The Middle (S09E12) "The Other Man"

As we saw last week, Sue and Sean still didn’t get together. And as I mentioned in the review of this episode, I hoped, seeing as Aidan would be in this episode, that Sue would break up with him. She didn’t this week, but at least she tried.

Sue hasn’t been in touch with Sean after the New Year’s Eve party, but since she’s not really feeling it with Aidan she decides to break up with him. However right before she wants to tell Aidan it’s over, Brad tells her not to do it because he wants to get to know Aidan’s cute friend Luke. Sue finally caves and doesn’t tell Aidan anything to help out Brad. Both Aidan and Brad make it hard for her not to say anything, as Aidan accidentally keeps hurting Sue, and Brad just doesn’t find the courage to ask Luke out. At first Brad is not himself, but after a while he loosens up and eventually asks Luke out for a date. He tells Sue that she can safely dump Aidan now, but after all the accidents that happened in the past days, she has come to the realization that she likes Aidan because they’re so alike. So Sue decides to give him a chance anyway.

Back in Orson, Axl starts his new and first real job this week and now that they’re both hardworking men, Axl and Mike bond and Frankie feels left out. Axl doesn’t share any stories about his job with her, and Mike starts watching The Walking Dead with Axl, instead of with Frankie (that is not OK, Mike). But things get from bad to worse when Mike and Frankie are supposed to go out to dinner together, and Mike invites Axl to go with them. Frankie gets mad and to get back at Mike and Axl and to make them jealous, Frankie takes Brick out instead. They bond over their invisibility in the family and Brick tells Frankie that she shouldn’t take it personally that she is sometimes forgotten.

This great speech by Brick is followed by another sweet moment when Frankie makes sure to let Brick know that even though she may have blown some of his birthdays, he is never ignored in her heart. And when Axl starts spending time with Lexie, who has just returned from Colorado, it doesn’t take long for Mike to come back to hang out with Frankie again (and watch Outlander, which is definitely a better show than The Walking Dead. I’m sorry people, but its true).

I could circle back and start talking about how Sue and Sean should get together already, but I will focus on the parts of the episode I was happy about. First of all, now that we have gotten to know Aidan a little more, I have to say that I like him (that doesn’t take away from the fact that Sue should be with Sean, but whatever, I needed to get this out there too). I thought his scenes with Sue were actually pretty great. Kudos to Eden Sher for all the great physical comedy. It shouldn’t be fun to watch somebody get hurt, but Sher can make it look hilarious.

I loved it that Brad got to go out on a date with Luke. I think it’s great that the writers got to write a storyline about this and if anybody deserves to go out on a date, it’s Brad (and also, everybody really does deserve cake…). Part of why I liked this whole storyline is because of the amazing friendship between Sue and Brad. It’s great that Brad has been around since season 1 and I love how much their friendship has grown, but in many ways has also stayed the same.

The storyline between Mike, Axl, Frankie and Brick had some hilarious moments as well, mostly provided by Brick. As the forgotten kid, it was nice that he got some love from Frankie. It was sweet to see them bond. I also liked the bonding between Axl and Mike, and I hope that we will soon see Axl at his new job as well, se we can see what he actually does for a living!

The Middle returns next week, January 16th at 8/7c on ABC!