The Middle (S08E23) “Fight or Flight” (Season Finale)

Review: As we saw last week, Axl is graduating college and this episode picks up right after Axl’s graduation party. Frankie and Mike are proud of him, but they are eager to get Axl into a job and out of their house. However, Axl has very different plans in mind for the summer. Kenny offers to take him on a business trip to Europe ‘to be his voice’. Axl is very excited about it, but Mike forbids him to go because it’s not the responsible thing to do, and he asks Frankie to back him up. Even though Frankie actually kind of likes the idea, she doesn’t tell Axl and agrees with Mike.

Meanwhile, Brick has hurt his back. He’s not sure what could’ve caused the problem, but eventually figures out that it must be the kitchen table chair he has been sitting in for almost a year now. He searches for his old lawn chair ,and when he finally finds it, he takes it everywhere he goes.

Sue accidentally bumps into another car while backing up, and even though there is no visible damage, she decides to leave a note for the owner of the car. But when she never gets a call, she is worried her note wasn’t clear enough. Sue being Sue, she keeps returning to the SUV to leave notes to make sure the owner of the car contacts her. A few days and fifteen notes later, the owner finally shows up to the Heck house and tells Sue how nice she is. In return he tells her to call him if she ever needs help.

Now back to Axl and Mike. Their fight gets more out of hand when Axl’s passport arrives, and he tells Mike that he’s still planning on going to Europe. Mike wants Axl to grow up, get a job, move out and eventually start a family, but Axl just wants to experience being abroad and accuses Mike of being jealous. After a while things cool down a bit and Axl decides not to go and starts applying for jobs. But that’s when Frankie breaks; she can’t let her son just give up on the dream of going to Europe and tells him to start packing, even though there are only a few hours left before the plane leaves. She even sort of convinces Mike, who was really just hoping to have one more summer of playing hoops and watching games with Axl before his real life starts.

With a little help from the owner of the SUV the Hecks make it to the airport in time where the whole family says goodbye to Axl, even Mike, who says goodbye in a way he usually never does–with a hug. And Axl is off to Europe…

I thought this was a very good season finale. I liked it that the focus didn’t go to the graduation itself. We’ve already seen this a few times on the show and it’s not that I didn’t love those graduation episodes, but it’s nice that the show focused on something else.

The finale had three great storylines. My favorite was Brick’s, even though it was pretty small. He had the funniest lines while sitting in his chair. Sue’s storyline wasn’t a big one either, but it did show us that even though she has grown up a lot, Sue is still the old Sue. The biggest storyline of the episode was interesting as well. I loved how Frankie finally stood up for Axl and, of course, how Mike opened up once again. He has had a few storylines this season where he showed his more emotional side, and I think that’s a great development!

The Middle delivered a great season finale and had a fantastic 8th season. I know I’ve said this a million times already, but I’m still impressed with the way the writers of The Middle come up with new storylines. It’s incredible that after 8 years they are still original and let the characters develop and grow up in a natural way.

Congratulations to the cast and crew on an amazing 8th season and, of course, on getting renewed for another year! I can’t wait for the new season to start already. I’m really excited to find out what will happen to the Hecks next year, and I’m especially looking forward to see what the future will hold for Axl now that he has graduated.

Thanks for reading my reviews this past season, I hope to see you back in the fall!!

Rating: 9.5/10

I just posted my annual The Middle callbacks post, please check it out here!