The Middle Season 7 Episode 12 Review: “Birds of a Feather”

The Middle

The Middle has never been a show to shy away from the harsh realities of life, so this week’s episode is no different.  Axl gets a taste of the real world as he starts his new internship, which contrasts perfectly with Frankie’s own subpar week at work.  As Mike later points out, those two have a whole lot more in common than they realize.

Axl landed an internship at the local snack cake company, and let’s just say it’s a good thing he’s still got another year and a half left in college.  He quickly learns that office work is just that: work.  Free work, at that.  Full of menial tasks like getting coffee, picking up dry cleaning, and applying the buss’ bird’s butt medicine.  All of this wipes him out and he can’t help but complain to his family every night.  He tries to blame his parents for encouraging him to follow his dreams as a kid but only to a point.  Now that he’s dipping his toes into the real world, he sees adult life isn’t glamorous.

If there’s one thing Axl can take away from all this, it’s that he’s not alone.  For his entire life he’s seen his mom work her endless list of jobs on top of being a full time mother.  She still managed to keep fast food on the table every night for the family so he knows that hard work pays off.  Now that they both know what he’s in for, at least Frankie and Axl will have each other to cry to.

Mike so astutely pointed out to Frankie that she’s the biggest whiner in the family.  He swears he never takes his work home with him, even when his foot gets steamrolled and he still has black toes to prove it.  That line cracked me up because it’s so true to his stoic character.  Frankie always finds something to complain about, whether it was at Ehlert Motors or her newer dentist office position.  In her defense, she does have a lot to deal with now that the office is so high-tech that it’s actually slowing her down rather than helping productivity.

Brick needed his dad’s help to handle relationship problems with his girlfriend.  For whatever reason, Cindy chose she could trust Mike to do all the dirty work and deliver the bad news to Brick that she kissed another boy.  Mike really has no idea what to do other than push Brick to talk to her himself.  The only thing I will say about this storyline is that Mike probably should have had that nice father-son talk with Brick before he decided that paying Cindy $10 would fix any future problems.  Oh well, he’ll live and learn.  Such is life.

A professor really pushed Sue to crack open her “rainbows and unicorns” outlook on life.  He was slightly successful, but for the best.  I would hate to see Sue become so jaded all because one person didn’t agree with or understand her personality.  The fact that she knows her way of thinking is unique but still chooses to embrace it is sweet.  She’ll never become the angry tree-hugger activist but maybe she’ll at least have an easier time relating to others who are so different from her.  That’s a skill that will come in handy the rest of her life.

What did you think of this episode of The Middle?

[Photo credit Michael Ansell/ABC]

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