The Middle (S09E03) “Meet The Parents”

It’s parents weekend at East Indy and Mike and Frankie plan to go to Gumford. Lexie’s parents, Bennett and Tammy, are there as well and the four of them go out to dinner together. At first, Frankie is not very excited to meet them because they are from a very different, and much richer, world, but they hit it off great. Mike however isn’t too thrilled and feels like Bennett is throwing his lifestyle in the face of the Hecks. He tries to overcompensate after Bennett gives Lexie a new laptop, by giving Sue $5, which, as the scene that follows proves, is a very big deal for her considering she has never gotten that kind of money from Mike.

Tammy eventually invites Frankie and Mike to spend a weekend at their lake house and while Frankie is excited, Mike still doesn’t really like the couple. He would rather work on getting rid of the big mud hole in the backyard, created by the Heck’s above ground pool. Frankie thinks that she knows what’s going on and tries to get him to show some emotion and actually say that he’s jealous of Tammy and Bennett. Mike, being the stoic guy he’s always been, doesn’t want to admit it, but eventually does anyway. He would love to own a lake house, a boat and stocks in Disney, but all he’s able to give Frankie is what they have right now: “Congratulations Frankie, you got the mud hole guy!”. Mike opening up leads to a sweet moment between him and Frankie, when she tells him that she’s happy with her mud hole guy: “I married the mud hole guy because I love the mud hole guy. Anybody could be happy with a boat and twenty house, but it takes a lot of love to be happy in a mud hole.”

Frankie and Mike do eventually make it to the lake house, where Mike has the time of his life while Frankie is sick all weekend after eating a roadside corn dog.

Meanwhile, back in Orson, Brick has a fundraiser at school where classmates arrest each other and lock each other up. Friends of the people who get arrested can bail them out and the money will go to charity. But Brick can’t get anyone to arrest him and when he finally does end up in jail, he can’t find anybody to bail him out. Troy is not in Orson that weekend and Cindy is obviously not speaking to him after their breakup, so Brick’s only solution is to have his sister bail him out (marking the return of Ana Hajarajanaan) with the $5 Mike gave her earlier in the episode. Sue then tells Brick that sophomore year really isn’t as exciting as he thought it would be and that it will probably be the most boring year in his school career, but that the fact that good things aren’t happening to him right now doesn’t mean good things won’t happen to him in the future.

This week, The Middle delivered another solid episode. Not only did it have plenty of funny scenes and hilarious lines, it also delivered some very sweet moments.

As the show progresses we have seen that Mike is opening up about his emotions more and more, even though he might not really want that himself. That final scene between Frankie and Mike was really great. Considering you don’t see a lot of scenes like this between them, it’s always nice to see that they do really love each other. Besides the great ending, Mike had some of the best lines in this episode, and they were all perfectly delivered by Neil Flynn.

I also thought it was great to see Lexie’s parents and I’m surprised that they actually had fun with the Hecks even though they weren’t always aware of their different lifestyles.

The other storyline had a very sweet ending too. I think it’s good that Sue told Brick the truth about sophomore year. Let’s hope he can still make it a great year. I’m still wondering about Brick and Cindy. She was mentioned last week and this week as well, and I wonder if they will get back together or if they’ll both move on, but I’m sure we will find out about that soon enough.

Another great episode of The Middle, made even better by the ending of both storylines.

Next week it’s Halloween in Orson! Tune in October 25th at 8/7c on ABC.