Friday, March 2, 2012

The Middle: Sue's Leap Year Birthday

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Kind of a random episode, don't you think? The Sue storyline was the best, I thought (though it was strangely missing both Carly and Matt, both of whom I expected in a birthday scene). Axl's mini-plot was the worst, though part of me wonders if the writers realized that they didn't have much to do with him so they just threw it in there. It was one of those rare episodes where there were almost four sets of actions going on, and they didn't even all tie together in the end, which made for a memorable, albeit peculiar installment of the series. I liked it, though. I do hope that Frankie has a storyline to herself again soon, and maybe Axl could start dating again as well.

The Middle "Leap Year" (S03E18): Brick has a crush on a new girl (she's a biter!) in his social skills group, as do seemingly the bulk of the boys in the group. [I had never realized that all of the kids were male.] So, when a budget cut threatens to can the group (the janitor has to stay late for this, you guys), Brick tries to come up with ideas on how to raise the funds. [are there no other after-school activities at all??] As you might imagine, Frankie soon ends up in charge of a car wash and a bake sale, despite the fact that the kids are a bit young to wash cars. [I was surprised that so many of the kids from the group managed to be there.] When a fight breaks out, Frankie has to break it up by squirting a hose... in the middle of winter. [!!]

Mike has been "working late" a lot, and Frankie is concerned. After he comes home at 3am, he admits to taking care of a stray, sick cat... which he has had at work for seven years. [I could totally see Mike having a secret pet like that!] "Limestone" passes away, and Mike doesn't grieve a whole lot about it, worrying Frankie. He gets plenty pissed, however, when his barber moves, claiming that he is "done loving things." [awww... in both senses.] Fortunately, he warms up to a new cat, "Granite," by the end of the episode.

Sue is excited about her birthday, since it's a Leap Year and she was born on February 29th. She asks Frankie for a surprise party, but Frankie tells her that she's only getting a regular birthday because she already got the Justin Bieber tickets as a trade-off. [why would she WANT an egg roll that her brother has licked?? and hahaha that Axl tricked Sue into sitting in the basement.] On her birthday, having no party winds up upsetting Sue, who cries herself to sleep. [I loved how she peeked around every corner, "just in case." It breaks my heart that the family keeps forgetting Sue's birthday... this has happened before!] Frankie wakes up at 4am
and realizes that they forgot Sue's birthday, so the whole family gets up to "surprise" her with a late-night birthday event. [that is so super sweet!] It works out that Frankie does have a couple of presents on-hand, and that Sue is pretty gullible. [bless her heart, she's so gullible! She did get the old cell phone that Brick let slip way back when, tho.] And, although Brick and Axl put a cake together out of the bits that were left from the bake sale, Sue thinks it's a designer patchwork cake. [again, bless her heart.] In Frankie's words, "God bless someone who is so optimistic." [sure works out well for her ridiculous parents!]

And, in a small and strange storyline, Axl takes up vacuuming because basketball season is over but baseball season hasn't started yet. [this purely amused me.]
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