The Middle

Season 5 Episode 23

Orlando

5
Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM May 21, 2014 on ABC
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
15 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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After winning a trip to Walt Disney World in Ehlert's 'Hands on a Hard Body' contest, Sue anxiously awaits the day the family starts on their road trip. Brick, on the other hand, wants to make a side trip to North Carolina to meet his on-line girlfriend. Axl is nervous about getting his final grades.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Car Trips, Soft Toilet Paper and a Mickey Mouse Hat

    10
    To say that Sue (Eden Sher) is excited about the trip to Disney World is the understatement of the year. She keeps reminding the family of how many days away the trip is and has made a huge pre-scrapbook of the trip. Yikes.

    In the meantime, before the family can even leave, Brick (Atticus Shaffer) insists on going to North Carolina to visit his girlfriend, a girl he met online while playing this stupid online game. He doesn't get distracted, unlike Frankie, and talks at length on why they should make the trip and finally, mostly just to get him to shut up, the parents give in. Of course this also backfires, because Brick forgets to tell the family that he broke up with her the night before, just as they pull up to Tanya's (Teresa Ornelas's) house. Tanya lives in a trailer park and even has her own dirt pile. Yes, and that's what she shows Brick.

    Frankie (Patricia Heaton) tries to make sure that Tanya's family doesn't think that they are beneath the trailer park family, saying that they only won the trip and that their washer doesn't even work properly. And Sandy (the great Dale Dickey), Tanya's mother, can't believe the family drove out of their way just to visit, even though they were totally looking forward for the young children to meet each other. But then Frankie spills the beans and admits that the two broke up yesterday over a misunderstanding in the game and Sandy gets really mad, accessing the Hecks of catfishing them, which is, ironically, what the Hecks had thought earlier. But it ends happily, with the two at least temporarily forgetting their fight as Tanya plants one on him, Frankie looking on fondly.

    Axl (Charlie McDermott), after some major stressing for him, gets all Bs in his classes, meaning that his parents must keep up their end of the lame agreement and not talk to him for the rest of the summer, though that doesn't work, as it shouldn't.

    Sue is also not a good driver. Sure, she's had her license for a year, but the family still doesn't trust her driving and the scene when the family is hanging on and at the fast food restaurant, trying to order and then running into the yellow cone is probably the funniest scene of the whole season, bar none. Fortunately, at the end, Mike (Neil Flynn) takes pity on her and lets her drive a block into Orlando.

    But the adventure has only just begun. Sue actually won tickets to DisneyLand, in California, and they drove to Florida instead. Yes, only the Hecks would be that stupid. Frankie didn't even read the tickets, but luckily, the people at DisneyWorld are super nice and let the Hecks in. And the first day is epically horrible. Brick takes his sweet ole time picking out just the right font for his Mickey Mouse hat and then nothing goes right, and Sue needs to be taken to the First Aid tent twice and as a result, they don't go on any rides. But the hotel room they are given is massive. It's the super suite, with a mirror TV is the bathroom and Sue is excited about the uber soft toilet paper, which Frankie shamelessly stuffs into her bright shiny blue suitcase. And the sheets are so soft that the family sleeps in until the afternoon, meaning they get an extraordinary late start.

    And they family is still arguing as another tries to take their picture. Sue snaps, flipping through her binder to find the right ride to go on and Mike admits the real reason he wanted to go to Epcot was because he would never get to take Frankie to Paris. Upon hearing this, Frankie dumps the kids and goes off with Mike, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. Which is what happens, the kids try to go their separate ways, but it doesn't work and they go on several rides while Frankie and Mike travel the countries and the family even gets together in the end for fireworks, just as any good vacation should end.

    All-in-all, this was a great way to end an uneven season. But everything bad happened just as Frankie foreshadowed in the opening. They lost Brick, Sue lost her happy spirit and the whole family ended up fighting horribly. But everything turned out wonderfully in the end.

    Acting wise, it is still top-notch, but then it always is. The writing was especially great as I had never laughed this loud at this show in some time. And I love DisneyWorld, so this episode was fantastic. And this episode showed a whole new side to Frankie and Mike, I say keep it coming. Grade: A, Season: B+

    Side Notes:

    -Before Sue drives, Axl just wants to check the status of the death napkin which leads to another great scene, where Frankie says that because Axl is nineteen and will take care of the others. Which doesn't go over well, to say the least.

    -Another callback. Frankie does pack the blue bag with food and brings it to the door with her suitcase, but it is never mentioned for the rest of the episode. So who knows if she actually brings it along on the trip?

    -Because of Sue's bad driving, the driver's car door can't open which leads to a failed leaving of Tanya's family as Frankie has to get back out to let Mike in to drive after slamming the door firmly behind her.

    -Sue is not a fast chewer so she chokes on a turkey bone. And she faints upon finally seeing the Magic Castle and trips over her trip binder, all of which land in her in the First Aid tent.

    -Axl's ride choice sucks. It's the gate to leave the park.

    -Brick really likes rides. They are full of signs with fonts.

    -Okay, now to the stuff I didn't like. Brad gets a mention but Darrin doesn't.

    -As for the season, it was great. I especially liked Darrin and Sue getting back together, but I wished we had seen more of the Heck family members, like Mike's dad or Frankie's sister or aunts, though Aunt Janet does get a name drop in the first part of the finale.

    -Frankie and Mike have a whole fantasy of how they met and lived in an alternate Paris universe. It's sweet but super awkward.

    -Brick notes that he's the only one who kissed a girl on this trip, which is true.

    -Axl threatens to keep his family out of the room if he gets lucky, Frankie warns him that that can't happen.

    -As for next season, I hope they give Axl a new, interesting girlfriend and have Darrin and Sue go on an actual date and Sue meet his family, because that's always funny. I like that Brick got his first kiss and hope they do a little more with that odd plot line.

    -Brick uses the excuse of this being the woman of his dreams in North Carolina and providing his parents with cute grandkids. But when he starts wooping again, Frankie sighs, saying that they are never getting cute grandkids. Only time will tell.moreless

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