Monday, October 3, 2011

The Middle: Helping One Another Out

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

The school year is now going strong. And, for an episode that is pretty Axl-light, he still has some great moments. I think one of the best parts, though, was the continuing saga of how technology-inept Mike is. The overall theme for this episode is that everyone takes on different roles in the family unit as needed. [I like it. it's so universal in the Heck family in particular!]

The Middle
"Hecking Order" (S03E03): Sue talks nonstop about high school at home, even mentioning that parents can look up grades online, which upsets Axl. So, in revenge, Axl suggests that Sue take swimming as an elective, knowing this would always make her late to math class on the other side of campus.
Sue's late again! Courtesy of
Sue tries multiple things to make it to math class on time (flashback to Lucy's hypotenuse-courtyard dilemma on 7th Heaven, anyone?), and figures out something that works... only for it to blow up in her face. Axl eventually helps her out, but she doesn't know it. [which works for this family, haha!] They really start to gain more insight into one another's life when Sue wants more attention from her parents and Axl wants less. And, leave it to Sue to take anything non-negative that Axl says and make it a compliment - he tells he she's a dork-optimist. [I have a feeling this isn't the last time we've heard that, either...]

Meanwhile, the family has two other issues going on. The first being that they have to use towels to stop the dishwasher from leaking and a broom to keep it shut (apparently they also need a broom to make the dryer run...). It also makes a ton of noise. The second is that Brick has a male fourth grade teacher and he isn't happy about it. [I find this to be hilarious. Although my first male teacher was supposed to be in fourth grade... long story short, it changed. I was excited about a male teacher, though.] Frankie encourages Brick to confront the teacher about his issues, and next thing you know, Brick doesn't have to go to gym class. Mike is upset, of course, and wants Frankie to go talk to the teacher, but when the kids make it clear that they think Mike has more authority than Frankie, she gets pissed off and makes him go. [hahahahaha. seriously laughing pretty hard!]  Mike confronts the teacher about letting Brick out of gym, and the teacher wants Brick to decide he wants to go to gym... that he'll eventually feel left out and want to go. Mike disagrees (mostly because the teacher is so young), since Brick is generally perfectly happy being by himself. In the end, Mike ends up with homework about his parenting style, which he has Frankie help him with. [pretty "Classic Heck" episode, really. What did you think?]
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