'The Middle' Recap: Sleepless in Orson

By Amanda Jo Scott,

The holiday season is over and ABC Wednesdays are new again, which means we all get to spend some quality time with the Hecks.

Frankie opened the episode by saying, “When you’re raising a quirky kid, people tell you not to worry, they’ll out grow it.” Sue then walks in with a balloon she saved from the garbage. Frankie adds that’s not even the kid she was talking about. Instead, she was referring to Brick. He’s been extra abnormal lately and clingy. Mike agrees, “That kid has no concept of personal space. It’s like I’ve got a tiny second shadow.” They confront Brick about acting weirder than normal. He explains that he hasn’t been able to sleep after reading about a burglary at Joe’s Subs. Mike tells him not to worry, “Joe’s Subs has two things we don’t: money and good food.” After reading a bunch of bad news on his tablet, Brick hides under the table during dinner. Mike and Frankie tell him he needs to stop focusing on all of the bad. Mike tells Brick to ignore the bad. His suggestion, “Embrace denial. You’ll be much happier, then, when you turn 21, embrace beer.” Frankie assures him that bad things have always happened, but now, thanks to technology, we just hear about it more often. Brick’s paranoia seeps into Mike. At night, Mike hears a noise, sees a shadow, and attacks what he thinks is an intruder. In reality, it’s Sue’s balloon. The family runs out to see what happened. Axl sarcastically says, “Hey, don’t be a hero, Dad. Next time there’s an intruder, Dad, just call in the balloon police. They’ll come in with their pins drawn.” Mike blames the paranoia on Brick. Frankie takes Brick to see his counselor, who seems to be equally as obsessed with his ex as he is with cats.

Boss Co. contends with a pile of snow. They hire Mother Nature to do the melting while they sit around. Unfortunately, the pile of snow turns to ice and Boss Co. loses a job. However, Darren stands up for himself and demands to be treated as an equal. He’s sick of everyone telling him what to do. He’s going to do what he wants.

Meanwhile, Sue is dealing with Derrick Glossner. He continues to kiss her every time she says it’s inappropriate. Eventually, she starts to like Derrick. She can’t seem to stop talking about him. She’s constantly waiting for him and trying to create a situation where he will kiss her. When he doesn’t kiss her, she walks away. Derrick calls to her, waves her back toward him, and they kiss. Sue’s happy moment is a sad one for Darren, who witnesses the kiss from across the road as he holds a teddy bear and flowers for Sue. Derrick decides that he’s not good enough for Sue, yet. However, he will come back for her, adding, “And when I due Sue Heck, I’m going to kiss you so hard it’ll knock your braces off.”

Brick, unable to sleep because he was worried about the Asian stock market, took his counselor’s advice and tried to exercise, but jumping jacks got the best of him. He broke Frankie’s Royal Baby Goblet. When searching how to put it back together, he found a site on Buddhism and the broken goblet. He read, “A person should imagine the things they love broken and destroyed because in the future everything ends up that way.” So, Brick imagined the house burning down, him losing his family, and losing all of his books, which made him feel better. He quotes the Buddhist idea, “When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.” He decides he wants to spend every moment with the things he cherishes. Thinking Brick meant his family, Frankie opens her arms to hug him. Brick walks by and says he’s going to go be with his books.

A nice little lesson about cherishing the things you love, sprinkled with quite a bit of humor. It was a great start to the second half of the season. Can’t wait to see what more the Hecks have in store for us.

image: ABC

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