The Middle (S09E06) “The Setup”

As I already mentioned in my last review, The Middle would continue it’s storyline about Grandma Pat this week. She is staying at the Hecks for a few days, until the doctors find out what happened to her exactly. However, having Pat at the house is not the best thing for everybody. Mike gets kicked out of his own bed and ends up sleeping in Sue’s room, which causes some trouble for Brick and Axl who can’t sleep because they hear Mike’s snoring through the hole in the wall between the rooms. The brothers decide to sleep in Axl’s Winnebago, but oversleep, which means Brick will be late for school. But as Axl is the one driving Brick’s bus, he’s also late for work. He decides to use the Winnebago to drive the kids to school to save time, but gets fired for his irresponsible behavior.

Meanwhile back at the house, Frankie’s annoyance with Pat grows as she is constantly criticizing everything Frankie does. Frankie tries to hold everything in and doesn’t say a word until Pat starts reorganizing her cabinet against Frankie’s will. Frankie gets mad at her mom and starts yelling at her, and while Pat goes back to bed, crying, Frankie feels terrible for what she just did. Mike makes her feel a little better with some inspirational quotes that he picked up from sleeping in Sue’s room and Frankie apologizes to her mom. Pat tells her that she doesn’t want Frankie to take care of her because it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but Frankie tells her it’s her privilege, referring back to when Frankie needed Pat’s help when the kids were younger.

The other, continuing storyline this week is the thing that’s been going on between Sue and Sean. Sue suggests they should set each other up on dates and even though Sean clearly just wants to date Sue, he agrees. Sean comes up with a plan to not have to set up Sue on a date with one of his friends: he will just show up at her door as her date. Things go wrong though when Sue thinks the food delivery guy that shows up is her date and enjoys a picnic with him, not realizing that this wasn’t the person she was supposed to go out with. Sean shows up at Sue’s apartment, only to find Lexie there, waiting for her food. Sue ends up having a good time with the delivery guy, but tells Sean later that she feels bad for the guy she stood up. Sean doesn’t want to tell her that it was him, so he only tells her that it’s okay and that the guy “is used to it”.

I thought the first half of the episode was quite slow, it didn’t have a great amount of jokes that we usually get in an episode of The Middle. But I thought the last few scenes of the episode were really great. I loved seeing that flashback of Frankie, Pat and baby Sue and the way that storyline was wrapped up was really sweet. I wonder what Axl will be doing now that he doesn’t have a job anymore. His job search after college is relatable. It’s not easy to find a job after graduating college and I think Axl’s storyline illustrates that well.

Then Sean and Sue. Like I’ve said more than once, I never wanted them to end up together, but it seems inevitable now so I’ll go with it. The ‘will they, won’t they’ plot between them is a classic sitcom storyline, and I hope it doesn’t go on for too long anymore now, but I feel they will get together soon. This episode did mark the first time in this Sue and Sean almost-romance story that I felt sorry for Sean, in that final scene with Sue. Considering he has always been there for Sue and got rejected a lot of times, this really made me feel a little sad for him.

Another solid episode, with some great final scenes. And once again, a lot of possibilities for future storylines, which I am excited to see.

The Middle’s last ever Thanksgiving episode airs Tuesday, November 14th at 8/7c on ABC.

ABC announced last week that The Middle’s final season will have 24 episodes! (Which is good news, until you realize that this means that 25% of the episodes of the final season has already aired 😢)

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