The Middle 6×21 ‘Two of a Kind’ : Do before they’re dead

So, Frankie’s uncle comes to town, and it’s uncanny how much he looks like Tag, Frankie’s dad. I spent half the episode marveling at this before looking it up and realizing that yes, Tag is played by Jerry Van Dyke, uncle Dutch played by Dick Van Dyke. Brothers in real life. My grandmother would be ashamed at how long it took me to figure that out.

Jerry and Dick, I mean Tag and Dutch, have a longstanding feud going on, which Frankie wants to end. After all these years/episodes, you’d think she’d learn not to worry so much about the lives of extended family. It rarely ends well. Uncle Dutch is a successful businessman from Vegas, with plenty of stories of all the celebrities he’s met there. Tag, he’s just jealous and annoyed. Oh, and pretending that his cane belongs to Mike, because he doesn’t want to admit to his arthritis. Mike being Mike, I give the guy major props for going along with that, much as he hated it.

Axl and Brick don’t really have individual storylines this week. They’re around mostly to shower uncle Dutch with praise, and make their granddad feel like crap in the process. Sue though, she’s in big trouble. Well, what she considers big trouble, anyways.

After sneaking off campus to grab lunch, she freaks out over getting her very first detention. Said freakout turns into a meltdown when she learns she’ll be serving Saturday detention, lumped in with the real delinquents of the school. She goes to Axl for advice and he, is anyone really surprised here, scares her even more, because he can.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the Van Dyke scenes, I did. But I much preferred Sue trying to keep her head down amidst all the stereotypically dressed “bad kids,” some of whom already had kids themselves. I just love Sue in general, so I’d rather watch her than devote too much time to a couple of guys who are just guest stars. And, let’s be honest, I’d probably care more about the Van Dyke casting if I were a couple decades older. But, I’m not, so I was all about Sue navigating the perils of detention.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

I particularly liked the female teacher who told Sue, not so gently, that she needed to toughen up a bit. In fact, the scenes with those two were my favorites. I know it’s late in the game, but I hope we get to see just a bit more of her before the season ends and Sue’s out of high school.

We’re getting close to the finale here, folks. I can only presume that Sue’s graduation episode is coming up fast. Any predictions for what hijinks she and the rest of the family will get up to when the big day arrives?

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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