If there was one unstated takeaway lesson from tonight’s episode of The Middle, it’s to always have a woman involved when planning a surprise party. Â Or any party, really. Â Of course the minute Mike pitched the idea to Axl and Brick, I knew we were in for a fun ride.
The whole impromptu party stemmed from what will go down as another classic Heck car ride. Â On the way home from a neighbor’s confirmation ceremony, Brick discovers he was never confirmed. Â Who’s really surprised though? Â This is coming from the same family that floats their anniversaries, holidays and birthdays. Â Frankie seizes the moment and calls in her floating 50th birthday from two months ago as the perfect excuse to stop for good (and expensive) pizza. Â All was going well until Mike forgot he left the pizza on the roof the car. Â Crows were literally eating their parking lot pizza when they turned around so as not to waste a penny of their hard earned money.
Maybe it was guilt over the ruined pizza but Mike had the idea to throw Frankie a surprise party. Â He and the boys wisely agree that Sue isn’t the best at keeping secrets, but it became painfully obvious they needed a woman’s touch with everything. Â First of all, Mike’s idea of food for said party was a six foot sub. Â Which is fine, but that’s literally all he thought of in terms of food. Â No side dishes like Nancy Donahue asked about. Â It didn’t even look like they had any sort of appetizers. Â A couple bags of chips and pretzels never hurt anyone. Â Sue even points out the guys didn’t even think to put a tablecloth out under the sub and boxed wines. Â
I couldn’t believe they didn’t even have a cake. Â When you think birthday party, the first thing popping into your mind should be cake! Â But no, Nancy managed to frost a phonebook for the illusion of a cake which worked out well considering the guest of honor herself was only attending the party via Skype. Â By this point the whole party was a disaster. Â Sue can’t tell a lie to save her life so Frankie had shown up to surprise her at school when she was actually coming home for her party. Â Long story short, this should be a lesson to all guys out there. Â Find a sister, mother, friend, neighbor or any strange woman off the street to give you some pointers on throwing a party. Â Always remember to have someone in charge of the birthday girl too! Â
Secondary to the birthday shenanigans was a Brick storyline that felt old. Â He’s never been athletic yet he chooses to tackle sports as a part of his school’s “I can’t” project. Â The whole idea here is to help the kids overcome challenges they think they can’t do. Â The first thing that pops up in conversation with his family when asking for advice is his lack of sports skills. Â At least he can say he gave them all a try and finally rule sports out for good. Â I think changing his resolution to his inability to do small talk was even funnier anyway. Â At the party he tries to chat up Mr. Donahue by addressing the concerns of his own mortality at his mother’s 50th birthday. Â That’s pretty deep stuff for an 8th grader to be worried about! Â
Be honest now. Â On a scale of Axl to Sue, how hard did this episode of The Middle have you shaking your head? Â
The Hecks celebrate Frankie’s 50th birthday two months late in predictable fashion on The Middle.