*WARNING contains spoilers*
As I welcome the recommencement of one of my favourite shows, I say farewell to another. Last night, Showtime aired the finale of season four of Shameless. I’ve already spoken of my
adoration obsession with the Ian/Mickey relationship, and although last night’s dynamic wasn’t as high-amped as last week’s episode, it still made me love them even more. Last week, we saw Mickey FINALLY come out. It was a very emotionally strenuous episode, especially considering the fact that he did it publically at Alibi, and then got into a nasty fist fight with his inbred father afterward. This week, though it was the calm after the storm, he still had to deal with the aftermath of his decision. Upon entering Alibi, things were slightly awkward but mostly okay until someone made a gay joke, which did not go over well with him. In typical Mickey fashion, he challenged anyone in the bar who had something to say about his sexual orientation to come up to him and say it. After a moment of uncomfortable silence, Kevin (played by Reba’s Steve Howey) asked the patrons, “Were you surprised? Cuz I wasn’t surprised,” reminding me why I love everything about this guy. This, in turn, prompted a discussion about different celebrities who’d come out over the years, including Ellen Degeneres, Rosie O’Donnell and, more recently, Jason Collins and Michael Sam. It was a beautifully done scene, and it left Mickey overwhelmed and speechless from surprise.
Now that we know that the community won’t be coming after the newly public couple with torches and pitchforks, it looked like the beginning of smooth sailing for them. Of course, it wouldn’t be Shameless if any of the characters ever experienced smooth sailing. In the past couple of episodes, Ian has been riding some sort of indescribably euphoric high. However, last night, he finally crashed and burned, seeming unwilling to leave the bed at all in the morning. Mickey finally realises that something isn’t right when, even after he returned to the house, Ian still hadn’t moved. Ian’s siblings, Debbie, Carl and Fiona (who was released from prison… hurray!) are brought over and all realise that he might very likely be suffering from bipolar disorder like their mother. I read a comment on YouTube last week of someone predicting that this was exactly what was happening to Ian, so the news last night didn’t really come as such a shock to me. However, Mickey’s reaction to the news was another matter entirely. It broke my heart the way he refused to accept that he couldn’t fix Ian on his own. The idea that Ian would have to be sent to a psychiatric ward was too much for him to bear, and it was the second saddest scene of the episode – the first being Fiona’s welcome home. Needless to say, until season 5 comes around next year, I’m going to be watching and rewatching tons and tons of clips of what is shaping up to be a pretty amazing love story.