The Middle (S09E19) "Bat Out of Heck"

Axl is getting annoyed with Mike who is constantly telling him how to do things better. He doesn’t want to talk to him about it though and rather lies to his dad so that he doesn’t have to admit when he’s doing something wrong. When Axl is trading his Winnebago for an actual car (which included a fun scene with Ehlert Motors’ top salesman Pete), he gets sick of his dad’s advice and finally calls him out on it. Mike didn’t really realize how Axl was feeling and eventually lets Axl drive his new car, even though he’s the one who always drives.

When Brick has to sell peanut brittle for school, Frankie asks Dr. Goodwin (special guest star Jack McBrayer) to buy some, and surprisingly enough he wants to buy it all. But every time Frankie doesn’t bring the peanut brittle to work, he is disappointed and he even gets mad about it, storming over to the Heck house to make sure Frankie gives him the peanut brittle he was promised.

Meanwhile, Sue applies to a prestigious scholarship that’s very difficult to get. She has trouble filling in the application, but after some encouragement from Frankie she goes through with it anyway. She makes it to the final 25 applicants and all she has to get through is a Skype interview, but this is more difficult than she thought. When the interview starts, it turns out the Hecks have a bat in the house and while everybody else (including Dr. Goodwin, who initially came over to argue about the peanut brittle) is trying to get rid of it, Sue is still trying to get through her interview as calm as possible. But after a while, she can’t concentrate anymore and apologizes to the interviewer for the mess.

After not being able to catch the bat, the Hecks and Dr. Goodwin go outside to wait for the bat to leave. Dr. Goodwin apologizes to Frankie for acting so crazy about the peanut brittle. He just wanted it so badly because it reminded him of home, but he got a little piece of home anyway trying to catch the bat.

And while the Hecks are still outside, Sue has some great news. The interviewer was so impressed with her skills to stay calm in a stressful situation, he thinks that she deserves to get the scholarship, and even though it’s only $200 it was nice to finally see Sue get a win. Not only that, she decides to give the money to Mike to make up for the fact that he had to sell his diaper business to pay for her college tuition (another nice callback to last season).

And finally, after two hours, the bat leaves because, as Frankie says: “Let’s face it, nothing stays in our house by choice”.

Just like 2 episodes ago when the Hecks battled the Glossners, this week’s episode battling a bat was really crazy, but I loved it.

Like I already mentioned, it was very nice that Sue finally won something, even if it was only $200. She is always trying so hard and she deserves some good things in her life. The fact that she wants to give the scholarship money to Mike was a very sweet gesture even though it wasn’t a lot of money.

I really enjoyed Mike and Axl’s storyline as well. I loved it that their father-son bond was explored a little bit, now that Axl is an adult. Mike reminded me of my dad a little and I think a lot of dads are like this, always thinking he knows best (even though he knows he’s wrong) and it was great that Axl finally spoke his mind and told his dad what was bothering him.

Dr. Goodwin has always been a fun recurring character, and this week was no exception. I thought that his overreaction to the peanut brittle every time was hilarious, and I laughed out loud when he was trying to fight the bat.

The combination of these stories just made this a funny and light episode, with a very sweet and heartfelt ending to all storylines.

The Middle will not be back for awhile. Let’s just hope that Dr. Goodwin’s brittle comes in before the next episode, airing May 1st at 8:30/7:30c on ABC 😉

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