An episode of THE MIDDLE, titled “The 200th,” shows some of the Heck family going through some life-changing experiences. The father, Mike, begins to have a special appreciation for his wife and family when a neighbor friend seems about to go through a divorce. Meanwhile, the eldest son convinces his sister to pose as his personal assistant handling all his phone calls from prospective employers. Finally, Brick, the youngest son, realizes he made a mistake dumping his girlfriend, Cindy, but she demands he perform three acts of bravery to win her back.
“The 200th” is a very funny episode with witty, hilarious dialogue. It’s also extremely heartwarming. The sister is convinced to help her brother because it pleases God. Also, the father delivers a heartfelt speech before the whole community about brotherly love and the joys of living in Small Town, America. Before you know it, a few tears might roll down your cheeks while you’re laughing. This will be the last season for THE MIDDLE. It’s nice to see this well-produced, winsome series go out with a bang instead of a whimper.
Now in its last season on ABC, THE MIDDLE is not only one of the most family-friendly programs on Network TV, it’s also one of the more Christian-friendly programs. A recent December episode, titled “The 200th,” is one of the funniest episodes of all THE MIDDLE episodes, and also one of the most heartwarming.
The episode opens with the Heck family being told that their Indiana hometown, Orson, has just been named one of the Top 200 most livable cities in Indiana, in fact No. 200. This reminds Frankie, the mother played by Patricia Heaton, that she still hasn’t picked a family item to put into the town’s new time capsule.
Meanwhile, the eldest son, Axl (Charlie McDermott), a recent college graduate cajoles his sister Sue (Eden Sher), a college sophomore, to be his official assistant as he looks for a job. He appeals to her natural inclination to please God by helping others. At the same time, Brick (Atticus Shaffer), the youngest son, a high school sophomore, must perform “three acts of bravery” for his ex-girlfriend in order for her to take him back after he stupidly broke up with her. Finally, Mike, the laconic father played by Neil Flynn, is reminded not to take his family for granted when he learns his neighbor friend, Bill, is unhappy because he and his wife have separated and may get divorced.
“The 200th” is a very funny episode with lots of witty, hilarious dialogue. Two of the funniest bits are when Axl cajoles Sue into helping him and when everyone is taken aback when Mike suddenly starts giving everyone loving, appreciative looks. The episode also has some extremely heartwarming dialogue. At one point, Mike unexpectedly delivers a very heartfelt speech, one of the longest pieces of dialogue he’s ever delivered on the series. The Hecks are a weird collection of crackpots, but when the chips are down, they look out for one another.
“The 200th” is also one of the most uplifting episodes from the talented team making THE MIDDLE. It has a strong Christian, moral worldview that also celebrates America. Thus, it promotes pleasing the Lord, helping other people even when you don‘t want to do so, performing acts of bravery (including the quiet kind), making amends, forgiveness, appreciating the people around you, not taking your family for granted, and celebrating living in Small Town, USA and living in a close-knit community. The actors brilliantly deliver all these messages so well that, before you know it, some tears start to roll down your cheeks while you’re laughing. Bravo!
The good news is that all the episodes of this last season of THE MIDDLE have been well worth watching. It’s nice to see this well-produced, funny and winsome series go out with a bang instead of a whimper.
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