“The Middle” Episode Review: The Hose

Grade: C+

“When does all of this sex stuff end?”- Brick

There is rarely an episode of The Middle that fails to hold my interest, but this week’s happened to be one with jokes few and far between.

The first storyline centered around Frankie, who was still figuring out what to do after being fired, so she decided to spend much of her time taking walks around the neighborhood. During a walk, she passed the house of their hillbilly neighbors and saw that Rita Glossner had returned unexpectedly (though no one quite knew the reason for her absence to begin with). Shortly after, Rita accused Frankie of stealing her hose and was threatening to burn down her house if she didn’t get it back. I personally didn’t find this storyline all that entertaining, even when the two got into a bit of a brawl that caused Frankie to end up with a chipped tooth. I did, however, appreciate the fact that Frankie did actually have Rita’s hose (unknowingly, of course) only because Brick had taken it to give his rabbit water.  That was something I was certainly not expecting.

Meanwhile, Sue was eagerly anticipating the trip as the new school mascot to the marching band’s competition, but she had to fundraise to afford most of the cost. When she accidently came across her dad’s paycheck, Sue decided to skip the trip to save money, but chose not to tell her parents. Her epiphany of “We’re poor!” to Axl and Brick was quite comical, but I found it to be rather unlikely that Sue had no idea of the family’s financial status. On the other hand, Sue generally seems to be caught up in her own teenage world so it isn’t necessarily that unrealistic.

My favorite scene of the storyline had Sue’s friends Brad and Carly explaining to Mike that they were there for any sort of moral or financial support that he might need (like Brad offering hand-me-downs) as a result of their “poverty.” I was pleased that they actually let it slip that Sue had actually changed her mind about the trip rather than the band asking her not to go. I was pleased to see Mike being sympathetic and insisting that she not miss the opportunity and that they would pay for it in some way.

The last storyline focused on Brick being forced to attend a puberty/sex-ed session at his school. There was little time actually spent on this part of the plot, which was a shame in my opinion, since it could have made it a lot stronger. I did, however, particularly love the ending when Brick shared with his class all of the inappropriate information that Axl had given to him, especially when he said “When chicks ‘want it,’ do they want it right away or can I finish my book first?”

Overall this was an episode that I felt that was lacking in humor and left me disappointed.


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