The Middle is about a Midwestern family who encounter a range of funny challenges most often surrounding the lives of the three kids. Mom (Frankie Heck) played by Patricia Heaton and dad Mike Heck (Neil Flynn) struggle with the ongoing antics of eldest son Axl (Charlie McDermott), middle daughter Sue (Eden Sher) and youngest son Brick (Atticus Shaffer).
Axl who is big on sports and low on brains, but loves to lounge around the house in his madras boxer shorts leaving dirty socks and assorted trash in his wake. Meanwhile Sue is an overachiever who can't seem to achieve anything she tries out for except for the cross country team which basically let everyone be on the team.
Finally youngest son Brick is a quirky brainac who is addicted to books, refuses to ride in cars across bridges and talks to himself in a whisper.
After having fallen in love with the entire family I was sad to see the season end with the last episode titled "Back To Summer." For Frankie she lives for Summer, especially this year having endured an year of ongoing struggle with Brick's 3rd grade teacher Ms. Rinsky.
To celebrate surviving one more school year Frankie buys a new Tiki Torch for the backyard. Nothing says summer like a brand new Tiki Torch! Frankie has plans to transform their backyard into an island paradise. Mike points out that if they're going to transform the backyard they may need to fish the deep possum out of the pool.
She may be getting ahead of herself though. There's still four days until the end of school. That means Sue is in the home stretch to receive the coveted Perfect Attendance Award. Sadly, school records indicate that Sue was absent October 13th even though Sue didn't miss a single day of school. In fact, she made it her personal badge of courage to win that award.
Frankie pointed out that Sue set her sights on winning the Prefect Attendance Award years ago. Clips of Sue throwing up into her locker, sneezing and falling off a roof she was climbing and sitting through class with a beet red nose.
Sue goes to see Ms. Jacobs, the office manager about her status with winning the Perfect Attendance Award. Ms. Jacobs asks Sue if she's a "new student" and Sue is befuddled since she reminds Ms. Jacobs she stops by to see her all the time. Ms. Jacobs tells Sue she's not winning the award because she was absent on October 13th.
Ms. Jacobs blows Sue off by saying "next" and when Sue tells here there's nobody else there she says "I know, nice meeting you."
Luckily Sue discovers Brick was supposed to be keeping a daily journal during the entire school year for Ms. Rinsky's call. If Brick doesn't get his journal finished by the end of the school year Frankie will have to endure another year tangling with the tough talking student.
Sue's Frenzied Search For Perfect Attendance Proof
While Brick struggles to remember everything he did for the past year, he happens to provide Sue with information about what she was doing on the day the school claimed she was absent.
Although an orthodontist appointment on the day in question made her late for school, she was marked absent even though she was at school. Even with a note from the doc, Sue can't get the school office to accept the proof. She goes on a frenzied search for proof and finally finds it when she discovers a video tape on the day in question with a date stamp. Of course it's a hilarious tape showing Sue destroying band practice by accident.
Sue ultimately proves that she indeed had perfect attendance. Of course at the graduation Sue receives the perfect attendance award but the principle calls her by the wrong name. So typical of Sue. Right?
Meanwhile Frankie who's trying to help Brick remember everything that happened during the school year realizes that she's losing her own memory. Of course Brick only remembers days when he wasn't reading a book. How appropriate is that?
Will Ms. Rinsky Read Brick's Journal
Of course Frankie doesn't believe Ms. Rinsky will read every page of the journal. Brick and Frankie work hard to finish the journal and Frankie turns it into Ms. Rinsky.
She proceeds to call out Brick for his comments on the last page of his journal where he admits to not really doing the assignment. However, Ms. Rinsky is as sick of Frankie as she is of her. She tells Frankie that Brick is moving on to the fourth grade. Although Ms. Rinsky admits to liking Brick because he makes her laugh, there's no way she wants to deal with Frankie for another year. Frankie assures Ms. Rinsky that Brick is her last child which is joy to Ms. Rinsky's ears.
While Frankie was struggling with helping Brick and Sue was desperately searching for proof of her perfect attendance Mike Heck was dealing with Axl who has to cram in a ridiculous number of community service hours in just a matter of days.
Axl told Frankie and Mike "I hope you know you sent me to the dumbest school in the world." Mike says "seemed like a good fit." Axl said "I didn't do my community service like helping poor people, or whatever, and if I don't get my 30 hours done by Friday and I'll flunk Civics and we'll have to pay for some stupid class I have to take this summer." Mike says "and you're just telling us now? Why?"
Axl says "because it shouldn't be an assignment, forcing me to help people against my will. I don't know, doesn't that seem like Communism of something? Did I use that right?" Mike tells Axl "just because I'd like to join in your war on community service, you're doing it."
Getting Axl to decide on a community service was part of the battle. He spend one hour "looking at pamphlets" and told Mike "that hour should count, only 29 hours left to go." He also told Mike when his father suggested some options "nothing sad, nothing hard, nothing gross." Axl says he can help people at camp learn how to play video games. Mike tell him he has to help two programs in order to get the hours in. Axl goes with Meals with Heels and Time With Tots.
Of course Axl figured out a way to do work with young orphan boys and made the boys pack chicken dinners for those in need. If Axl didn't get the service hours completed he would have to go to summer school costing The Hecks a pretty penny.
Although Frankie and Mike held their breath worried that Sue would be heartbroken, she started laughing and took it all in stride.
Frankie told the camera that sometimes the most important thing is those special moments with family that you remember. Clips from some of the best scenes from the past season with The Hecks were shown including when Frankie and Brick got sprayed with soap in the car wash, Brick trying to rake the leaves, Axl playing football, the snowball fight and Sue and Mike watching TV together on the couch.
It was actually a great ending to a great season for The Heck family who was last seen with Frankie's new Tiki Torch hanging around in the backyard. Frankie was breathing a sigh of relief at "having the whole summer in frong of us" to relax when Brick piped up "I'm bored."
Could there be anything more appropriate for The Hecks?
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