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ABC’s comedy-filled Wednesday night kicked off with the season premiere of The Middle. Time to welcome the Heck family back to prime time! The season premiere has the Heck family seeing Axl off to college. What could possibly go haywire? Everything. It is the Heck family we’re talking about. In case you missed the hilarity, or just need a refresher, read on for a full episode recap.
Axl wakes, ecstatic to be leaving the Heck household for college. Frankie insists that the entire family accompany Axl for this iconic moment. Upon realizing that he’s actually leaving, Frankie begins to cry. Mike reminds her that Axl is only going to be 42 minutes away and they’re “lucky he wasn’t smart enough to go farther.” Meanwhile, Sue protests going because she’s waiting on a call about becoming the junior peer leader advisor for sophomores. Although she has a history of failing, optimistic Sue still feels she has a good chance at actually getting it. Finally, the family is ready to make the 42 minute journey. Axl comes out with a measly two plastic bags and a blow-up palm tree. So, Frankie insists on stopping at the store to purchase everything on the supplies list. This quick stop becomes quite lengthy as Frankie finds it necessary to find everything on the list plus a few extras like Hawaiian purse freshener and a cell phone for Brick. Mike questions whether or not Brick is responsible enough for the phone. Frankie insists he is as Brick drops the phone and leaves it behind.
Finally on their way, Brick uses his phone to call Grandpa Tag. While on speaker, Tag hilariously discusses his own issues with STDs as his own way of sending Axl off to college. He then tells Axl about the money he and his wife gave to him when he was a baby. It becomes clear that Frankie and Mike had used the money during desperate times, not planning that desperate times would continue. Axl overreacts, as usual, and begins claiming he’s paid for everyone and everything thus far. Sue finally receives the phone call about the advisor role only to discover they never received her essay for the application. Frankie forgot to fax it. Brick then drops his phone out of the window. The Hecks stop to find it. A frustrated Axl grabs his blow-up palm tree and walks away.
Claiming he can get to the college faster, Axl continues to walk until they force him back into the car. As the family makes their way to Kinkos to fax in Sue’s essay, she realizes the second page is completely smudged thanks to Frankie’s Hawaiian purse freshener. Sue unsuccessfully tries to remember what the second page said. They arrive at Kinkos with 20 seconds to spare. Unable to locate any cash or viable credit cards, Mike and Frankie look to Axl for some cash. As the essay is successfully faxed, Sue remembers the second page is about her being fluent in teen speak. Mike’s phone rings. It’s Brick’s phone. They head out to retrieve the lost phone as Axl pleads with them to just take him to college. Finally, they arrive at the college. The 42 minute trip only took five hours.
The family enters Axl’s grimy dorm room. Brick comments, “Yikes! Axl has to live here? It kind of smells.” They meet his roommate, Kenny, who doesn’t take the time to look away form his computer. Sue finally receives the phone call about the advisor role, but her battery dies. Mike and Frankie tell her to use Brick’s phone. Brick checks his empty pockets and says, “You are not going to believe this…” After finding his phone, Sue enthusiastically informs everyone that she’s officially the new peer lead advisor mainly because the other applicants were no longer available. After receiving an invite to a party down the hall, Axl bails on his family. Frankie becomes emotional and decides to give her advice for Axl to his roommate Kenny, who remains unaffected. Frankie, Mike, Sue, and Brick arrive home to find Axl at the house. He explains he came back for his guitar then starts complaining about the lack of food in the house. Frankie’s sadness seems to have been replaced with mild annoyance as she says, “Oh God, he’s only 42 minutes away.”
Be sure to tune in next week at 8/7c on ABC for more Heck hilarity.