Friday, October 12, 2012

The Middle: Sue as a Hen & Brick has a Bunny

by Amy K. Bredemeyer 

The Middle "Bunny Therapy" (S04E04)

While Axl played football and Sue cheered as the Thundering Hen, Brick "whoops" in the audience, and to cover it when someone complains, Frankie and Mike follow suit. That's how "Bunny Therapy" ended, but the lead-up is what really makes this family comedy special. In her never-ending quest to be involved, Sue tries out to be the school's mascot. Now, nobody else even auditions, so it should be in the bag. But, as you know, nothing is that easy for this poor middle child. When the call comes that she is going to take on performing as the Thundering Hen, she's on top of the kitchen island, hiding from Brick's new bunny. 
You see, Brick has now developed a new tic (the "whoops" mentioned above), and Frankie and Mike give in to a school therapist's suggestion that bonding with a pet would be beneficial. Except the bunny is a terror and takes over the bathroom, leaving the Hecks to bond over a single sink and mirror. Even Axl doesn't complain about the new arrangement too much... though he's more obsessed with trying to figure out which of two cheerleaders is his girlfriend. He goes through much trouble to try figuring it out, but in the end is left with no Homecoming date because of the confusion.

It's all a bit ridiculous, of course, but the show focuses on several key moments that remind us of the family's strange dynamic. For instance, the cheerleaders don't recognize Sue as Axl's sister (and he's tried hard to keep the relation quiet), thinking of her as "a sad girl lost in his house." Plus, when Frankie and Mike decide to ask Brick what might be the cause of his issues (oh yeah, he's also now saying the Pledge of Allegiance twenty times before bed each night), he talks about how they always eat fast food and never have a set bedtime. Ouch! Too bad the Hecks don't care enough to try enforcing healthy cooking and regular sleep at this point!
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