she abandoned in season 8. The two attended Brad’s wedding where he shares a terrible sexual encounter with the maid of honor, Tami. Lip really stepped up to the plate when it came to Xan, essentially taking her under his wing while simultaneously becoming a sponsor at AA. Things took an unexpected turn for Lip, though, when Xan’s mother came back into the picture wanting her daughter back, and despite his best efforts to keep Xan (offering her mom $10k to sign away her parental rights and make him Xan’s legal guardian), she ended up leaving with her mom.
After Xan’s departure, Lip decided to get into street racing(??) and also became a sober companion. He had a pretty fun episode where he had to babysit actress Jen Wagner (Courtney Cox) for the day. In the midseason finale, Lip attends the baptism of Brad and Cami’s baby, where he runs into Tami again. The two go on a date and then give the whole sex thing another try, and it looks as though the two will still be together when the show picks back up.
Ian went on quite the roller coaster in the first half of season nine and it ended with Cameron Monaghan and the character both leaving the series. The season started with Ian still in prison and continuing his Gay Jesus antics from the inside. He eventually gets bailed out by followers and upon his release continued to search for some religious inspiration. The real tension begins for Ian, however, when he is forced to decide how he’s going to plea at his upcoming court date. Fiona and his family want him to go with an insanity defense for a shorter sentence while his Gay Jesus followers want him to stand behind his actions.
In the end, Ian decides to side with his family and after an impassioned speech, he says ” “Truth is…I am bipolar, I was off my medication, and I was in a manic state in which I was not in control of my faculties, so I plead not guilty by reason of insanity.”
Episode 6 marked Monaghan’s last episode as Ian Gallagher and the character received quite a nice sendoff. He shared share two extremely touching scenes with Lip, the sibling that he has probably had the closest bond with over the show’s run. One is on the front porch of the house and one is in the parking lot of the prison. “Thank you for being my brother,” an emotional Ian says, “Like I had a choice,” Lip replied, sending myself (and probably you too) into an emotional mess.
The entire family (except for Fiona) drop Ian off at the prison and as he walks into his jail cell, it’s revealed that Mickey Milkovich had someone swindled his way into being his cell-mate. So, in a way, Ian got his happy ending and with a five-year sentence, the chances of the character returning is still a possibility.
When Debbie finds out that she’s being paid less than her male-coworkers she sets out to make it right by rallying up all of the females at work to “fight the patriarchy!” She ends up recruiting a woman named Alex, who had been posing as a man on the job site and the two eventually begin a romantic relationship, forcing Debbie to reflect on her sexuality. The two eventually part ways, but not before teaming back up to spark some revenge on a cheating Ford. Debbie is actually the one to find Fiona on rock bottom after her hit and run. She tells her that everything is going to be okay and helps her take care of the car. Season nine will find Debbie still sexually confused and stepping up as the Gallagher caretaker much like Fiona was in the show’s earlier seasons.
Season nine kicked off with Carl having his eyes on becoming a cadet lieutenant, the only problem was his wife Kassidy was causing a huge scene at his military school. At some point, one of the young cadets decides to take care of Kassidy for Carl and suggests that he kills her?? This wasn’t really touched on the rest of the season, which was weird.
When Carl decides he wants to go to West Point, he quickly learns that he needs more volunteer work in order to get a recommendation. So, he finds himself working for a retired veterinarian who put dogs down using a makeshift gas chamber. It’s too much for Carl to bear though so he begins kidnapping the dogs and keeping them in the Gallagher basement until they die peacefully. After he’s invited to a mixer for West Point candidates, Carl meets Kelly, the crazy and cute daughter of Major Keefe. The two eventually begin dating and she becomes intent on helping Carl get into West Point.
When season nine picks back up, Carl and Kelly will still be working to get him into West Point, which may be the show’s way of setting up an exit for Ethan Cutkosky. Or Kassidy may show back up (hopefully not) and ruin things for him altogether.
Liam really grew into his own as a character in season nine. After being kicked out of his fancy private school thanks to Frank’s indiscretions, he heads to public school where he’s eons ahead of the other students. Unfortunately, he also finds himself being bullied by “Cracker Girl” and uses his smarts to help one of the bigger kids cheat on tests in exchange for protection. Sissy (aka Cracker Girl) at one point reveals that she’s pregnant and Liam was the father, but the two never even had sex, so it ended up being more ridiculous than anything.
Kev + Veronica
Season nine, unfortunately, continued to draw Kev and V further away from the Gallagher storylines. With Svetlana gone, the pair had to face the music when it came to their out of control and overactive twins, and deal with the struggles of getting them into a nice daycare. When the perfect daycare only has one spot available, the two decide that both girls will go with the promise that they can’t be in the same room at the same time.
After the Alibi was voted the “rapiest” bar on the South Side, Kev and V go to extreme measures to rectify the situation from taking down nearly all of their decorations, to renaming drinks like Sex on the Beach to just Beach and having customers sign consent forms from sober women. Eventually, the bar becomes the number one go-to place for women and Kevin goes into business helping other bars in the community become more”vagina-friendly” as well.
The pair did end up taking the family to the prison to say goodbye to Ian, which was a touching moment and a strong reminder that Kev and V deserve to be integrated more into the story and not always off on their own. The season ended with the pair agreeing to adopt, which is something they will be exploring in the back half of season nine.
Well, there you have it! You can check out the trailer for season nine below. Be sure to tune into Showtime tonight at 9/8c for the midseason premiere!
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.