The most normal family on television returned with the one-hour season premiere of "The Middle." The episode certainly needed the full hour, as it detailed how the Hecks spent their summer vacation. If the kids had had their way, it would have been with a screen of some sort in their face.
Instead, Frankie wanted to force them to experience whatever that unquantifiable summer experience is. Especially since this may be the last summer they have before Axl graduations. "May be" because Axl was hiding an F grade on his report card, forcing him into summer school so that he can graduate on time.
The bulk of the episode, though, surrounded Mike's off-the-cuff admission that Axl was probably his favorite child. So Sue made it her summer mission to spend more time with her dad. On the 4th of July, they all screwed up when the topic of favorites came up again, and all three kids admitted that Mike was their favorite.
This pushed Frankie to a boiling point, that bubbled for the rest of the summer. By the time they hit a carnival toward the end, the entire family was practically tearing itself apart. That is, until the fireworks started. Then, they were able to resolve their issues and get ready for another tumultuous year of getting by.
"The Middle" continues on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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