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Frankie and Mike yearn for some interesting conversation with others, Brick and Axl team up for a book report, and Sue heads off to prom in the latest episode of The Middle.
Thanks to Dr. Oz’s belief that “sitting is the new smoking," Frankie and Mike start going for walks together. While walking, they have nothing to talk to one another about. They come across one of Frankie’s friends, Becky, and her husband Dale. The two couples hit it off. They have so much to talk about. Of course, this makes Frankie wish her and Mike actually had something to talk about with one another. She wants them to be interesting for each other. They need to work hard at it. Mike asks, “Now?” Frankie quickly replies, “No. I’m tired now, but we’ll hit it hard tomorrow.”
The next day, they try to be interesting for one another, but it doesn’t work out so well. When they get to the corner where they previously met Becky and Dale, they both look for the couple to save them. Unfortunately, Becky and Dale are nowhere to be found.
Frankie suggests they have a dinner party like they used to, “We used to be fun, social people, Mike. I’ve seen the pictures.” Mike agrees and they invite their friends over. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work out so well. Their friends seem to be having good conversation with one another, but Frankie and Mike are left talking to one another. However, the night isn’t a total bust. They see one of the couples fighting. This not only makes them feel better about their own boring situation, but also fuels their conversation with one another.
Meanwhile, Brick is having trouble with his latest book project. His teacher doesn’t want a normal book report, “Think outside the book.” Axl says he did well on that project when he was younger. Since he’s having trouble grasping the concept, Brick asks Axl for help. Axl comes up with an idea to elaborately line up books like dominoes and record it. Brick doesn’t understand what that has to do Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Axl asks Brick if he wants to be an “innovator, trailblazer, rule breaker” and Brick says yes.
The two start their book domino project, which takes days to set up. Darren even joins in. The day arrives. It’s time for some book domino magic. Axl sets it off and records it as the books fall. It goes amazingly well. At the end, Brick catches The Old Man and the Sea and says, “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff. You hooked?” Perfection! Axl uploads the video. When they watch it, they realize the camera was recording Axl’s face the entire time. Axl comments, “Grades don’t really matter until high school anyway.”
The episode starts with Sue in a very stressed state. She doesn’t have a date to prom. However, this doesn’t last long. Before she knows it, she’s up to her ears in dates. Her boss, Edwin, asks her and she says yes. Sean, Axl’s friend, drives back from school to take her after his mother asks him to. She says yes to him because he drove home from school and is missing important school events in order to help her. Brad assumed they were going together because they’ve always planned on it if neither one of them had dates. Sue says yes. Derrick Glossner tells her he is taking her to prom and walks away, not before smashing the mailbox. She doesn’t have time to answer. So, because of her good nature, Sue ends up having multiple dates because she can’t find it in her to say no. Then, exactly what she’s been waiting for actually happens. Darren says he’ll go to prom with her. She happily agrees and sets out to tell the other boys she can’t go with them.
Sean is visibly upset about it since he missed so much at school by coming down. As he is leaving, he tells Darren about how he came to help Sue, but she has multiple dates for prom. Meanwhile, Sue breaks it off with Brad. Who, although he’s slightly upset, is extremely happy Sue will have her perfect night with Darren. On the way home, Derrick Glossner’s younger brother rolls by on his tricycle to inform Sue that Derrick is in juvenile detention so he won’t be taking her to prom. Unfortunately, she gets a message from Darren saying he heard about her other dates and doesn’t have to take her. He was just being nice. He doesn’t like prom. Sue is back where she began.
Even without a date, Sue bravely faces the prom alone. Before leaving, she asks Axl to take a picture of her. She looks absolutely beautiful. Sue explains that Darren didn’t really want to go to prom, so she’s going alone. Axl looks upset. He takes the picture and Sue heads off to prom. She’s not alone for long. She meets up Weird Ashley who is also alone. Meanwhile, Darren shows up to the Heck house to watch the domino books. Axl closes the door on him. Darren stops the door and asks what is wrong. Axl is upset that Darren hurt Sue. Darren didn’t realize Sue actually liked him. Darren runs to the school. Just as Sue is ready to give up on the prom, Darren busts through the doors and stops her. She wonders why he’s there, “I thought you didn’t care about prom?” He romantically replies, “I don’t. I only care about you.” They kiss and share a romantic slow dance. Finally something goes right for Sue. Absolutely heartwarming.