The normal routine is shoved aside in the Heck household after the kids have a sit-down chat with their parents on the February 22 episode of The Middle. The kids are sick of being nagged by Frankie: Axl for not doing his homework, Sue for always forgetting her coat, and Brick for not bringing home a coffee pot from school, among other things. Mike is always handing out unreasonable punishments: no more coats for anybody, or no more friends over for 20 years. Frankie and Mike find out that the kids have been conducting their own meetings–complete with minutes–when the three of them get together and ask Frankie and Mike to sit down so they can talk. The kids say there has been a lot of stress lately, and the parents are out of control. They call Frankie a “naggaholic.” They just want a chance to do what they’re supposed to before they’re told to.
Somehow, when the talk is over, Frankie and Mike end up in their bedroom, not sure of what just happened. Mike got confused because the kids had notes. Frankie says that the kids are only asking to let them be more responsible, so they decide to stop nagging them as long as they do what they’re supposed to.
For a while, things are okay. In her voice-over, Frankie says, “So the new deal was on, and to our surprise, the kids wowed us with their amazing non-incompetence.” Sue is practicing wrestling cheers with her team at the house–including Weird Ashley, who loves Axl and talks to him on the way to and from the washroom; Axl is reading and he put a dish in the sink; and Brick finally brought home the coffee pot. Frankie and Mike have a lot of time to enjoy each other’s company, so they go bowling together. Frankie says, “I’m telling ya, those Duggars have it right. Let the kids police each other.”
While they’re bowling, it’s peaceful back at the house. Brick ponders what purpose their parents serve, and Axl says the siblings should consider getting their own apartment. All is well until Sue loses her coat again, and Axl freaks out because she’s going to ruin the situation. She thinks she left it at Joe’s Subs and needs Axl to drive her there, but he “con’t” (can but won’t). He needs to read “Of Mice and Men.” They figure out a solution: Axl will drive Sue, while Brick reads to Axl. Along the way, Sue remembers she didn’t go to Joe’s Subs this week, so it must be in her locker. They head to the school, but it’s not there either. Sue recounts her day in an attempt to discover where she could have left it; Axl comments, “Oh my God. Your day is so boring. Maybe your coat ran away from you.”
Sue now decides the coat is at Weird Ashley’s house, but Axl refuses to go there. It starts to snow, and Sue points out that Frankie will definitely notice her lack of coat in the snow, so Axl concedes. When they get there, Sue bolts upstairs while Axl is left to have an awkward conversation with Weird Ashley, where he somehow ends up arranging to go to prom with her (again). She says, “My mom will call your mom to find out what color of cape I should wear.” Convinced Weird Ashley is a witch, Axl thinks she must have put a spell on him. Of course, Sue’s coat isn’t there either.
Back in the car, Brick continues to read out loud. He gets to the part where George shoots Lenny in the back of the head: “This shouldn’t be called Of Mice and Men! It should be called Of Men Killing Other Men!”
Brick finally clues in to why they’ve been driving all over town, and he tells Axl and Sue that he knows where the coat is. They find it in the boy’s room back at the house. Sue blames Brick because he was reading instead of listening, but no, it’s actually Axl’s fault because he didn’t read the book in the first place. They start nagging each other, but then Brick gets a moth in his ear–from the swarm living in the filth in the boy’s room–and they take him to the emergency room. Axl thinks the moth is actually Weird Ashley.
Frankie and Mike have an awesome time bowling and drinking beer. For a second, they wonder why they have kids and decide it’s for tax purposes. A man, who is with his wife and child, comments on how happy Frankie and Mike are. He can’t believe they’re married with three kids. Frankie starts lecturing the other parents on giving kids the space they need to succeed–until she gets a call from Axl at the hospital. She tells the other parents to forget everything she said, because they don’t know a damn thing.
At the hospital, Brick gets to keep the moth, and he named it Lenny. The doctor also found a Monopoly piece in his ear, which had been there for a few months. Frankie is furious: “What did I tell you when we found the top hat in there? I asked if there was anything else!” They all start yelling at each other again, and this reminds Brick why he had put the top hat in there to begin with. This time, the doctor sits them down to have a chat. They all just nod their heads, knowing there is no cure for their problem. Sit downs never work, and Sue leaves her coat in the waiting room.
What did you think of “The Sit Down”? Watch The Middle, Wednesdays at 8/7 Central on ABC.