The Middle (S08E03) “Halloween VII: The Heckoning”

Review: It’s time for Halloween in Orson, and not the costumes or the haunted houses are the most scary, Axl’s happiness when he’s around April is. However his nice attitude towards April translates to a mean Axl when he’s around his family. It seems like he needs a way to let out his snark, so the Hecks decide to suck it up and just let it go.

About letting go, both Frankie and Sue have a hard time doing that this week. Let’s start with Frankie. When the kids choose Mike over her when they’re asked where they would live in the case of a divorce, she’s hurt. She can’t let go of it and brings it up again even days after the conversation. To convince the kids that living with Mike isn’t all that great, she shows them how life would be without her, by taking away the groceries she buys and not listening to their problems. But when that doesn’t help, she tells the family how hurt she is and storms out of the house. After walking through the neighborhood all night, with candy and beer and a visit to the Donahue’s brilliant Bible themed haunted house, Frankie decides to go back home. From that point on, she starts to feel a little better because she runs into April, who tells Frankie that she told Axl to be nicer to his mom and the rest of the family and to top it all off Mike tells her that he would never leave her and if he would, he would never take the kids anyway.

Next up is Sue, who seems to have to let go of her room because, after a great summer where he finally had his own room, Brick has no intentions of giving it back to her for the weekends she spends at home. Sue tries everything because she’s done sleeping in the same room as Axl, especially now that he’s so snarky. She can’t convince Brick to go back to his old room, so she tries to just take it from him in and locks herself in her old room. Things get out of hand, it even gets to the point where Brick makes a(nother) hole in the wall with his (awesome) Halloween costume. Mike breaks up the two fighting siblings by telling them that they both have to go back to their original rooms. Brick is disappointed because he finally had something that was just for him, instead of a shared room, a lawn chair or cousin clothes. While he, probably, (we don’t really get a final answer on this) has to go back to his old room, they do something that makes Brick feel more a part of the family: they finally give him a normal chair (that apparently has been in the basement all these years).

The Middle has always had great Halloween episodes, and this year’s was no exception! However, this episode had a lot of similarities with the season 4 premiere (Last Whiff Of Summer), where the kids make it very clear that Mike is their favorite parent and Frankie is fighting for their love. It might’ve taken away a little of the fun of the whole storyline, but there were still enough differences and great lines for me to really enjoy it.

The storyline I enjoyed the most though was Sue and Brick. There’s always a lot of sibling rivalry on the show, but we don’t see it a lot between Sue and Brick. It was fun to see them fight like this, especially when Brick was wearing his bowling pin outfit. The ending to this storyline was great as well. I loved seeing Brick so happy with his new chair!

We also saw some character development of April this week. I liked her in the season premiere, but we only got to see her dumb side. It was great that we now saw another side of her when she was talking with Frankie. I’m very curious to see where they are taking her character, but I’m sure she’ll be back soon enough!

Rating: 9/10