I would like to point something out that I’m not sure anyone is talking about.
The obstacle course Ian is using while Mickey is shooting at random targets above him? That obstacle course wasn’t just THERE, guys. You know what that means? That means that Ian and Mickey found this place (probably Mickey knew about it first or they discovered it together. I’m assuming this because we never saw Ian here before and Mickey made himself at home here after what happens in 3x666) and MADE it into a shared space where they can each just hang out and do whatever they want. Mickey can shoot his gun to let off some steam and Ian can train for ROTC with an obstacle course they probably built together. They’d have a place to hang out without worrying about getting caught (you know, since the Kash and Grab CLEARLY wasn’t going to work anymore because each time they got caught up to that point, it was at the store). BUT it’s super important that we take notice that they are not just either fucking or working together. They spend platonic time together just hanging out. They are taking interest in each others interests and I really just CAN’T stress that enough to people who argue Mickey is toxic for Ian or that the relationship was bad in general. They were not just fuck buddies. They were friends, best friends.
So in the first scene Mickey is in, we see Ian proposing Mickey help him rob Ned’s house.
Mickey seems disinterested in the conversation, but that’s likely due to Ned being mentioned and I imagine Mickey doesn’t really want to hear about him. I know I certainly wouldn’t.
Something that may have concerned some people was when Mickey shot beside Ian while he was on the ground, but I’d like to point out something. We’ve seen this kid handling guns basically since we met him. He knows what he’s doing and I assume is an excellent shot. We see him shooting at targets all of the time. His family is swimming in guns. Plus if I want to be cold (and possibly get some hate) Ian is wanting to go into the army… May as well get used to bullets getting pretty damn close.
There wasn’t any malice behind it, though it is a shocking move to say the VERY least.
I love also how Ian is totally cool with the Milkoviches. He’s best friends with Mandy, in love with Mickey, and accepts basically everyone in Mickey’s circle.
Notice how he’s trying to make this a throw-away comment. Trying to act like he isn’t emotionally invested in why Ian likes Ned or hangs out with Ned. He’s trying (and failing) to hide his mounting jealousy.
I think Mickey shoots at these reasons for a couple of reasons. 1. It’s bullshit. Though I’m sure Ian does like being treated to stuff, Mickey also knows that this isn’t why Ian likes him or is pretending to like him. Those shots are his way of calling bullshit but in a way that won’t reveal how irritating this actually is. And 2. Because no matter the circumstances, Mickey will never be able to give Ian (materialistically) what Ned can and I think deep down that bothers him.
You can see that vulnerability in his eyes even when he’s trying to hard to act unbothered and casual, he can’t completely hide that Ian’s initial answer bugs him. He’s poor and even in season 4 when he has moments of wealth from the Rub N Tug, they are fleeting and not to the level he probably wishes he had. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
^THIS is the root of Ian’s problem with where he and Mickey are at and Mickey recognizes that as the truth.
And while he understands Ian’s impatience, he’s also really really scared to get emotionally attached. Nothing good in his life lasts forever, each time he and Ian find some semblance of happiness together, it gets fucked up so I can understand why Mickey would be afraid of building a connection (internalized homophobia aside!) But then there’s also a determination, and I’ve talked about it before. Almost like he’s wrestling with himself a bit. Like, okay I’ll still not admit I’m gay… But I’m losing him to this old guy and while I can’t buy him shit, I can maybe give him this? It’s at least worth a try, right?