The Middle (S07E12) “Birds of a Feather”

Review: Another week of character development of the three Heck kids: Axl starts his internship, Sue tries to write an essay and Brick has to deal with some relationship problems.

Axl has his first day as an intern at Little Betty, but it’s not exactly how he expected it to be. Instead of being able to pitch all his great snack cake ideas, he has to get coffee for the ‘real’ employees of the company. Frankie tries to explain to him that all work is hard at the beginning but that he has to suck it up and stay positive. But when she comes home, complaining about a long day at the (renewed) dental office, Axl points out to her that she doesn’t seem too happy about her job either. While trying to stay positive (when Axl’s in the room), Mike makes Frankie realize how much she’s like her son: they have big ideas, but when it comes to it, they only complain. Frankie of course disagrees, but later when she and Axl are hanging out, it’s clear to see that they are very much alike. I liked the ending to this storyline a lot because I had never really seen how much Frankie and Axl are actually alike.

Meanwhile, when Cindy tells Mike that she kissed another boy, he is supposed to tell Brick about it. When Mike finally tells him, after getting threatened by Cindy, Brick gets very mad that Mike just drops a bomb like that without having any more information about who she kissed (was it Seymour, with his shiny orthopedic shoe?). Eventually Brick apologizes to Mike for snapping at him, and father and son have a nice conversation about women. Mike gives him some advice about how to handle the situation, but all it takes to save the relationship is $10 that Brick gives Cindy to never kiss another guy again. I loved how Brick reacted to the fact that Cindy kissed another boy. This really shows that he cares about her, even though they don’t really talk much (because he’s always reading, of course). I keep saying it, but Brick is growing up!

At East Indiana State, Sue is having trouble writing a paper when the teacher tells her that she needs to be more critical and write about how she feels. But naïve and optimistic Sue doesn’t really have this in her, until she stands up to her professor and expresses her opinion. That is exactly what he wanted to see from her and with that Sue grew up a bit: she “found more than just rainbows and unicorns. It was still mostly rainbows and unicorns, because let’s face it, Sue is always gonna be Sue….”.

I really like it that Axl is an intern now and I am looking forward to seeing more storylines about this. Cindy is back! Her role wasn’t big in this episode, but it was hilarious. I loved it when she kicked Mike’s car and really pushed him to talk to Brick. Eden Sher normally gets all the praise for playing Sue Heck, and while she was very good again this week, both Charlie McDermott and Atticus Shaffer deserve compliments for their work in this episode. I thought they were outstanding!

Rating: 9/10

Just so you will have the song stuck in your head too: