Anonymous asked: So it's arguably apparent/obvious how Mickey came to fall hopelessly and endlessly in love with Ian, but what about the reverse? What do you think "did" Ian in, in terms of loving Mickey?
This is such a good question and it deserves to be addressed when I’m sober, BUT I WILL TAKE A CRACK AT IT:
With Mickey’s process, there’s more of a precise, narrowly designated cause, because Mickey had a larger barrier in place, so he had to have a specific force to overcome that boundary. To wit, Ian didn’t come into the relationship with comparable baggage of believing himself unlovable, so to some extent it was easier for those feelings to begin to develop in more of a fluid, amorphous way, because it was just enough for Ian that it was chemical, that it was automatic, that it went unanalyzed. The thing with Ian’s feelings, the truly precious and wonderful thing about them, is that they weren’t analyzed. Because Ian didn’t feel a need to locate a cause, it wasn’t something that deserved to be interrogated. Ian’s thought process in season one, to Mickey’s complete uncomprehending disbelief, is just, “Well…yeah, why wouldn’t I like him?” There’s a sense that Ian’s ability to see the true person underneath Mickey’s armor is instinctual, immediate, unconscious. But if I were to locate the biggest moment early on for Ian that aided that process of “knowing”:
- In 1x07 Ian is surprised that Mickey threw the gun on the bed for him to take back. He had clearly forgotten about the whole thing, and the gesture makes him lean forward to try to kiss Mickey. Based on Mickey’s verbal response, we can probably safely conclude that Ian never attempted to kiss Mickey during the sex itself. He made that decision to do something gentle and affectionate and emotional, outside of sex, only after the gun was returned, and I think it kind of taps into what I was getting at when I began a list of Mickey’s positive actions before season 4 with that moment. That is, Mickey gives of himself. That is one of the central identifying characteristics of his personality, he gives and he gives and he gives. He always sacrifices his own comfort and convenience, his own personal boundaries, to help the people to whom he is attached. There was no immediate reason for Mickey to give the gun back, nothing to gain at that point. Ian’s face softens when he gives the gun back, and when he turns to face him, Mickey is visibly nervous by what he’s just done. I think in that moment Ian saw both that Mickey is generous, in the least selfish sense imaginable, and that he is scared, and he felt warm to him as a result of both of those qualities. Then there are moments that confirm those qualities, and in the process deepen or strengthen those feelings of attachment: Mickey coming to help Ian in 1x09, melting under his grin in 1x10, and standing up to Frank in 2x02. I’d love to include Mickey’s sacrifice in 2x08 in that list, but I’m not sure if Ian is capable of understanding Mickey’s motivations for that action. The big “make-or-break” moments for Ian that solidified his love in terms of Mickey’s ability to give and Mickey’s bravery:
- The kiss in 3x05
- The revelation in the Alibi in 4x11. Ian shouldn’t have behaved the way he did toward Mickey in this episode, shouldn’t have blamed him for the chaos of his mind and taken his feelings of powerlessness out on him, but on rewatch I’m always struck by the breathless wonder on Ian’s face as he closes the door of the Alibi behind him. He’s always looked at him with warmth, but I don’t think Ian ever looked at Mickey that way before. The thing about Ian’s love for Mickey, as I said above, is that it went uninterrogated. While Lip might not see the appeal of Mickey, for Ian it’s not even a question. His belief in him, from 1x07 on, has always been so resolute, that I don’t think Mickey’s development was surprising to him at all, because Ian has always believed him capable of miracles, always believed that he was impossibly strong enough to open himself to Ian. But in 4x11? For the first time Ian is surprised. For the first time he’s amazed and speechless at the depth of Mickey’s love, at the depth of Mickey’s ability to give and the depth of his ability to do things that terrify the hell out of him. What I’m trying to say is that I think before this point, while Ian was in love with Mickey, and in love to the point of never being able to forget him, I don’t think he ever thought that it was possible for him to love Mickey more. But he does. He looks across at grinning, teary-eyed, bloody Mickey and loves him more than he ever did before, loves him with the knowledge that he’s capable of making Ian love him more and more and more, because Mickey stepped in when it was absurd, when it was impossible, when it was unthinkable to do so, to save Ian’s hope when the entire world was intent on breaking it.
THAT… Was beautifully said!..I have been reeling with the words inside my head about Mickey and his ability to love Ian.. Specifically, the moment of the kiss in the club.. What you said here helps to articulate what I was thinking about the moment we see Mickey really kiss Ian and what it means to both.
The breath stuck in my throat as we watched Mickey finally make the decision to kiss Ian in front of all those people in the club. How he pulled back from Ian’s attempt to kiss him, uncomfortable at the thought of such a public display from Ian. Mickey pulls back at the thought of everyone “seeing” them do this. We see Ian look around and then look at Mickey. Mickey does the same.. their world is all around them. Then the moment when you can physically SEE how it just becomes about them. Only the two of them, with Mickey realizing the fact he IS free to love Ian back. Their world literally shrinks down to just the two of them. I loved the intimacy of that moment.. And the sheer love and respect and emotion with which Mickey goes to initiate the kiss. He is SO incredibly tender..This was pure love being given. Everything good in Mickey comes out in that moment of vulnerability towards Ian. We see Ian waiting, watching Mickey so intently, the silent message that passes between them is incredible to behold.. and then the tenderness.. this was NOT a sexual kiss.. it was an visceral acknowledgement of finally giving into the the love that Mickey has for Ian, out and free, in the open. All the walls came down for Mickey in that moment. And for him, there was only Ian.. The noise, the lights, the people around them, completely disappeared and we could only stand back and watch. I don’t know if there has ever been or will be a more “intimate” kiss like that..it was absolutely incredible and kudos to both Cameron and even more to Noel for allowing this to happen the way it did. I was and continue to be completely awestruck with this moment.
Much has been said about the development of this relationship as the writers progressed through the seasons. Much has been said about Noel and Cameron’s ability to develop these characters and I would love to speak about Noel and his incredible talent, but that is for another day.Kudos for so realistically portraying this relationship the way it has been and I am looking forward to more from them. I don’t know if anything can top this moment though. It was incredible, inspiring and breathtaking! Thank you!