Next Episode of The Middle is
Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes—but we think Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton), must be some kind of superhero. A loving wife and mother of three, she's middle class in the middle of the country and is rapidly approaching middle age.
Frankie and her husband, Mike (Neil Flynn), have lived in Orson, Indiana, their whole lives. A man of few words (every one a zinger), Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of the three) at the local dealership. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she'll go to just about any length. And with kids like these, she had better. There's Axl (Charlie McDermott), her semi-nudist teenage son conceived while under the influence of Guns N' Roses; Sue (Eden Sher), the awkward teenage daughter who fails at everything... but with the utmost of gusto; and their seven-year-old son Brick(Atticus Shaffer), whose best friend is his backpack. (source: abc.go.com)
Fearing that a friendless Brick could be missing out on his childhood, Frankie makes it her mission to find a suitable friend for him. Meanwhile, after Mike forbids Sue from seeing an R-rated film, she goes against her father's wishes and sneaks into a movie theater with her friend, Carly; and Axl and his band need a hot chick to appear in their online music video and try to shoot footage of their sexy biology teacher, Ms. Devereaux - without her knowledge or consent
Fearing that a friendless Brick could be missing out on his childhood, Frankie makes it her mission to find a suitable friend for him. Meanwhile, after Mike forbids Sue from seeing an R-rated film, she goes against her father's wishes and sneaks into a movie theater with her friend, Carly; and Axl and his band need a hot chick to appear in their online music video and try to shoot footage of their sexy biology teacher, Ms. Devereaux - without her knowledge or consent.
With Sue now in high school with Axl - who is totally embarrassed by her presence - Axl decides to play a mischievous trick on her, which earns his perfectionist sister a number of tardy slips. Meanwhile, Mike sets a meeting with Brick's new fourth grade teacher, Mr. Wilkerson, after learning that he's allowing his son to skip gym; and Frankie and Mike bicker over which one of them is really the boss of the family.
After being mortifyingly humiliated and grossed out due to a family member's actions, Frankie has a meltdown and decrees to the family that major changes need to take place in every aspect of the Heck household - and then packs up and abruptly leaves. But Frankie's not gone for good, as she heads to her mother's house for a little TLC and motherly advice to help her through the humiliation.
Frankie cracks down on Axl and forces him to focus on his future when she learns that the school PSATs are right around the corner and he hasn't even begun to study for them. Meanwhile, Sue once again tries out for a school activity that may not be a perfect fit for her - cheerleading -- and Mike tries to toughen Brick up when he learns that his son is being bullied at school.
As the Heck home begins to literally fall apart, Frankie and Mike consider leaving homeownership behind and moving the family to an apartment. Meanwhile, Axl tries to fake Frankie out by pretending that he's sick in order to get out of taking a school test - and must later convince her that he's well enough to attend a party that evening; Sue and her ex-sort-of-boyfriend, Brad, volunteer to prepare a school skit about showing the dangers of texting and drinking while driving; and Brick tries to offer a little bit of levity by spouting off Shakespearian quotes.
After being embarrassed over wearing a childish costume at a high school Halloween costume party and being ignored by the guys, Sue asks a flabbergasted Mike for his advice on what boys want when it comes to girls. Meanwhile, Frankie reluctantly volunteers to take Brick's socially awkward school social skills group trick-or-treating, and Axl and his friends devise a plan to trick rather than treat the neighborhood kids on Halloween.
Frankie and Mike are convinced that slacker son Axl will blow his interview with a football scout, which could earn him a scholarship to college. Meanwhile, Sue and Brick begin a texting marathon - and rack up some serious charges - when they discover that Aunt Edie accidentally gave them her cell phone; and Frankie tries to be completely attentive to the family's needs when she realizes that she's more considerate to outsiders than her own kin.
Frankie is thrilled when she learns that the Orson Community Theater is putting on a production of "The Wizard of Oz," and that kids don't need to audition to be munchkins, as they will be automatically cast - which is a perfect scenario for a hapless Sue. But things quickly go awry when Frankie is cast in a singing role and learns the director is not happy with Sue's performance and may cut her from the play. Meanwhile, Brick asks his unreliably quirky Uncle Rusty to attend his school's Special Friends Day - with disastrous results.
Frankie's parents, Pat and Tag, invite the Hecks to spend a few days at their house to celebrate Thanksgiving together. But the festivities begin to fall apart quickly when Frankie's sister, Janet, and her family also join in, and soon the siblings are at each other's throats over their widely differing parenting techniques. Meanwhile, Mike tries to offer some advice to Axl on how to pick up girls when he witnesses his son trying to impress a pretty mini-mart cashier - and fails miserably; Brick attempts to prove his innocence when he is accused by Janet of damaging her daughter's expensive toy; and Sue is stoked when Frankie, Pat and Janet invite her to take part in their gossip sessions.
On a tipsy whim - and against Mike's wishes - Frankie decides to throw a Christmas Eve party at the house; Mike buys Frankie a much needed new dishwasher for Christmas, but has a hard time keeping it a secret when she begs him to replace the old one before the party; Sue calls on Reverend TimTom to explain the meaning of Christmas to Brick when he reads the Bible and begins to question it; and Axl gets annoyed with Bob when he tries too hard to be cool in order to befriend him while working together on a Christmas tree lot.
After realizing that no one keeps their New Year's resolutions, Frankie decides that they will be assigned anonymously to each family member, and an all-you-can-eat buffet feast will be the reward for those who can abide by their chosen resolution for a week. But chaos soon ensues when Frankie must spend more time with Brick, Mike needs to smile more, Axl has to keep his bedroom clean, Sue needs to stop trying out for things she'll never make, and Brick must stop reading all of the time.
After attending Aunt Ginny's funeral, Frankie begins to fear that the family is missing out on important life milestones and vows to begin celebrating all of them. Meanwhile, Axl accidentally eats Brick's Indiana dough school map project and is tasked with creating a new one, and Sue discovers that one of the boys on the wrestling team has a crush on her.
With Indiana hosting the Super Bowl, Frankie is devastated when she hopes to land a plum assignment as an official volunteer and ends up with a less-than-stellar position. Meanwhile, the entire Heck household takes advantage of the Donahue's new car while they are out of town, and a scary, close call with the car causes Sue to profess her true feelings to her new boyfriend, Matt.
Frankie and Mike decide to try a fresh approach to Valentine's Day by having dinner out with friends. But a clueless Mike angers Frankie by refusing to present her with a simple romantic gesture. Meanwhile, Axl can't think of a life-changing moment that's occurred in his life when he's assigned to write a school paper on the subject, Brick is tasked with writing a report on love, and a hapless Sue doesn't understand why her new boyfriend has suddenly turned into a bad kisser.
Frankie pulls out all of the stops in an effort to get an over-excited Sue tickets to a Justin Bieber concert, Mike is thrilled over Brick's enthusiasm to win the school's spelling bee and coaches him for the event, and Axl and his friends attempt to break a road sign's 15-mile-per-hour speed limit - on foot.
Axl, Sue and Brick call a sit down meeting with a shocked Frankie and Mike, accusing mom of being a nag and dad of giving out crazy punishments without ever hearing their sides of the story. In return, all they ask is for a chance to do what they're supposed to do - on their own - without constantly being harassed by their parents. But the kids learn to be careful what you wish for when Frankie and Mike agree to their terms and find themselves taking a relaxing break from responsibility.
Because this year is a leap year and Sue's birthday falls on February 29, she is overly excited about celebrating her big day in a big way. But given her parents' track record with celebrations, Sue may need to lower her expectations. Meanwhile, Frankie discovers that tough husband Mike has been taking care of a stray cat at work for years, Brick falls for a pretty girl in his social skills class, and Axl becomes enthralled with vacuuming the house.
Brick takes a job as a newspaper delivery boy from the town's veteran newsman in order to buy himself night vision goggles, and Axl tries to convince Sue that a long distance relationship will not work between her and boyfriend Matt when his family moves away from Orson. Meanwhile, Sue tries to adjust to wearing a full-on headgear, and Frankie discovers that Mike has been secretly hoarding batteries for years.
When the Hecks attend a new church, Frankie is inspired by the pastor's sermon about getting one's business in life completed before death rears its ugly head. So she makes it her mission to ensure that her family puts it into practice. To that end, Mike wants to thank his dad for being there for him and his brother after their mom died, Sue starts up her own baby-sitting service, and Brick thinks a new bed will meet the requirement, while Axl believes that helping Brick get his new bed will fulfill his. But Frankie finds it difficult to figure out what it is that she should be doing to fulfill her own life's destiny.
Sue finds a kindred spirit in her awkward school guidance counselor, Jane Marsh, who inspires her to reinvent herself. Meanwhile, Frankie is ecstatic when she and Mike buy a much needed new bed but is gobsmacked when her stubborn husband insists on assembling it himself; and Brick attempts to call the President to outlaw the Presidential Fitness Challenge, which would force him to accomplish some strenuous physical exercises at school.
Brick gets anything but good luck after he finds an evil four-leaf clover; Frankie makes a decision to find a caregiver for Aunt Edie after she almost burns down her house; Axl tries to devise a plan that will keep his status as a lady's man in play after he once again accidentally invites "weird" Ashley to the prom; Mike gets upset with his dad, Big Mike, when he's accused of being too soft on Brick; and Axl is horrified when his friend Darrin asks Sue to the prom.
It seems like Frankie truly has eyes in the back of her head when she busts both Sue and Axl for making some bad choices that they thought no one would ever find out about. But when it turns out that she's using Brick to be her snitch, Mike is completely against it. Meanwhile, Axl's weekend getaway to the lake is in peril when Sue discovers him sneaking into the house in the middle of the night and coerces him into doing whatever she commands -- otherwise she will tattle on him; and when Frankie is stuck at work, Mike is forced to attend Parent Day at Brick's school.
Frankie and Mike are surprised to receive an invitation to Mike's brother Rusty's fast approaching wedding. But their surprise turns to panic when they discover that he has listed the Heck house as the site of the ceremony. Meanwhile, Axl and his friends decide to become their own bosses and set out to form their own company to garner summer jobs, and Brick is upset with Mike when he finally accepts an invitation to a fellow student's party but is not allowed to go because it falls on the same day as the wedding.
Patricia Heaton(Frankie Heck)
Neil Flynn(Mike Heck)
Charlie McDermott(Axl Heck)
Eden Sher(Sue Heck)
Atticus Shaffer(Brick Heck)
Chris Kattan(Bob Weaver)
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