Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Middle: Death & the Super Bowl

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Here we go again with the double-episode recaps. All of the Wednesday shows are doubles, so be prepared if you were hoping for the next few posts to be on the short side. Sorry. But, after The Exes, we'll be all caught up and ready to proceed in our semi-normal fashion.

Frances Bay, who played Aunt Ginny on The Middle, passed away a few months ago. I have been wondering how they were going to deal with this on the show, and we went quite a while without it really being addressed. However, the time came, and it was very "Heck," in that the occasion taught the family that they can't "float" things all the time, as well as to pay attention when milestones are met. As someone who is guilty of letting events slide until they're more convenient (my husband and I both have birthdays within a month of Christmas, so we sometimes pass off the celebrations to a calmer time), I found it to be quite touching. While the second episode, "Hecking it Up" didn't receive the same great reviews from some, I thought it was a pretty good episode. Sue and Matt were cute and all, but seeing Frankie strive to get a "good assignment" for the SuperBowl and the entire family sneaking around to play with the neighbor's car was good comedy. Maybe it could have been shown slightly later (like after the play-offs, for instance), but I think that it was pretty solid goodness. Am I alone?

The Middle
"The Map" (S03E13): [broken down by character today. First, Frankie. Then, Axl & Brick. Then, Sue.] The family is coming home from Aunt Ginny's funeral and talking how Mike and Frankie's will is on a napkin. [what did you expect?] Later, Frankie goes to see how Aunt Edy is doing, but she doesn't remember that Ginny died... and has to be reminded daily. [that's gotta be rough!] While going through some paperwork, Frankie discovers that Ginny turned 100 last year, then becomes upset that nobody made a big deal out of it. [that IS sad. 100 is a big deal!] This causes Frankie to decide that they can't be "too busy" anymore... they need to go and do things. Frankie also tries to find a caregiver by putting an ad in the paper. [good thing that the economy sucks right now. and hopefully this will have her interviewing some colorful folks in an upcoming episode?] Late in the episode, the family sings a belated Happy Birthday to Aunt Ginny... then proceed to celebrate five birthdays, two anniversaries, an Easter, and a graduation. [hahaha. so funny.]

Axl eats Brick's Indiana dough map, so they have to make another one, as Frankie is swamped with errands due to Ginny's passing. The boys don't know the ingredients or directions to make the salt dough, so Axl decides to use brownies, since those have instructions. [well done, actually. though I should have seen the smoking quilt coming... that's a running gag that I keep forgetting about!] They try to shape the brownie to look like Indiana, but they end up eating the whole thing in the process. [saw THIS coming, tho!] They can't start over because there's no more brownie mixes, so Axl tries pancake mix. Brick is worried that they'll eat that, too, so they add dirt to the batter... but then they STILL gobble it down! [gross! bleh!] So, they order two pizzas... one to eat and one to make into Indiana. [wow, Axl's really thinking now! and the toppings make a great relief map!] Just then, Brick reads the assignment and finds out he was assigned Texas, not Indiana. So, Brick decides to take the incomplete, since he doesn't want to start over. [part of me can't believe that this is how the storyline ended, while the other part should have just seen it coming.]

While Sue is cheering for the wrestlers, a boy stops and talks to her, and Brad tells her later that the kid, Matt, likes her. [interesting. not sure where I want this to go. you?] Sue tells Mike about the boy, but he doesn't really believe her. [fail!] Then, she tells Frankie, who tells her that she doesn't have to like the boy just because he likes her. [true, but not very Sue.] Sue confronts Matt at the next opportunity, and he admits that he does like her. Unfortunately, Sue more or less tells him that she's not interested because she "has to make herself happy first." BUT, Matt and the wrestlers do a choreographed dance of sorts to tell Sue he likes her, and she says that she likes him back.[well, YEAH! clearly the boy knows the keys to her heart!]

The Middle
"Hecking It Up" (S03E14): Frankie is excited to be volunteering for the upcoming Super Bowl event, and is hoping for a great position. [] Meanwhile, Sue is excited to start studying for her learner's permit, which she can earn in six months. [I don't remember how early I started studying for mine... is six months common?] Matt is over at the Heck house with Sue, and he seems to eat a lot, which Mike isn't thrilled about. [reminds me of Danny & Jesse not being fans of how much Steve (DJ's boyfriend) ate when he was over.] Frankie has been stuffing envelopes, manning booths, and even knit a scarf to "suck up," but she is assigned to deal with parking in French Lick, which is a satellite lot and quite far from the stadium. [awww. I would be super disappointed, too.] She later decides to confront the volunteer coordinator about wanting a better assignment, and she winds up being a "stadium hospitality liaison," though it's just a fancy term for directing traffic in the porta-potty area. [I'm unclear as to why she's given a different position, tho I was happy for her.]

Nancy Donahue (who is going to the Super Bowl) calls to ask Frankie to move her new car into the garage. But when Frankie gets in, it's so nice that she puts it in her own garage instead... and proceeds to use it the week that her neighbor is gone. [a brand-new car is going to have really low mileage... taking it more than a few miles is bound to be noticeable, isn't it??] But, she's not the only one making use of it. Brick has been in it to play with the GPS, Axl took it for a chicken run, Mike took a nap in it, and Sue practices some of her driving moves in it. Actually, Sue ends up driving it around the block when the car rolls a little and she's uncomfortable using reverse to get it back into the driveway. This made for a hilarious minute, as Sue freaks out a few times over items and people in the road. Sue makes it out to be a near-death experience, and tells her wrestlerette "friends" that she felt awful that the last thing she said to Matt was that she liked ham. [not funny but not not-funny...] So, in true Sue fashion, she promptly finds Matt and tells him that she loves him, which leaves him nearly speechless. [of course. she is so quick to ruin a good thing unintentionally.]

When Frankie starts the car remotely, everyone checks their pockets, so the family now knows that they're all messing with something that isn't theirs. [ha!] They develop a schedule to share the car, and the next thing you know they're singing "High Hopes." [are we serious? could this happen?] But the Donahues call... they'll be home in twenty minutes because the girls are sick.

So, Mike brakes hard and food flies everywhere (because, of course, the Hecks had take-out in the vehicle) as they high-tail it back to the house to clean the filthy car inside and out. [I was hoping this would be more comical than it was.] Matt comes to see Sue, and locks the two of them in the car to tell her that he loves her. They kiss, then announce to the other Hecks that they're in love. [gag.] The Donahues instantly notice a scratch on the car, and Frankie admits that the entire family has been in the car. [I don't know that the admittance of guilt needed to include everyone...] Frankie apologizes for the Hecks, and is shocked when Nancy is thrilled that they drove it - this way, neither she nor her husband have to worry about who scratches it first! [talk about dumb luck!]

Oh, and one random thing about this episode? When Brick is in the room and Axl takes a phone call, Axl makes Brick put a belted pillow over his head! [what the..?]

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This

No comments: