The Middle 7×04 ‘Risky Business’ : “We played sex chicken and lost.”

Mike’s idiot brother with all the idiot ideas is back, but this idea might not have quite so much idiot in it. Are the Hecks going to become filthy rich? Well, no, we all know that’s not going to happen, this show’s way too formulaic. Also, it’s not that final season of Roseanne the idiot one that no one should talk about. But, it is the episode where Sue runs home from college after a whole two weeks, and Axl reenacts that Jackass show in all it’s painful, idiotic glory.

This is one of those eps that rely heavily on the guest stars. Besides Mike’s brother Rusty, we also have Brad returning to help Sue out of a jam. Well, out of her car, really, which she’s living in so that she doesn’t die from watching her roommate have sex all the time. Of course there’s a solution to that. Tell the roommate this is your space too, and you’d appreciate it if she could find somewhere else to get busy. But, this is Sue, Sue’s not great with confrontation, so it makes more sense to pretend she’s dating Brad, give roomie a taste of her own medicine, We all remember Brad, right? Yeah, thought so. Means we all knew this was doomed from the start, but in a funny as heck (pardon the pun) kind of way.

Axl wants to ride that motorcycle. Mike’s middle-life crisis bike that I’m very surprised Frankie hasn’t forced him to sell yet. To prove he’s responsible enough for the bike, Axl does a bunch of stupid, painful stunts. Which are funny, can’t say they’re not. Brick, he really doesn’t do much at all this week, besides bug his siblings about doing chores, and express a desire to walk home from the library alone. I missed Brick, wished he’d had something else going on.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

That being said, most screen time goes to either the elder Heck brothers trying to get rich off baby diapers, or Sue and Brad trying to make pretend that they’re hot and heavy for each other. My opinion, the Sue and Brad stuff was funnier, and more emotionally satisfying. Yeah, it’s mostly a laugh fest, but there is a very real moment near the end where Brad is about to confess that thing everyone’s known about him for years, everyone except Sue. Except, she does know. This brings up a few questions, the most obvious being how long has she known? If we’re going to get an answer to that question, it doesn’t come this week, and I’m so very okay with that. Because the scene as is was surprisingly heartwarming. Whether she’s always known or not, Sue accepts him, no questions asked. And that’s a really beautiful, satisfying thing.

As for Mike and Rusty, the best part of their storyline was easily the presentation. It’s so painful and awkward to watch that it brings about sympathetic embarrassment. Also, it makes quite obvious via one line and one very good delivery that Mike has absolutely no idea what a PowerPoint is. Surprising? No. Still funny? For sure.

So, I’ve probably said before that I’m just not a huge fan of Rusty as a character. Perhaps he reminds me too much of my own relatives. That being the case, I obviously liked some parts of this episode better than others. If you like Rusty, you’re golden, great week for you. If you’re like me, you’ve got the Sue stuff to fall back on. If you like Brick…you’re out of luck, he really got the short end of it here.

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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