“The Middle” Episode Review: The Second Act

Grade: A

“I’ve always wanted to be an ‘ist’ “- Frankie

This week’s episode of “The Middle” certainly was of top-notch quality, proving that the show has built some serious comedy momentum early in the season.

One of the storylines was practically pulled right off of my season wish-list. Frankie’s boss summoned her into his office with the unexpected news that she was being let go. Despite the fact that she has little interest in her job, this is not something anyone wants to hear. I loved that she attempted to remain calm and act indifferent about the situation in front of her co-workers but ended up blurting out “I got canned” anyway and started bawling once she got into her car.

However, this was the perfect opportunity for Frankie to start getting involved in something new. I found it hilarious when she said to Mike “we’re eenie people” because they always jump at the first opportunity before getting to the “mo.” When she decided to go back to school at the Orson Technical Institute, I found myself incredibly annoyed at the unsupportive response from her kids, especially Axl. I’m not sure, however, why I would expect any different from him.

My favorite scene from this storyline was when Frankie enthusiastically provided commentary during a commercial for her school about how qualified she was for all of the career fields, such as the fact that being able to predict the criminal on crime shows would make her a good court reporter. I was disappointed to see that her first day at school did not go very well, but at least Axl managed to make her feel better by saying, “Mom, you don’t need to do this all alone.” He even started to do the laundry on his own, an impressive feat for him.

Meanwhile, Sue was given the chance to become a mentor for a new freshman. I thought this was a very creative storyline they put an interesting spin on, considering how “uncool” Sue was in her first year (her book “Sue’s tips for “Sue-cess” as an example). Although I had a feeling that her mentee would have a completely different experience than Sue did her freshman year, I still found it incredibly amusing when the mentee got a boyfriend, made cheerleading, and got on the homecoming court. I was a bit stunned that Sue was considering trying to get on the court, especially when she naively told her parents “It’s almost like a popularity contest.”

Finally, after a softball game, Mike attempted to introduce Brick to a friend and his son, only to have Brick rudely ignore all three of them multiple times while reading his book instead. I was irked by his attitude and wished that Mike wouldn’t have let him off so easily, even though Brick did get beaten up by a third grader.

Overall, though I was annoyed with the Heck boys throughout most of the episode, this is one that I would gladly rewatch!

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