'Shameless' season 9: Debbie Gallagher's evolution into "Going Fiona" is complete
Over time, fans and viewers have seen Debbie transition from a bratty, annoying teenager to a responsible mom fighting for equal rights with determination, and that's progress.
Be it raising a child from a rather young age, or doing multiple jobs for her family's sake, or just the basic ideal of nothing being more important than family - when we predicted that Debbie Gallagher was slowly evolving to big sister, Fiona - we weren't talking about just the failed romances and drinking binges. Showtime's hit dramedy, 'Shameless' is nine and a half years old now - because the mid-season finale of its ongoing season 9 just aired this last Friday, and over this time, fans and viewers saw Debbie (Emma Kenney) transition from a bratty, annoying teenager, to a responsible mom fighting for equal rights with passionate determination. And while she still stumbles and falls when it comes to her romantic escapades, much like her sister Fiona (Emmy Rossum) this last episode offered the exact kind of glimpse we needed into her evolution to be the sister of the year - much like Fiona has been for the last nine seasons.
Why you ask? For starters, purely because of the vengeance she took on behalf of her sister, Fiona. In the last couple of episodes leading up to the mid-finale, it was finally revealed to both Fiona, and the viewers, that her good boy charming boyfriend, Ford is not as much of a goody two shoes as he was pretending to be. As fate would have it, Ford turned out to be married. Yes, and that too, to the very same Patty whom he had convinced Fiona, was his mother. Sneaky, right? So after Fiona lashed out on her own self upon finding out the truth - ending up with a busted forehead, broken arm, and her car totaled, Debbie took charge to teach this not so charming Ford a lesson.
Granted, her ethics and morals went for a total toss to carry out the plan, but somehow - teaming up with her coworkers, Farhad and Alex - Debbie was able to hatch a plan wild enough to completely humiliate Ford. What's better is that this plan worked impeccably too, ending up with Ford getting kidnapped, hanging from a mock-wooden guillotine of sorts, with his bare butt on display. The words written around his frame was "This man is an a**hole."
There could be very few non-violent things that could get more humiliating than this, and the fact that Debbie was the only one worried about Fiona enough to go reach out to her after Fiona failed to drive Ian (Cameron Monaghan) to prison, elucidates further that Debbie is shaping up to be quite the family matriarch. Something that Fiona has been all this while. It was interesting to witness how Fiona was in the midst of throwing a drunk pity party for herself while Debbie was the one plotting revenge on her behalf, despite Fiona assuring her repeatedly that she was fine.
But much along the lines of what Fiona has always professed, Debbie came to her rescue, because 'Nothing is more important than family.' And nothing was, as the remaining Gallagher siblings stood along the sidewalk cheering for Fiona while she fired away to glory at Ford's bare butt using a paintball gun to its full capability. Talk about a master plan! While there wasn't much shown on the execution of it, the sheer pride and glee on Debbie's face was enough to reflect that with Rossum's impending departure from the show, and with Fiona's official exit, the Gallaghers won't be too much at a loss for a matriarch. Debbie's evolution into a mini Fiona is almost complete!
debbie gallagher || shameless us pic.twitter.com/CO6rdVBcn4— rt your fave character (@favechracter) September 17, 2015
But those aren't the only evolutions Debbie's character has been blessed with over time. She used to be a bratty teen who purposely tricked a boy her age into getting her pregnant, just for her selfish dreams. But things changed right after the said baby daddy ghosted her and left town. Debbie Gallagher was never the same again. Over the years she became a strong, sensible, momma-bear, who learned how to raise a baby while taking up a welding apprentice simultaneously. Kind of like first season Fiona, where she worked three jobs to raise five siblings.
The job as a welder, especially being one of the only women surrounded by all male employees, only accelerated the feminist emotions in her. While she might come off as childish at times, even with a few toes missing and a love life off the rails, Debbie has emerged as the true example of why feminism is needed now more than ever. She's filled with rage, heartbreak, and in general, distaste towards men as a class - and honestly? It's not all that hard to relate to her.
The only roadblock now in Debbie's role is sort of stagnating her evolution as a feminist emblem as most fans of the show had expected to see sometime within the first half of this season. A lot of fans were lingering on the hope of seeing more of Debbie and Alex, as the power lesbian couple, dethroning patriarchs and taking up gender issues like a pro as they ride off into the sunset, toppling them over one by one, but as of now she is just fixated on figuring out her sexuality.
But that's okay, because she's 18, and she also has a baby to look after, so we are ready to excuse the little lapses here and there. And despite all of that, the fact that still remains solid and undisputed is with regards to the evolution of Debbie. It only keeps more doors open for her to portray that aspect of her character further in the season, when the season returns with its second half in January 2019.
And with Fiona's impending departure looming overhead, if fans were worried about not having a firm matriarch being around to keep the Gallagher men from straying, rest easy with your concerns because Debbie has surely risen to the occasion! Just the way she comforted Fiona in episode 6, reducing all of her older sisters problems to just 'a shitty couple of days,' she will be here to keep things sorted.