The Middle

Season 5 Episode 4

The 100th

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 2013 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary


While a heartbroken Sue tries to win Darren back by making him jealous, it's the centennial anniversary of the town of Orson. Frankie and Mike are picked, much to their annoyance, to drive a giant cow float in the celebratory parade. To make some money, Axl, Darrin and Sean start up their Boss company during the celebrations while Brick enters the contest to come up with a new town motto.


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  • A motto, big hair and burning cow

    This was a pretty good episode with some great moments sprinkled in between some lame ones.

    Orson, Indiana is turning 100 so the town is having a big parade plus a new motto contest. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) signed her and Mike (Neil Flynn) up to drive a float with she was completely drunk. Still, she is glad to part of something and to get herself out of her comfort zone. She and Mike almost ended up in Chicago, they even had everything packed but then Mike realized that he lost the gas cap so they had to drive back to Orson to get it. The catch? Turns out Mike was lying the whole time. He never lost the gas cap. He just didn't have a good feeling about Chicago so that's why they returned to Orson but he decided to lie to Frankie because they were younger then and he wasn't use to it.

    Axl (Charlie McDermott) and his pals, Sean and Darrin (Beau Wirick and John Gammon) get Boss Co. back in business to give some citizens the VIP experience during the parade. This will go haywire.

    Brick (Atticus Shaffer) decides to enter the motto contest and puts his heart and soul into coming up with the perfect motto, even putting in the extra effort by doing some research. He comes up with something like Orson, the gem of the heartland, which is sweet. But what wins is, Orson: why not? He is not pleased but he comes around when he is given a free t-shirt with that motto, all because he's a sucker for a good font.

    Sue (Eden Sher) is having trouble dealing with losing Darrin so she decides to do her research. She visits Angel (Christiann Castellano) at beauty school and tries to figure out if Angel is worthy of Darrin. Though I did like her in the first episode she appeared in, this episode showed a whole different side to her. She was only attracted to Darrin because of his looks, which left Sue furious so she and Brad (J. Brock Ciarlelli) concoct a plan to make Darrin jealous.

    The parade is an interesting event. Mike and Frankie must cram into the cow float and soon they are arguing bitterly, talking smack about parade coordinator and super mom Nancy Donahue (Jen Ray) and the float runs into some wires from Boss Co. which means the cow catches on fire, ruining the parade. Sue is standing in front of the float but Darrin carries her to safety leading her to believe that because he saved her first, there is still hope in that relationship. I really wish I could say the same thing. I want them to end up together, but doubt it happen any time soon. The burning cow is pushed into the pool and Frankie remarks that it is probably a good thing that they didn't end up in Chicago because if a cow caught on fire there, the whole town would burn down.

    All-in-all, this was a good episode, finally giving Frankie and Mike some moments together without the kids, something that has been sorely needed. However, I found Sue stupidly standing in front of the burning float was a horrible and lame move to get her into Darrin's arms but at least she ended up happy. Oh and Axl's plot was worthless, it did not need to be there. And nothing came from it, no lessons were learned. That time could have been spent elsewhere, which would have helped the remaining plot lines. Still, the episode was good, but far from the best of The Middle. Grade: A-

    Side Notes:

    -To make Darrin jealous, Sue and Brad do not make out, but instead sing a song from Grease, which does not work. At all.

    -Sue believed that she and Darrin could have a relationship like her parents, cut to Frankie and Mike fighting.

    -To set-up the VIP treatment, Axl literally takes chairs from under his brother to make that happen, twice.

    -Does Axl ever seriously go to college? Or play football?

    -Sue gets her hair done by Angel and it turns into one of those big, crazy hairstyles similar to what Angel has and the ones from Grease. Ironic.

    -Yes, Frankie the walkie talkies are needed.

    -Apparently, Ron Cougar Mellencamp (Ari Welkom) is just as good as John Cougar Mellencamp.

    -There really should have been fireworks at the end. Literally giant balls of fire in the sky, that would have been perfect.moreless
Christiann Castellanos

Christiann Castellanos


Guest Star

Charles C. Stevenson

Charles C. Stevenson

Old Hoosier

Guest Star

Lyn Mahler

Lyn Mahler

Kristen Rice

Guest Star

Brian Doyle-Murray

Brian Doyle-Murray

Mr. Ehlert

Recurring Role

Jen Ray

Jen Ray

Nancy Donahue

Recurring Role

Beau Wirick

Beau Wirick

Sean Donahue

Recurring Role

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