“The Middle” Episode Review: The Paper Route

Grade: A

“This must be love because you smell so bad right now and I don’t care”- Sue

I always enjoy an episode that has a lot of awkward Sue, and this week took it to a whole new level.

Just when Sue thought her life was going to completely turn around, she got quite a bit of bad news. First, after Orson’s wrestling team won their one and only game, Matt told her that he was moving away. I have to admit that I felt bad for her, especially since she finally met someone who was a good match (unlike her ex, Brad). And then she expected to leave the dentist with perfect, straight teeth and instead got put into headgear (which definitely reminded me of Jan from The Brady Bunch movie). I love that she had an unprecedented situation of an overbite turning into an underbite.

Since Sue was so completely oblivious to the sexual orientation of her last boyfriend, it does not at all surprise me that she was so naïve about Matt’s new “friend.” As awkward as Sue is, she’s so innocent that I can’t help feel sorry for her! Axl’s remark that Matt was “the first of many guys who will ‘move away’ “ was a bit harsh but certainly got a chuckle out of me!

Axl had a lot of fantastic moments tonight, including accidently sending flirtatious texts to Matt (whom he thought was a hot girl) and being surprisingly polite and kind to Sue. That’s a first! Good to know that the guy is capable of being nice on occasion.

The B plot of the episode involved Brick taking on a paperboy job to earn money to buy a pair of night vision goggles (for reading, of course). I knew right away that Mike and Frankie would end up taking over at some point because Brick is in no way capable of handling any responsibilities. That became especially true when he spent an entire day on his route because he kept getting distracted. My favorite moment was when he stopped to read the newspaper himself. I also found myself laughing a lot when Mike told him to toss the paper onto the porch and he could barely make it pass the mailbox.

This led to a minor storyline about Mike admitting to his wife that he has had “a secret stash of bachelor batteries” (according to Frankie) for at least a decade. Then he reminded her about her “garage frosting” and their little banter just got hilariously more bizarre! I especially enjoyed the scene at the end where she was pretending to go to the store to get some batteries for Brick in hopes that Mike would give up some of his. I also thought I heard some Western stand-off music, which was perfect.

Other notable moments:

*Frankie saying she had no idea it was going to rain but Mike pointed out that it said so at the top of the paper they were delivering.

*Sue getting her headgear stuck to everything.

*Sue falling asleep on the couch and saying she had to go “decrust.” Gross!

*Frankie and Mike trying to quit Brick’s job and feeling guilty enough to continue it.

*Mike saying “Well, that’ll teach you to spend all your money on books” to Brick.

Another great episode from ‘The Middle’ this week, but I would not expect any less!

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