'Shameless': How does Ian and Mickey's polyamory discussion work vs. David and Patrick's on 'Schitt's Creek'?

Ian and Mickey had an uncomfortable talk about monogamy - something David and Patrick managed almost effortlessly in the lead-up to their wedding

                            'Shameless': How does Ian and Mickey's polyamory discussion work vs. David and Patrick's on 'Schitt's Creek'?
Stills from 'Shameless' and 'Schitt's Creek' (Pop TV, Showtime)

Spoilers for 'Shameless' Season 11 Episode 1 'This is Chicago'

Open, honest communication is the key to every strong relationship, but the bane of all entertaining television. If you want the drama, misunderstandings are going to happen, and one of television's favorite queer couples just had a conversation that leaves things more uncertain than they were to begin with. Ian Gallagher (Cameron Monaghan) and Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) have tried and failed to have an honest conversation about monogamy - something that 2020's other favorite queer couple from 'Schitt's Creek' managed to do almost effortlessly.

David Rose (Dan Levy) and Patrick Brewer (Noah Reid) faced a unique challenge to their upcoming marriage in the final season of 'Schitt's Creek' when one of David's former lovers seemed to be inviting the pair of them to a threesome. It was the first time the two had considered the question of whether or not their marriage would be a monogamous one. The discussion was brief, tentative and akward, but the two were able to trust each other enough to agree to give the threesome a try. When they found out that they'd been invited to an orgy, and not just a threesome, however, the two quickly realized that while they might be comfortable sleeping with other people, they had limit.

What's important is that the two of them managed to figure this out before their wedding day, and trusted each other enough that, hilariously, David slept with his masseuse on the day of his wedding. In comparison, Ian and Mickey barely figured out anything at all before they got married, and are now having to deal with the consequences of that. Whether it's finances or polyamory, the two are uncomfortable with the idea of actually setting rules down for each other. They each have their own desires and needs that they're afraid to communicate with each other because they're afraid of hurting each other.

What's more, when it comes to polyamory, they see the choice as a binary between being able to sleep with other people, and being completely monogamous - with nothing in between. David and Patrick were able to work out their limits - they may be able to sleep with other people, but understand that some circumstances work better than others - while Ian and Mickey seem to assume it's a one dick fits all sort of situation.

Ian and Mickey have a long way to go before they can have the kind of marriage that's on as much stable ground as David and Patrick's is, but as Lip (Jeremy Allan White) pointed out - neither Mickey nor Ian have had the best parental examples of what a good relationship should look like, while both David and Patrick's parents' marriages always remained strong.

The next episode of 'Shameless' airs on Sunday, December 13, at 9 pm ET, on Showtime.

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