Shameless' Emmy Rossum: Fiona and Jimmy's Relationship Plummets to a 'Pretty Bad Place'

Shameless Season 3 SpoilersAre Shameless lovers Fiona and Jimmy at the end of their romance?

TVLine gave you an exclusive first look at their epic fight in this Sunday’s penultimate episode (Showtime, 9/8c), and now star Emmy Rossum tells us she doesn’t know if there’s hope for the couple.

At the end of this week’s hour, Fiona and Jimmy are “in a pretty bad place,” she says. And even though Fi has a change of heart eventually, “he’s going away from her at the same time as she’s coming back.”

Below, Rossum talks about whose side she’s on in the huge clash, Fiona’s flirtation with her boss and a surprise meeting in the season finale.

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TVLINE | Before their fight, Fiona and Jimmy explore options about Michigan and medical school. What can you say about that, and how seriously she is considering them?
We see her go to her boss, who’s kind of been flirting with her at the office, and use that angle to maybe get a job in Michigan… She does want to make a life with this guy that she’s finally given her love and trust to. And they do try to work out the various different angles, but you obviously can’t have a relationship with somebody that’s not telling you who they really are or the troubles that they’re really in. I often wonder about how they could have better dealt with the situation if Fiona was in on all of his problems. These are problems the Gallaghers know how to deal with – thugs and violence and extortion. This is the Gallaghers’ bread and butter. So it almost seems like hiding all of this from her was a mistake that’ll have pretty big costs for him.

TVLINE | In the fight, do you take Fiona’s side because you’re playing her, or can you see Jimmy’s argument here, too?
I can see his argument, but I really believe that Fiona has come to him and just put all of her cards on the table. So it’s hard for me not only as the actress playing her, but just from a common sense standpoint to not take her side because there’s a difference between somebody who’s in a relationship with all of their cards on the table and somebody who’s coming it at from a place of dishonesty. So I have to take her side. I understand her side. But of course, she doesn’t know any of the stuff he’s going through. So he’s acting completely manic and secretive and crazy and, from her perspective, very unfairly and unkindly. I mean saying that she lives in a slum… She has always felt like a slum girl. Like she had that marking on her and it was obvious to everyone that she was from a bad area. Now that she’s gotten this job and is starting to feel like she could actually be a contributing member of society and actually make some kind of something of her life, he just brings her all the way back down. And it’s hard to hear that from somebody that you’ve given your love and trust to.

But I also see where he’s coming from because Fiona does have a very myopic [view] of the world. The philosophy has always been the kids first, whatever, even at the hurt of her own future. It’s such a complicated relationship in that if you followed it for three years, it’s really interesting to see how these two people who met randomly in a nightclub and fell in love ended up at this very entwined place.

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TVLINE | Were you surprised that she didn’t talk to him or consider him before she became the kids’ legal guardian?
No, they’re not married. Her responsibility is to step up and take control. That’s just who she is. She’s a martyr for her siblings, and she did the right thing and she did the moral thing. It’s one of the reasons that we love her.

TVLINE | There are a lot harsh truths that come out in this episode, particularly in that fight scene. After all of that, is there still hope for the two of them?
I don’t know. I mean they left it in a pretty bad place. At the end of the episode, Fiona has just made some pretty bad mistakes herself on a camping trip and gets drunk… She starts to make a mistake and then realizes that she loves this guy and words are words and they have a commitment to each other. She wants to make it right. And it just shows that disconnect that their relationship has been in for so long — he’s going away from her at the same time as she’s coming back.

Shameless Season 3 SpoilersTVLINE | Her boss really represents this lighter contrast to Jimmy. Is Fiona attracted to that?
They have a chemistry, but he’s much more like Tony the cop. He’s a cross between Tony the cop, who was like the vanilla goody-goody, and Jimmy, who has turned into this guy who’s dishonest and gets in trouble. So I guess it’s complicated. I could see something happening there, but at the same time, her heart and the last three years of her life have been with this guy. This argument is definitely the worst argument that they have. And we did takes of it that were of various different severity levels.

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TVLINE | Is the one in the episode more severe or less severe?
I’d say it’s midway, at least for my character. It was Jimmy’s exploding point. We see the kind of stress that he’s been under for so long and the secrets that he’s been holding just exploding. When Justin [Chatwin] gets upset, he has that vein on his forehead that so looks like it’s going to explode. [Laughs] We all tease him for it, but he went so far with the scene and was so naturally emotional and connected to the character that it was really fun to play with him and be part of that.

TVLINE | Going into these last two episodes, is Fiona going to start to suspect what’s been going on with Jimmy and Estefania? Has she any awareness that there’s a car constantly parked outside their house?
We see her kind of aware of the car. In the first couple of episodes, she mentioned there’s a really nice Escalade parked across the street and it still has its tires or rims or something, and Jimmy plays it off. But she hasn’t really been aware of it. She’s been buried in her own world, and he’s been buried in his own world, so we’ve seen that disconnect only deepening between them. She will, in the 12th episode, start to understand something of what’s been happening. She and Beto, who’s been following [Jimmy], actually meet each other. So that will be interesting to see what’s revealed with that.