The Middle 7×12 ‘Birds of a Feather’ : 9 to 5

Work, work, work, that’s the theme of things this week. Well, school too, but school is rather like work on the bad days, and even the good ones. Frankie struggles at the dental office after it’s taken over by an evil corporate chain of dental offices, Axl learns that being an intern sucks, and Sue deals with the joy of college assignments. Brick, he doesn’t have any work stuff going on, but I’m sure he would if not for child labor laws. Darn those things.

As I’ve said roughly eighty times, I like seeing the family put into new environments, which is hard to do on this show. Therefore I quite liked this ep. Take Frankie. She’s working at the same place with the same boss, but the new dental overlords have switched things around so much that she might as well be starting a new job. Who among us can’t relate to that? Also, Frankie being forced to dance awkwardly during the workday. That’s always a plus.

Axl and his intern stuff was something different, but not really. As soon as he spoke of his new job, I knew he would be taking coffee orders, being disrespected and generally getting no fulfilment from his job. Why? Because that’s literally what happens any time a character gets an internship. There was nothing especially hilarious about it, but it was nice to see him and Frankie bonding over how much it sucks to be an adult. Also, according to his cutesy school project thing, Axl’s parents used to be his heroes. Oddly touching considering their current dynamic, even if Frankie and Mike did get lumped in with Spongebob as heroic figures. Really though, who doesn’t love SpongeBob?

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Sue struggles with one of her first college writing assignments. Again, relatable to most of us. Also, as Sue’s college storyline goes, I found this to be one of the better parts of it. Sue’s world view clashing with that of her professor, it was entertaining. And man, she’s got one hell of a nice teacher. How many times did he let her rewrite that paper? I don’t know, but he was very cool about it. My favorite scene of theirs though? Nice teacher asking Sue why she’s in college. Now, he can talk all he wants about students wanting to broaden their horizons, learn new things, etc. I think a good chunk of kids, especially in their first year, would go with Sue’s answer. Because she finished high school and that’s just what you do when you finish high school and don’t know what else to do. Right there with you, Sue.

After being gone for awhile, Cindy returns to the show with news that she kissed another boy. Being Cindy, she tells Mike instead of Brick. I felt genuinely bad for Mike, having to break that news to such a clueless boy. Still, they had some semi-nice talks about Brick growing up and experiencing new heartbreaks, which went along with the theme of the week. I would’ve liked to see the boy Cindy kissed though. Who initiated? Was this interloper as “eccentric” as Brick, or was Cindy testing out the lips of a more typical American boy? Who does Cindy find kiss-worthy other than Brick? Not vital to the story, but something I would’ve liked to know about.

Fun episode this week, even though it dealt with the miseries of employment. Good storylines all around, particularly the Axl/Frankie bonding moments. Any predictions on whether Axl will stick it out in the corporate world? Leave them in the comments.

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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