The Middle (S08E20) “Adult Swim”

Review: Mike prepares the pool for the summer and wants the kids to use it, but none of them seem interested. He threatens to get rid of it, but it doesn’t motivate the kids to take a swim. Brick doesn’t care about the pool that much, but Sue explains to him that it’s only the beginning of the end. She tells him that Mike and Frankie want to get rid of all the kids’ stuff as soon as they move out of the house. To make sure they can keep the pool, Brick and Sue try to trick Mike into thinking that they used the pool and Brick even invites his friends over to get them to swim, but Mike isn’t buying it. While Mike is draining the pool, the neighbor kids come by and Brick and Sue make the adult decision to give them the pool.

Meanwhile, Frankie takes Axl suit shopping. His own suit got ruined when he used it as a curtain and wearing his dad’s (huge) jacket to interviews makes Axl less confident. Frankie is happy to spend some quality time alone with her son, especially when he tells her he’s dating Lexie. But Frankie finds a way to ruin the moment when she gets angry about Axl not carrying a wallet, because this indicates that he’s immature and irresponsible with money. However, when Frankie wants to pay for the suit, her credit card is declined and Axl steps up to pay.

Now that he has a new suit, Axl tells Frankie that he still doesn’t feel very confident. After four years of college he doesn’t know what he’s doing and is scared that it’s not going to happen for him. Frankie tells him she felt the same way when she started working for Dr. Goodwin, but that she is actually good at her job now and that it’s okay to be scared: “When you’re young, you’re never scared, but when you become an adult, you’re scared all the time. I think that’s how you know you’re an adult.”

I thought the scenes between Frankie and Axl were really great. Their relationship has always been interesting to watch  and it was nice that Axl actually listened to his mom’s advice in the end. The other storyline with Sue, Brick and Mike didn’t work as well for me as the first one, but I did like it. It had some really clever and funny lines, especially by Brick and Cindy and Troy’s pool scene was really hilarious too. I also liked the ending of this storyline, as well as the sweet ending of Frankie and Axl’s plot.

In this episode the season’s recurring theme was back again: the kids are growing up. Not only is it almost time for Axl’s college graduation, we are getting closer to an empty nest altogether. I love how The Middle keeps showing us how all three kids are maturing and the parents’ reaction to this, like in this episode.

The Middle takes a short break, but will be back on May 2nd and the two weeks after that for the final 3 episodes of the season.

Rating: 8.5/10