The Middle

Season 4 Episode 17

Wheel of Pain

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 27, 2013 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
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  • Sue-eet Sixteen! (sort of)

    Okay, this is the last new episode for a whole month so I will try and savor it. However, the consistency was interesting.

    First off, Cassidy was mentioned several times which was good, though we haven't seen her in some time, so we're back to my sister's original theory, that she's in jail. (The actress who plays Cassidy also guest-starred in an episode of Bones where she turned out to be the The Hecks are also still driving the church van because of the car's broken windshield and Frankie is still in her dental school. But there is a huge problem. Sue is looking forward to her sweet-sixteen. The problem? Her birthday is on leap year, which meant that she turned sixteen last year, though she is only a sophomore in high school. This problem would make the others look small.

    While Sue is planning her party, Axl forces her to smell his shoe but she knocks it away. It heads toward Brick and he hits it with a tennis racket and it flies through the window. They decide to blame someone else, the crazy Glossner children of the neighborhood. However, both Brick and Sue are horrible liars, truly the public schools have failed them (Axl's line, not mine). Both Frankie and Mike try to break them. Frankie performs dental work on Axl while Mike and Sue roll coins that had saved up for a trip to Disney World. Yet, neither of them break. Brick doesn't even say anything while they take him out for ice cream. But Frankie and Mike know that something is wrong. So they create a wheel of pain which will dole out punishments. Axl will have an earlier curfew (he argued succcessfully for a later one earlier in the episode because Cassidy has a later one), Brick can't read (the only thing he does for fun) while Sue will lose her birthday party. Even after spinning the wheel three times, it lands on Sue each time. She is devastated and begs her brothers for help. Axl assures that Frankie will cave, and she overhears this. She does want to cave, but instead she turns the tables and says that Mike (who does own a lot of plaid) is the one who insisted that Sue have her party. So Sue has her party and her friends (but not Darrin, interesting) arrive. These include: Brad, Carly and all the wrestlerettes. Ruth, the religious one, didn't buy her anything because she was convinced the world was going to end so she didn't think it was worth it. Here, Ashley confronts Axl and informs him that prom is coming up. He tells her that he is dating Cassidy so he will probably take her. She nods and then asks for a piece of Cassidy's hair. Naturally, Axl gives her a weird look. Only when Sue blows out her candles that she wishes her parents would stop fighting and she spills her guts because she doesn't want a sour sixteen. Despite their actions and the lying, the kids aren't punished because they were trying to help each other and, at least temporarily, they were nicer to each other.

    Also, Frankie got her rotation for dental school so she has to go to prison to clean the prisoner's teeth because she injured a patient in the workshop. But that whole plot line is only minor and doesn't take too much time away from the main plot line.

    Overall, this episode by itself was great, really funny and realistic, but as far as the series is concerned, I can't believe they (the producers, writers, didn't catch the change of Sue's birthday, shame on them. Still, the performances were good as they always are, with Eden Sher and Charlie McDermott being two of the most underrated actors on television. This episode will have to last me for a whole month. See you guys then. Grade: B (+, if they got her age right)