Review: We start this week’s episode with a hectic scene when a water pipe in the Heck’s basement bursts, while Brick has to hand in a school paper online. Frankie and Mike start fighting with each other, which results in Brick not being able to hand in his paper on time (it actually wasn’t due until a few days later, but Brick being Brick forgot about that). After Brick tells his siblings what happened, Sue and Axl come home a day later to give their parents an intervention: the bickering between the two has to stop because it affects all of them. Frankie and Mike realize the kids are right and apologize to them and promise to try to do better.
The kids feel like they have the upper hand now and try to get something out of their parents’ apology, but fail when they leave Brick in charge. In the meantime, the parents come to the conclusion that the kids actually don’t deserve an apology and that they need to help out to clean up the flooded basement. To get the kids to help out, they go back to yelling again, which leads to Brick falling down the stairs and eventually no kids to help cleaning up.
After this failed attempt of getting help from the kids, Frankie understands that yelling isn’t the answer and wants to role model good behavior so she just waits until the kids realize on their own that they have to come to the basement and help. Sue eventually comes down to help and advises Frankie not to freak out as much as she does, but just take things a little bit slower.
And Mike, angry about Axl not helping out sooner, learns a lesson too. Axl explains to Mike why he didn’t apologize for not helping out sooner: it’s something he isn’t used to because Mike never apologizes either. However, Axl also tells him that Mike shows it in other ways, something Axl did this time too by buying the whole family dinner.
After his talk with Axl, Mike knows that he should try to apologize more often. And after her conversation with Sue, Frankie realizes that she doesn’t always have to go straight to yelling. Both Frankie and Mike know that their kids are growing up and that their advice is actually something they can work on and at the end of the episode we see them try it out on each other.
A bottle episode of The Middle like this is something we haven’t really seen on the show before. Just the Hecks, no guest stars (for the first time on the show) and only the Heck house as the location. Episodes like this are interesting because you can see how the family interacts with and reacts to each other without being able to go anywhere else. The dynamics between the characters can be explored in this way and it definitely feels to me like the writers did that. Not only did we see some character development in Frankie and Mike, trying to work on the things their kids pointed out to them, we also see the kids developing, something we’ve already seen a lot in the past few seasons. They are growing up and instead of just being kids they can really be helpful.
Besides the fact that it was an interesting episode with character development, it was also just really funny. Some of the conversations were just so ridiculous, but absolutely hilarious. I also think this episode pointed out how strong the relationship between Frankie and Mike is. They might bicker and fight, but in the end they still love each other and they always try to work things out together.
All in all, this was another great episode of The Middle. The season so far has not disappointed and I’m looking forward to the remaining episodes!