The Middle

Season 5 Episode 15

Vacation Days

8
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 05, 2014 on ABC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
23 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Mike's forced paid vacation is anything but relaxing when Brick tries to execute all the personal gift coupons he's given Mike over the years. Axl's been hanging at the Donahues for several days without Frankie's knowledge which doesn't set well with her. A bad online customer service review has Sue over compensating at Spudsy in an effort to please customers.

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Today
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8:00am
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Coupons, Bad Reviews and Broken Cars

    8.0
    This episode missed the mark, big time.

    Mike (Neil Flynn) is being forced to take some paid vacation time from the quarry because it's an insurance issue. Sound familiar? Yes, Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory was also forced to take some vacation time.

    But Mike does nothing, literally nothing with all his free time. Okay, sure he fixes a broken cabinet door but then chills in front of the TV for the remainder basically.

    Brick (Atticus Shaffer) has given Mike millions of homemade coupons throughout the years for various holidays and he is determined to redeem them. It drives Mike completely insane and finally, he tells Brick the truth, he hates all the attention and only wants to be left alone. Brick explains that he felt as though he had to make good on the coupons, not wanting to have them held over his head for the rest of his life. Fortunately, Mike won't hold him to honoring the coupons. Brick wants to give love to his father spontaneously. Mike would like that too.

    Frankie (Patricia Heaton) still goes to work but is shocked to discover that Axl (Charlie McDermott) has been spending some time at the Donahues before heading off to Florida. Frankie is devastated. Furious actually. But when Axl's car breaks down in Tennessee, he calls collect and Frankie reluctantly goes down to collect him. She and Axl have a heart-to-heart and in the end, decides to follow most of his demands. She won't ask him as many questions but she will never stop looking at him because she's his mom and will always worry about him.

    Sue's (Eden Sher's) plot line is awkward. She is concerned with some bad reviews on Yelp and tries desperately to change people's opinion of her. But she doesn't handle it well, starring at the customer constantly throughout providing her with the food. It is probably the worst move Sue could make. Imagine her shock when it turns out that Brad (J. Brock Ciarlelli) is the provider of the bad reviews. Sue tries to take a stand and pulls a Norma Rae, demanding people tell her their actual opinion. People have some horrible opinions of the potatoes but yet they are still buying them. Her plot line doesn't really resolve.

    The episode ends with Mike having to go down to Tennessee to collect his wayward wife and son because Frankie left in such a hurry, she forgot her purse and thus had no money to buy gas. Yikes.

    Sure, this episode could have been good, but it just wasn't. Some characters did gain some ground and grow, like Frankie and Axl and to a lesser degree, Mike and Axl. But Sue's plot line was just horrible. She tries so hard to get random strangers who should mean nothing to her to like her and everything she does but it falls flat. Way flat. Sue was doing a good job before she read the reviews, she can't take them personally. No one will always like you, it just won't happen. And Axl was just stupid, picking the Donahues over his own family and then he feels that Frankie shouldn't be mad at him? He's wrong. Though I wanted Mike and Brick to have a plot line together, this wasn't it. Mike still thinks Brick is weird but at least Brick doesn't take it personally, something that Sue would definitely do. Grade: B

    Side Notes:

    -Frankie may be surprised when Axl doesn't check his oil and thus his whole old car breaks down, but Mike certainly isn't.

    -I can see why Mike doesn't want a head massage for a full thirty minutes. That's a super long time.

    -Mike is super lazy over his staycation. He still makes Frankie bring home some bacon and deliver the mail to the Donahues and even go collect Axl all while she is still working at a job she hates.

    -Axl is completely stupid going down to Florida without a single scrap of money on him, no wonder things went wrong.

    -Brad has a new Pilates instructor, a female this time and she just doesn't get his motor running like the old male instructor did. Sue doesn't even blink.moreless
Jerry Lacy

Jerry Lacy

Mechanic

Guest Star

Mandela Bellamy

Mandela Bellamy

Female Customer 2

Guest Star

Mike Gray (II)

Mike Gray (II)

Food Court Patron 1

Guest Star

J. Brock Ciarlelli

J. Brock Ciarlelli

Brad Bottig

Recurring Role

Jen Ray

Jen Ray

Nancy Donahue

Recurring Role

Beau Wirick

Beau Wirick

Sean Donahue

Recurring Role

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