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The Middle – Here’s the thing, Mom

How funny was Frankie’s concern about 'Celebrity Rehab' being cancelled? Not just for their loss of the show, but also for the participants. “Where are those celebrities gonna go? They need help.”

- Season 3, Episode 17 - "The Sit Down"

The Hecks really put on a show this week. After a fantastic opening sequence filled with all manner of kid craziness, Frankie yelling, and Mike handing out ultimatums, the episode settled into a great display of what would happen if our kids took over their own oversight.

A typical morning in the Heck household begins with Frankie banging on everyone’s doors in an effort to wake them up. And on this particular morning, here’s what the family had in store once everyone woke up:

  • Brick assured Frankie that he’d packed his backpack the night before just as she’d asked. When she threw his empty bag to him, he asked, to no one in particular, “Then what’d I put yogurt in?” What I want to know is, how did we never learn the answer to that?
  • Frankie foolishly went into Axl’s room to wake him up, and she tossed the covers off of what she assumed was him (he was actually asleep on the floor), only to unleash a torrent of bugs that were hanging out under his blanket. How disgusting do you have to let your bed get before it gets bugs? On second thought, I don’t want to know.
  • Frankie reminded Brick for what was clearly the thousandth time to bring the coffeemaker home from school that she’d stolen from work for teacher appreciation day. I wonder how she’s been covering for the missing coffee pot at work.
  • Mike punished everyone by declaring no more coats, and no more big drinks at the movies. The latter is probably just good bathroom sense, but I’d love to see him holding the line on the former by making everyone wear hand-me-down coats … I can just see Axl in Frankie’s old coats, and Brick in Sue’s.

And so it was that Frankie was nagging, and Mike was punishing. So what are a bunch of put-upon kids to do? I loved how Axl, Sue, and Brick sat Mike and Frankie down to discuss their concerns with them. Starting off with “Here’s the thing, Mom” was hilarious, and I loved how quickly Frankie got defensive. They have meetings and they keep minutes! The entire thing was awesome.

As was the entire trip in the car to find Sue’s missing jacket. Brick reading “Of Mice and Men” to Axl for his book report — just the highlights — was great, and Axl somehow asking Weird Ashley (Katlin Mastandrea) to prom for the second year in a row was priceless. I think you could probably argue that he’d merely said they should go out again, but I am eagerly anticipating The Middle picking up on this thread again toward the end of the season.

And then, how great was the moth in Brick’s ear? I don’t know what Axl planned on doing with scissors and matches, but the call he made to Frankie while she and Mike were at the bowling alley was hilarious. I bet if he’d really tried, he could have convinced her that it was a hypothetical question.

All in all, another superb outing by the show. And lest I forget some other great moments:

  • The sight of Brick crossing out a note on his arm was possibly the best thing he’s done all season. And it was so him!
  • Axl’s creation and use of the word “I con’t.” As in, “I can but won’t.” Sounds specially created for use with Sue
Photo Credit: ABC

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