The Middle (S08E17) “Exes and Ohhhs”

Review: Last week we ended the episode with Axl finding out that Lexie likes him and Axl going after her at a party, only to run into Devin. When Cassidy and Weird Ashley show up as well, the confusion is complete. Axl explains his situation with April to the girls and leaves the party before it can get even more awkward.

Hutch tells Axl that he should find out what the universe is trying to tell him, so he talks to the girls separately and asks them what went wrong during their relationship and why they broke up. They all tell him that things with Axl just weren’t very clear most of the time and that he never gave the right signals about what he wanted. Even Weird Ashley points this out because he never really told her that he didn’t actually like her, despite taking her to the prom twice. Axl comes to the conclusion, after talking to his exes, that he doesn’t think his relationship with April has a future so he breaks up with her.

This is not the only love problem that we see in this episode. Sue prepares for a dance at school. She’s going there with Tyler who she has been dating for a few weeks now. She’s not really sure her new relationship with Tyler is ready for a big event like this and she’s even more confused when Sean shows up to take her to the dance (which is something we’ve seen him do twice before). She tells Sean (again) that she already has a date, and Sean goes back home, a little disappointed.

When it’s time for the dance, Sue keeps talking to Tyler about Sean without even realizing it. Tyler tells her to go to the dance with Sean instead because it seems like she really wants to go with him. Sue drives to Orson to find him and chases a feeling she’s not even sure she has, but Sean has already left for Notre Dame when she arrives and so he can’t take her to the dance. As a nice gesture, Axl ends up taking his sister so she doesn’t have to go alone.

The Orson library has to close down a wing and is selling a lot of their stuff. This is obviously a dream come true for Brick. He starts by buying a bunch of books, but when he can lay his hands on a microfiche, he doesn’t have to think twice. While reading old newspapers, Brick finds out that Frankie got arrested for streaking when she was a senior in high school, but instead of being embarrassed, Frankie explains that it was just a senior prank. Brick realizes that he has never done anything like that and after a failed first attempt, Frankie and Mike help Brick out to pull off the perfect, harmless high school prank.

It was pretty great to see Axl’s exes, his new crush and Weird Ashley in the same room. It made for a hilariously awkward scene (and an episode filled with my beloved callbacks 😊) and I thought Charlie McDermott played it very well. His scenes overall were very good in this episode and I love how much character development his character has gone through over the years. Not only by breaking up with April because he now knows what he wants and doesn’t want, but also by taking Sue to the dance, we see a very different Axl now than we did a few years ago.

Sue’s storyline also had some interesting developments. I really like her with Tyler and I was a little sad when she went after Sean. I really hope Sue will go back to Tyler eventually and that she doesn’t hook up with Sean.

Brick’s storyline was very funny again as well. The way Atticus Shaffer can drop a line is just brilliant and the scenes where he is doing his own, most of the time nerdy, thing are just really great.

All in all, another fantastic episode! There’s a lot of stuff to look forward to in the next few weeks, but unfortunately The Middle will be on a short break before returning with an all new episode on April 11th.

Rating: 9/10

I will be interviewing Daniela Bobadilla (Lexie) soon. If you have a question for her, let me know in the comments below or send me a tweet or direct message on Twitter!