‘Shameless’ Showrunner Reveals Why Fan Favorite Character Didn’t Return in the Series Finale

One of the most talked about aspects of the Shameless series finale was the absence of Fiona, the Gallagher clan’s big sister.

As fans bonded on social media over their shared love for the show, many also expressed how they wished Emmy Rossum came back for one last hurrah. No such luck. But Shameless showrunner John Wells explained why.

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for the Shameless series finale]

Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum arrives for Apple’s ‘The Morning Show’ global premiere, 2019 | Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Scheduling prevented Emmy Rossum’s ‘Shameless’ return

Amid the Shameless series finale’s rolling credits and cast after party online, there were plenty of questions surrounding the show’s loose ends and Emmy Rossum.

Shameless boss John Wells did an interview with Deadline to look back on the series’ impact and each character’s story arc throughout 11 seasons.

When asked about bringing Rossum back, he said they tried, but scheduling was an issue. But fans should know she really wanted to return as Fiona Gallagher.

“You know, she very much wanted to, and we wanted her to. It just hit at just the wrong time with the continuing shutdown. She lives in New York, and you know, we were trying to make it work, but there were quarantine setups that were in there if she came out to LA. We couldn’t figure out how to do it in a way that would work with her schedule,” said Wells.

“So, it was disappointing for everybody, and we would’ve loved to have her back, and she wanted to come back, but it was one of those things that couldn’t get done during the pandemic.”

RELATED: ‘Shameless’ Star William H. Macy Reveals ‘What’s Next’ For Him Following Series’ Conclusion

Wells added he intended to bring some closure to Fiona’s story, and they wanted to do the same for other characters too. But he admitted they weren’t able to make it happen.

What about the future of the other ‘Shameless’ characters?

Wells indicated that pre-pandemic, there were plans to do more to wrap up the storylines for other characters. He said they wanted to show Kevin leaving town and Carl actually turning the Alibi into a cop bar.

As far as Lip, his ending was meant to demonstrate his own realization that he’s an adult with grown-up responsibilities. Wells said they also wanted to remain true to the characters and life in this particular world.

“We’re trying to give some hints about what could be next for the characters, but without resolving anything. We just wanted people to feel that if you were in Chicago and made a wrong turn, you might end up on the same street, and run into one of the Gallaghers,” he said.

Frank Gallagher’s death was planned from the start

To many fans, it was amazing that Frank Gallagher lived as long as he did. He evaded death after overdoses, being dumped into a river, and violating his liver transplant.

And he always managed to escape those who hunted him down to punish him. Still, fans could find empathy for him because of his addiction issues and his horrible childhood.

His death still hit hard, but it was part of the plan. Wells revealed that he and William H. Macy discussed Frank’s fate for years and knew he needed consequences.

After spending decades putting his body through it, Frank had to experience those effects. Wells explained it was only right that things caught up with him.