“The Middle” Episode Review: Bunny Therapy

Grade: B

“I have no idea who I’m dating”-Axl

While “The Middle” has certainly kicked-off its season with a couple of memorable episodes, I felt that this week was a bit of a downgrade. I appreciate exaggerated humor, but I felt at times “Bunny Therapy” went a little too far past reality for my taste.

Axl somehow managed to catch the attention of two cheerleaders and was not afraid to brag about the fact that he was dating one of them. The problem, however, was that he had no idea which girl he was dating. Both of them were always together and made comments that implied that either one could be his girlfriend. I took great pleasure in watching Axl become extremely uncomfortable at the situation as he attempted to solve this mystery. I particularly enjoyed the scene where he was preparing for the homecoming dance and had yet to figure out who his date was. I was probably just as annoyed as Axl was when his kiss with one of them led to a very unclear response from the girls, forcing him to run after them shouting, “Don’t go! One of you is really important to me.” I thought this storyline was rather unique, but at times I found it to be overly frustrating.

Meanwhile, Sue had temporarily given up on trying out for any school activities, though I knew it wouldn’t last. When she finally decided to attend try-outs for the school mascot, all of her preparation (such as the box on her head) was entertaining but not as comical as I thought it would be. I loved the fact that the opportunity to audition for the role was extended because Sue was the only one who showed up. It was priceless when the person in charge kept insisting that “Anyone. Anyone at all” could still try-out.  As much as I enjoy seeing Sue struggle to get involved in an activity, I hope that this one lasts. Like Frankie and Mike said, it would be nice to get a break from all of her constant auditions.

Finally, Brick’s new tic caused Frankie and Mike to have a rather awkward discussion with his teacher and the school therapist, who recommended that the Hecks get a pet to help with Brick’s social skills. Naturally Brick had no interest in the bunny that Frankie got him, and it didn’t help that the animal turned out to be rather aggressive. I can fully understand a bunny that has a tendency to bite, but at one point it got so bad that the fuzzy creature appeared to be “growling” and caused its owners to climb onto counters to avoid contact with it once it escaped. I thought that this was a bit ridiculous, especially because the bunny’s supposed hostility was portrayed as unrealistically frightening for the characters.

The one aspect of this story line that I did enjoy was the fact that Frankie (and Mike) had gotten so annoyed at Brick’s new “whooping” tic that it led to her spraying him with water at one point just to get him to stop. One of the strongest scenes in my opinion was when the conversation with their son had him criticizing their parenting skills and revealing a number of other “tics” that he had.

Other notable moment:

*A surprise appearance by Weird Ashley, who is already counting on Axl taking her to prom.

 

Overall, while certainly not a poor quality episode, I felt that this one could have used some improvement.

 

 

 

 

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