The eighth season of Shameless, an American comedy-drama television series based on the British series of the same name by Paul Abbott, was announced on December 19, 2016, a day after the seventh season finale. The season, which premiered on November 5, 2017, consisted of a total of 12 episodes.
This is also the last season to feature Isidora Goreshter as series regular, as she announced her departure from the series following the season finale.
Fiona begins her new role as landlord of a local apartment building; she gets to know several of the apartment tenants, including Nessa (Jessica Szohr), a lesbian resident, while regularly facing problems within the neighborhood. Nessa introduces Fiona to Ford (Richard Flood), a mysterious Irish carpenter with a colorful past. Fiona bonds with Ford, who helps Fiona deal with a family of apartment squatters trying to sue her. The two eventually begin a sexual relationship.
Ian has begun regularly helping teens at Trevor’s youth center, and he and Trevor plan to convert an abandoned church building in Fiona’s neighborhood into a homeless shelter. However, Fiona—wanting to raise the profile of the neighborhood—wants to convert the empty church building into an art gallery. The argument over the church building results in an ongoing feud between the two siblings.
Lip continues to work at Brad’s motorcycle shop, though he is forced to find a new sponsor when Brad, stressed from the birth of Cami’s new baby, relapses. Lip briefly begins a casual relationship with his female co-worker, Eddie (Levy Tran), but is turned off by her rough nature. Meanwhile, Professor Youens gets charged with his fifth DUI, and he is sentenced to prison after appearing in court under the influence. Youens later dies in prison from a seizure; at the memorial service, Lip is dispirited upon discovering he was not the only student to have had a mentoring relationship with the professor. Sierra has rekindled with Charlie, who reveals to Lip that he had knocked up another girl during his separation with Sierra. Lip urges Charlie to tell Sierra the truth, but this backfires when Sierra angrily dumps Charlie over the secret baby. Initially finding comfort in Lip, Sierra breaks up with him when he encourages her to give Charlie a second chance.
Following his breakup with Sierra, Lip discovers Eddie’s young niece, Xan, sitting alone in the motorcycle shop; Brad reveals that Eddie had abandoned Xan, who is estranged from her parents, at the shop. Upon discovering that Eddie had planned for Xan to be picked up by Social Services, Lip takes in Xan and invites her into the Gallagher home.
Elsewhere, Carl begins dating Kassidi (Sammi Hanratty), who suffers from separation anxiety. Kassidi pressures Carl into marrying her, and the two falsify documents at the courthouse to get married; however, Carl breaks up with her when she goes to obsessive measures to prevent him from attending military school. Debbie becomes a welder and reunites with a newly remerged Derek, who wants joint custody of Franny. Kevin and Veronica take back the Alibi from Svetlana, who agrees to partial ownership of the bar. Kevin and Veronica later help Svetlana marry a senile elderly sugar daddy.
As the season progresses, Ian stops taking his medication and starts to spiral; he initiates a protest against a homophobic pastor preaching gay conversion. When the protest goes viral online, Ian gains numerous supporters and is nicknamed “Gay Jesus” by his followers. Reeling from his newfound popularity, Ian ditches Trevor, while Frank takes advantage of the Gay Jesus movement to make a profit. Ian becomes sympathetic towards a runaway teen whose father is trying to harm him for being gay. Ian gets into a confrontation with the teen’s father that concludes with Ian, in a grand gesture, exploding the father’s vehicle. The incident results in a warrant being placed for Ian’s arrest. A concerned Trevor consults with Fiona over the warrant, while Ian begins a protest at a community college. The police quickly arrive to the protest and arrest Ian; the family witnesses Ian’s arrest via television.
- William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher
- Emmy Rossum as Fiona Gallagher
- Jeremy Allen White as Philip “Lip” Gallagher
- Ethan Cutkosky as Carl Gallagher
- Shanola Hampton as Veronica “V” Fisher
- Steve Howey as Kevin “Kev” Ball
- Emma Kenney as Debbie Gallagher
- Cameron Monaghan as Ian Gallagher
- Isidora Goreshter as Svetlana Yevgenivna Milkovich