The Middle (S09E22) “Split Decision”

The Middle (S09E22) “Split Decision”

The Middle’s penultimate episode starts where it ended last week. Frankie overhears Axl and Mike talking about the job offer Axl got in Denver. Frankie gets mad at Mike for keeping this a secret for two weeks and tries to do everything she can to get Axl to stay in Orson.

But Frankie is not the only depressed person in the house. Sue is also having a very hard time because Sean is almost leaving for Ghana. Both Sue and Sean are still not comfortable sharing their feelings for each other.

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But let’s first dive into the smallest storyline of this episode. After 9 years of dedicated service, Brick’s lawn chair breaks. He decides to order a new one on the internet, but ends up with about 20 of them. Nobody is as excited about the chairs as Brick, but Frankie makes him take the chairs to Grandpa Big Mike. As expected though, Brick eventually picks up something even bigger at Big Mike’s: a big recliner.

Axl is still trying to figure out what he should do while Frankie is still trying to persuade him to decline the job. However, with Sue depressed about Sean, Brick invested in his new chairs and Mike who just wants Axl to do what’s best for him, Frankie isn’t getting much help from her family. Even Lexie can’t get Axl to stay and decides to support Axl in whatever choice he makes.

Meanwhile, Mike takes Axl to the hardware store, the most underrated place to clear your head, to ask him if he’s already made a decision. Axl still has no idea what to do, so Mike tells him how he feels about it. “If you go, I’m gonna miss the hell out of you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what’s right for you”.

After a few days of laying on the couch depressed, Mike takes Sue to the hardware store as well. He asks Sue what’s going on and after it gets clear it’s all about Sean, Mike wonders why the happiest person he knows would let a guy bring her down like this. Sue agrees and decides that she’s done being sad about Sean. To really move on, she drops the snow globe off at the Donahues, for Sean to take to Ghana.

The episode ends with Axl finally deciding about his future. He tells Mike and Frankie that he’s taking the job and will be moving to Denver…

This last episode before the big series finale is a great setup to wrap up The Middle next week. Bringing back Brick’s lawn chair that was introduced 9 years ago was a nice and hilarious touch. I love how much thought and excitement Brick puts into these small, unimportant things and it was very funny to see him surrounded by lawn chairs in the living room. Brick always seems to be able to find happiness, even when everybody around him is miserable.

The big winner of this episode though was Mike. Compared to Frankie, who was being pretty selfish wanting Axl to stay, I really love how cool Mike was about Axl’s job offer. His scenes  with both Axl and Sue at the hardware store were really fantastic.

As people who’ve read my reviews before know, I’m not a big fan of Sue and Sean ending up together. And dragging out their story for an entire season makes it even worse. However, I do somehow feel that the writers have now set up this plot in a way that will make it all worth it. I would’ve preferred it if they would have gotten together in this episode, but it seems like it will all make sense in the end.

I’m really liking this direction Axl is going. I think it will be a nice way to end the series by showing how much he’s grown by sending him off to Denver. If you compare Axl, the annoying teenager from 9 years ago, to the Axl we see now you can see how different he is and how much more serious he has gotten. I think it’s nice that he can move up like this with his new job in Denver.

I am really excited to see the series finale because I can’t wait to see how all storylines will wrap up. Then again, I will seriously be a wreck when it eventually ends.

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The countdown to the final episode of The Middle has officially begun. Who am I kidding, it already started when ABC announced this would be the show’s final season. Be sure to tune in to The Middle’s hour-long series finale Tuesday May 22nd, 8:30/7:30c on ABC!

I dare you not to cry.

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