Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Middle: Sue's Middle Name; Cassidy & Cliff?

While most comedies (including this one) focus on just two storylines per episode, it's refreshing to see more work their way to the surface without shortchanging others. And, although it was interesting to see some different things going on around the house, uncovering Janet's true reason for coming over bothered me a bit... I wanted her to be there for her sister, not secretly want help because she's raised a hellion and doesn't know what to do about it! Still, it was a good episode, from Mike tearing down the banner celebrating Sue's new name to Axl learning that love isn't all peaches and cream. I think that Sue's storyline was probably initially larger, as it would make sense that she'd consult her friends and the internet over "cool" names, which we did not see her do at all. But, cutting that meant room for a guest star, so c'est la vie.

The Middle "The Name" (S04E18): Frankie's sister, Janet, shows up to run the household for a week so that Frankie can study for her finals. [but this is the Heck house, so Frankie clearly has to spend a lot of time explaining how their rigged washing machine, microwave, etc. work!] Janet helps Brick with a popsicle bridge project, but he forgets to bring it inside and it gets ruined, so he has to make another, this time preferring his mother's assistance. [haha! when Brick is whispering and goes to repeat something, he says it loudly!] Still, Janet manages to make a big difference during the week, including making meals from scratch, something to which the family is not accustomed!
Sue fails the test for her driver's license, but, true to character, sees the bright side of the experience - if she had passed, she'd have a license that read "Sue Sue Heck." [she REALLY failed! speeding, failure to obey a sign, backing over a curb, running off the road, AND clipping the side of a building??!?] With Janet's support, Sue decides it's time for her to legally change her middle name. [I'm surprised that Frankie and Mike really didn't care much about what Sue chose!] Sue considers Bijou, Coco, Paris, Brooklyn, and Gatlinburg... but when the family doesn't seem to care for any of those, she picks some random names from a baby book, like Bertha, Gertrude, and Sylvia. Finally, she actually lands on "Sue," which she learns means "lily." [really? she never knew what her name meant? I remember looking up my name (and my friends' names!) in 8th grade.] She likes the sound of "Sue Lily" and spends the day at the courthouse filling out paperwork and waiting in lines... until she gets to the front of the final line and panics, thinking "Betsy" or "Mackenzie" would be nice, because "Sue Lily" is as redundant as "Sue Sue." [true. that was my first thought when she chose that name.] But, when the woman at the desk finds "Sue Sue" to be the most unusual name she's ever seen, Sue decides to keep it at the last minute. [I started to see that coming, but I was nearly certain she'd manage to pick SOMETHING else!]

So, while Mike loses a day with Sue at the courthouse and Frankie loses some study time helping Brick, it's Axl who has the roughest time. While at Cassidy's parents' house for dinner, Cliff, Cassidy's old boyfriend, shows up to return a book. [they sure do pick some odd names for the characters on this show!] He's invited to stay, making for an awkward meal. Then, the guy shows up at school to remind Cassidy of a volunteer commitment they made long ago. Axl volunteers to come, too, wanting to impress Cassidy... though building houses for Habitat for Humanity is not his forte. Axl begins to get jealous of Cliff, but after talking to Mike, realizes he just needs to be more assertive. [I don't think that's it...] Unfortunately, when he goes to bring Cassidy a rose, he finds her going someplace with Cliff yet again.
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