The Middle (S09E17) "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle"

Over the years we’ve seen the Hecks and Glossners fight a lot. About a garden hose, wind chimes or a loose dog. And whatever the Hecks or any other neighbor did, the Glossners wouldn’t stop torturing the neighborhood. But now, after stealing Sue’s car, the Hecks are fed up and decide to finally stand up to them. But first, let’s talk about the 3 small stories leading to the show’s biggest showdown.

Brick’s learner’s permit is about to expire, but Mike and Frankie won’t let him practice because they’re scared of his driving. Also, Axl is trying to prove to Mike that things like tying a tie, kicking in a door and whistling on your fingers aren’t skills you need to have to be a man. Meanwhile, Sue has a chance to get her snow globe back, after using it as a gift for Christmas. She trades the snow globe with Shelly Donahue for some stuffed animals and is planning to give it to Sean because she wants to tell him how she feels.

When Sue wants to go back to school, she finds out her car (with the snow globe in it) is gone, it was stolen. Frankie later finds out that Rita Glossner (played by the great Brooke Shields) is driving around in it. When Rita doesn’t want to give the car back, Frankie and Mike decide to go to the police. But when the sheriff hears he’s dealing with the Glossners, he’s not willing to actually do anything about it. So the Hecks only have one solution left: take a stand to solve their problems with the Glossners once and for all. They head over to the Glossners and are ready to fight them, but soon find out they’re outnumbered. The Hecks’ first attempt to take the neighborhood back fails when the Glossners ambush them. Not only do they not get the car back, but Sue gets trapped in the Glossners’ house.

For their second attempt the Hecks get some help from their neighbors, like the Donahues and Bill Norwood. Everybody is fed up with their trashy neighbors and they all want to fight with the Hecks against the Glossners. This leads to a really great battle scene with the whole neighborhood fighting the Glossners, including Nancy trying to raise the Glossner kids by feeding them good food and getting them to watch Little House On The Prairie. But the greatest confrontation of all is the ultimate showdown between Frankie and Rita. There’s no real winner is this fight, but it was fun to see them fight like they have done over and over in the past 9 years.

During the battle, Axl gets Sue out of the Glossner house, with a little help of Mike, which makes him realize his dad’s list of skills that make you a man might actually come in handy. Sue finds her snow globe, but is stopped by Derrick Glossner, who still has a crush on her, and like he promised years ago (in season 5) he bettered himself for her. Sue is still not interested and eventually finds her way out of the Glossners’ house with her snow globe. And Brick also finds his way to be useful in this fight. After Frankie’s failed try to get the car back, Brick is the one to drive it back to the Hecks’ driveway, proving he can drive cautiously. His driving leads to a hilarious scene with big contrasts between Brick in the car and the neighborhood fight on the background.

The cops eventually arrive and finally interfere and help the rest of the neighborhood out. Some Glossners get send to juvie, which means the neighborhood is calm again and the episode even ends with Rita planting flowers.

This was a crazy but fun episode. After years of torture and many tries to stop the Glossners from terrorizing Orson, it finally seems like the Hecks have succeeded. We’ve obviously seen the Glossners try to be better before. Let’s just hope it’s for real this time.

I really enjoyed the action scenes in this episode. It’s something totally different from what The Middle usually does, but it was fun to see. I liked the three smaller stories too. I love it that they brought back Derrick Glossner, and his crush on Sue. And I’m glad Brick finally got to prove that he can actually drive. I’m also very happy to see that the story of Rita came to a somewhat happy ending.

Like last week’s episode , I really enjoyed the amount of callbacks in this episode. I already mentioned Derrick Glossner (who professed his love for Sue in S05E10, Sleepless in Orson), but also the callback to Frankie losing her car (S05E21, Office Hours).

All in all, this was a great way to finish the story of the Glossners. Like many characters on the show they got a proper goodbye.

The Middle will be off for another week as ABC is airing a double episode premiere of the reboot of Roseanne. For the rest of the season Roseanne will take The Middle’s 8PM time slot which means The Middle will be back on ABC Tuesday April 3rd on a new time: 8:30/7:30c (!!!).

The cast and crew of The Middle just finished shooting the final episode of the show this week, but there are are still a couple of episodes left in the season before the big series finale airs.

No I’m not crying, you are….. (I dare you to watch this video and not cry…)