The Middle (S08E04) “True Grit”

Review: As we saw in the season premiere, Sue isn’t sure about her relationship with Jeremy and this week she is ready to break up with him. She doesn’t know how and asks Axl for advice. He tells her to act like a jerk so that Jeremy would be the one to break up with her. But Jeremy doesn’t take the hint so Sue has to come up with something else. She gets her acapella group and even Axl to help out and break up with Jeremy for her, but he doesn’t want to listen. The stress about her crappy room and Jeremy builds up to the point that she blows up to the pizza delivery guy bringing the wrong pizza. She realizes she has to stand up for herself, so she and Lexie move out of their dorm room and Sue finally breaks up with Jeremy, which seems to be the perfect choice considering he calls her a sponge, soaking up everything he says. Even though Sue is easily influenced by what other people say or think, she is getting more independent while growing up and starts thinking more for herself. It was good to see Sue stand up for herself like this.

Sue is not the only kid with trouble at school. Brick’s first few weeks in high school are off to a rocky start. He’s trying to fit in, and to do that he starts caring about sports. But instead of gaining more friends, he might actually lose one, when Troy gets asked to join the football team. But Troy is loyal to Brick and asks him if he wants to come to a party of one of the jocks on the team. At first Brick’s excited but he later starts to worry about what to talk about at the party. Mike gives him some pointers and it actually goes pretty well, but for Brick it is just exhausting and a lot of work to socialize. Mike tells Brick he’s proud of him for at least trying to get the high school experience, even though he didn’t like it very much.

Meanwhile, Frankie, showing her frugal side once again, has bought some underwear on sale, without checking the print on it. When she finds out one of the pairs says “I’d hit that”, she wants to return them to the store. But the girl at the counter makes Frankie feel bad about her looks, so she decides to bring home even more underwear. While this may seem like a bad idea, Frankie actually feels better about herself because of it and even goes to the gym (where she has been an inactive member for 22 years now). But when she’s walking the treadmill, things go horribly wrong in a hilarious scene that cannot be described:

This episode started off slow, establishing the storylines in the first half, but eventually turned into a well-balanced episode with humor and heart. I never liked Jeremy very much, so I’m glad he’s gone now and I also thought it was great to see Sue react the way she did when Jeremy said she was a sponge. It’s nice to see Sue mature a bit like this, even though she’s still very much like the old Sue sometimes. I also enjoyed Brick’s storyline, it was just nice to see him hang out with Cindy and Troy again and I really like how good of a friend Troy is to both Brick and Cindy, even when he’s on the football team. I also liked the scene in the car between Brick and Mike. Frankie’s storyline lacked the heartwarming parts the other two plots had, but it was just really hilarious. Poor Frankie.

Four episodes in the new season and The Middle is still as strong as ever. There is no new episode next week, but the show will be back the week after that.

Rating: 9/10

Besides Axl’s advice to Sue, I also really liked it that he thought Lexie was hitting on him the entire time.