Shameless Finale: Showrunner Adresses One Character's Death and Why SPOILER Didn't Return

On Sunday night, Showtime's long-running and acclaimed remake of Shameless finally came to an end, closing the book on the popular Gallagher family. In typical Gallagher fashion, things came to an end in a darkly comedic way, as the series said goodbye to one of its main characters while setting the rest of the family on new paths for their future. WARNING: Spoilers for the Shameless series finale are ahead!

As many expected, Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) died in the final episode, and he ascended to the sky to deliver a monologue over his surviving family. Fiona, unfortunately, wasn't with the rest of the family at the end of the show, though most fans had hoped the character would be making a comeback. Showrunner John Wells spoke to Deadline about the finale, explaining why Frank had to go, and why Fiona didn't return.

"Bill Macy and I talked about it a lot of times over the years, which was it would be wrong to let Frank completely off the hook for living the life that he's lived and doing the damage to his body, that he had done to his body over all these years," Wells explained.

"So, we had to show that there were some consequences. We tried to find some way to make it Frank-like and fun and let him hold onto who he always was in the last moments," he continuted. "But, in all that he has been through and all that we've been through the last year, it didn't seem right to allow somebody to simply say, oh, yeah, you can live your life like this and there won't be any consequences."

On the subject of Emmy Rossum reprising her role as Fiona, Wells said that both sides involved wanted to make the character's comeback work. Unfortunately, with COVID protocols in place, there just wasn't a good way to make it work.

"You know, she very much wanted to, and we wanted her to. It just hit at just the wrong time with the continuing shutdown," said Wells. "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.

"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."

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