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)
Frankie and Mike are excited to meet April – the love of Axl's life – but discover that love may indeed be blind when April reveals a quirky personality trait. Meanwhile, after getting bit by the acting bug while working at Dollywood over the summer, Sue wants to change her major to theater, and Brick is starting high school and making it his mission to try for a fresh start and not be considered one of the weird kids.
When a devastated Sue discovers that she has been kicked out of college because she forgot to renew her financial aid, Mike tries to come to her rescue and convince a tough college bursar to reinstate her. Meanwhile, having only taken oral liquid medication all of his life, a frustrated Frankie does everything in her power to teach Brick how to swallow a pill when he gets an ear infection; and Hutch becomes angry with Axl after he keeps driving the Winnebago without permission to Orson to visit new girlfriend April - leaving Hutch without any means of transportation to get to class.
As Halloween approaches, Frankie is taken aback when she discovers that, if the circumstances ever arose where she and Mike got divorced, the kids would all choose to live with Mike. Meanwhile, Sue tries everything in her power to get her room back from Brick, and having to be so nice around girlfriend April all of the time leads Axl to lash out at his family.
Sue has had enough of boyfriend Jeremy and wants to break up with him. But not knowing how to do it, she asks Axl for some of his worldly advice. Meanwhile, Brick tries his best to show school spirit and fit in with his fellow high schoolers but is thwarted when best friend Troy gets noticed instead and is drafted by the football team; and Frankie becomes a bit embarrassed when she accidentally purchases some racy graphic underwear.
Frankie and Mike are embarrassed to admit that they once again forgot Brick's birthday. But their embarrassment turns to fright when they discover that he has turned 15, and it's time for them to teach their not-so-sure-footed son driver's ed. But when Axl takes a shot at letting Brick drive his Winnebago, he ends up running down one of Orson's most treasured landmarks. Meanwhile, while Sue anxiously tries to choose a college major before deadline, she learns a shocking secret from Frankie.
Frankie has come to the conclusion that April is not good enough for Axl and does everything in her power to keep her out of their annual Christmas family photo. But she finds herself vying for Axl's attention by trying to rearrange timing for the family's Thanksgiving dinner when she discovers that he plans to go to April's multiple family get-togethers that day. Meanwhile, Sue goes ballistic when she discovers that Brick will now be her new co-worker at Spudsy's.
Frankie finds a discount store that sells oddly shaped produce; Axl refuses to talk to Frankie after learning how she feels about April; Brick's new tick lands him in detention; Brad visits Sue at college.
Frankie's trashy neighbor talks her into taking a road trip; Mike feels embarrassed when OSHA comes to investigate his fall at the quarry; Sue tries to talk Axl into reconciling with the family.
As Christmas approaches, Sue keeps a holiday secret from the family; after agreeing to watch the neighbor's three kids, Brick finds himself trying to hide from them as they had such a good time that they keep wanting to come over and play; and Mike doesn't know how to react when Bill Norwood gives him a Christmas gift for the first time ever.
The Hecks find themselves spending New Year's Day attempting to stave off a zombie apocalypse in the Orson Escape Room, desperately trying to beat the Donahue's record of getting out with more than one minute, eight seconds to spare. Meanwhile, Brick is convinced that the mild-mannered man assigned to the family's Escape Room group is really the famous author of the "Planet Nowhere" books; Sue divulges a secret about herself to Axl that's she's been keeping since childhood; and Mike is stunned when Frankie reveals that she had a romantic dream involving Frank Sinatra.
Frankie is ecstatic when she wins free maid service for a month. But the Heck house turns out to be quite the frustrating challenge to clean. Meanwhile, when Mike and Rusty's dad, Big Mike, starts to have trouble taking care of himself at home, the brothers begrudgingly begin to look at assisted living facilities for him; and when the Winnebago gets too cold and dangerous to inhabit since snow is coming through a hole in the roof, Axl, Hutch and Kenny attempt to move in with Sue and Lexie in their temporary college housing.
Axl begins to panic when he realizes that he only has four months of college left before he graduates, and he hasn't sent out any job resumes - something he should have started when he was a junior. Meanwhile, Brad agrees to lead Sue's no-cut a cappella group as they enter a music competition, and Brick desperately asks for Frankie and Mike's advice when girlfriend Cindy tells him that he reads too much, and if he doesn't stop, she'll break up with him.
Frankie becomes sad when her doctor informs her that her ovaries are shriveled up, which means her days of having kids are over. In an attempt to cheer her up, Mike offers to have him and Frankie babysit the neighbor's baby overnight, which puts some perspective on being an older parent. Meanwhile, Sue and Axl are a bit shocked when romantic sparks fly between Sean Donahue and Sue's roommate Lexie; and Brick tries his best to hone up on his font knowledge when he meets Gibson, a worthy font opponent.
Frankie and Mike frantically attempt to shut off the water and save some treasured items when the pipes burst in the basement. But after freaking out and bickering amongst each other, Axl, Sue and Brick call a family intervention meeting to let their parents know that their constant fighting and bickering is negatively affecting them. But while the kids feel like they can benefit from their parents' newfound realization, Frankie and Mike start to think that the kids' lack of support makes them the ones who should be sorry.
After Frankie tries to get a stubborn Mike to go see Dr. Goodwin to take care of his toothache, Mike convinces the good doctor to leave his tooth alone and tell Frankie that everything was ok. But the two find themselves fabricating a story that's so ludicrous that they fear Frankie will figure out the truth. Meanwhile, since they are nearing the end of their senior year at college, Axl, Hutch and Kenny decide it's time to sell the fabled Winnebago; Sue tries her best to let college golf cart driver Tyler know that she likes him; and Brick attempts to write a historic Scottish rap musical - a la "Hamilton" - focusing on the life of Sergeant Charles Stuart MacKenzie.
Lexie spends Spring Break with the Hecks and confesses to Sue that she has a crush on Axl; with the quarry softball team on a losing streak, Mike hires high school coach Babbitt as a ringer to pull the team out of their slump; and Frankie desperately tries to uncover what has happened within the Heck family to make Nancy Donahue exclaim that she must be very proud of one of her family member's achievements.
After Axl runs into just about all of his ex-girlfriends while attending a St. Patrick's Day party - including Devin Levin, Cassidy and even Weird Ashley - Hutch tells Axl that the universe is trying to tell him something about his love life, and that he must speak with each of them to try and figure it out. Meanwhile, Brick discovers that Frankie and Mike aren't half as thrilled as he is when he buys an old microfiche machine at a library sale; and not knowing that Tyler is set to take Sue to the Chancellor's Ball, Sean Donahue pays her a surprise visit and offers to escort her to it.
Bill Norwood is so upset with Mike for poaching his plumber at a reduced rate that their friendship could be at risk. Meanwhile, after having a fun mother-daughter picnic, Frankie is crushed when Sue - who usually tells her everything - won't divulge who the mystery guy is that she has a crush on; and Brick convinces Axl to let him hang out with him at college over the weekend - not to visit the library but to have some fun and par-tay!
After being reminded that Brick was never confirmed, Frankie and Mike send him to Reverend TimTom's Wilderness Jesus Jam weekend camp to brush up on his religious knowledge in preparation for the blessed event. But Brick is shocked to discover that his bunkmate is no other than Blake Ferguson - the boy he was switched at birth with and raised by his parents for the first month of his life.
After discovering that he doesn't have a decent suit to wear for upcoming business interviews, Frankie is thrilled when Axl agrees to let her take him shopping to help him pick out a suit; and when Mike threatens to do away with the family summer pool if Sue and Brick don't start using it, they begin to worry that he and Frankie may take even more things away from around the house from their childhood that they don't use anymore as they edge towards adulthood.
Frankie frantically searches the house for Axl's graduation gift, which she bought months before and hid; Sue decides that she wants to make a sweet video for Mike's upcoming birthday - even though the family warns her that he probably won't like it; and after Cindy embarrasses Brick by strong-arming and chasing away a boy who was bullying him, Brick turns to Axl to help get him into shape so that he can stick up for himself.
Frankie, Mike and Brick begin to notice that their luck has changed dramatically for the better after the Prairie Scouts accidentally paint the Donahue's address on their curb; and after missing his final college test before he graduates, Axl pleads with his teacher to let him take it, otherwise he won't be able to graduate. Meanwhile, Sue confides to Brad that her sophomore year in college was kind of a letdown. But a chance to speak to students at her former high school about college life leads her to a realization about her status as a student while at Orson High. A talk with Brad leads into an impromptu musical number about Sue's many accomplishments over the years.
Having finally graduated college, Axl tells Frankie and Mike that he's planning on going to Europe over the summer with Kenny. Although Frankie thinks this is a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Mike is less than pleased and thinks his slacker son should be putting all of his summer efforts into finding a job. Meanwhile, Sue begins to panic after she barely scrapes a parked SUV and doesn't hear back from the owner after leaving several notes on the windshield, and Brick discovers that his sudden onset of backaches is due to not sitting in his lawn chair, which was replaced by a normal kitchen-table chair.
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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