Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Middle: Reverend TimTom Returns

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Midway through the season already?? It's hard for me to believe that we're now half-way through The Middle for the season. It also frustrates me, because it makes me remember how randomly things run in the spring, to accommodate showing 11 episodes over the course of four months. I thought that this episode was pretty good, and very The Middle. Frankie, Sue, and Mike were at their best, Axl shows his compassionate side, Reverend TimTom makes an appearance, and Brick questions what he reads. There was even a reference to those pesky neighborhood kids who are always terrorizing the Hecks. Now it might have been nice to put this episode off for another week so that the Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes weren't back-to-back, but that just doesn't seem to be a common practice anymore. Anyway, onward to the show! 

The Middle "A Christmas Gift" (S03E11): Mike and Frankie are driving home from a Christmas party, and Frankie's had a few glasses of eggnog. In that state, she think that it would be nice to have  a Christmas Eve open house for all of the neighbors. The next day, Frankie regrets it, but since she's already emailed everyone and received twenty positive RSVPs, it's too late. [the "breathalyzer on the computer" was funny.] Frankie wants to fill the dishwasher hole so that they aren't embarrassed when people come over, but Mike tells her to wait until after Christmas for the sales. [reasonable.] Then, Mike tells Sue that he bought a dishwasher already, and he's going to hook it up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to surprise Frankie. [what a nice idea!] Mike hides the dishwasher in Sue's closet, but Frankie sees he and his friend coming out of the room. They try to cover up their tracks by saying that they were just checking out the hole in Sue's wall... but that causes Frankie to want that fixed by the party. Mike keeps trying to cover his bases, but the words coming out of his mouth become more and more unbelievable.

Meanwhile, Brick reads the Bible throughout the week or so in which this episode takes place, and it's clearly his first time thumbing through it. In fact, he was unaware that it's the book "upon which church is based." [which really makes you wonder how infrequently the family goes... Brick had never seen a Bible in the pews or anything?] Well, Brick has some questions, but everyone in the family is pawning him off. For example, Mike tells Brick that "it's too early" and "it's too late" to talk about the Bible, and that the prime time to ask biblical questions is between 9 and 10 on Sunday mornings. Finally, Sue tells him not to point out plot holes... then suggests he go talk to Reverend TimTom. [as much as Sue loves Reverend TimTom, I'm surprised that she didn't accompany Brick to see him...]
When Brick says that he wasn't moved by Reverend TimTom, Sue is bothered, and takes him to see Reverend TimTom at the ice skating rink. [I thought that the guitar-on-ice thing was amusing!] He answers a few of Brick's questions, but once he starts saying things like "miracles happen," Brick begins to lose interest. Brick tells Sue that he and TimTom have agreed to disagree, and Sue confronts TimTom about it. She's left unsatisfied, however.

At the party, Bob tries to hang out with Axl, whom he had befriended while they worked together at a Christmas tree lot. Axl blows him off to chat with girls, and even tells Bob to act his own age. But, Axl has a change of heart when he goes to make-out with a girl and sees that Bob is really upset. Axl actually leaves the girl to go apologize to Bob, who was failing to beat up a snowman. [which was built over boulders to mess with the Glossners! awesome. LoL at having been to DisneyWorld as a sign of not being a loser.] We don't see much of Sue or Brick at the party, as the rest of the focus is on Frankie and Mike. Frankie complains to some of the neighborhood ladies about not having a dishwasher, but after a while (and a few glasses of eggnog), she starts getting really rude about it... talking about how bad Mike is at giving presents and whatnot. Mike is a good sport about it until Frankie makes some jokes about how he gives her nothing... so he rolls out the dishwasher during the party and leaves. It takes Frankie w while to make it up to him. The next morning, they find out that the new dishwasher doesn't fit! While Frankie and Mike try in vain to shove it into the allotted gap, Reverend TimTom comes to the house to explain to Sue that some people are questioners, and that's a good thing - Brick will find his own path. The family turns on the dishwasher in the middle of the kitchen. [hahaha at Brick's final comment about Roman numerals in books being cool.] 
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