A very beloved character is back in ‘Ride or Die’, an episode about deciding what’s best for yourself.
It was, without a doubt, the most awaited comeback of the series. Mickey Milkovich is back in ‘Ride or Die’, and so is Gallavich. Mickey has escaped from prison, and it’s like not a single day has past for Ian. Despite being in two relationships in the time Mickey has been behind bars, Ian doesn’t hesitate to get back to Mickey the minute he hears from him. It doesn’t matter that he claims he doesn’t want to get involved, or that Mickey “is nuts”. In this episode alone, Ian has had multiple occasions to stay away from Mickey, and yet he kept running back to him everytime.
Shameless chooses to compare this situation with how Fiona decided not to go with Jimmy/Steve. She believes she dodged a bullet with him, but Mickey is no Jimmy. It’s almost infuriating how they seem to be framing Mickey as a bad influence on Ian’s life (even hinting at Ian currently having a manic episode). Mickey has proven time and time again that he loves Ian more than anyone, and that he’s willing to be there every step of the way with his BPD. Furthermore, Ian misses the thrill. Trevor and Caleb are complete opposites to Mickey, and it almost seems like the writers made Ian date them to show that contrast. However, I’m not going to give them that much credit, as bringing back Noel Fisher seems more like an attempt to raise the ratings. Mickey’s current status as a runaway draws another parallel to Frank/Monica, as Frank says that “love is raw and destructive”. A a matter of fact, Frank is pulled back in everytime Monica returns. It’s the same reason why Ian decides to run away to Mexico with Mickey even though he has Trevor.
Sure, it might not end well and many fans of the pairing are understandably bracing for disappointment. Shameless might be nearing its end, and after everything they’ve done to the Milkoviches, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they would paint Mickey as the bad guy or even kill him off. But, for now, let us enjoy this exciting reunion and the excellent chemistry Fisher and Monaghan share.
Fiona, who also has to make a decision this episode, realizes that she has grown quite fond of the laundromat and Etta. Somehow, the laundromat has become some type of social gathering place. The inclusion of Debbie and her math skills is also a good addition. Debbie is finally doing the right thing, and she also seems to genuinely care about Neil. V is heartbroken, but she’s finally agreed with Kevin that they need to do something about Svetlana. Fortunately, this also brings about the reconciliation between V and Fiona. The show is not quite the same without their friendship. The only who’s not on the right track is Lip, who keeps somehow sinking to new lows. This time, he breaks in his old teacher’s house. However, the look on his face when he realized what he had done might imply that he’s finally realized for himself that he needs help. He already tried rehab and that didn’t last, so what could be next for him?
While a reference to Ian getting inside Mickey’s car, ‘Ride or Die’s is a clear reference to characters being at a crossroads and having to make major decisions. Kev and V have to decide what to do with Svetlana and the Alibi, Frank doesn’t know whether he should follow Monica anymore even if she’s dying, and Lip is at the lowest of the low and needs to do something about himself. Interestingly enough, all of the characters were making the right choice if they were to accept these opportunities: Kev and V need to stop Svet, Lip needs to pull himself together, and Ian needs to follow his heart and ride along with Mickey.