Something big is going to happen with Axl, and I can't wait for it. Yes, he's doing the same bored, sleeping, lazy teenager act that we've seen a million times before, but I like the way he works off of both Neil Flynn and Patricia Heaton. And I think there's real potential for him to break out into something unique; like when he put his clothes on for the bus in two seconds.
The writers have already crafted both Brick and Sue into wholly unique, and bizarre, children. By comparison the only thing odd about Axl so far is his name. He's just so ... ordinary! Ordinary was enough, though, for him to be part of a pretty funny storyline that pitted him at odds with his father.
It also makes me terrified of the upcoming teen years. Maybe I'll just ship mine out to some other family to deal with. Maybe he can move to Orson, Indiana and I'll just let Mike and Frankie take care of him. Better send him with an extra coat. You never know when a door might go missing.
Okay, I exaggerated. They knew exactly where the door was. I couldn't believe that Frankie and the whole family let Mike and Axl battle their stubborn wills for more than a week in an Indiana fall. It gets really cold, not to mention there's no door on your house!
I was so glad to see Frankie finally sell a car, so we don't have to worry constantly about her losing her job. I want that part of her life to at least be secure so we can focus on the insanity that the job and the family bring to her. I guess it was a no-brainer that mothering would be her tactic to get someone to buy a car, but it was pretty funny watching her take down that mud-shoed schlub.
They keep finding ways to make Sue lovably pathetic. Now, on top of having no skills whatsoever, and an almost total lack of social skills, we find out that she can't take a good picture for the life of her. I respect Mike and Frankie's position to lie to her and tell her the third picture is great, but what about when yearbooks come out?
I like the sparse use of flashbacks in The Middle. Showing us the stubborn streaks between Mike and Axl through the years, and even the bit about how Mike and Frankie agree on everything ... except Caddyshack. It's not at all overwhelming to the plot, but perfectly accentuates those moments of humor. Like Brick needing various projects immediately.
I, too, was surprised that Brick spent the entire episode diligently working on his latest school project in advance of the due date. I should have known that something was up, but I didn't see the gag that the sugar cube pyramid was just for fun. His real project was far more complicated and, by the time he'd finished the pyramid, due tomorrow.
As for Axl, at least Frankie was able to give him a fitting punishment, even if she ultimately had to overrule Mike and put the door back up. After hearing the description of the poor guy who has to wear the stupid animal suit, I can just imagine how horrific it is for Axl out there. I'll have to get a job someplace that has costumed mascots to punish my kid in ... maybe professional sports.