Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Middle: Using Your Wits

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I really thought that this was a fantastic episode. The title really fit the three different scenarios that the Heck family was facing, and each got through their dilemma in their own way. I particularly loved the section where Axl uses his popularity and charisma (and pulls a few strings!) to get his presentation together in under an hour. This is the kind of thing my husband could pull off, so I had him sit down as I re-watched that scene. I think that the Brick storyline was a bit creepy, though he certainly made short work of his problems in the end. I wonder how he got those kids in the hallways to acknowledge him, though?

The Middle "Life Skills" (S04E11): It's the first day of Axl's last semester of high school when he learns that Sue is in the same period of Life Skills. Axl and Sue wind up being partners for the first project, and he makes her do all the work. [of course.] When the presentation comes two weeks later, Sue grabs the wrong bag of stuff from the house and freaks out. [I would, too! though I wouldn't have volunteered to be first...] So, Axl calls in some favors, smooth-talks some kids and staff, and by the end of the period has everything to throw together a presentation, complete with a printed resume and eleven-page paper, poster, food presentation, and strolling violinists to show what it takes to run an Italian restaurant. [I really was smiling as everything happened... impressively done!]
At home, a tree branch falls on the car and the insurance company takes its time processing the claim, forcing Mike and Frankie drive without a windshield. [isn't that illegal?] Clear plastic doesn't help, and, two weeks later, the insurance company denies their claim because it was an "act of God." Certain they have coverage for that, Frankie and Mike go to the office, where they learn that it was actually denied because of negligence to the tree. [sucks.] Fortunately, the church offers them their van until the family can get their situation under control. [AND, this is the type of show that will carry that over for a while, so we should get some great stories as the Hecks drive the van around Orson!]

The school therapist needs to help Brick make friends, though the sessions are scheduled during library time. [why not during recess?] Brick is told to open himself up to other students, find common ground, and try to join other activities, but even practice conversations don't help much. Puzzled by why he has to make friends with his peers anyway, he points out that he befriends adults just fine, and he'll spend more time throughout life interacting with them. The therapist wants to give up but doesn't want to lose his job, so Brick agrees to be friendly with others if he can miss gym instead of library. [awesome.]
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