The Middle – The Second Act

S04xE02 – Back to school time! Axel is now a senior, Sue is a Sophomore and a mentor! Oh God. Sue meets her mentee Jenna and she’s created a book of tips for Jenna. And by created, it’s like a scrapbook similar to her Summer with Dad. As Sue’s going over the tips like how to look cool when you trip down the stairs, she tells Jenna that they should talk at least three times a day. And Jenna doesn’t seem put off yet.

Frankie is at work and her boss is being super nice to her, not normal, something’s up. He asks for her to see him in his office which is never good. And then we go visit Mike and Brick who are hanging out with Mike’s baseball friends (yeah I don’t think I knew Mike played baseball) and Brick is less than cordial to them in front of Mike. But when is Brick ever cordial?

Back to Frankie and we see she’s getting fired, it’s the economy’s fault. She’s trying not to cry in front of everyone as she packs up her desk, and she’s doing pretty well. She makes it out to the car before she starts crying, and just as she really starts, she’s told she left her purse at her desk. So much for leaving with her head held high. At home Frankie breaks the news to Mike who doesn’t understand why Frankie’s been fired, but comforts her like a good husband should.

Sue’s mentee Jenna has already made cheerleading, but Sue wants to make sure she really did and wasn’t just told she did only to later find out that she really didn’t. Sue’s had way too much experience with that, but no Jenna got her uniform. It’s official. Sue genuinely seems happy for her and asks her to eat lunch with her. I’m pretty sure this girl Jenna isn’t going to need Sue much longer. The story of Sue’s life.

Frankie is telling Mike how she doesn’t really want to take the next random job she comes across, she wants to do something she’s passionate about and not settle. Maybe go to school. Mike is on board and then Brick walks in. Mike forgot to punish Brick and so just when he has his chance, Brick tells his sob story of the day, and Mike holds off.

That night they have to break it to the kids that Frankie lost her job, and that she’s decided to go back to school and pursue a real career. Axel is less than supportive because he thought they were getting him a new car. So he freaks out because now they’re going to be even poorer than they already are. Brick is slightly more supportive and offers his savings to his parents if it will help them out. How cute.

The next day Sue asks for advice from her parents on how to handle someone that wants to run for homecoming court, they think it’s Sue and she’s just using the other person excuse. Frankie and Mike are watching TV and see a commercial for the school she’s going to go to, and as they’re listing all the different career options, Frankie thinks she could do them all from a court reporter to a computer programmer. She’s so optimistic!

At school we find out Sue’s mentee Jenna is the one running for homecoming court and she wins. Sue’s overly excited for her, and thinks they will still be friends after that, so sad. Mike wants to talk to Brick, but he’s reading again. Mike manages to get his attention and lets Brick know how rude he was the other day, Brick rebuts telling Mike that in his defense he was at the end of a book and that was why he was dismissive to Mike and the Morris’. Mike gets upset and punishes Brick for two weeks, but doesn’t know for what yet.

Frankie is in tears about going back to school and is crying to Axel about it. Axel tries to throw her own past advice back at her, but it’s not working until Axel tells her that one of the neighbors said she looked good for her age. That gets her spirits up a bit. And then she asks how she’s going to do it all, and Axel says she doesn’t have to, Mike and Brick should be pulling their weight. Oh Axel.

At school mentee Jenna asks Sue to eat lunch with her, but Sue says that Jenna is on her way to a successful freshman year; she has a boyfriend, is a cheerleader and has made homecoming court. She doesn’t need Sue anymore, plus it’s not cool for a sophomore to be eating with freshmans. Good save Sue.

Best of the episode: Sue’s naivety and dense personality. She’s so sweet and positive all the time. You just can’t help but root for her to finally have something good go her way.

Worst of the episode: Axel being Axel. Sometimes his douche bag attitude wears on me. It was nice to see him come around at the end and comfort Frankie, which is a rarity.

Where did this episode leave us?: Waiting to see how the whole Frankie going to school thing will pan out. And if it does, what career she settles on.

Best one-liner: Frankie about celebrity guest always being the killer on crime shows – “Of course Jeff Goldblum strangled the piano tuner. Duh!”

What the episode ruined for us: Crime show plots


– a la Chryshele


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