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The Middle - Season 9 Premiere - Advance Preview: "Hello and Goodbye, The Hecks!"

The Hecks will grace our screen one last time when “The Middle” returns for its ninth and final season exactly one week from now. ABC’s most heart-warming comedy has sadly been underrated for a long time, which is unfortunate because the show has given us weird and absolutely lovable characters, undeniable laughs, and beautifully emotional moments. Most of all, the show and the family feels extremely real and relatable.

All of this continues in the premiere episode, “Vive Le Hecks.”

Season 8 ended as the summer was just beginning and Axl was heading off to Europe. When we return to season 9, summer is over and the family is gearing up for his return. Frankie is, of course, beyond excited to see him again. Mike just wants him to get a job right away. Well, he’ll have to wait, because Axl is only in the mood to continue his vacation. Also, he’s sporting a man bun now! (Hint: Mike doesn’t approve of that either).

Sue has spent her summer working so she decides to cram a whole 3-months worth of fun in two days before she has to head back to school. Brick considers ending his relationship with Cindy because they just don’t have the same connection anymore and he wants to be fully free for his "exciting" sophomore year. Frankie wants to find something meaningful that relates to their family so she can bury it in Orson’s time capsule, to be opened 100 years from now.

As always, the episode is equal parts funny and sweet. The writing is great. I don’t think the actors take too long to slip back into their characters because The Hecks have always seemed effortless in their ragged and wonderful lifestyle. I’m sorry to see this show go but I’m also glad it will end on a high note. Who enjoys series finale’s that aren’t well planned, anyway?

Here are some mild spoilers and quotes from the episode:

  • Axl brings back gifts for everyone. Can you guess who gets the smallest gift?
  • The term “Brindy” will be coined.
  • Brick takes break-up advice from his brother and father and yes, neither is really helpful.
  • Sue has some really high hopes for a happy ending from “13 Reasons Why." She's also only on episode 4.
  • Frankie asks the whole family to help pick something for the time capsule but they don’t really care. Well, let’s just say at least one of them really should have.
  • The show hasn’t forgotten about a potential Sue and Sean romance. He does pop up in this episode.

I know “The Middle” quotes aren’t super secretive or anything but here are some funny one-liners to tide you over.

1. “No one held up signs for me telling me they miss me.”
“Go somewhere, then we’ll miss you.”

2. “Life is about things and experiences. We wouldn’t know that because we don’t have things or experiences.”

3. “He got himself all the way around the world and back without any help from us and he’s alive.”
“That’s the bar now? Being alive?”

4. “Hey Sean, what are you doing here? You know I don’t have a dance to go to.”

5. “This type of personal transaction requires a level of social grace that frankly, I do not possess.”

Are you excited for “The Middle” to return? Which of The Hecks will you miss the most? What’s your one wish for the final season? Mine is to see Eden Sher get some good recognition come award season!

“The Middle” season 9 premieres Oct. 3, 8|7 c.

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