The Middle 7×08 ‘Thanksgiving VII’ : “Read the packet!”

It’s Thanksgiving. A time for all families to gather round, pig out, and generally drive each other crazy. All families except the Hecks, who vote to have Thanksgiving next May, since everyone’s busy. Frankie’s got a holiday job that requires her to wear a bonnet, Sue’s working crazy hours at her old job, hoping to see her old boyfriend working his, and Axl wants to hit up a bar with his friends. Too bad he’s a sad drunk. A really, really sad drunk.

Patricia Heaton in a pioneer woman outfit. Let’s all agree that this was one of the best things ever. And apparently she’s worked this job before during the holidays? I want an entire flashback show dedicated to this. While Frankie puts forth her usual lackluster effort, her fellow fake pioneer lady is a perfectionist who damn well wants to give these guests an authentic eight dollar experience. These two were great together. It’s like pairing the straight A honor roll kid with the straight C stoner at the back of the class. Magic happens. If all the other storylines sucked, I still would’ve enjoyed this ep because, Frankie as a lazy pioneer. Fortunately, the other storylines did not suck.

Black Friday Eve. That’s what Thanksgiving has turned into, and the show does a fabulous job of mocking that. Besides seeing Brad again, always a treat, we get to watch Sue fight her way through a stampede of deal hunters, trying to find mall model Logan. The best part about this was when the clock struck midnight and the whole mall immediately started pushing Christmas stuff. It’s funny because it’s true. Sadly for Sue, Logan was never in the mall at all, and she worked herself to death for nothing. I would’ve liked for her to see him, personally. All exhausted and half-crazed, looking like crap, then her hot dream guy shows up? She can barely form a sentence around this dude in regular circumstances. Seeing them interact with her lovesick and sleep-deprived? Would’ve been gold.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Axl goes to a bar and quickly starts crying into his beer. No big deal, he’s just lost his house, hardly gets to play football anymore, is possibly split from his girlfriend and has no idea what to do with his life. It’s sad how much I relate to him here. I liked seeing Axl struggle. I liked him doing something other than mocking Sue or making comically stupid decisions. I would’ve liked it better though if, after mocking him, his friends got drunk enough to admit that they have problems too, they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, they want to cry right along with him. Because I firmly believe that all us early twenty-somethings are in the same confusing, hole-peppered boat. None of us know what’s going on, Axl, it’s not just you.

When the power goes out, Mike decides to teach Brick how to play poker. Like most things Mike enjoys, Brick is terrible at it. But, did you see Mike’s lesson? All he did was tell the boy that three of a kind was better than a pair. No wonder Brick is lost and confused if that’s all you tell him of the rules. Jeez Mike, set him up to fail why don’t you?

After being less than impressed with last week’s episode, I quite enjoyed this one. Even if it technically maybe wasn’t a Thanksgiving show, since the family postponed Thanksgiving. Frankie playing a spinster pioneer with a bad foot. What else do you want, people?

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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