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The Middle - The Core Group - Review



Welcome back to The Middle! I have missed Frankie, Sue, and the rest of the Hecks during the hiatus, and I am beyond excited that we are back. I can't believe we're beginning season eight. I will be reviewing this show every week so let's get started!

Fall is officially underway in Orson, Indiana, and Sue is finally home from Dollywood. Mike acts excited until she actually comes in and starts talking about acting. He loses interest and leaves to watch television as usual. Axl then returns home and informs his mom that he has a girlfriend. He wants his parents to meet her. Frankie is estatic and starts planning right away. She starts giving Mike pointers on how to be social, and she straightens up the living room to impress this girl.

Axl's girlfriend is April, and she's interesting to say the least. April tells Mike and Frankie the exciting story of how she and Axl met. "He saw me, and he came over. He said hi, and I said hi." I know. Riveting stuff. She says she graduated from Orson CC or community college for those who didn't know. She also loves her job. "It's so... what's the word? Good."


After Frankie finishes complaining about April to Mike and basically freaking out, she finds out that Sue doesn't need her help with going back to school. Frankie starts panicking about everything changing and wants to have dinner with the family. This sounds like a great idea, but we all know how well thing work out on The Middle.

The family dinner starts on a bad note with Axl bringing April, and it quickly gets worse. Frankie wants to make a toast but keeps getting interrupted. First, April gets lost trying to find the bathroom, and then Sue's boyfriend comes over. Jeremy hates football and calls Mike by his first name. Needless to say this irritates Mike. Brick decides that Cindy should come over since everyone else's significant other is present. Sue says she wants to head back to school now, and this is the last straw for Frankie.


She calls the "Core Group" over to the fridge to give her toast to the "Core Four," but Brick quickly reminds her that there are five of them. "I knew that. The rhyme threw me off," she replied. I know this speech was supposed to be inspirational, but she just ends up getting frustrated and yelling. She says that time is fleeting, and they should appreciate these moments because they'll never have them again. I thought this was hysterical. Patricia Heaton was amazing for the entire episode, but this was my favorite scene. I could definitely feel Frankie's frustrations, but I couldn't help laughing. "The point is I love you. Now clink your mayonnaise and olives together like you mean it."

While the episode focused on Frankie and Axl, Sue and Brick also had issues. Sue wants to major in theater after her amazing summer, but she wants a back-up plan. She can't fully commit to this back-up plan though because she thinks it will make her fail at theater. Because she can't figure out what to do, she asks Brick to figure it out and write it down. But Brick has his own problems this week. It's his first day of high school, and he's clearly nervous. He wants to make friends, but at lunch everyone leaves his table because they want to sit with more popular people.


"The Core Group" ends with Frankie witnessing a sweet moment between Axl and April and sees that Axl is in love. She realizes that no matter how much you plan and how hard you try, you can't control everything. And things may end up better than you thought, like Brick making a friend at school. I liked this ending; I think it did a nice job of tying all the stories together.

"Maybe we should just be in the moment we're in and enjoy the time we have with the people we love." - Frankie


Other Thoughts:

- I love that Frankie has a Team Aniston shirt. It's so ironic that the joke was written into this episode considering the timing. And I love that Mike had no idea what Team Aniston was.

- Who would have thought Cindy would be the favorite of the Heck significant others?

- I had forgotten how awful Sue's dorm is. I wonder if she'll stay there all year or if they'll move her?

Favorite Quotes:

- Frankie: "She asked if the grapes were homemade."
- Frankie: "I had something going on upstairs." Mike: "I was mainly interested in your downstairs."
- Mike: "It's not like Axl's the sharpest tool in the shed." Frankie: "Yeah but at least he can find the shed."
- Cindy: "No shrimp? I'm irritated, but I'll hide it."

Obviously I loved this episode, but what about you? Are you glad the Hecks are back? What did you think of April? Leave a comment and let me know!

About the Author - Jessica VanWinkle
Jessica VanWinkle is an avid television fan and been a member of the SpoilerTV team since 2016. Her favorite shows include Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy, The Middle, The Goldbergs, iZombie, and many more. Jessica is a native Kentuckian and while not watching television you can find her cheering for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats. She also enjoys watching football (the American version), reading, and spending time with her cat, Oliver. Jessica is a graduate from Western Kentucky University where she majored in Public Relations and minored in Sociology.
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