Shameless ‘Hapily Ever After’ is all about closure, but not the happy kind of closure the title promises.
You could feel it in the air. As exciting as this Gallavich adventure was, it just wasn’t sustainable. Ian didn’t tell his family or boyfriend that he had left, and you could see that he was partaking in something that just wasn’t part of what he is anymore. Ian has had so much improvement these past two seasons, that it was hard to believe all that effort would go down the drain in a couple episodes. He must have “lost” his savings in helping Mickey, but the person he’s become is here to stay. Ian loves Mickey, and he’d go back to being with him if Mickey wasn’t a fugitive, but that’s sadly not the case. As for Mickey, I’m not entirely convinced with the line about him not caring about his family (would have been nice to have a mention for Mandy), but hearing him open up about his feelings and thoughts while he was in jail was a great touch.
The whole point of this reunion was to give closure, both for Mickey Milkovic, and Gallavich. Still, it’s understandable that some Gallavich shippers would be bitter. Mickey deserved better, and it’s hard to imagine these two will find anyone they can love as much as they love each other. However, the problem is not the events from this episode, but what happened in the Season 5 finale. Honestly, given the situation they were in, this is the best outcome for the two of them. They’re heartbroken, but they understand that this is for the best. Mickey’s “Fuck you, Gallagher” as he adjusts his wig is the best send-off, while seeing him pass the border is one of the most bittersweet moments of the series as a whole.
Another couple who got a sad ending after lots of romance is Frank and Monica, who decide to get married again. The “wedding” is not ideal (how could it be?): they fight, and they nearly drug Liam during the party. It was one of those Gallagher celebrations in which even Fiona loosens up and lets things be. Given we already knew Monica was dying, it was easy to tell the whole thing would turn sad at some point. ‘Happily Ever After’ embodies everything that makes Frank and Monica well, Frank and Monica. And while Frank finding her like that is not as shocking as other moments from this series, it still managed to evoke that emotion of sudden heartbreak Shameless does so well.
Season 7 could be described as “the season of character development”. Some characters have improved themselves enormously from the beginning, while others have struggled until the last minute. This is the case with Lip and Debbie, who have ended up helping each other in their own way. Lip is now attending group therapy meetings, where he’s met a guy. Having a friend/accountability partner can be key in managing addictions, so that could be seen as a sign that he’s finally getting sober. He’s even started a new hobby: knitting! But what’s most important is that he seemed like a completely new person this episode. He got to open up to many people, not only to Debbie and the guy from the meetings, but also to Fiona (he even admits that he was wrong about her and the laundromat!). Fiona, on the other hand, has proven that she can do her own thing and be good at it from the beginning of the season. Selling the laundromat has proven to be a good idea, and she just seems much more mature and cautious this time around. Whether she manages to spend the money wisely and even succeed in real estate is something that the writers are probably leaving open in case there’s a Season 8. In Fiona’s case, her closure came from putting Etta in a nursing home, which was incredibly sad. But, just like many other things in this episode, it had to be done.
Kevin and V are putting Svetlana (and the Allibi) behind them, and they have started to look for new beginnings. Kev tries to apply for a “real men”‘s job, but is disappointed to find out everything is about managing computers nowadays. He ends up getting a job as a bartender in a gay bar, except… he’s not exactly tending the bar, but dancing half-naked on it. He ends up being so successful that he’s even offered to get handjobs for 500$. The Kevin moments in this episode were glorious and brought the much needed comedy.
‘Happily Ever After’ is full of goodbyes, most of them bittersweet. It’s actually very fitting given that the series hasn’t officially been renewed yet and the season finale is next week. Regardless of what ends up happening in those negotiations, the end of Shameless is near, and it’s time to start wrapping up all these character storylines.