The Middle (S09E14) "Guess Who's Coming To Frozen Dinner"

Mike feels like he doesn’t get to spend as much time with Sue as he used to and tries to change that. Watching a movie (including some sex scenes with Chris Pine) makes things only more awkward between the two, and when Rusty gets back into town, things only get worse. Rusty spent some time in Tampa renting out jet-skis that aren’t his (it couldn’t get ‘Rustier’ than that…), he comes back to Orson to give Sue a very pretty necklace. Mike, who obviously knows his brothers history, wants Sue to give Rusty back the necklace because he think Rusty may have stolen it. Sue doesn’t want to give it back, and Mike realizes he might actually be jealous of his brother.

Mike decides to talk to Rusty to find out where he got the necklace. Rusty tells him that the necklace used to be their mother’s and he planned on giving it to his daughter. But as he’s getting older, Rusty realizes he probably won’t have a daughter of his own so he wants Sue to have it. Mike apologizes for being so hard on him, but as Rusty says: “You don’t have to do that. We’re family. You don’t have to say words”. The storyline ends with the two brothers getting a beer.

Elsewhere in the episode, Axl gets his first paycheck. Mike tells him that he should start saving, but Frankie goes behind his back and tells Axl that he should spend it on something good. But when he blows all his money on a big TV, Frankie isn’t thrilled. She tells Axl he has to get more responsible with money especially since he’s older now, but Axl blames her for giving him ‘bad money management genes’. They decide to work together to get more financially responsible. They start organizing their bills and receipts and are reading about finance to understand it better. But as they try to read books about it, they find out it’s too difficult for them, so they come up with another plan: they will write a book about finance themselves that even a kid would understand. After a hilarious discussion about who should be the mascot of the book, Fred the Financial Flounder or the Buttronauts, they realize they still don’t understand finance and since they are visual learners, they decide to just watch Wolf of Wall Street to get all the information about money. The storyline didn’t really have a real ending, but knowing Axl, and mostly Frankie I am sure they will give up on getting financially responsible soon enough!

Brick only had a small storyline this week, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. As the forgotten kid, it seems like the universe is finally giving something back to him. Every time he leaves the house there’s some kind of gift for him at the front door. Eventually we find out the gifts are from Sean, obviously meant for Sue, but of course after this episode they still don’t know how they feel about each other (JUST GET THEM TOGETHER ALREADY!).

Aside from the final scene where we find out the gifts are Sean’s, I really loved this episode. First of all, let me just say that I love Rusty so much. He is my favorite recurring character and I think Norm Macdonald does an amazing job portraying him. The character is just so weird, and the way Macdonald delivers Rusty’s crazy lines is hilarious (“Wanna go get colonoscopies?”). And besides the really funny lines this week, I also really liked the sweet ending when we found out the necklace belonged to Rusty and Mike’s mom. Last night’s episode was the last time we got to see Rusty on The Middle, and as sad as it is to say that, I’m happy that his final appearance was such a great one!

I also enjoyed Frankie and Axl’s storyline. I always like it when they try to work together on something, even though you know they will probably fail. The highlight of this part of the episode was definitely the scene where they are discussing the Buttronauts. I was already happy that we got a callback to the Buttronauts (or should I say Buttronauts™?), but that whole conversation between Frankie and Axl about them was hilarious.

And last but not least, Brick. I love how excited he got with all the gifts that were left at the front door, and Brick’s interactions with the other Hecks were funny. We’ve seen them neglect him for about 9 years now, and even though it is kind of sad and I do feel for Brick, I still laugh at it.

Another strong episode of the show with great storylines and hilarious scenes. Only 10 more episodes to go…

Sadly, The Middle will take another break. I think the show will return on February 27th at 8/7c on ABC!