The Middle 6×15 ‘Steaming Pile of Guilt’ : Weird Asley’s revenge

After the last episode was focused almost entirely on Sue, we’re back to the usual format. The one where all the Hecks must cope with their various train wrecks. Frankie and Mike go out for parents of the year when they realize they missed Brick’s birthday by three months. Which, in fairness, isn’t nearly as bad as that time they took the wrong baby home from the hospital.

So they forgot their son’s birthday. Apparently, this is typical, but since Brick’s now turned the big thirteen, it’s more of a jerk move than usual. To make up for this terrible parenting, Frankie and the rest are forced to sit through an entire day of Brick talking…and talking…and talking…about whatever he wants. It was funny stuff that eventually led to a bad (seriously bad this time) moment where Frankie blew up at the poor kid, telling him he wasn’t normal. Seriously, the boy walked to his room alone, with his birthday cake in hand. Tell me that wasn’t one of the saddest Brick moments ever. Still, Frankie makes up for it in a sweet scene where they share cake and talk.

Two things about this. One, how long was that cake sitting around while Brick yammered on about vowels? Couldn’t they have wrapped it up or put it in the fridge, for the sake of freshness? And two, I feel like much of this family strife could’ve been avoided if Brick let his parents get up long enough to grab a couple beers, take the edge off of listening to him.

Axl, who’s been a surprisingly good boyfriend to Devin, turns back into a stupid boy when Weird Ashley transfers to his school. Devin realizes what an insulting jerk he can be when she learns he has her in his phone as ‘Uggo from Idaho.’ Weird Ashley, Uggo, it’s a thing with him. I like Axl and Devin, so it was interesting to see their first real fight, but I wish we’d gotten more of Weird Ashley. She was funny, she hasn’t been around in a few seasons, the writers could’ve done a little more with her return.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

And then there’s Sue. She’s fixated on ending the Year of Sue by earning a title in the yearbook. Best hair, most spirited, etcetera. Which would’ve been fine if we weren’t coming straight off a broken engagement. I know the Darrin thing really took over last week, that Sue has to move on. And she didn’t need to be crying in her room the whole show, but come on. She’s just ended things with her first love. Not even a mention of that? Not even a hint that she’s still recovering from something sucky? She’s Sue, all about optimism and bouncing back, but there are limits, guys. All the writers had to do was let her go on as usual about the Year of Sue, and throw in a line to the effect of “After what happened with Darrin, I really want to get this year back on track, with something positive.”

Was that so hard? I think not.

The rest of the show was good, in its usual way, but completely ignoring the aftermath of Sue’s breakup when it could’ve been handled with an extra ten seconds of screen time? That really brought things down for me.

Nicolette Schneider

is a lit geek, a comic geek, and a certified TV fanatic. She often prefers fictional people over real ones. When she does make friends with regular humans, she likes the ones who give her access to their Netflix accounts. She loves words and hopes to one day make money stringing them together. Until then, read those words for free on
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