Shameless season 9, episode 11 recap: The Hobo Games


Shameless has seen a resurgence of confrontational writing this season, most of it leading to Fiona being despised by everyone. Frank is still in contention for his greatest prize but has to deal with Ingrid.

Fiona had her eyes opened to her troubles, by seeing Frank’s pride in enjoying his alcoholism on Shameless. The Hobo gene has is more nurture than nature, but it was never in Frank’s nature to nurse more than a beer. His ramblings ways rolled downhill, affecting Lip’s college educated future and Fiona’s future peace of mind.

In the end, they all have only themselves to blame for the choices that come after this sobering moment of truth. Lip dealt with his problem with the 12 steps, a wrench, and a chronic policy of trying to help those in true need. Fiona needs help but is refusing to accept it at the Gallagher house. So Lip being the most mature, even-keeled, and physically capable had to let Fiona know it was time to step out.

Fiona is broke and out on her behind. She has no friends, merely acquaintances to be used for hustles for daily survival. Fiona stood strong for so long, but now no one will stand beside her while she is at her worst. Fiona lost the money, the investments, and the family she helped to keep together.

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The family she kept together no longer exist. Fiona’s whole support network is gone. Kevin and Veronica were cast aside by Fiona years ago, over some petty nonsense. Fiona has avoided making any real connections with Veronica since. Instead, Fiona relied on men, tenants, and subordinate employees for venting and self analysis.

None of those people cared about Fiona more than Veronica, Kevin, and the younger Gallaghers. Fiona pushed them all to the margins or was so controlling that she herself had to be placed behind some boundaries. Some of the other kids got tired of Fiona ‘going Fiona’ on situations they needed to handle, so they could become as responsible as Fiona had been while raising them.

In the end, Lip found sobriety and Debbie had Franny. Carl decided to channel his poverty induced aggression and conniving schemes into the military, where he should excel. Ian has Mickey and some down time to get his meds right.

All the kids Fiona raised have moved on, with kids, projects, and lives of their own. All Fiona has now is regrets and wonders of ‘what if’ to dwell on. She should ask Frank how that dwelling and pity can affect a person’s mental health and living stability.

It’s all even in the wash, and being a Gallagher is a zero sum game. Some days life gives you a tie instead of a win, but the ten thousand dollar score makes it all the better. Other days, it gives you six possible kids and some lawyer take to sign a letter.

In Fiona’s case, she gave her best years away to her siblings, in their best interest. Now that Fiona needs real help, no one is available to even give her some words of support. Debbie has been a financial tyrant, while Lip is more interested in orphaned kids and sobriety meetings. Ian, Carl, and Liam are far too removed to be of any substantial help.

Fiona also gave those same kids plenty of tough love. Carl had to get a job when he was seven years old. Liam is learning the hustles. Ian got some sympathy because of his bipolar diagnosis and trouble coming out as gay. Lip was almost booted from the house for not finishing school and Debbie was forced into a handicapped bed just to find Franny a roof.

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Fiona started dreaming big on Shameless. She wanted peace, independence, and a way to be on her own. She now has the whole city of Chicago to call her home. The streets are her hallways. In such a big house, maybe she can avoid bumping into Frank. She doesn’t want any more of his influence on her life. It is tough enough looking into the mirror for Fiona. She played the maternal part, but mostly resembles Frank.

And Frank couldn’t even win the Hobo Loco man competition.

What did you think of this episode of Shameless? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!