THE MIDDLE “Taking Back the House” Review

THE MIDDLE Taking Back The House

THE MIDDLE “Taking Back the House” Season 2 Episode 11 – Frankie and Mike try to start a revolution in the “Taking Back the House” episode of THE MIDDLE as they (temporarily) put themselves before the kids.

This is a hilariously fun episode, but let’s deal with the most important thing first–Sue’s sweatshirt is off! It may or may not have walked away from her on its own, but the important thing is that Sue the caterpillar has shed her bright yellow cocoon.

I’m not a parent, so I have to ask any of you who are: would you really postpone going to the bathroom if your kids whined? Seriously? I love the montage of sacrifices Frankie and Mike make for their kids from the Chinese chicken salad from the taco place down to Frank all folded up watching a small TV so the kids can watch Wizards of Waverly Place. Hee! Who can blame them for wanting to take back their house–and lives? Of course, you also had to know it would be a failed experiment, but at least they got a night of a Little River Band cover band and dollar wings out of it.

Best terrible interpretation of “The Giving Tree” ever. Mike and Frankie will now always be stumps to me. Axl, Sue, and Brick’s utter confusion is pitch perfect and so funny. I love having the three kids banding together–they have a great chemistry and their separate oddities mesh so well. It’s also fun to see Frankie–with her Snuggie–and Mike so happy. “We kissed–on a Tuesday!”

“Nobody’s taken me to the library in two days!” I’m actually surprised Brick hadn’t already gotten sucked into the ‘Net. It may not smell like paper, but it has all the information a little sponge like him could want. He wants to set up a new user name so he can vote for Scarlett Johansson *Scarlett Johannson* for “Who wore it best?” Ha! Great Brick episode.

It’s also a great Axl episode with his failed attempt to watch Say Yes to the Dress with Frankie and epic rant at the end, and of course the only thing that shuts him up is letting him think it’s all about him. To cap off the episode with him snagging the only piece of pizza with pineapple is perfect.

I’m glad Frankie and Mike cave for Sue. There has to be a balance between doing everything for the kids and doing nothing, and while buying the umbrella (twice) may have been the beginning of the end of the revolution, I think she deserved it.

Favorite lines:
“I made dinner. Come get your bag!” Three different places? Wow.

“I thought that was just yesterday. Love the shout-out to Frankie’s normal lack of following through.

“But the zebra has pineapple on it.” Love the whole zebra/wildebeest/lion exchange. Mike as the lion in all the stories–hmmm. Nope, still a stump.

“We’re taking back the house from them taking back the house. You see, it’s a double take-back.” Sneaky, Axl. Very sneaky.

My favorite moment of the episode (possibly my favorite of the season) is when the kids cover their ears in the back seat while Frankie listens to her music. That was my childhood–my dad blasted his music in the car and house and I’m pretty sure I cowered just like Sue, especially when he put–God help me–Slim Whitman on repeat. The Middle does a terrific job of capturing and satirizing the minutia of family life and “Taking Back the House” is especially spot-on.

What did you think of the episode? What were your favorite moments? Please post in the comments.

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