This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Shameless being covered here wouldn’t exist.
I knew that Fiona and Jimmy (or Steve at that time) were going to be an absolute disaster from the very first time they met on Showtime’s Shameless. And from what I’m seeing, because I’m only up to the end of season 3 where he’s presumably dead, the warning signs have been there from the very start. And it isn’t something that is totally Jimmy’s fault or even Fiona’s. They were incompatible and never worked towards being actual partners. That’s why I think they were doomed. So we’re going to break it all down and talk about that first meeting with Jimmy, how Fiona was never going to put this relationship first, and the white knight of it all with a side of them never listening to each other.
That first meeting between Fiona and Jimmy was not cute. He did the bare minimum and then he was treated like he did something grandiose. And then him remembering everything about what she wore wasn’t so much as cute but kind of creepy. Because it made it seem like she was a goal to him. Something for him to aspire to be with to show that he wasn’t like the “other rich kids.” Because that’s what he was. He was a rich kid pretending that he was someone else and that he was going to save Fiona. The problem is, Fiona’s never going to let anybody save her. If anything she would rather drown if it means saving or taking care of her family. Which is ultimately to her detriment, if I’m being honest.
That’s where his being a white knight comes in. He saw this girl that seemed almost unattainable and had big “she’s not like other girls” vibes. So of course he had to “have her.” And when he really got to know her and her values, it scared him. So he started lying and self-sabotaging while desperately trying to prove to himself that he was right and that he wasn’t like any other rich dudes. At the end, you could kind of see him trying to embrace who he is and not fall under Fiona’s entire life, but it’s a little too late. He should have admitted that he was out of his depth and maybe he would have not ended up wherever he is off that boat.
But honestly, it’s not all Jimmy’s fault either as to why this Shameless relationship was doomed from the very start. Fiona never had any intention of leaving her family behind and starting a relationship. Also, without asking she just assumed that Jimmy would join her in raising her siblings. And he was being such a try-hard that he denied himself and made it harder for her to make an informed choice about the kind of partner that she wanted to be with or the kind of partner that she wanted to be. But it will admit that Jimmy was right in saying that asking him, even if he was already going to say yes, would have been something nice to hear as it speaks of acknowledgment of him as her partner.
Fiona never being able to put Jimmy first is not even her biggest problem. And in a way, it isn’t because her siblings, AKA her children, have been her clear priority from the start. Fiona’s biggest problem is that she doesn’t put herself first. You could see glimmers of her trying here and there. But she puts the weight of the entire world on her shoulders without asking for help. And I understand that she has been let down by her parents multiple times. But she’s proven to have found that there are good people who love her and care for her. And as I watch more Shameless I hope that she takes the time to choose herself and her emotional needs while also doing what she wants to do aka take care of her siblings.
That’s them separately. Now let’s look at them together. Because they both have sets of problems that cannot be ignored. First of all, they cheat on each other. Jimmy goes and cheats with his Brazilian stereotype of a wife (which really deserves a post itself) and then Fiona cheats with that guy from work. Jimmy having sex is definitely on another level. But Fiona cheated too. Let’s not forget the belittling too. Fiona treats Jimmy’s family pain when he finds out his dad possibly being gay as if it was nothing. And yes, Fiona is on a completely different level of pain. But it is your partner and you can take a second to acknowledge his feelings. I wish Jimmy would take this note to heart as well because calling your girlfriend’s house a slum is a shit move when you have slept in, had fun, and been part of a family in that house.
Ultimately, at where I am at the end of season 3, it seems like Jimmy is gone. For now at least because God only knows where that boy is. And I’m okay with it. Even till the very end he was playing around like he was some big mafia man when he was just as scared little rich boy who couldn’t acknowledge his upbringing or the privileges that it brought him so he just ran away from them because he had that option. Hopefully, Fiona will find someone that feeds her spirit and helps her put herself first. But this show is called Shameless so God only knows what’s going to happen next for the Gallagher family.