With Ian off to prison, the changing of the guard in the Gallagher household has truly begun.
Halfway through its ninth season, Shameless has begun saying goodbye to more than one of its central characters. Ian’s departure in episode 6 (or his trip to prison) marked the first of these, and set up the show for its midseason hiatus.
Ian’s desire to spend as much time as he could with his family before going to prison was stymied somewhat by Fiona’s absence. She ran into her own troubles (both financial and personal), so she missed her chance to see him off. Actually, she was the one who was supposed to take him to prison, and she missed that too. On top of that, her drama with Ford finally reached a breaking point. And while he won’t necessarily be missed, Fiona’s life was definitely thrown for a loop. Though she (with the help of Debbie) did get some form of revenge on Ford, that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing from here. In fact, because we know that Emmy Rossum will be leaving the show, it feels like this has to be the beginning of the end for Fiona.
While Fiona’s life may be imploding just a bit, Frank may have found his calling. In episode 7, purely by accident, he ended up providing good advice to more than one person. Was it ridiculous, yes, for the most part it was. But it was still effective. He played the role of a therapist while … let’s say sneaking around with Ingrid in her office, and later helped Randy (her ex-husband) decide to move on. Not bad for Frank. Of course allowing (or possibly encouraging?) Ingrid to go off her meds wasn’t the most responsible thing he could have done, but at least he stepped up to help fix it.
It should be interesting to see where Frank’s life takes him in the second half of the season. More than once over the years (and really only a few episodes ago!), Frank has seemed to start turning things around, but he never quite makes it. Will it be the same cycle all over again?
New episodes of Shameless will not return until Jan. 20.