Gallavich: Pieces of “Happily Ever After”

Comments (12)
  1. Tara says:

    Thank you for this- your writing is beautiful and has helped me understand and accept the ending of episode 11 so much better!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you so much. I’m glad that it was meaningful to you.

  2. Kate says:

    To put it simply, the show has ruined Ian for all other men. Whether they try to get fans to believe Ian will be content to be back with Trevor, or if they try to write a new love interest for Ian if they get another season, we just won’t buy it. Ian had true love and great sex but told Mickey that isn’t him anymore- and that sums up perfectly what’s wrong with the show and why it has become impossible to care about any of the characters anymore. If they’re only going to get screen time when things are going-or being thrown-to hell, why should we invest in rooting for them? It’s become a motto-Mickey deserved better. The night on the blanket when Ian asks him if he’s having second thoughts Mickey honestly answers that his family isn’t enough to keep him in the States, but Ian should know by now that Ian IS his family and if Ian had told Mickey he was having second thoughts Mickey would’ve come up with a different plan. The way it played out made it seem like Mickey felt Ian was rejecting him yet again, not helping him get free. And both the couple and the fans deserved to be shown what happened on the blanket after Mickey told Ian he missed him-they never got one complete love scene, let alone a tender completely private chance to express their love fully. We had to sit through an entire heterosexual sex scene between Ian and a woman this season but we never got a Gallavich love scene. Noel Fisher, as always, transcended the material and restored his part of the show to its former glory for two weeks and Cameron Monaghan rose to the occasion and matched him step for step. Watching him return to act in a loveless, passionless relationship with a one-note character who long ago wore out his welcome will be torture if that’s what the show has planned. But even if Trevor is gone, it’ll still be impossible to watch Ian deal with the loss of his mother plus whatever else happens to him without feeling like he’d be stronger and better off with Mickey by his side. We’ll still be looking for Mickey to find a way back to the man he loves who finally said he loves Mick aloud. If they get another season, Mickey needs to be back full time.

    1. Sarah says:

      I agree with much of what you wrote. Did you have a chance to read my article “Ride or Die Gallavich Style”?

      1. Kate says:

        I did, and I thought it was so on point and I really hope the Shameless writers read it and took it to heart if there is another season coming. And honestly, it’s what they should’ve been able to see for themselves! It would be hard enough for any character to win his way into Ian’s heart after Mickey, but the characters they wrote were both so uninteresting on paper and in the execution that I can’t imagine they thought they would work. Was Mickey initially just a bunch of vague ideas penciled onto a script and then Noel got a hold of him and made him a person? Because what they’ve given us since is a character the writers admitted was supposed to be the anti-Mickey but he came off as controlling, condescending, and manipulative-not to mention unfeeling and didn’t seem to even like Ian, let alone maybe love him; and then the walking talking LGBTQA+ pamphlet that is Trevor no-last-name who pressured Ian into sex from the second time he saw him and who is as manipulative and condescending as Caleb, just in his own way. Ian is given lines like “I’m into him” and “I…I ha..have a boyfriend” but we’re not shown why Ian is “into” him or would consider him a boyfriend other than the fact that Trevor has seemed to latch onto him and won’t let him get away.

        They tried jamming both of those characters into Ian’s life too fast and gave us no reasons to like them. The same could be said for every love interest the show’s tried to introduce in the past few seasons now. There’s no use in getting interested in any of them-they’re never given last names or interesting traits and odds are the writers will just introduce a new character in a few weeks, or maybe even next week. Sierra and Lip both kept protesting they didn’t want a serious relationship, and now here she is in the promotion stills for the last episode in the middle of the Gallagher living room. Way to stick to your guns and protect your son from addicts, Sierra no-last-name! IF Lip is working the AA program, isn’t he supposed to abstain from intimate relationships for 12 months? Why is it that the bad ramifications only happen mainly to Mickey? Everyone on the show has problems or flat out screws up, but by the next episode (or whenever the writers get bored with it), suddenly it’s not an issue anymore. But I digress.

        I had really hoped that Mickey coming back was going to be a storyline to have Ian leave the show no matter if they get renewed or not so Cameron Monaghan could move on to all his other projects and Gallavich would have a happy enough ending that people could at least recommend the entire series to their friends who have Netflix. Now who knows what the case may be, but from what they’ve given us so far, I don’t want to see Ian with anyone but Mickey, and it’s heartbreaking to think he’s going to get home and discover Monica died, and Mickey won’t be anywhere near him to comfort him.

        I hope the next episode ends with Ian casually mentioning to his siblings, “I’ve been at work a year now and get two weeks’ vacation-I hear Mexico is nice…” and he walks out the door with a suitcase.

        1. Sarah says:

          Thanks Kate, I always love hearing from you.
          I agree with you about Caleb. He was completely unlikable. I think Trevor had more potential, but they should have developed him further. Now that we’ve seen Gallavich again, that may be a fruitless effort.
          Mickey did seem to take the majority of the hits that were difficult to bounce back from. Other characters have been granted more grace.
          That would be a badass ending.

        2. Mara says:

          With you 100%, and so well said. For the better part of the first five seasons, basically all of the conflict and dynamism of Ian’s character was tied to his relationship with Mickey. It’s too late to course-correct on that. I agree that Caleb and Trevor haven’t worked on their own AT ALL, but an Ian-without-Mickey was never fully established either, so no one else is going to quite make sense at this stage of the game. I wish they could see that, too, and follow through on the story they’ve really been telling all along.

          Also: brilliant piece, Sarah. Thank you so much for it.

  3. Kate says:

    Trevor as a friend had great potential, Trevor (as written) as a love interest was one mistake after another-not because of his sexual orientation (although I do think that with six sexually active Gallaghers to choose from-I’m including Frank-that a much more compelling storyline would have been for one of the heterosexual characters to get into a relationship/education situation with a trans person), but because of where Trevor is in life. Ian was doing the club scene when he was 16. Going back to all that again with a very young looking Trevor, who has a fairly immature attitude to boot, seemed like a huge step back in Ian’s development. Add in the facts that Ian has a demanding job and a medical condition that requires him to get regular sleep each and every night, what makes a relationship with Trevor’s character appealing or even possible to Ian? The writers conveniently shove aside Ian’s entire past canon whenever they want, and again, in my opinion, it makes the viewers lose interest in anything that’s happening, since they’ll just retcon any consequences when they get bored writing a thread.

    I agree that trying to continue to develop the Trevor relationship will be fruitless, but heaven knows with this show’s track record, they’ll probably try. They’ve painted him into an impossible corner. Either Ian won’t even tell him what he was up to for those couple of days and we’ll all be thinking, “You poor sap,” or Ian will confess all, say something unbelievable to indicate he “chose” Trevor (who he’s maybe known a couple of months at the longest, but the show makes it seem like it’s only been weeks) over the love of his life, and Trevor will probably say something along the lines of, “Okay, I’ll continue to bang you anyway,” and we’ll all howl that Ian had true love and threw it all away for this dodo who either doesn’t get that he’s not “the” guy in Ian’s life, or whose ego is so huge he can’t even see that Ian isn’t all that into him. If they get another season, if they drag out Trevor trying to make Ian to win him back, that won’t make sense either-as I keep saying, why would Ian even bother? What’s the attraction?

    I’ve been thinking more and more about Ian’s line to Mickey: “This isn’t me anymore.” That line was the truest part of the episode-the happy, loving, laughing, excited, engaged, interested guy participating in what his partner was doing and having his voice heard isn’t who Ian has been at all for the past two seasons. I still don’t understand what the show was trying to say he had to go back to-his family and “boyfriend” who ignore anything he says and cares about? The only person Ian has ever stood up for himself with has been Mickey. With everyone else he just ducks his head and goes along to get along. He was alive with Mickey. He’s quiet and compliant with everyone else.

  4. Bec says:

    Kate I have really enjoyed reading your view point. I love hearing what everyone thinks about this show. I agree with lots of what you said. I too notice Ian is alive with mickey and I wonder if that’s ment to be. It’s taken me some time but I really think Ian back out of going with mickey cause he can’t live that life. Not that he could live with mickey but that he couldn’t be on the run. It’s mickeys turn now to grow and I hope in season 8 they find their way back to eachother and we get some more hilarious and loving stories about these two. I really do.

  5. Giulia says:

    Sarah, I read all your articles and I always agree with you but this is probably the only time that we are not on the same page. And that’s okay!
    I’ve just rewatched this episode with a friend of mine who was watching it for the first time recently. I came back to read your review again after months, but I was (and still am) very disappointed with the writing of 7×11 or the lack of it.
    My expectations were probably too high, despite knowing the ending; I mean, we all knew Ian would go back home. But how this happened is a different story!
    The only thing that I wanted was a talk, just 5 minutes of pure stream of consciousness. I didn’t need kisses or sex scenes or jokes or sweet words. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated them because they brought back old memories of their intense and passionate love story and they were perfectly acted, but I demanded an explanation! I needed to hear Ian apologize or unfold whatever happened in his mind during season 6 and 7. We got nothing. What did they talk about during these two episodes? Nothing about the past, nothing about them as a couple.
    Mickey spoke, Mickey declared multiple times his love for Ian but we knew that already. Nobody forgot that, nobody ever doubted it! Ian was my concern, because I actually believed for a while that his feelings for Mickey were long gone, that this love story, to him, had been just a game, a chase that bored him when he got what he had been craving for so long. I don’t know, I was just trying to make sense out of his behaviour after 5×12!
    I didn’t really need an “ I love you”, I needed a “thank you” or an “I’m sorry”, an acknowledgement of Mickey’s dedication. I needed his devotion and bravery to be appreciated. All we got was Fiona telling Ian how good he was without him (let’s point out that we never saw these two characters interact on an emotional level in 7 seasons! But apparently this was the moment to use the “moral”, redeemed figure of the family to instil doubts in Ian and in the audience. I have to tell you that a lot of people bought it!). Don’t make me start with that Jimmy’s comparison, or even Monica and Frank’s one…
    That “i love you”, in that final moment, was just fan service to me and I didn’t feel it genuine. But Cameron’s look at the end gave me hope that something real was still there.
    All the differences they had in this episode were redundant: the dreaming look in Mickey’s eyes in the first scene and the angry, disbelieved Ian’s eyes, the choice of the snacks, etc. I mean, we got your point, writers!
    What was the point of Ian getting in the car in 7×10? The viewers, like Mickey, knew this was a goodbye! Why don’t they state that Ian is over him and has moved on? Apparently that’s what they have shoved down our throats for two seasons!
    The fans know that was bullshit; Ian’s lack of emotions towards Mickey’s absence was just OOC, but they wrote it, and I believe that everything they write has a purpose. So what were they trying to demonstrate with his behaviour? That he was moving on? That he was faking it?
    You kinda talk about their connection; it was there, no doubt, but I’ve never seen them so distant in every little thing. Sometimes they seemed like two “strangers”, bound by old memories, despite Noel and Cam’s efforts to recreate the past synergy between the characters.
    The writing and their actions didn’t allow them to portray their bond in the right way, because honestly they were OOC. Why would Mickey, a simple drug dealer from the south side, escape from prison? What was the reason? It was not a life sentence! Why would he even rob a bank to get money? Why would he expose Ian to this kind of danger? Mickey would never do that! He is not this kind of dumb criminal and at the same time he is not so reckless. Even Mickey’s words in the bank, to the cashier, about killing her children or something, come on! Mickey is often over the top but not like that! I swear, after that scene I was so angry that I almost stopped watching.
    They portrayed him as a desperate lover and a desperate man, lost and unreliable on all fronts. They elevated Ian to the conscientious guy, attached to his family (who doesn’t give a damn about him!) more than Mickey was to his (since when?). This isn’t him anymore. What? A criminal? He is selling meth in the next episode! He almost killed his father! Does he want stability? Is he worried about the meds and his job? Let him say that! Let him speak! That line makes no sense.
    Was it necessary to replay “Ian is breaking Mickey’s heart” for the third time? Why don’t they let Mickey have the last word for once? And that dress was just a joke like the tattoo? Well, I was not laughing.
    Seriously, what was the purpose of 7×11 and Mickey’s appearance? Closure? Or shutting up the fans, while leaving a glimmer of hope just to bait them again?
    And finally, the blanket scene. So so disappointing. This is not the writers’ attempt to let the audience fill up the void. This is lazy writing. Ian says nothing. Not an I missed you too, not a touch, not a look. “It was hard to watch you through that glass”, this is the explanation I’ve been waiting for?. “A lot”, that’s it? Am i supposed to believe this after 2 seasons of slanders and zero emotions? Do they expect Cameron to make magic tricks and do all the work, here?
    Yes the money was a great touch, but at that point I was so frustrated about the storyline that I almost perceived it as a way, for Ian, to cover his apology. You made me change my mind, you make a valid point of the importance of the gesture.
    The only thing I loved was the acting. Noel has such an elegant and natural way of expressing emotions that is magnetic. Cameron finally showed us again what a great talent he has, even just with that final look. They made me cry and shiver during that last kiss as they did in all of their memorable moments. It was heartbreaking, touching, and very intimate.
    I’ll be blunt, they covered their asses! They did their best, they still connect with their eyes and movements in an admirable way, but the material was mediocre.
    I asked my friend what she thought about it. She said: “they could have done worse! I expected them to make Ian manic or to kill Mickey ”. So this is what I have to celebrate? That Mickey got the Jimmy’s treatment but at least he is alive? That their love story was so well developed and unique and is now the boring cliche’ of the lovers who will love each other forever but will never be together? That Mickey, one of the best character on the show, has been robbed of his freedom (first thrown in jail, now a fugitive forever) and is now, just the first love/bad influence of Ian’s life?
    That Ian’s behaviour is so inconsistent that people think about his mania everytime he does something, because nobody knows how his disorder is addressed now or when/if it will be used to explain some of his actions?
    I admire your optimism and your passion for this show and this couple,but I wish Mickey hadn’t come back. The limbo where I was living post 5×12 or 6×01 was way more appealing that this definitive goodbye. If they plan to make them endgame, that would be just fan-service, they damaged them a lot as individuals and as a couple.
    The only character development that Mickey still has to achieve is his discovery of his self-worth, he has to realize that he is more than a thug, that he has the tools to start over and change his destiny…not that he is comfortable in women’s clothing!
    I would still give them 100 chances to fix everything up, as long as it is coherent; but I believe it will be a hard, long job. Do they have the time and the will to do it? Do they feel pressure from the fans to please them or they wanna distance themselves from us, worried of being accused of fan service if they make them endgame? because if they are, they will be criticized for this. A lot of people have already addressed this with 7×10/11.
    Please forgive the long rant of an over-analyzing, foreign fan. Keep writing these articles, you’re very introspective and positive and I enjoy them very much!!

  6. URSULA SALAS says:

    Sarah, always hitting it home with your insight. Let’s hope JW understands the benefits as well as they are stated here.

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