The Middle (S09E21) “The Royal Flush”

The Middle (S09E21) “The Royal Flush”

Mother’s Day is approaching, and from the past 9 years, we know this is not the Hecks favorite holiday. And of course the family has forgotten it once again. This time though, Sue really wants to make sure to get a great gift for Frankie. However, she can’t get any support from her brothers because they are working on other things. Axl has an important decision to make about his future and Brick is mourning about his microfiche machine, now that he has finished 9 years worth of microfiche material (way to be meta, writers…).

Axl tells Mike about an interview he got at a company in Denver and decides to go. They both agree to not tell Frankie about it, so she doesn’t get worried. But pretending that Axl is in the house and not a few states away isn’t as easy as they think. It’s especially hard on Mike who is a terrible liar and can’t seem to play it cool. Frankie is suspicious, but with Mother’s Day coming up, she just assumes it has something to do with that. Axl eventually returns from Denver without Frankie really noticing he was gone.

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Meanwhile, after having a short love affair with Val-U Pack, Brick finally helps Sue to get the perfect Mother’s Day gift for Frankie. They enter a contest where they can win a trip for two to England, to attend the upcoming royal wedding. They get through the first round and are doing great in the finals as well. But this is still the Hecks we’re talking about and there’s no way they can actually win something. Sue and Brick eventually lose out on the trip after Brick uses his phone to ask Sue, who’s in the bathroom to come back as quickly as possible to answer a Taylor Swift question. Unfortunately the rules of the competition state that you cannot use your phone at all times, so ‘Heck Yeah’ is disqualified. Frankie won’t be going to London.

Frankie knows her family well and decides that even when the family gets her a crappy gift, she’ll try to react positively to it anyway. So when Mother’s Day roles around, she is ready to act surprised and happy. However, when the family gives her an empty box, after telling her they didn’t win a trip to London, Frankie can’t hold it in anymore and gets mad. There is no need for her to be mad though because in the end the family tells her what her real gift is: they will all watch the royal wedding with her on Axl’s big TV. Mike will even make sure to study up on the royal family. Frankie couldn’t be happier and on May 19th the family assembles to watch the royal wedding together in the middle of the night. They finally got Mother’s Day right.

During the royal wedding Axl tells Mike he’s heard back from the company in Denver. He can get the job if he wants it.ย But while he mentions this, Frankie overhears them and wonders what they’re talking about…

Now that The Middle is in its final season, we have seen a lot of ‘lasts’. The last appearances of recurring characters, last mentions of things in the house (it seems like this week the microfiche’s storyline wrapped up as well) and of course some final holiday appearances. I really liked this last Mother’s Day storyline of the show. Sue and Brick were actually really trying to get their mom something nice. It was sad that they didn’t actually win the trip to London, but it’s very fitting for the Hecks that they didn’t. Like I mentioned last week, they just can’t get a win. I loved Frankie’s reaction to the gift they gave her in the end. Just sitting down watching the royal wedding with her family is enough to make her happy.

The other plot in this episode, about Axl and his job interview had some fun scenes, but was mostly just a setup to what seems to be an arc in the final episodes. Of this storyline I especially enjoyed the scene between Frankie and Mike where Mike is trying to cover for Axl. We’ve seen it before that Mike can’t really lie, but I laughed out loud just seeing him try. And the end of the episode where Frankie overhears Mike and Axl talking was heartbreaking. I can’t imagine Frankie will take it well if Axl is really leaving the house, Orson and even the state.

This episode didn’t have as many funny lines as usual, especially in the beginning of the episode, but I did enjoy a lot of the scenes and situations. I really loved the end of the episode as well. I’m curious to see what will happen in the next episode when Frankie finds out about Axl’s possible new job in Denver.

Oh and one more thing, Hecks. Just take Mike off the damn group text. He’s asked you before.

There is one more episode left before The Middle’s series finale! The penultimate episode airs Tuesday May 15th, 8:30/7:30 on ABC.