Tonight’s Season 3 finale of Shameless (Showtime, 9/8c) finds the Gallagher family in crisis mode.
First, there’s the mystery surrounding Jimmy’s whereabouts after he appeared to have marched to his — gulp! — death aboard Estefania’s father’s yacht. Or is there another scenario in which he could have survived?
“I take it that at the end of Episode 11, you’re to assume that he got on the boat and he’s not coming back,” says star Emmy Rossum. “We saw what happened to the last person who got on that boat. Remember? The first guy in the first episode, they chopped him up and they threw him off the boat.” Given that Beto tossed Jimmy’s phone in the water, Rossum believes there are only two options: “We’re supposed to assume that Jimmy is either gone to work for the family down in Brazil, or he’s done in Chicago.”
With her boyfriend MIA and not returning her calls, Fiona will be “very worried” and will blame herself for driving him away, especially after the way they left things during their epic coffeehouse clash.
“The way [that scene] was handled was so important, because that’s the last time that they see each other for this season,” explains Rossum. “That’s very difficult and, especially not knowing everything about his life, she will assume in Episode 12 that she caused this. She hasn’t heard from him. They had a big fight. She said, ‘Don’t come home,’ and now he’s not calling her back. So she will think that she basically told him to [leave] and not that he is involved with all these gangsters. She doesn’t know any of that.”
Whatever happens to Jimmy – and it remains a mystery even to the actress, who says the series shot different takes for his storyline – “it’s a pretty big turning point” for the character.
Elsewhere, the Gallagher clan’s absentee patriarch finds himself in dire straits, as well. “My favorite element of the finale isn’t actually about Jimmy or Fiona; it’s about Frank,” shares Rossum. “It’s actually about how Fiona and Lip are dealing with the sad fact that Frank gets very sick and ends up in the hospital. We’re starting to see that he has done more harm to his body through his drug and alcohol use than we even know. And so that affects the whole family and all the kids. The doctors tell him, ‘If you don’t stop, you’re going to die…’ Lip and Fiona are dealing with this in very different ways.”
But it’s not all gloom and doom. Not only will the eldest Gallagher brother get his diploma, but viewers will get some closure about Lip’s future when it’s revealed “that Mandy got him into college,” previews Rossum. “And there’s kind of a resolution between [the couple], as well. So we definitely get a lot of answers.”