Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Middle: An Anniversary Party & The End of a Book

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I really felt badly for Sue in this episode. She tried so hard to put together a nice party for her parents but nobody was cooperating. It might have helped if she had gone moved on from spaghetti or tried something different from the start, but I was sad at how doomed poor Frankie and Mike were. I wanted them to have a nice celebration, and though I was surprised that Mike had scraped together the money to get Frankie a new ring, I really had hoped that he'd care a little more about the smaller things - like returning her call. Not that I had expected him to truly appreciate her teasing him about seeing a cute guy at the bookstore, but later lying about even knowing that she called was a bit extreme. It was also cute to see Brick and Axl getting along, even if their "storytime" doesn't last.

The Middle "Twenty Years" (S04E10):  Frankie and Mike are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, so Sue wants to throw a party. Brick and Axl aren't interested in doing anything for it, but Sue puts them in charge of a skit. [her sounds are the weirdest!] Sue goes to Mike's dad to tell him about the party, hoping that he might share a story or two. He declines, but she perseveres in trying to make it a nice surprise for her parents. But, Frankie stumbles upon Sue's notebook so she and Mike feign surprise when the big night comes. Sue leads them to the kitchen (they had expected something larger), tries to get Brick to make some appetizers, then holds up some framed photos as a montage. [that might have been the saddest part, actually.] An hour later, the spaghetti doesn't work out, Sue blames Axl, and Mike saves the evening with his gift to Frankie. 

The other storyline takes place about the same week, with Brick dying to get a new book. Mike takes him to the bookstore to get it, and Brick tries to explain how it's the seventh in a series. Frankie walks by with a friend and calls Mike to say that she sees a cute guy but they witness him ignore the call. [that must have been mortifying in front of the neighbor!]
Frankie later confronts him about it but she gets more upset when he gets up in the middle of the night to cook a steak. [hahaha! that's something my husband would do.] Anyway, so Brick puts down his book and can't find it, blaming Axl, who has been upset that Brick won't return the guitar he won over a game of air hockey. Axl reads the last chapter and spoils the ending for his younger brother (even after Brick offers the guitar in an even trade), who becomes a zombie for a few days before eventually explaining that books are all he has and that he loves reading. Axl decides to come up with a new ending to the book and gives it to Brick as a gift (so he could have a new experience), but Axl sucks at writing. Nonetheless, Brick decides to read the first book in the series to his brother in an attempt to teach him to appreciate books. [awww.]
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