The Middle

Season 5 Episode 7

Thanksgiving V

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 20, 2013 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


It's another hectic Thanksgiving for the Heck family. Axl needs to tell Frankie and Mike he's dropped all but one college course, Tag fesses up to Mike that he gambled away the money he was supposed to use for his and Pat's cruise, Sue's got a shopping secret and, to top it all off, Dr. Goodwin and Uncle Rusty's wife and kids show up unannounced. In the midst of it all, Brick is determined to have lime green jello for Thanksgiving dinner.


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  • Another (not) great Thanksgiving!

    This fifth thanksgiving was full of news: we found out that Marlene's not married to Rusty anymore, Axl's going really really horribly at school, Tag has spent his money on poker and Frankie appeared on the news because of her acting at the market. I think this episode was really good, expecially when everyone started to spit out the truth. I was kind of surprised when Mike didn't react about Axl's news but then got another lesson by the Hecks family. Life is yours and you can do whatever you want with it, but obviously following the right way, and without getting in trouble. I laughed a lot about Brick's lime jello, but then a thought came on my mind: if he's 11 or 12, how could he ask her mother 10 years earlier some lime jello? I mean, he was 1 or 2, how could he talk or even care about that? Or remember it. But yeah, he's Brick, I shouldn't be surprised about this.

    Another part I couldn't stop laughing at was when Frankie was shown in the news, she seemed like a crazy woman pushing everyone to get what she wanted and destroying half of the market.

    In my opinion, this episode deserves a 9 :-)moreless
  • Thanksgiving

    Good episode but I think there was a mistake. Brick was wanting lime jello for the last 10 years. If he's only 11 or 12 that means he would have been 1 or 2. I don't think a kid that small can talk and care about lime jello. They should of done the math.
  • Dropped Classes, Shopping Trips and Lime Jello

    First, my rant about last week's episode. I love Sue, she's great but seriously, can she do something good with actually talents instead of winning because of her kindness or because her body was between the ball and the floor. She is an amazing character and deserves much more than this.

    As for this episode, Sue (Eden Sher) didn't have it much better. She and Frankie (Patricia Heaton) go pre-holiday shopping, which actually occurs on Wednesday instead of Friday, but then acts all secretive and private upon arriving home. Yikes.

    Axl (Charlie McDermott) struggles to tell his parents his bad news. He is being super helpful to his parents and even offers to drive to collect his grandparents (Jerry Van Dyke and Marsha Mason). He tells them, hopeful that they will be on his side, but they are furious at him, which still leads him with the task of telling his parents.

    Tag, once again, confides in Mike (Neil Flynn) to Mike's dismay. Tag was stupid and gambled away all of the money he and Pat had saved up for a Christmas cruise. His plan is to highlight all the bad problems with cruises and have Mike for back-up but that just doesn't happen, probably because Mike doesn't even care.

    Then comes the dinner, which actually makes up the majority of the episode. The Hecks get some unexpected guests in the form of Frankie's boss, Dr. Goodwin (Jack McBrayer) because he doesn't understand sarcasm, a mistake Frankie repeats at the tail end of the episode. Then, Marlene (Mary Birdsong) and her two children from previous relationships arrive. The kids don't know her very well, but are confused when she starts openly and blatantly flirting with Dr. Goodwin. Finally, Marlene confesses that she and Rusty divorced because he couldn't communicate, which is clearly the case as he couldn't even tell his own brother that his marriage failed.

    Well, that dinner is a dinner of truths with everyone confessing stuff. Axl tries to start things off, but Tag reveals his money issues first, then Marlene tells them her news and then Frankie appears on the news, ripping people apart to get the wanted items, a truly horrifying sight, and then, finally Axl reveals his news, but his parents don't react the way he expects them to.

    However, Mike believes that Axl isn't theirs anymore, which isn't really the case in my opinion, but I liked how he got his point across. Axl finally, hopefully, realizes that he needs to grow up. He needs to stop partying and buckle down on his classes. He also promises to come home every weekend to study. We'll see if that happens. I think he's finally growing up, but then again, I thought that last season when he was with Cassidy, but that was only short lived, before he reverted back to his old ways.

    All-in-all, a much better episode than last week's, but it still falls short of every previous Thanksgiving episode. But the acting is good and this one gives the guest stars true moments to shine, which is awesome every once in awhile. And, yes, it is a disturbing awakening for the rest of the family when they witness firsthand of how Frankie is able to get them the high quality gifts they want.

    Still, this episode was far from perfect. Sue needed more screen time, but she tried to make the most of what she had, freaking out and trying not to tell what really happened. Grade: A-

    Side Notes:

    -Brick (Atticus Shaffer) wants green jello, but Frankie, once again, forgets to make some, so he makes his own and eats the whole thing, which leaves him quite sick, probably because he didn't make it right. He is literally a slug. Yikes.

    -The grandparents always bring fudge.

    -Marlene flirts like crazy, but Dr. Goodwin is actually terrified of her, it's great.

    -Pat has been a member of Weight Watchers for more than a decade, so that's some money being wasted.

    -Forgiveness is awesome and does happen, but only after the yelling.

    -I loved Frankie's gag of not preparing enough food, going back in the kitchen to whip up more mashed potatoes, and adding tables so everyone can have a seat.

    -Colin Firth is still around, albeit briefly. He appears in the beginning and Axl agrees to walk him, but then he disappears for the remainder, not even joining the family to play touch football.

    -Axl, you're on a football scholarship and you can't even catch a simple throw from your dad? Okay, I'll give you that one, you're probably fearful that a screaming match is coming any minute so that's where your focus is, but whatever.

    -Does no one in the Heck family ever talk to one another?

    -Everyone stays until pie this year, though Dr. Goodwin claimed he would leave.moreless
Mary Birdsong

Mary Birdsong


Guest Star

Dorothy Lucey

Dorothy Lucey


Guest Star

Sigi Gradwohl

Sigi Gradwohl


Guest Star

Marsha Mason

Marsha Mason

Pat Spence

Recurring Role

Jerry Van Dyke

Jerry Van Dyke

Tag Spence

Recurring Role

Jack McBrayer

Jack McBrayer

Dr. Goodwin

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 9:00 pm
    What Would You Do?
  • 10:00 pm