When Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) said her goodbyes to her father, Frank (William H. Macy), on Shameless, well, it wasn’t exactly a warm goodbye.
Frank, recuperating and unable to move from the couch, had a brisk exchange with his daughter as she left for…who knows where. As she went for the door, the two spoke.
“Afraid if I stay, I won’t ever leave,” Fiona told Frank about the planned party Lip (Jeremy Allen White) was planning for her.
“You did a good job…you stepped in and helped. Thanks,” Frank said.
“Helped? I did it all, Frank,” Fiona said.
“Well, if that helps you sleep better,” Frank said.
“See you around, Frank,” she said.
On Twitter, Rossum broke down that scene to a fan who shared their interpretation. “[It’s] him trying to say, ‘I love you in my way’ and her saying I know,” Rossum tweeted.
Executive producer John Wells explained the scene, and how different it was from Fiona’s goodbye with Lip.
“They’re the same scene, but with completely different personalities on the two people saying goodbye. The whole subtext of Lip’s scene with Fiona is, ‘Thank you.’ He is not surprised. He’s thankful. He’s happy for her. It’s a scene about a character understanding what’s been done for him and being joyful about her getting a chance to make her own choices about what she wants to do next, which is the exact opposite of what happens with Frank, who’s a narcissist and feels that everybody’s always leaving him,” Wells told TVLine. “That Monica left him, and his mother left him, and now Fiona’s leaving him. So it’s all about him and how badly he feels, and [he] isn’t thankful. I sort of intentionally shot it so that you see Frank, but Fiona can’t see his face. So we can actually see how painful it is for him, even though he’s refusing to say what we all know he should say, but he just can’t bring himself to say it. He even knows he’s supposed to say it. But he can’t bring himself to say it, because she’s deserting him, she’s leaving him.”
Rossum also acknowledged the easter egg wardrobe moment: The shirt Fiona wears in her final scene was also the shirt her character wore in the first episode.
Ahead of her final scene, she said, “Tonight, on my last evening as Fiona, I want to express my gratitude and love for the Shameless family and our faithful audience. It’s been an honor and privilege to be your Fiona.”
Shameless will return for a season 10 on Showtime.