[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of Shameless. Read at your own risk.]
The fan-favorite character returned for a two-episode arc after breaking out of prison to reunite with the love of his life — Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan). Mickey's return to the south side of Chicago not only rekindled the flame between the two characters, but allowed both of them to get some closure after their less than satisfying separation two seasons ago when Mickey went to prison for attempted murder.
The two episodes were able to re-establish that Mickey and Ian have a true love, but in the world of Shameless, that's hardly ever enough to make for a happy ending. Since Mickey is still wanted by the feds, he had to flee to Mexico to get the heat off his back. Ian made it all the way to the border with him before realizing that the fugitive life wasn't something he wanted anymore — even if Mickey still is. So instead of running away into the sunset together, Ian and Mickey exchanged tearful, "I love you's" in another gut wrenching Gallavich scene and parted ways once more.
Is this really the end of Gallavich though? We've thought that before, but Fisher says that as long as Mickey isn't dead there's always a chance for these two to find their way back to each other. TVGuide.com talked to the actor about returning to the show, the impact of Gallavich, getting a proper goodbye and whether Mickey deserves those Jimmy/Steve (Justin Chatwin) comparisons. Check out his answers below.
What was it like coming back to the show after all this time?
Noel Fisher: It was awesome. It was like coming back home for Thanksgiving. It was really nice. It was great seeing everybody. It's such a little family unit and it was great to jump back into that. Immediately, Steve Howie had me in stitches over random things. He's never not funny.
I know here in the office, we freaked out when we heard you were coming back. We know a lot of fans did too. What does it mean to you for people to have this ravenous connection to your character and this storyline?
Fisher: It's been a pretty unique experience portraying a character and love story that's touched so many people and seems to have struck a chord. It's not something I saw coming. I don't know if it's something that you can see coming. It makes me smile every time I think of it or any time I run into someone it has touched or especially people that have had similar experiences. That's a really lovely thing for me.
The last time you were on the show, the fate of Ian and Mickey was kind of open ended. Was there always a plan for you to come back?
Fisher: As far as I've ever known — the character is not dead, so it's fairly open ended. The prison story and even with this, it's the same basic thing. There's always the possibility. So, who knows.
Well, that leads into the big question. Is this really the end for Mickey and Ian?
Fisher: Again, I really don't know. It's definitely not something that has to be a permanent end. He broke out of prison, so he can definitely find his way into [the country]. He can 007 his way into wherever he feels like. I don't know what the future holds.
What was it like for you to film that final scene with Cameron? How does it compare to the prison goodbye in Season 6?
Fisher: One of the reasons I was really happy that this storyline came up is because it is a much more fleshed out goodbye. I think that it's a lot deeper than the previous sort of goodbye that they had. It's goodbye, at least for now, but the last scene is really wonderful in a number of ways. The Shameless writers always knock it out of the park with the writing on this show. This episode and that last scene especially are really beautifully done. It manages to encapsulate the pain of the separation as well as the profound and utter strength of love that these characters feel for one another. It shows very, very clearly that that's where these actions are coming from for everyone involved, despite what is a definitely a sad and tragic element to it. I thought the last scene was beautiful and it was a fitting way to end the episode.
What is it about Mickey and Ian that makes them fit so well together?
Fisher: They are strong for each other in the areas that they might not be personally. Mickey is strong in ways that Ian has not been strong. Ian is strong in ways that Mickey isn't often strong. Mickey is always someone who is utterly able to stand up for himself in certain ways and not be afraid of taking charge of his own life, even to a fault, even if it means doing very illegal things frequently. He has a groundedness and a strength in that. He's also somebody that is utterly dedicated to the people he loves, unabashedly so. In my eyes, that is a better definition of family than even blood in many instances. Ian has been really strong in being comfortable, for instance, with his sexuality and who he is. That was something that Mickey definitely wasn't. There's a trading back and forth in that they're the perfect caretakers for each other in a lot of different ways. They are nicely fitting puzzle pieces.
In the episode before this one, Ian and Fiona have a conversation where they compare Mickey to Jimmy/Steve. Do you agree with that comparison?
Fisher: It depends on your level of analysis, right? They have similarities, for sure. What I got from that scene is they're comparing the similarities, and not their differences. Clearly, there are a lot of differences between the Jimmy/Steve character and Mickey, but you do have the common thread of living lives that have a lot of, let's call it flux. They have a lot of adventure and find themselves often embroiled in situations that are outside the norm. That's what that discussion was about. That's what I got out of it. I think this is, in some ways at least, a more difficult decision for Ian because Jimmy/Steve turned out to have a lot of dishonesty towards the end — at least in the last part of his character arc. That made it somewhat of an easier decision for Fiona.
Meanwhile, with Mickey, I think Ian has a harder choice. That's not something that is similar. The hardness of the difficulty is deciding whether or not you want to have a life that may very well have more chaos and be more with hectic along with that passion and fire that's so clearly there. Mickey is also honest and has a lot of integrity when it comes to how he's been with Ian and how he's treated Ian. I don't think that that conversation was just a general comparison. I think it was a comparison of a very specific aspect of those two characters.
Do you think Mickey is ultimately okay with why Ian decided to stay behind? Obviously, he wants Ian to come with him, but does he accept why he can't.
Fisher: Yeah, I do. That's a sadness for Mickey, but I also think that there's understanding. Mickey has never been afraid to take responsibility for his actions. He's never had a hard time owning what he's done, the choices he's made and what that's lead him too. What I walk away from, and what I really hope the fans walk away with too, is that through this entire amazing arc that these two characters have had, with ups and downs, I don't for a moment think that either of these characters would regret a single day or a single decision that they've made towards one another. That's the beauty of this story for me.
In an ideal world, do you think that Ian and Mickey could make it long term or are they fated to constantly have these bittersweet separations?
Fisher: I don't think it would be impossible. There are a lot of circumstantial things that have gotten in the way. I don't know that it's necessarily a question about whether or not that could be. With work, dedication, support and the kind of love and all the obvious care they have for one another, I don't think a longterm relationship would be unreachable. I think it's more a question of whether that's best for everyone involved. It's a question of whether or not that is something that is the right choice. That's obviously Ian's question for the episode, and I understand that to [be the] better question.
Relive the highlights of Mickey and Ian's entire relationship in the video below:
Shameless Season 7 continues Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
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