Cameron Monaghan shocked fans last fall when he announced his sudden departure from Shameless mere days before his last episode as Ian Gallagher was slated to air. Well, his departure didn't stick, as Showtime boss Gary Levine confirmed last week that Monaghan will return for the show's recently announced tenth season.
We last saw Ian starting his prison sentence to pay for his crimes as Gay Jesus by settling in with his cellmate and former love Mickey (Noel Fisher), so the state in which Ian returns to the show is a big question on fans' minds. Monaghan revealed to TV Guide during an interview at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday that he also doesn't know for sure how Ian will return to the Gallagher fold.
"I sat down and talked to [showrunner] John Wells before I agreed to come back and talked to him simply creatively about what could possibly be done with the character," Monaghan said. "That being said, the writers' room hasn't even been opened yet. There's no firm plans. Not all the contracts are finished. We don't know for sure what they can and can't do."
However, Monaghan has thought a lot about what he'd personally like to happen when Ian returns.
"What I'd like to see [is] Ian pick up the pieces of his life. He's kind of dropped a nuclear bomb on it for the last couple seasons. So to see him try and rebuild would be kind of great and maybe not focus so much on him dating new people, being single and all of that. We've seen that before," he revealed. "I'd like to see him instead take up more of a leadership role within the family and take care of himself besides other people, and be consistent in that. That's difficult for anyone, but especially for someone coming out of prison and with his baggage."
That sounds reasonable and like a new direction for the character to go in, but it leaves a lot of questions about whether Mickey and his relationship with Ian — which is the most beloved on the show — will come along for that new adventure. Monaghan sadly didn't have a lot of details on that front, either.
"That's a question for Noel," he said.
Shameless airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive a division of CBS Corporation.)