The Middle Season 7 Episode 1 Review: “Not Your Brother’s Drop Off”

The Middle

Without a doubt, last year was the Year of Sue through and through. Brick tries to declare this year as his own, but I hate to break it to him: every season of The Middle is the year of Sue. Especially now that she’s starting a new chapter in her life by going to college, she will be just as front and center as always.

Of course, Sue was overly excited and uber prepared for move-in day. All summer she’d been stockpiling a mountain of all the “Bed, Bath & In Between” college essentials. She’s the glue that holds the Hecks together, and with her leaving soon, it definitely affected everyone differently. Mike, ever the giant softy, takes his own approach to dealing with his only daughter going off to college by teaching her every possible (and often ridiculous) life lesson. Always ask who’s at the door before opening it, otherwise you’re dead. Learn how to change a spare tire and balance a checkbook.

In typical fashion, the actual move-in day does not go smoothly at all. Sue accidentally burns her hair off the night before, and Frankie only makes the hack job look worse by using poultry scissors to even it out. Frankie has never been the model citizen of a mother, but she does her best. For months as Sue got progressively more and more sentimental about her leaving the nest, Frankie hated to admit to Mike that she actually wasn’t sad in the least bit. That did make her seem cold, but it felt true to character once she worked out her emotions and found she was more excited for Sue than anything. I expected Mike to be the more emotional one of the two parents, but he stayed true to his character as well by showing his love through all his lessons.

Axl and Brick took a backseat to Sue’s epic milestone. Now that Brick is the last kid at home, he’ll either be more or less present in his parents’ lives. I would bet Frankie and Mike will pay him just about as much attention as usual, which has never been much. As a matter of fact, they almost forgot he was still home after dropping Sue off and adjusting to the idea of being empty nesters. Poor Brick! At least he and Axl are semi-friends now that Brick’s getting older. He can go to Axl with girlfriend problems, like Cindy wanting to move their relationship to the next level. Considering they’re still only in eighth grade, it should be interesting to see what happens there.

As for Axl, he’s still his old self too. Peeved that his sister is following him to the same college, he wants to enjoy whatever “Sue-lessness” time he has left. Somewhere deep down he loves his sister, though. I think and hope there’s lots of opportunities to further develop a friendship between these two now that Sue is new to college life.

Notable quotables:

  • ”You are gonna Sue up the world. How lucky is the world? How lucky am I that I get a front row seat for it?” – Frankie
  • ”Maybe when God burns off your hair, he opens a window.” – Sue
  • ”I’ve already labeled a photo album Sue’s College Drop-Off: The Whole Family Drops Me Off (An Iconic Moment)” – Sue

What did you think of the season premiere?  

[Photo credit: Michael Ansell/ABC]

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