Love Songs (In The Key of Gallagher): Wrenching Coda to Another Perfect, Discordant, Improbable Season of TV’s Best Show

Let’s just put it out there: who’s happy with the button that was placed on the epic #Gallavich love story at the end of season five of Showtime’s Shameless, in the episode perfectly named “Love Songs (in the Key of Gallagher).” Can I see a show of hands? Huh, none. Okay.


Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher in Season 5 Episode 10, “Southside Rules,” of Shameless |Photo: Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME

Well, let’s not keep bantering back and forth with what if’s. Lay that one at the feet of Noel Fisher. According to show exec John Wells in the Hollywood Reporter:

[I]t’s really a decision for Noel to make. He was going to do a movie and wasn’t prepared to sign on for another year, so I have to check back in with him in a few months and see. He has a very thriving film career, and we really just hired him for a few episodes when we started, but we keep expanding it, and he always comes back when he’s available. So, some of where the characters end up will be dictated by availability, but it [also] may be an interesting time for Ian to discover how important Mickey was in his life. It’s that thing that often happens when you’re younger: you have a relationship that’s really difficult and passionate and messy, and then you go away from it and you discover the rest of the world, and sometimes you come back to that first person anyway.

Look, let’s be practical. I love Noel Fisher. LOVE HIM. He has a talent that takes my breath away. He is so good as Mickey Milkovich — his electric chemistry with Cameron Monaghan notwithstanding — that he leaps off the screen. But, he’s a young man with a big future. He’s a Ninja Turtle (and I don’t mean that figuratively); he’s filming the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie soon and it looks like it will conflict with Shameless.

And you can moan and cry and gnash your teeth all you want, but if YOU had the chance to make a Hollywood blockbuster, you’d do it too. If Noel can come back and Mickey can be put back into the narrative in a meaningful way, I’ll be at the front of the cheering section, but if he can’t, well, there’s never, ever — EVER — been any sentimentality in Shameless. It’s what we love about it. And it never set out to make you happy.

Here’s the thing: thank Noel and Cam for creating a couple that transcended sexuality, that transcended norms, that showed the world that sometimes what makes you fall in love is finding the person you need to find to find yourself, to find your place in the world, to find out how to understand the world just a little bit. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it doesn’t, but almost always, it is utterly and completely unforgettable.

“I like the way he smells.”
—Season 4, Episode 11


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