SHAMELESS (L-R): Noel Fisher as Mickey Milkovich and Cameron Monaghan as Ian Gallagher
Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME
Episode 803

Gallavich is back — and more shameless than ever.

When Cameron Monaghan departed Shameless in 2018 after more than eight seasons and 100 episodes, he had no intention of returning, saying he felt comfortable with the “logical conclusion” for his character, Ian Gallagher. The actor made a brief appearance in the season 9 finale to help send off Emmy Rossum’s Fiona, but he says showrunner John Wells had to do a “decent amount of convincing” to get him back full-time for season 10. Still, Monaghan, 26, was only interested on one condition: The show needed to further explore Ian’s “almost Shakespearean” relationship with his boyfriend — and now cellmate — Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher).

“That was something that felt worth going back to,” he tells EW. “There’s still a lot of story to tell. 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 classic Shameless fashion, “a somewhat stable environment” means prison, which is where Ian and Mickey were reunited in what originally appeared to be Monaghan’s swan song. The actors and audience were all thrilled with the “very strange version of a fairytale,” but, when we catch back up with the duo in season 10, the honeymoon period is over.

“It turns out that living in cramped quarters without much break from one another is not necessarily all that conducive to a healthy relationship,” shares Fisher, 35, who will be a series regular for the first time since season 5. “It’s basically living together in the worst studio apartment you can possibly imagine.”

Adds Monaghan: “Like any romantic relationship, you need a healthy level of distance and separation, and that’s something not afforded to them. 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 stabbings. [Laughs]”

See the exclusive photo of Monaghan and Fisher above, then check out the first promo for Shameless season 10 below.

Shameless returns to Showtime on Nov. 3 at 9 p.m. ET.

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Episode 803
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