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This week on The Middle, Frankie and Mike had to deal with Axl’s roommate trouble, Sue getting a job, and Brick’s poor school attendance. Another entertaining night with the Heck family.
Frankie, Mike, Sue and Brick attend Sunday church services, not for fellowship or spiritual nourishment, but rather because the church previously lent them the church van while Frankie’s car was being fixed. The Hecks haven’t returned the van, even though Frankie’s car has been fixed for quite some time. During a sermon about faith and hope, it becomes obvious that the church wants the van back. After the service, the Heck family is stopped and questioned about returning the van. Frankie tries to make it seem as though she is still without her car, but they quickly stop her and inform her that they know her car is fixed. They tell her the church van is supposed to be used to help those in need. Frankie insists her family does help the needy as Mike and Sue agree, but Brick breaks the solidarity by stating, “Not that I know of.” The Hecks hand over the van and walk home. Frankie can’t believe their church just broke up with them. Mike is just glad they “had the decency to do it during football season.” Brick doesn’t mind - he’s interested in the good reading room the Christian Scientists have. Sue is upset they’ve lost the van. She’s worried about looking like a dork now that she has to ride the bus again. Brick looks at Sue disapprovingly and says he misses Axl.
The family arrives home to find Axl sitting on the couch in his boxers eating and making a mess, per usual. He starts to complain about how his roommate is an inconsiderate pig who eats his food, farts and ignores him. (Everything Axl does at home.) Axl tells Frankie and Mike they need to spend an extra $50 a month for Axl to have his own room. Frankie tells Axl they don’t have an extra $50 a month and points out that Mike is wearing a belt he found on a park bench. Sue continues to voice her concern that she’ll look like dork riding the bus again. Axl informs Sue that her “face, clothes and personality will do the job” for her. Brick, previously thinking this, immediately says, “There it is,” as he points to Axl.
After urging Axl to work it out with his roommate, Frankie and Mike send him on his way. Sue comes in with a car schedule that will allow her to keep driving to school. The schedule is not going to work, but Frankie lies and acts as though there might be a possibility. Amidst their problems with Axl and Sue, they suddenly realize they haven’t had any trouble with Brick since he started middle school. Frankie thought they would have gotten “the call” by now. Cue the telephone ringing. It’s “the call” about Brick.
Axl actually takes his parents advice and tries to talk to his roommate. However, his roommate continues to play on the computer and ignore him. Axl tries to clean the room, but gives up after becoming disgusted by old used floss. He decides to go to bed, but can’t find his pillow. He realizes his roommate is using it as a cushion and tries to take it back. Unable to retrieve his pillow, Axl settles for using dirty laundry as a pillow. He turns off the light only to have the computer lights keep him awake.
Thanks to the dreaded call about brick, Frankie and Mike find themselves in a meeting with Brick’s principal. The principal informs them that Brick hasn’t been attending his classes. Frankie and Mike are dumbfounded. The principal rudely suggests their parenting skills aren’t up to par. When they arrive home, Sue excitedly tells them she has job applications for a few fast food restaurants. Brick enters and they ask him how school is going. He tells them it’s going great. Thinking Brick is lying, Frankie tells him he can lick all of the windshields he wants to as long as he goes to class. Brick is confused. Mike adds, “You can be quirky or irresponsible, but you’ve gotta pick one.” Brick is still confused. They tell him they know he hasn’t been going to school. Brick claims he’s been attending classes, even displaying his Spanish skills as proof. Angry that the school was wrong, Frankie tells Mike they’re going back to rub it in the principal’s face. Mike replies, “We’re not ‘go back’ people. We’re barely ‘show up in the first place’ people.”
The next morning, Frankie has sent a strongly worded email back to the principal to request a time to meet. Mike still doesn’t want to go back. Sue informs the family she has an interview. Axl walks out into kitchen/dining room and sits down. The family looks confused as to why Axl is there. He explains that he couldn’t take his roommate any longer so he drove back home and slept there last night. Brick says it explains why he thought he saw a strange man in his room. Frankie tells Axl to go back and informs Brick, “In the future, if you see a strange man in your room you should probably scream or run.” Mike adds, “Or both.” After being told to return to school and work it out, Axl melodramatically makes his exit, taking the blender, food and a plant. Unable to open the door on his own, Sue opens it for him. After exiting, he turns around and commands, “Now, slam it!”
Still not wanting to deal with his roommate, Axl finds another way to try to fix his problem. He overhears a girl, Beth, talking about having her large room to herself after her roommate left. Axl immediately introduces himself.
Sue happily informs the family that the fourteen-year-old manager who interviewed her has hired her to be the new potato girl. She’s extremely excited about the job, the uniform and a pin that says she loves a new potato concoction. She tries the new potato concoction and hates it. She immediately becomes upset because she doesn’t feel comfortable wearing a pin that says she loves something she actually hates. Frankie assures her that it’s just a job and she doesn’t have to love it: “It’s like cleaning teeth or parenting.” Sue runs to her room shouting, “I’ll be selling lies!”
Axl introduces his roommate to Beth, but his roommate still ignores him. When Axl tells him that she’s on level five of World of Warcraft, his roommate makes room for Beth to come play. Meanwhile, there’s a montage of Sue trying to tell customers she loves the new potato concoction, but crying instead.
Wanting to throw the mistake back in the principal’s face, Frankie drags Mike and Brick back to the school. Frankie proudly informs the principal that Brick has been attending his classes. When the principal starts to list the teachers who have reported that Brick has been absent, Brick doesn’t know any of their names. He says he had those teachers the first day, but didn’t like those classes so he went to others. Sue told him the good thing about middle school was that he would be able to change classes. She meant from period to period, but Brick though she meant he could pick his own classes. As a result, Brick has six weeks of homework in five different classes to make up. After leaving the principal’s office, Frankie realizes she left her purse with the car keys in the office. Already embarrassed and not wanting to face the principal again, the three walk home as the church van passes them.
Axl’s plan seems to have backfired as now Beth and his roommate are annoying him with the video games. When he asks them to stop, the two start kissing, further annoying Axl.
Sue gives her resignation, confessing that she can’t sell something she doesn’t believe in. Her manager informs her that it was just the potato of the week and in three days a new concoction will be out. She takes back her resignation.
The episode ends with the Heck family enjoying some couch/TV time. Frankie’s life lesson for this week is that sometimes things get a bit rough, but “you’ve just gotta hunker down and ride it out.” She adds, “As a wise fourteen-year-old manger once said, ‘In a few days a new potato will come along.’”
Make sure you tune in Wednesdays 8/7c on ABC for more wisdom and Heck hilarity.