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Mickey and Ian: A beautifully 'Shameless' journey

On the most recent episode of Shameless, Mickey (Noel Fisher) accompanies the Gallaghers to retrieve Ian (Cameron Monaghan) after his breakdown. When asked by the arresting officer what his relationship is to Ian, Mickey answers without blinking an eye: “Partner. Lover. Family.”

The journey to this moment has not been easy. Ian and Mickey have had their share of obstacles, not the least of which was Mickey’s violent and intensely homophobic father, Terry. For Mickey and Ian, it has always been one step forward, two (maybe three) steps back. But as all “Gallavich” fans can attest, each season has had beautiful moments of growth, even if they were followed by gut-wrenching setbacks.

As season five hits its midpoint, let’s take a look back at the most defining moments in Gallavich history.

First time (season one, episode seven)


Ian and Mickey’s relationship originally consisted solely of Mickey tormenting Ian and his boss (with benefits), Kash. When Mickey steals Kash’s gun, Ian’s had enough. He bursts into the Milkovich house prepared for a fight, but it takes only a few seconds before Mickey is overpowering him. It looks like Ian Gallagher is a dead man—when all of a sudden clothes are flying off and sex is being had.

Ian runs to Mickey (season one, episode nine)

Ian and Mickey’s relationship is strictly about sex until Ian’s mother, Monica, resurfaces. Thrown into a whirlwind of emotion, Ian runs right to the Milkovich doorstep. Practically in tears, he tells Mickey he needs to see him. Suddenly, thuggish Mickey Milkovich is softening, agreeing to meet Ian at work as soon as he can. When he does, they have sex, hands clasped the whole time.

Ian visits Mickey in juvie (season one, episode 10)


After a showdown with Kash in which Mickey gets shot, Mickey has to either admit he is sleeping with Ian or go to jail for stealing. Mickey chooses juvie. Ian visits him in prison, showing Mickey for the first time what it means to have someone really care about him.

The dugout (season two, episode two)

The night Mickey gets released from juvie, he and Ian ditch Mandy and spend some time alone at the baseball field. It’s the closest thing they have had to a date, and though the focus of their relationship is still the sex, they begin to open up to each other.

Mickey doesn’t kill Frank (season two, episode eight)


Mickey is so afraid of his sexuality that when Frank learns his secret, Mickey concludes he needs to kill him. Ian begs him not to, and after saying some truly horrible things to Ian, Mickey ultimately changes his mind. It’s unclear whether he backs off because he recognizes that it won’t change anything or because he cares about Ian—or both. Either way, he needs some time away, so he gets himself sent back to jail.

Mickey gets out of juvie (season three, episode two)


The fate of Gallavich is unclear when Mickey goes back to jail. When he finally gets out, though, he wastes no time finding Ian and picking things up right where they’d left off.

Mickey beats up Ned (season three, episode three)

Though Mickey claims their relationship is still strictly sexual, his actions suggest otherwise. Ian’s relationship with Ned makes Mickey so jealous that he follows them on a date and beats the older man in the street. Where others may have been turned off by the violence, Ian is in heaven at the idea that Mickey hit someone over him.

Mickey kisses Ian (season three, episode five)


Mickey has made some progress in terms of acknowledging his feelings for Ian, but he still holds tight to the notion that kissing is over the line. When Mickey confronts Ian about Ned, however, Ian calmly answers with a challenge: He isn’t afraid to kiss me. Mickey steps up to the plate and plants one on Ian when he least expects it.

Terry catches them and forces Svetlana on Mickey (season three, episode six)

After the kiss, things continue to progress. Mickey invites Ian to spend the night while his father is out of town. Things take a heartbreaking turn when Terry gets home early and catches the boys in a compromising position. He calls a Russian prostitute (Svetlana) and instructs her to ride his son until he’s no longer gay. As a sick bonus, he forces Ian to watch.

Ian crashes Mickey’s wedding (season three, episode 11)


As if the rape and ensuing trauma aren’t enough for Ian and Mickey to overcome, Svetlana ends up pregnant. Terry forces Mickey to marry her, leaving Ian to drown in his misery. In a last-ditch effort to stop Mickey, Ian bursts in before the wedding and pleads with him not to go through with it. Mickey can’t deny his feelings and they share a passionate quickie, but Mickey still marries Svetlana. Ian can’t handle the rejection and leaves town to join the Army.

Mickey rescues Ian (season four, episode seven)

Mickey spends the time Ian is away beating himself up for allowing him to leave. When Ian’s whereabouts become known, Mickey exits his comfort zone, heads to Boystown, and brings him home.

They kiss in public (season four, episode eight)


Now that Ian is back, Mickey has no intention of letting him go. He accompanies him to the club, where Ian attempts to kiss him. Mickey’s reflexes kick in and he pulls away—until he realizes where they are. Feeling safe surrounded by other like-minded men, Mickey lets his guard down and they share an intense kiss. Later, when Mickey is asked about his relationship with Ian, he says they are together.

Mickey comes out (season four, episode 11)

More than three years since Mickey and Ian first slept together, Ian is finally tired of keeping things a secret. He tells Mickey he no longer wants to be his mistress, and leaves the Alibi assuming things are done for good. Mickey shocks us all by announcing to the entire bar that he is gay.

Ian gets depressed (season four, episode 12)


The extent of Mickey’s feelings for Ian aren’t clear until Ian is hit with a crippling depression in the season-four finale. Mickey tells the Gallaghers plainly that he is Ian’s family and that he will be taking care of him.

Mickey says “I love you” (season five, episode six)

Ian’s illness peaks with a manic episode that includes running off with Svetlana and Mickey’s son. Mickey is panicked when he can’t reach Ian, and leaves him a message telling him that he is worried—and that he loves him.

Mickey checks Ian into the hospital (season five, episode six)


Once Mickey has Ian back safe and sound, he knows he has to be admitted to the hospital. Hugging him tightly and accompanying him as far as the hospital will allow, Mickey makes it clear that he is going to be there for Ian.

It remains to be seen what the road ahead will be for Gallavich, but if the road they’ve traveled is any indication, these two can handle anything.

Shameless airs Sundays at 9/8C on Showtime.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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