‘Ouroboros’ is the “Monica is back” episode of the season, and this time, not even Frank wants to see her face.
Just like Mandy or Steve/Jimmy, Monica and Mickey are classic Shameless characters. This fact alone makes ‘Ouroboros’ one of the highlights of Season 7.
Monica is like a Frank 2.0, always competing for who’s the worst parent. However, while Frank is always physically there, Monica is not. Because of this, every time Chloe Webb is back on the show, the episode just gets much more entertaining. Monica’s presence always brings the best in all the characters due to everyone’s reactions to her returns. It usually happens that a certain Gallagher who’s feeling overwhelmed will let their guard down and let her in (this time, Debbie). The reason why she’s back this time, though, is because she’s dying. This is a plot point that resembles Season 4 when Frank was also succumbing to an illness. It wouldn’t surprise me if she actually died given that we’re probably reaching the end of the series, and considering how everyone kept rejecting her this episode alone (especially from Lip and Fiona). If she’s still not taking medication for her bipolar disorder, it wouldn’t be a stretch that she tried to commit suicide again.
The reaction from Lip is understandable. He’s the only Ghallager who’s never put up with anyone’s sh*t, not with Frank’s, Monica’s or even Fiona’s. Lip also happens to be on a downward spiral (again), and his fight with Sierra is proof that he cannot keep going on like this. How many golden opportunities can he keep rejecting? On the other hand, Fiona’s choice to ignore Monica goes perfectly with her new attitude of putting herself first. The help she got from the Alibi people did wonders for the place, and the laundromat now looks like a cute coffee shop. However, Fiona starts becoming obsessed with online reviews on Yelp. The speech she gave to the girl who posted the negative review was a nice social commentary on how people are very quick to criticize online, but they don’t have the guts to say it to the face. However, the overall act was a bit over the top. There’s always going to be people criticizing you no matter what you do, and Fiona should be mature enough know this and not care about what other people think. As a grown-up and as a business owner.
Lastly, Monica has always had a special relationship with Ian. Frank is not Ian’s biological father, so Ian always felt closer to Monica than to Frank, even if their relationship is still far from ideal. Monica was also the one he turned to when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in Season 5. This time, Ian considers meeting up with Monica and introducing her to Trevor, but things don’t go smoothly. Even if Ian and Trevor’s relationship appears to be good on the surface, there’s something about Trevor that doesn’t quite feel right. It happens when the whole “old ID” issue comes up, next to him siding with Monica. The problem seems to be that Trevor is quite hypocritical. He’s very sensitive about the things that are said about himself (even when Ian is trying his best to understand), and yet he has no problem overstepping other people’s boundaries. Trevor had no right to tell Ian how to feel about Monica (he doesn’t know anything about their relationship in the first place), and he also called her “crazy” (does he even know Ian is bipolar too?). Given the “Mickey bomb” that was dropped at the end of the episode, it almost feels like the writers are trying to create some conflict for Ian/Trevor (which would be weird after how much they tried to make us like him).
The cliffhanger with Mickey was one of the most shocking moments of the season (at least for those who hadn’t been spoiled yet). Fans have been asking for the return of Mickey ever since the Season 5 finale, and the show has seen a lot of backlash following the disappointment that was Season 6. It’s really no surprise that the writers would make this choice, especially if the end is really near. Just like the sad reactions evoked from Monica’s return, the emotion on Ian’s face and voice when he hears Mickey’s (full) name was more heartfelt and genuine than anything he ever did with Caleb or Trevor.
Mickey’s return might even be connected to Svetlana’s storyline. While I love her character and I don’t want to believe she’s got ill intentions, it’s true that her behavior has been more than fishy this season. The “couple” therapy Kev, V and Svetlana did worked wonders for Kevin, who got to get everything out of his chest, but it didn’t solve anything on Svetlana’s part. She says she prefers doing over saying, but that’s precisely the problem. After the therapy meeting, Svetlana changes the papers so that she owns the bar without consulting Kev and V about anything. It doesn’t matter that she’s better at X things, she still needs to consult with the others. Could Svetlana’s actions be part of some big plan to get money for when the father of her baby gets out of prison? It’s all speculation for now, but if there’s one thing ‘Ouroboros’ made clear is that Kev and V will go back to being a couple soon.