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Shameless Finale - Boss on Ian & Mickey's Heartbreak, Debbie's Decision & More with THR

There were so many ups and downs with Mickey and Ian this season, but with Ian returning home, it seems like they are left in a hopeful place despite having broken things off. Do you see this as one rare Gallagher relationship that can go the distance?

I do, but it'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.

It's arguable that Frank's actions with Bianca (Bojana Novakovic) were more loving than toward anyone else we've ever seen him interact with on the show, especially his own children. Have we finally seen Frank start to change for the better?

You hope so, but he's such a narcissist because he's such an addict, and he's so focused on his own stuff. It's hard to say yet if he'll use it as an example to others on how he's opened up, or if he's actually at a point where he can change any of his behaviors. Often it's easier to fall in love with or be swept up in parts of melodrama with someone who's leaving because there's no long-term commitment. She was fatally ill, but then he found himself attached, and he had to come to terms with it, and that's what we felt was fascinating. But we also want to make sure it's not something that just disappears from the landscape when we come back.

If Sean is such a good influence, is it safe to say he's back for season six?

Yes, we have another year with Dermot on the show.

Does that mean Justin Chatwin's exit was really final this time? He and Joan Cusack both left in ways that feel like there could be more story there.

We never want to say never. We could sit down and suddenly come up with a great idea, but for both of those characters, I think it would be fair to say that we love the actors and we love the characters but we sort of felt like we would need to find something completely different to do if we were going to bring them back.

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