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The Middle - Mommapalooza / Guess Who's Coming to Frozen Dinner - Double Review

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This episode of The Middle had several story lines and managed to include all of the Hecks. One of my favorites about it was that it brought Lexie back. Is it just me or have we not seen her for a while? It's her birthday month and she wants to go skiing, but Axl can't afford it. This leads to a disagreement over money. She wants to go out more now that he's getting paid. She clearly thinks he makes more money than he really does and is shocked when he shows her bank account. Lexie offers to pay for stuff, but Axl refuses. So she gets creative.

Lexie puts $100 in Axl's jacket pocket and has steaks and concert tickets delivered to the apartment. Then they go to a fancy dinner, and Axl gets irritated. He tells her that either she wants to be with him and his bank account or she doesn't. He doesn't want to be a trophy boy. But then she accidentally says that she loves him, and it turns into a sweet moment. He loves her, too, and they kiss.

At the end of dinner Lexie opens her birthday card from her parents. Inside is $40 and a note from her dad that says he's cutting her off. Axl's response was priceless. "You're not used to being poor, but I will teach you." And then he proceeds to stuff bread sticks into her purse. Luckily Lexie's dad is still going to pay for the apartment, to Sue's relief.

Sue and Brick were busy this week trying to fix the hole in the wall. Mike is tired of them fighting about it, and he's not going to help them fix it. Brick watches youtube videos on drywall, but ends up taking out the entire middle wall. Sue panics after Brick tells her his plan to blame it all on her so she comes up with her own plan. She finds all of her old campaign posters and they use those to cover the hole. They're pretty proud of themselves, and they show Mike the new wall. He's impressed, too, until Sue falls through all the posters. At this point I think the hole in the wall is here to stay.

At the beginning of "Mommapalooza" Frankie decides that it's time to start the third act of her life. She decides to become a life coach after talking to one at the mall. Mike doesn't think this is a good idea, but Frankie disagrees. She says that she's very empathetic and understanding. She goes to bingo where she tries to get some business, but runs into Reverend Tim Tom. He asks Frankie to sing with him, and she decides to go on tour instead of being a life coach. Frankie and Revered Tim Tom are booked every Tuesday for shows, and she gets to go on a "World Wide Tour" (more than 63 miles!) which she's really excited about. She thinks she is living her dream.

"To be fair she works in a dental office. Anything else is going to seem fun." - Brick

Frankie later overhears Axl, Sue, and Brick laughing about her singing and making fun of her. She tells Reverend Tim Tom that she's decided not to sing so then he sings a song about how mom's are people, too. This makes the family feel bad about how they treated Frankie. But eventually Frankie loses interest in singing because, as she says, it's a lot, and there's so much good TV on now.

I actually really enjoyed this episode even though Sean was missing. I always enjoy seeing Reverend Tim Tom, and like I wrote earlier, I liked seeing Lexie again. Although I hope she has some scenes with Sue soon. We haven't had much of the Sue/Lexie friendship lately.

Guess Who's Coming to Frozen Dinner
This episode begins with Axl getting his first paycheck from his new job. He's excited, but Mike tells him to put the money in the bank. Frankie disagrees. I loved that she said life isn't too short- it's long and not fun. She tells Axl to buy himself something nice. So he buys a big screen TV. That's not what Frankie had in mind. She freaks out, and then he freaks out. He blames Frankie for giving him the bad money genes.

The two decide to become better at managing their money but definitely have issues. They struggle to get organized, and they have trouble understanding the finance books so Frankie thinks watching a movie will help them. The problem is the movie is Wolf of Wallstreet. Yeah, that probably didn't help. Their faces at the end were priceless.

Sue is home from school for her winter break, and Mike wants to spend some time with her. He's feeling like they don't connect like they used to and misses their time together. The next day Mike walks outside to discover Rusty on their lawn. Rusty brings Sue an early birthday present: a ruby necklace. Mike worries that the ruby is stolen and asks Sue to give it back. This upsets Sue and she thinks Mike is jealous. (Side note: I loved Mike's reaction when he walked through the hole and discovered Axl's TV. He didn't sound happy to say the least.)

The necklace is actually their mom's, and Rusty wanted to give it to his daughter someday. Since he's not going to have a daughter he decided to give it Sue. This is a nice gesture even if he thinks Sue's name is Beth. It seems like Rusty will be around more since he said he wants to spend more time with his family. I'm find with Rusty hanging around, but I hope Mike and Sue work out their issues. I love their father/daughter bond.

The other story this week focuses on Brick feeling left out. He thinks no one notices him, but his luck changes when he finds a package of SnoDrifts on the porch. Then he finds balloons and finally a bouquet of flowers. He's disappointed with the flowers so he takes them to Cindy's house. Cindy finds a note with the flowers that says to meet at the fountain. She heads to the fountain, and at the very end we see Sean! All this stuff was for Sue, not Brick. Sean was going to tell Sue how he feels. This was so sweet, but I'm irritated that the show continues to drag out the Sue and Sean relationship. It's getting old. Please, writers, please listen and put them together. The show is almost over!

What did you think of these two episodes? Were you happy to see Lexie and Reverend Tim Tom again? How do you feel about the writers dragging out Sue and Sean? Let me know in the comments section!

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