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What Happens to Steve/Jimmy on Shameless? Does He Die and Ending Explained

What Happens to Steve/Jimmy on Shameless? Does He Die and Ending Explained

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Shameless has no shortage of characters who struggle with honesty and basic decency. This certainly includes Steve – otherwise known as Jimmy or Jack, depending on who you ask – who lied about his identity to Fiona from his first appearance.

One of the most convoluted character arcs belonged to Jimmy, the on-again, off-again love interest of Fiona Gallagher.

Audiences first knew Jimmy as Steve, a “successful businessman” who turned out to be a car thief. From then on, we learn that Jimmy is one of the most complex characters in the show. However, his entanglements with crime and duplicity soon catch up to him.

The end of Season 3 is wrought with tension, culminating in the apparent death of Jimmy. The audience is led to believe he has met his end on a boat at the hands of a drug lord, marking a dramatic and seemingly final conclusion to his storyline. But does Jimmy end up dead for good?

Does Jimmy/Steve Die On Shameless?

Jimmy/Steve is still alive by the series finale, but his whereabouts are unknown. Despite the brushes with death and the twists and turns of his narrative, he does not end with a definitive death in the series.

In Season 3, it was heavily implied that Jimmy met his end on a boat at the hands of a drug lord, marking a dramatic and seemingly final conclusion to his storyline.

The writers, however, had a twist up their sleeves. Breaking from the finality of his Season 3 fate, he was brought back in Season 4, resurrecting his character in a fashion that left audiences both shocked and delighted.

Close up of Jimmy in the Shameless TV series

His return revealed that he had managed to escape the grim circumstances previously depicted, only to dive back into the lives of the Gallaghers with his usual flair for the dramatic and troublesome.

Why Did He Disappear from Shameless?

After years of playing the character, Jimmy’s actor, Justin Chatwin, and showrunner, John Wells, both felt the character had outlived his purpose. In a 2013 interview, Wells even confirmed that Jimmy died at the end of Season 3 – a decision that he would clearly regret later.

His return in Season 4 wasn’t just a shock for fans, but also for Chatwin who said in an interview with THR “I was shocked; I thought he was dead; I had made a head cast, which is when they’re probably going to blow off your head or chop off your head, so I was 100 percent certain that my character was deceased.”

The confusion of Jimmy’s fate points to a reason why his character appeared much less in the show. It’s evident the showrunners had no clear plans for Jimmy’s character arc past Season 3. This is more than likely why his appearances in later seasons feel almost like fan service at some points.

The showrunners originally meant for Steve/Jimmy to die at the end of season 3 on screen. Justin Chatwin, the actor who played Steve, said that they had made a cast of his head during production.

According to Chatwin, they do that “when they’re probably going to blow off your head or chop off your head, so I was 100 percent certain that my character was deceased.”

But John Wells, the showrunner for Shameless, revealed to TV Guide that it was a production problem that saved Steve.

The permit for the dock where they wanted to film Jimmy’s death expired before they could finish filming.

“But actually now it’s kind of cool because we don’t have to have him die that way, Wells said just after the ending of season 3. Even then, they were playing with the idea of Steve coming back.

Wells said they didn’t intend Chatwin to return as a “series regular,” but could return if an interesting story idea popped up. And Chatwin did return for another three episodes in season 5.

What Happened to Jimmy by the end of Shameless?

After breaking up with Fiona one last time, Jimmy drives into the sunset, never to be seen again. It sounds almost cliched, but that was Jimmy’s final on-screen appearance on Shameless. With this, fans finally got the resolution they wanted – or did they?

Jimmy, Frank, and Fiona in the Shameless TV series

While we now know that Jimmy is alive and well, we are still in the dark about what happened to Jimmy after Season 5. After his last appearance, he’s only mentioned in a few inconsequential conversations, but never plays any other role on the show. Until its cancelation in 2021, Jimmy became an afternote in the show’s history.

While we now know that Jimmy is alive and well, we are still in the dark about what happened to Jimmy after Season 5. After his last appearance, he’s only mentioned in a few inconsequential conversations, but never plays any other role on the show.

Unfortunately, this fan-favorite never got the finale he deserved. Still, die-hard Jimmy fans will be pleased to hear that, at the very least, Jimmy is alive and well by the end of Shameless.

Popular Fan Theory Suggests He Reconnected With Fiona

Could Jimmy and Fiona live together after the events of the Shameless finale? Some Reddit users agree that’s pretty much what happened. Fiona’s fate after leaving Chicago is something that bothers Shameless fans to this day. In come the fan theories, trying to understand what Fiona is up to.

While most fans agree she’s living a happy life, others theorize she’s not alone. Fiona’s bond with Steve/Jimmy is far too strong – so much so, that she might have reconnected with him. User u/octoberskies25 shares the sentiment of a good chunk of the Shameless fanbase: “She went to find Jimmy Steve.

Sure, it might seem this is just wishful thinking coming from Fiona/Jimmy shippers, but user u/flea_420 has some evidence to back up this claim. According to them, the “mystery caller” who contacted Ian to tell him of Ned’s death was none other than Fiona. Since only Jimmy and the Gallaghers knew about Ian and Ned’s relationship, it must have been one of them who broke the news to Ian.

Close up on Steve in the Shameless TV series

However, here’s where things get even more complicated. As Ned’s son, Jimmy is the only one who could’ve known about Ned’s death. Ian has no friends, as we learn in the episode, meaning that only Fiona could’ve informed Ian of Ned’s death. For her to learn about Ned’s passing, someone must’ve told her – and that someone could only have been Jimmy.

In the end, this fan theory gives us some closure not only for Ian, but Fiona as well. It might not be the ending some fans wanted, but it offers some closure nonetheless.

What Is Justin Chatwin Doing Now?

The actor who played Steve on Shameless, Justin Chatwin, continued acting after leaving the show and had another major role on the Netflix series Another Life.

Justin Chatwin appeared in several movies since 2015, mostly independent films like Poor Boy and Unleashed, both in 2016.

He also continued to find success on popular series such as Orphan Black, American Gothic, and a lead role in Another Life.

When he’s not acting, Chatwin enjoys riding motorcycles; he rode in the first Moto Beach Classic Festival in California in 2017. He even rode across Europe for Ducati in 2014.