America's first family of debauchery is back
With Shameless returning on Sunday, the Gallaghers will once again be getting in — and out of — trouble. “We’ve been watching these characters grow up,” says showrunner John Wells. “We get to tell these stories of people becoming adults — and, of course, Frank, who is never planning on being an adult.” To get fans prepared for another round of hilarious chaos, EW talked to the cast about what’s in store for their characters in season 9.
Frank (William H. Macy)
Where we left him: After a season of staying on the straight and narrow, Frank returns to a life of crime.
What’s next: “There’s a great kick off,” teases Macy. “Frank has a new liver and he’s been taking anti-rejection drugs and they need to be changed every couple years. At any rate, Frank turns yellow and his pee is brown, so he goes to the doctor and they say, ‘We’ve got to put you on the new drug,’ but he can’t afford it because he has no insurance and he has no money and it costs a fortune. It’s a bit of an indictment on Big Pharma and the healthcare system. All he can do is go on the generic version, which has a lot of side effects, one of which is impotence. And in true Gallagher fashion, he meets this woman (played by Katey Sagal) who’s as nutty as a fruitcake. And he likes her, so his problem with erectile dysfunction suddenly disappears. [Laughs.] What else? I become involved with a political campaign, which is sort of fun. And next, there’s an alcoholic beverage which is looking for a spokesperson. I know it sounds crazy but Frank thinks he’d be a good candidate.”
Fiona (Emmy Rossum)
Where we left her: She got rid of the squatters in her building and continued her budding romance with Ford.
What’s next: “In the first half of the season, we can see that Fiona has a lot of confidence. She’s had success in building this business and making money,” shares Rossum. “But, for her, family and loyalty is first. She’s loyal to Ian, who she is very passionate about bailing out of jail, although, he’s got a history of mental illness, so there’s a danger there. She’s very passionate about that, and, at the same time, wants to use the money and her profit to invest in a development that is becoming an old folks home. I love to watch her succeed and I love to watch her as a small business owner win and expand. You watch her at the beginning of the season and she’s dressed better and she’s wearing Aviators and doing business deals and Liam is advising her. It’s a really cool vibe of watching this young woman who you’ve watched be so selfless for so long be a little selfish.”
Lip (Jeremy Allen White)
Where we left he: A sober Lip ends things with Sierra and takes in young Xan after Eddie abandons her.
What’s next: “He’s still got Xan with him and he’s kind of figuring out where she fits and what’s the responsible thing to do with her is,” says White. “He really thinks that she’s striving and surviving with the Gallaghers and fits in there, but he also knows that she does have her own family somewhere, so you see him really struggling with the responsibility of where she belongs. And then later in the season, you see him trying to form a relationship for the first time since he’s really been clean. He was with Sierra but his sobriety was always kind of up and down when he was with her and this is the first time that he’s exploring a relationship sober, which changes things. It changes the progression and it’s all new territory for him, so it’s interesting to see him play in a romantic relationship now and how to handle Xan and find out where she fits in with all their kind of craziness.”
Ian (Cameron Monaghan)
Where we left he: His radical “Gay Jesus” movement ended with his arrest.
What’s next: “We see Ian at the start of the season in a crisis of fate,” Monaghan reveals. “He was behind this movement that in many ways he does believe is fundamentally right, but that he knows definitely got out of hand and continues to see be out of hand. He’s trying to come to terms with his mental illness and how much of an impact it had on the things that he did. He’s trying to come to terms with how other people perceive him versus how he perceives himself. He’s trying to understand his place within the world, within religion, what God means to him. He’s having a moment of trying to understand his own identity and recontextualize himself within the things that he’s done. And it’s a big moment for him and we see this arc over the course of the season sort of bring back themes of the character from the previous eight seasons and — in many ways — come full circle. It’s nice to have some closure. There’s some really, really beautiful moments this season for Ian and I think it’s a really good one for him.”
Debbie (Emma Kenney)
Where we left her: She lost a few toes and possibly gained a present baby daddy.
What’s next: “This season, Debbie’s fighting for equal pay and women’s rights,” shares Kenney. “Debbie is a very strong feminist this season. It’s probably my favorite Debbie season yet, and I’m really excited about the woman that she’s becoming. I think with this show and the length that we’ve gone on there’s a responsibility that we all feel towards our characters and we all want the best for them at the end of the day.”
Carl (Ethan Cutkosky)
Where we left him: Leaving behind his new bride to go back to military school.
What’s next: “They’re going to try and wash him up just a little bit,” says Cutkosky. “Just try to see how he might act being a little proper for military school, but I don’t know if that will last for too long. We will see how much he wants to keep protecting and serving. But it’s a very interesting dynamic that Carl is going to be in, especially considering his intense relationship with Kassidi.”
Kevin (Steve Howey) and V (Shanola Hampton)
Where we left them: Determined to go back to just the two of them, they married Svetlana off to a rich, senile old man.
What’s next: “You will see her and Kev running their bar, running their life without Svetlana. There will be another character that will be introduced to them,” shares Hampton. “Kev and Veronica are living basically in present day so you will see how they adapt as business owners and people to that. We really talk about the present day economy vibe that is happening in the world right now and tackle issues like the #MeToo movement and some of the political stuff that is happening. We really go shameless in the way that we tackle all the issues.”
Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter)
Where we left her: While it appeared Svetlana’s plan to con a rich old man into marrying her might not have gone off without a hitch, Goreshter bid goodbye to the show that she had appeared on for six seasons.
Will we see her again: “You know what’s so funny — I have no idea what happened in the season finale,” admits Goreshter. “There was the whole prenup thing and then she gets married to the guy and I’m still alive, so I’m guessing that leaves the door open for her to come back and make an appearance. I don’t really know what they have in store. I asked them to kill me. I really wanted to have this gruesome death scene and just thought that would be appropriate for Svetlana. [Laughs.] But John Wells was like, ‘No, no, no, no. We want to leave the door open because you never know what can happen.’ Ah, fine. I really wanted to, like, get thrown into the river. I guess that will have to wait — but we will see what happens.”