Shameless’ Ian and Mickey Are Finding a Prison Relationship “Challenging” in Season 10


Ian and Mickey aren’t just back on Shameless, they’re back together…but it’s not quite all sunshine and rainbows.

The couple reunited in prison in the middle of season nine, and while that was supposed to be the end of both of their time on the show, it ended up being quite the opposite. Both Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher will return full time in season 10 to dive into what Monaghan described to EW as an “almost Shakespearean” relationship. 

Monaghan told the magazine that he felt the pair was worth going back to. 

“There’s a lot of story to tell,” he said. “We’ve never really had these characters just together in a somewhat stable environment for very long, so that’s been fun to explore.” 

In this case, that somewhat stable environment is prison, and while yes, it was stable, it also wasn’t the healthiest place for this romance to thrive in those six months between the finale and the season 10 premiere. 

“It turns out that living in cramped quarters without much break from one another is not necessarily all that conducive to a healthy relationship,” Fisher explained. “It’s basically living together in the worst studio apartment you can possibly imagine.” 

We’re going to be seeing the pair continue to work through their relationship as cellmates in prison without the “healthy level of distance and separation” Monaghan says any good relationship needs. 

“They’re in a challenging place and trying to work through their issues. Now, the way that people work through their issues on Shameless tends to be pretty volatile. I won’t exactly say how they work on solving them, but I will say it involves shivs and stabbing.” 

Monaghan had announced his exit in October 2018, and then we watched it play out over the course of season nine, which was also Emmy Rossum’s final season. 

While Rossum appears to have actually exited, we soon learned that Monaghan would actually return for season 10. 

“It got to the point where I wanted to step away for creative reasons as well as business, which many other actors had done on the show years earlier,” Monaghan told reporters at the TV Critics Association winter press tour in February. “But I took some time away, and I talked to John Wells, the showrunner about possible things we could do with the character in the future, and we got to a place both creatively and financially where I felt comfortable coming back, and much of that had to do with what we were going to do with the story.”

At that point, that story hadn’t been written, but Monaghan said he had hopes for his character beyond relationship troubles. 

“I think that now we’ve really torn him down, I think it would be really interesting to see him, instead of just looking for a relationship or resolving relationship conflict to instead be working on himself and focusing in that capacity,” he said. “So I’d like to see something outside just him searching and being single and hooking up with people, that kind of stuff.” 

The season nine finale of the Showtime drama said goodbye to Fiona (Rossum), who realized there was nothing holding her back any longer and she headed off on her own, leaving behind a check for $50,000 to help the family out.

Per Showtime, the new season picks up six months later with Debbie (Emma Kenney) feeling emboldened by that check and her new role in the household while Frank (William H. Macy) reconnects with an old friend while on a quest for prescription drugs, Lip (Jeremy Allen White) navigates his relationship with Tami (Kate Miner), and Liam (Christian Isaiah) commits to learning about black history. You can see the promo above!

Season 10 of Shameless begins Sunday, November 3 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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