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Another Wednesday, another 30 minutes of Heck family values. For Sue and Brick, life seems to be running a bit smoother in Axl’s absence. However, the same can’t be said for Frankie and Mike.
Frankie is doing her usual running and yelling through the hall to wake the kids up. She enters the kitchen to find Sue and Brick ready and eating breakfast. Mike proceeds to do the same thing. Without Axl, mornings are much quicker for Sue and Brick. The Heck’s air conditioning is broken. It’s so hot, Brick tried to pack himself in Popsicle sticks only to wake up covered in ants. Mike says they’re waiting for colder weather to fix the air conditioning because it’ll be cheaper. Coincidentally, he’s going to look at snow blowers later because it’s fall so they should be cheaper. While they’re talking, Frankie is texting Axl to wake him up for class. Mike tells her to just leave him alone.
Brick tells his parents he can’t pee at school. Frankie and Mike think it’s just another one of Brick’s quirks, but he informs them that he’s scared because of the tall tales about eighth graders giving sixth graders swirlies. Sue and Brick head off to school where Sue realizes she’s finally free from Axl’s reign of terror. She can walk down any hall she wants to. Mike walks in after cooling off in the car to find Frankie with a bag of frozen chicken down her shirt to keep cool. She’s worried because she can’t get in touch with Axl to make sure he dropped one of his classes. She sends him another text and receives no reply. Meanwhile, Mike calls Axl and he answers. Apparently, Axl always replies to Mike. Frankie, in normal Frankie style, freaks out about Axl replying to Mike and not her. Mike urges her to be cool about it and space out the messages. He tells her she has to make him come to her. Frankie frantically replies, “But that could take years!”
Later that night at dinner, Brick informs the family that he’s off of liquids until June. He’s going to train himself not to go to the bathroom. Frankie tells him that his kidneys will shut down and that’s just not something the Heck family can afford. Sue joyfully informs Brick he can now sit in a real chair at the dinner table, not the lawn chair he’s always used. Brick says no because it’s Axl’s chair. Meanwhile, Frankie is checking her phone for messages from Axl. Mike tells her to stop because “guys can smell needy and it makes them run.” Frankie can’t believe that Mike doesn’t miss Axl, to which he replies, “I’d be fine if these two were gone,” with Brick responding, “Right here, dad.” Sue’s newly found freedom allows her to take Axl’s designated chair, but as she does a piece of ceiling falls on her head. ]She still thinks it’s better than dealing with Axl incessantly picking on her.
Because of the unusually hot fall weather, Mike gives in and calls a professional for help. More like a future professional, as it’s only Axl’s friend and Sue’s ex-boyfriend Darrin who is attending air conditioning school. Sue walks in the back to put the garbage in the bin to find Darrin working on the air conditioner. The two hug awkwardly over the trashcan before having their usually awkward conversation. Back in the house, Frankie comes in reading the messages between Axl and Mike on Mike’s phone. He told Axl to call his mother. Frankie still can’t believe that Axl responds to Mike. Even though Frankie tries to hide it, Mike quickly realizes that Frankie has been using his phone to text Axl while pretending to be Mike
Back at school, Sue tells her friend Brad about seeing Darrin. They both agree that she should definitely try to rekindle the relationship. Brick has been able to refrain from using the bathroom. All of this changes after fifth period when Brick has spicy salsa and guzzles down pitchers of water. He stands outside with a crowd of his other friends afraid to use the bathroom. Brick boldly states, “We’re still men, small men, but men nonetheless and it’s time to start acting like it,” before courageously venturing into the bathroom. Once inside fear sets in as an older student comes out from one of the stalls. As Brick braces himself for a torturous swirly, the older student simply says “hi” and walks out. Once Brick exits the bathroom, the crowd cheers. Brick’s heroic act quickly fades as the kids laugh at the toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe.
Darrin tells Mike he’s completed a thorough diagnostic, but still has no idea how to fix the air conditioner. Mike invites him to sit and watch the game, but Darrin declines. As he sits alone, Mike realizes he does miss Axl. He turns off the light in Axl’s room. Brick reminds him that he’s still in the room. Mike asks Brick if he wants to watch the game, but Brick also declines. Sue runs out after Darrin and asks him to hang out, only to realize he’s already going on a date with a girl from the cosmetology school. Embarrassed, Sue retracts her invite and makes up a lame excuse about having to make Bolognese sauce with Frankie.
Frankie returns home to find Mike sitting alone in the dark. He claims he’s getting ready to watch the game, but she notices his phone in his hand and the remote on the TV. Frankie tries to get him to admit to missing Axl. Mike finally does as he confesses to not having anything in common with Brick. Brick then replies, “Right here, dad,” with Mike saying, “Nothing I wouldn’t say to your face.” Frankie finally gets a text from Axl about needing her to send him shampoo. Noticing how much Mike misses Axl, Brick messages Axl to tell him to call Mike. Axl calls Mike and the two begin to discuss what they’ve been doing and the game from yesterday.
Don’t forget to tune in Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC to hang out with the Heck family.