The Middle (S08E09) “A Very Marry Christmas”

Review: After Axl dropped a bombshell last week by telling Sue that he got married, expectations were high for The Middle’s last episode before the winter break. And the episode definitely lived up to those expectations in my opinion. After telling Sue about his marriage, she tries to convince him to talk to their parents about it, but Axl doesn’t want to, out of fear for their reaction. He also has to deal with another problem because he has second thoughts about marrying April. Axl does finally go home and wants to tell Frankie what he did, but doesn’t get the chance because she’s too happy about his return. While Sue tries to get Axl to tell the rest of the family his secret, Axl just wants to make his mom happy and gets into the Christmas spirit by helping her put up Christmas decorations.

Bill Norwood is also in the Christmas spirit and gets Mike sunglasses as a Christmas gift. Mike sort of appreciates it, but he hates it that he feels obligated to buy Bill a gift in return, especially because he ends up loving the sunglasses. He tries nonetheless, but struggles to find the perfect present for him. After considering a few gifts and discussing them with Frankie, he decides to do it the ‘Mike way’ and just give Bill cash instead.

Besides all the Christmas craziness, there’s Brick, who’s stuck babysitting the three neighbor kids and surprisingly enough, he does a good job. Sadly for him, he does such a good job that the kids don’t want to leave him alone so they keep coming over to the house.

After some weird interactions between Axl and Sue, the whole family goes out to Orson Heights to see the Christmas lights, which leads to more awkward conversations in the car, but Axl is still not spilling the beans. A call from April’s mom to Frankie changes things though because she tells Frankie exactly what’s going on. Obviously Frankie and Mike get mad at Axl, but they talk it out and he realizes that he doesn’t love April enough to stay married to her. So April and Axl get an annulment, but they keep dating.

As I mentioned last week, I didn’t really like the way the show was headed with Axl’s marriage, but I really liked the way they solved it in this episode. I think the writers did a great job spreading this storyline out of 4 episodes. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen on The Middle in the past seasons, but I loved it that we got quite a sad plot that wasn’t resolved directly.

I also really enjoyed the other two storylines this week. It was very nice that the kids really liked Brick, especially when you see how the rest of the family treats him sometimes. And of course Brick’s problem gets solved when the neighbor sees the Hecks fighting in public, that’s something that only can happen to them. Mike’s storyline was great too, it’s very much like his character to struggle with something simple like receiving a gift, and I have to say that he really did look good in those sunglasses.

I thought it was great that we got another hilarious car scene in this episode. That’s the point where The Middle really shines and I think the performances of the cast in that scene (as well as the entire episode actually) were really good. Another great Christmas episode of The Middle and a nice conclusion to Axl’s marriage storyline!

We will see the Hecks back in 2017 when The Middle returns on January 3rd!

Rating: 9.5/10

Just like last season I have been writing down The Middle’s callbacks and continuity. You can find the list of callbacks of the first 9 episodes here.

Have a very marry Christmas everybody 😉

(This photo has got to be my favorite thing in the world😂)

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