The Middle (S09E08) "Eyes Wide Open"

After his breakup with Cindy, Brick is still trying to get her back, but as we’ve seen in the past weeks it hasn’t worked so well. When he meets a new girl at school, Lilah, he is determined to make her his girlfriend and comes up with a plan to make it happen. She comes over to the Heck house so Brick makes a script for his parents on how the day has to go to make sure Lilah will like him. Even though Frankie forgets her lines, it all seems to work and when Lilah has her first day at school, Brick even gets to hold her hand (or arm). Lilah’s first day went well, except for the threatening notes she got in her locker. Considering both notes are about things that could only apply to Cindy (I mean, she is sensitive about her ears and known for kicking people’s shins…), Brick figures out that Cindy is jealous of him and Lilah. This is obviously a sign that she wants him back, so Brick drops Lilah as fast as he can and goes after Cindy again.

Sue is home alone at her apartment for the weekend for the first time ever and decides to catch up on some classic movies. She starts with “a movie about fluffy little farm animals”: Silence of the Lambs. This is obviously not exactly what she expected and after the movie she has a hard time falling asleep. She calls Brad who comes over to calm her down, but even though it does make her feel better at the time, him breaking out in song doesn’t help. When after 3 days she still hasn’t gotten any sleep, Mike comes over to help her fall asleep. He swaddles her, like he used to do when she was a baby and tells her a boring story about his day and Sue finally falls asleep.

The tension back in Orson is growing with Axl still at home, not really contributing in the household (he’s trying with the dishwasher though…). So he decides to go to Chicago for the weekend to meet up with Hutch. Axl’s former roommate has been getting his life together in the last year. He has a nice apartment and a solid job and has changed a lot since he graduated of college. With monthly mixers, and even Tuesday night bingo, Hutch has seriously grown up. Axl doesn’t really know how to feel about that,and tries to change him just a little bit into the Hutch he once knew. In the end though, Axl realizes that he is the one that needs to change and really become an adult. He comes home from his weekend at Hutch with a haircut and is motivated to go back out there to search for jobs.

I enjoyed this episode a lot. First of all Brick, I really laughed at all his serial killer lines and it was nice to see him so excited about another girl. Even though I liked Lilah, I can’t wait for him to get back together with Cindy. I loved seeing Brad again in this episode, he is always a delight. And to see Brock Ciarlelli and Eden Sher sing again was just great. The final scene of this storyline between Sue and Mike was really sweet. I always enjoy these kind of scenes between the two characters. I think Neil Flynn and Eden Sher always play off of each other very well and this scene showed that once again. I also thought it was great to see Hutch back again. I really like it that he is doing so well and I think it’s great that it influenced Axl to actually start doing something about his future. I am really excited to see what he will end up doing.

I really loved the amount of callbacks again in this episode. Especially the scenes with Hutch and the lines about Cindy had some really great moments from previous seasons.

All three storylines had some fantastic and hilarious moments, and I think there will be a lot in store for both Axl in search for a job and Brick trying to win back Cindy and I can’t wait to see it!

The Middle will take a short break before the show celebrates its 200th(!!!) episode! Be sure to watch December 5th, 8/7c on ABC!