The signs that Mandy cares about her brother were always there if you look closely enough.
- In season 1, Mandy went to her brothers when she (falsely) accused Ian of attacking her and they defended her without hesitation. She went to Mickey because she knew she could count on his unquestioned support.
- In season 2, Mandy went to juvie to pick him up and gave him a long, warm hug that said more than words could. The caring was evident to anyone paying attention.
- In season 3, Mandy found out her brother was gay and never once judged him for it. In fact, she gave her implicit approval by admonishing him for letting Ian walk away.
- In season 4, when she saw Mickey falling apart over Ian’s illness, she gently held his arm and tried to explain what bipolar disorder is. The love in her eyes in that moment is clear.
Their relationship is far from perfect. They are both products of a neglectful and abusive environment that has left them emotionally stunted and desensitized to violence. As a result, they often have difficulty expressing their feelings (to each other and others). And as with Mickey towards Ian pre-season 4, this is often misinterpreted as a lack of emotion. Yet despite this, we’ve gotten enough glimpses to determine that Mandy does care for her brother I’m her own way.
And if there aren’t more examples, it is due to the failure of the writers to develop and utilize her character properly. The seeds were planted for this to be a complex and rewarding relationship, but they were ultimately neglected in favor of romantic drama. Sadly, we’re left to fill in the gaps ourselves for what could have been one of the greatest sibling relationships on the show.