Shameless Season 9 Episode 11 Review: The Hobo Games

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Oh, baby.

Shameless Season 9 Episode 11 delivered some shocking twists, but the biggest was that Tammi was expecting Lip's child. 

Given that Tammi has been vocal that the women in her family have died at a young age of cancer, I figured that we were going to travel that route with her.

Lip Gets a Shock - Shameless Season 9 Episode 11

Flaking on Lip, ignoring his calls and acting like nothing was wrong added fuel to the fire, but I'm happy she and Lip are having a baby. 

If you watch Shameless online, you know that Lip has felt there's been something missing in his life for some time now.

The only semblance of happiness he had recently was taking Xan under his wing and providing a home for her. 

He adapted when her mother returned and took her from him. Having Xan back in his life brought it all back that he wants a family of his own. 

Frank: I am the hobo loco mofo.
Mickey: Okay.

That's why he went the adoption route. He learned the hard way that having no parental rights was an issue when Xan was in the hospital early on Shameless Season 9

His passion for becoming a parent was fascinating to watch when he started the process of legally becoming Xan's guardian.

The odds were against him from the get-go, and I appreciate the producers for traveling this path with Lip. 

Related: Get Showtime via Prime Video Channels for Award-Winning Original Series, Hit Movies, Sports & More!

CPS showing up for the surprise visit was predictable, but I loved how it all played out.

It helped highlight the change in dynamics inside the Gallagher home. 

Fiona's Mistake - Shameless Season 9 Episode 11

Debbie and Kelly may have been looking after the children, but it looked terrible that there was a hole in the floor of the living room and no adult around. 

There's no excuse for that. Anyone of those kids could have fallen through and found themselves with a nasty injury ... or worse. 

Vasectomies. I googled it! It's an incision into my ball bag.


Fiona being a mess was just another of the many issues with the scenario. I liked how she realized what was going on and tried to change the inspector's train of thought. 

Her instincts to try and fix things kicked in, and it was about time. However, I hated that Fiona went to Lip's place of work with vodka in her bag. 

Even though Fiona had no idea the man Lip was trying to keep on the straight and narrow once had an alcohol and drug addiction, that wasn't the time or place to be doling out the vodka. 

On the one hand, I agree with Fiona that it wasn't her fault, but on the other, Lip had a point that Fiona's just too far gone at this stage. 

Fiona Makes a Change - Shameless Season 9 Episode 10

There's no helping her at this stage, but I do take issue with Lip telling Fiona he wanted her out of the house. 

Related: Shameless Renewed for Season 10

Her siblings can make her feel unwelcome all they want, but Fiona's name is on the house. That's just the way the cookie crumbles. 

Carl and Debbie were shocked at Lip's outburst. It was the moment they realized how far Fiona has fallen since being the most successful and mature sibling. 

The opening scene with Fiona stealing someone else's drugs was particularly telling. It's good to know she's not taking them, but selling them is something that will come back to haunt her. 

That bitch stole my oxy.


With her knack for breaking the law of late, it still seems like the only logical exit for the character will be a stint behind bars. I've already stated my distaste for that direction, but where else can she possibly go?

Her credit is screwed, she's broke, and isn't in a position to be working. Unless a face from her past returns to whisk her off her feet, she's screwed. 

The Choice - Shameless Season 9 Episode 11

The Hobo Games was not a fun arc. It was terrible, but it was an excellent satire of how far companies are willing to go to get the right people as brand ambassadors. 

The addition of Mickey to this storyline made it a bit better, and I did want them both to share the money. They worked well together, but aside from that, the plot was a convoluted way to say goodbye to Ingrid. 

Katey Sagal has turned in a convincing performance as Ingrid. I'm sad to see Ingrid leave, but she's doing the best thing for her unborn children. 

Related: Shameless Season 9 Episode 10 Review: Los Diablos!

Frank will never be the father she wants him to be. All it took for her to learn that was to live with his other children he played no part in raising to realize that. 

Gallagher Problems - Shameless Season 9 Episode 10

But Frank understood her on a level she didn't think anybody ever could, and that's why they had a connection. Frank cared more about winning the competition than his girlfriend's feelings. 

He used the unborn children as a reason for doing the competition in the first place. In reality, he wanted the free alcohol and more money for booze. 

That's just Frank, and he's never going to change. 

"The Hobo Games" was a mixed bag. Some parts were great, but others dragged. 

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Debbie has the hots for Kelly. It's a random plot, for sure, and Carl should probably get Kelly well away from the house. 
  • The C plot involving Kev and V wasn't remotely interesting. There are a lot better things these two awesome characters could be doing. Writers, take note!
  • Mickey and Frank lying they were homosexual war veterans was a low blow. 

Over to you, Shameless Fanatics! What did you think of all the drama?

Hit the comments below. 

Shameless continues Sundays on Showtime. 

The Hobo Games Review

Editor Rating: 3.25 / 5.0
  • 3.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Shameless Season 9 Episode 11 Quotes

That bitch stole my oxy.


Vasectomies. I googled it! It's an incision into my ball bag.