The Middle – Thanksgiving IV

S04xE07 – Frankie has invited a couple of Marines over for Thanksgiving this year to one-up Nancy Donahue. She feels it’s her patriotic duty to sign up quickly as it does say in their motto…”the few, the proud”. Frankie’s parents are also coming for dinner this year. This always makes for a good time had by all. Mike’s especially excited, if excited means annoyed. And as the Marines make their way into the house being polite and commenting on how nice their home is, Mike’s immediate response of “you’ve seen too many war zones” basically says it all.

Frankie’s parents have been bickering non-stop since they arrived. Frankie’s concerned about it, but Mike tells her to be glad they aren’t on Dateline: Unsolved Mystery. He has a point. So at dinner after Frankie recites the Pledge of Allegiance (can we say awkward?), and has everyone say what they’re thankful for (which goes over as well as a bullet in the head), she has to stop her parents from once again bickering incessantly. She does this by retelling/yelling the story of how her parents met, which was a very unsubtle way of reminding them that they still love each other. It seemed to do the trick, but the Marines were out the door before pie was served. Don’t think Frankie will be trying that one again.

Brick has taken to a new book about the making of the film adaptation of Love Story. He’s become overly obsessed with every detail in the book, yet has no desire to see the movie. Why would he? This is a good lead in to Axl’s feelings about Cassidy the tutor, but Cassidy has a college boyfriend and is off limits, which frustrates Axl as she’s his only reason to “study”.

So when Axl gets the news from the doctor that it’s a miracle his foot has healed, and he can play in the game, the first person he goes to see is Cassidy. Cassidy is tutoring another person when Axl bursts in to interrupt. He tells Cassidy that because his foot healed two weeks faster than expected he can now play in the game and is going to have to cut their study sessions short. She’s less than thrilled with this news, and tells him they should just stop altogether. This bums Axl out and he starts to mope around, reconsidering playing in the game, and playing football at all. Mike gives him a pep talk (“Don’t ever let fear stop you from going after what you want”) that Axl misinterprets and heads straight to Cassidy where he unloads his feelings for her, but she doesn’t reciprocate. Poor Axl.

Sue is showing Brad the super top secret mascot costume Sue has been honored to wear, but as she opens the locker, she finds that the chicken head has been stolen. It’s a travesty as the big game is coming up, and she’s “literally a chicken with it’s head cut off”. Later she finds a ransom note, and concludes it’s the football players that have stolen the head. So Sue and Brad confront them, and when they take to teasing Sue, Brad steps in to her defense by proclaiming it’s time for a dance fight. This doesn’t end well for poor Brad. Punched out before he can even really get started.

Sue tries to come up with alternatives for the chicken head, and even goes as far as to craft one herself out of what looked like a pillow case. But at the game she has resorted to a bear head, so now she is a bear chicken mascot. It works I guess. What’s not working is Axl’s performance on the field. He’s fumbling the ball left and right, and just plain sucking it up. He’s love sick and it’s kind of sad. So when a time-out is called, Sue steps in and tells him to shape up in so many words. This seems to work because Axl goes back out on the field and kills it. The team wins, the scholarship is no longer at risk, and as he’s heading off the field there stands Cassidy. She tells him she dumped her boyfriend and that she likes Axl in return. They end it with a kiss. Awwww.

Best of the episode: Two things: Sue’s Bear Chicken costume at the football game, and Axl getting the girl.

Worst of the episode: Brick’s obsession with the making of Love Story book. Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t get it.

Where did this episode leave us?: Frankie isn’t going to be having the Marines over again anytime soon, and her parents have realized they do still love each other.

Best one-liner: Brad – “Who punches a guy while he’s on his tippy-toes?  That’s not how a dance fight works!”

What the episode ruined for us: Bear Chicken Mascots


– a la Chryshele


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