In case you missed it... Part 2
Gallavich moment 2 : The Kash & Grab Feud;1 x 06
This is your spoiler warning! All of these posts will include spoilers from all 7 seasons.
Today I’m going to talk about season 1, episode 6; Killer Carl. In this episode we see Mickey stealing from the Kash & Grab. Obviously some people are going to be irritated by this because people don’t like the idea of someone doing whatever they want. Or maybe they’re uncomfortable with seeing the ease with which Mickey steals things and how much fear he has instilled in grown men in his neighborhood. This is really disturbing when you sit down and think about it, but at the same time it’s kind of expected just knowing who his father is.
However, something very crucial seems to be missed with this episode that rarely gets talked about: Mickey waits until Linda is gone from the Kash & Grab.
This shows a couple of things. The first thing is a possible respect for women that would be pretty unexpected of this kind of character. Maybe he has a deep respect for his mother or maybe Terry somehow taught him to respect women? Either way this could be interpreted as a small gesture to Linda to not steal directly from her. (This is a stretch, but I had to include it as a possibility based on what we find out later regarding Mickey’s respect for women). Then second, it shows that Kash is obviously the weak one, and an easy target. Tell us something we don’t know, I know. But clearly Mickey has discovered that Kash is the easier one of the two to steal from. His waiting until Linda leaves could simply just be that he recognizes she would be the tougher one to steal from or that she has a stronger backbone than Kash has and so stands a greater chance of being caught and arrested for stealing. (Or it could go so far as to show Mickey’s respect for women overall, which we see later on in the series.)
Just throwing it out there.
Mickey waltzes right in after Linda is gone, and nonchalantly collects his items, even rips a box from Kash at the register, fills the box, and is about to leave when he even reminds Kash to order more barbecue Pringles…
Because this is a TV show, I personally find this endearing. In the real world however this is obviously not acceptable behavior and we would want someone like this to be stopped, and due to how frequently he does this, probably punished. Some Mickey critics may be looking at this exchange and seeing it for what it realistically is, and seeing Mickey for who he externally is at this point. At this stage in Mickey’s development he is a thug and we are not supposed to see anything to give us a muddled view of his character. He gives literally no shits about what authority figures have to say, or the existence of authority figures in general and that may be what irks some people about Mickey.
Now let’s take a second and look at Mickey’s upbringing. I’m going to make a strange connection, but bear with me. I have way more experience in my personal life dealing with spoiled rotten brats than I do dealing with thugs like Mickey. What I’ve learned from these spoiled brats is that they become said brats because their parents never said no, or things came too easily to them in some way. Though for Mickey things certainly have never come easy to him in that he grew up poor, in the ghetto, with limited education and we may assume a domestic violent background, there is a level of ease when it comes to his interactions with his community and getting what he wants. He has been taught by his father and his brothers that he can get whatever he wants as long as he intimidates the right people. If you hold power over someone with any power you not only maintain your own power, but you gain access to theirs. So here Mickey is taking the power that Kash has over his convenience store, and harnessing it for himself to get basically whatever he wants limited only to what the store carries. While I know many people who make excuses for spoiled brats when reality sets in for them, urging their peers to take pity on the spoiled people acclimating to reality and trying to get everyone to understand why the spoiled brat is the way that he or she is, it’s uncommon for me to hear anyone making excuses for the thugs. Why? Because supposedly the rich ones are relatively harmless, and deserve the chance to become tolerable members of society while the thugs are intimidating to people, stealing, maybe even become violent or are involved in steeper illegal matters. While I’m not asking anyone to excuse either party, I am asking for a similar level of understanding for the thug as is awarded the brat in this case because this is TV.
If you are raised to believe that you can bully yourself through any situation and intimidate your way into getting whatever you want, how can you be expected to do anything else? It’s almost absurd to expect Mickey to be any different just from knowing or even just assuming his background.
More of Mickey’s background is actually revealed when Ian walks out of the back room to see Mickey leaving with his loot, and Kash looking pathetic. When Ian asks why Kash doesn’t say anything, Kash reminds Ian that he has already tried to say something to the Milkovich family, and things did not go well.
Ian reminds cash that the Milkovich father, Terry, is in prison. This establishes a couple of things.
One. Terry is the force of the Milkovich family. With him gone, Ian assumes that some of the power is taken away from the Milkovich family that would give Kash enough of an upper hand to stop the thievery. This of course is not the case for some people who are thoroughly intimidated by the Milkovich name, because even with Terry gone, Kash is still afraid of the youngest Milkovich boy. Second Terry’s whereabouts are well known by the community. This establishes the weight of the Milkovich name and confirms a background which likely explains why Mickey feel so comfortable stealing what he wants. He refers to Terry’s whereabouts as though this happens frequently (and we find out later that he is definitely a frequent jailhouse visitor and prison resident).
When Mickey comes back in again for the dip he forgot, Kash is given another chance to call him out for his shit, and Kash blows it. Because of course he does. Ian is frustrated by Kash’s lack of response, and follows Mickey into the street. There, and tries to reason with Mickey, reminding him that he’s stealing from his own community.
Because it has just been established how much weight the Milkovich name carries, it is very impressive to me that Ian felt enough courage to stand up to Mickey in the first place. Mickey, of course, does not receive Ian’s appeals well and acts out in, albeit harmless, violence and throws his most recently stolen item at Kash and Ian.
After watching them duck from his throw, (probably enjoying himself) he challenges Ian to come find him if he has a problem.
This establishes that Mickey feels confident that he can win this fight. Whether he knows that Ian is in ROTC or not is unclear, but the point remains that he feels confidently in his own skills and in the force behind his own family name, that he feels no threat.
If you are uncomfortable with Mickey’s thug attitude, that’s good. You should be. That’s the point of media: to show a reflection of what is going on in our real society to call attention to problems we may still have to fix. In this case, maybe it’s important that we look into why teen thugs are the way they are, where they get their power, and how to rehabilitate and prevent young people from turning into Mickeys in real life to then prevent the even bigger threats like Terry. Mickey had few choices simply because of the role his father plays in his life; probably making him and his siblings get involved in his drug ring (this will be discussed a lot through the early seasons and I may make a separate post about the Milkovich family dynamic… drop me a line and let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in reading), abuse at home, and how we learn later that Mickey does so poorly in school he would still be considered a Freshman though he’s probably supposed to be a Junior (also will be mentioned in Milkovich dynamic post). Mickey is a great example of how these thug attitudes and MOs pass down family lines and how a lack of education provides some young people with no choice but to go to the streets for support which will give them even fewer chances to make the choices leading to the conventional success we are supposed to want for everyone, including the hoodrats.
As endearing as he is on TV, let’s be honest with ourselves, if we met that little shit in person we’d probably want him in prison or beaten, too. Though we can’t deny we all love that smile, even when it’s dirty…
So, that’s all I have for 1x06. I’ll update next week with 1x07 and if anyone has anything to add or counter-argue in the meantime, please send me an Ask!
Till next time, lovelies!