Only in the Heck family would a forty-two minute trip take five hours.
Sure, Axl (Charlie McDermott) may be going to East Indiana State, located only forty-two minutes from the Heck house, but the trip was an eventful one.
He didn't even buy anything needed so he and Frankie (Patricia Heaton) had to go shopping, where Axl believed that his scholarship money would come to him in an envelope and informed his mother that he already had athlete's foot. I truly hope he's lying. Frankie, in order to have more love from Brick (Atticus Shaffer) buys him a cell phone which he loses too many times for it to be funny. That was overdone. Sue (Eden Sher) is desperate to learn if she will become a Junior Peer Leadership Advisor, so she is not pleased that the whole family is dropping off Axl. Then again, neither is Axl. He just wants to get there, but Frankie wants to witness the iconic moment. She is so proud of her son and tells everyone that he's going to college. On a scholarship. He is clearly annoyed.
Things don't go as planned. Frankie forgot to fax Sue's essay, just as she forgot to mail the checks for Sue selling cheese and sausage from back in season one and Brick calls Grandpa Tag (Jerry Van Dyke) which is how Axl learns that all the money they put away for him to go to college has been spent by his parents because they constantly fell upon desperate times. Axl is furious and insists they pay him back with interest, whenever he figures out what that is.
Things are still turning up Sue. Despite barely faxing her essay in time, they (the advisory board) don't even read it. The two other girls in the running have fallen upon hard times. One is pregnant while the other is in deep depression as her parents are getting a divorce.
Brick loses his cell phone plenty of times and one time when they even get out of the car to look for it, a fed up Axl starts walking to college just to get away from them. However, Mike (Neil Flynn) and Frankie should have never let Brick put his phone out the window, that's just an accident waiting to happen, for anyone but especially Brick.
Finally, Axl gets to college, could care less that someone throws up right in front of him, and immediately ditches his parents for a party with an 'ice cream' keg down the hall. Frankie can't hold back her tears.
However, when they arrive home, Axl is already there because he needed something to eat and he forgot his guitar leading Frankie to moan, "He's only forty-five minutes
Though this episode was great and funny, it is similar to episodes from the past though the characters are gradually moving forward. Hopefully Axl will grow up sometime, but I won't hold my breath and maybe Brick will become responsible (Mike ends up taking the phone, which turns out to be a different one, from him, thank goodness, he's just not ready) but Sue actually gets something, despite Mike saying that she never would. True, it's by total default, but that's okay, she's still happy.
Once again, the acting in the most underrated comedy on TV is great, showing a family in typical fashion just trying to make it through life. Grade: A-
-I still haven't forgiven Charlie McDermott for not submitting himself into Emmy consideration in the Best Supporting Actor category. Please at least submit yourself next year. Also, I'm not thrilled with Modern Family's fourth consecutive win in that category.
-I wonder what will happen with Axl now being in college and how they will work him into every episode without forcing the issue. And they can't pull a Modern Family, with having Haley (Sarah Hyland) arrested and kicked out of school.
-Axl does have a roommate, but he never even acknowledges when the Hecks come in the room despite Frankie's hug which was meant for Axl.
-All Axl wanted for his dorm room is a blow up palm tree and a bag of sand. I suppose he'll learn.