S04E17: Wheel of Pain
“We wanna sell mom to a rich man, we can do it!” – Axl
“Wheel of Pain” began on a bus…to prison. That’s right, it appears Frankie has done something terrible, and it all began with her kids not brushing their teeth. Do I have your attention? Good, because that’s how the show hooks you as well. Here is a few things that you should remember before we dive into this recap, first, there is ten days left until Sue turns her “Sue-weet 16“. Another fact is that Axl has just gotten a later curfew to stay out with. Finally, remember that Frankie is getting ready for her oral hygene practical test to “spot plaque and tech better brushing techniques”. You will need to remember this for later, when the actual “Wheel of Pain” makes its face.
Sue, Brick, and Axl were all rough housing around the house when they all accidentally break the window with a dirty old shoe. Axl decides that they should collaborate together to come up with a lie that it was the neigbors that threw the rock at their house, all so they don’t get into trouble when their parents returned home. Even Brick took part of the lying by sipping juice every time he had the urge to whisper “I’m Lying”. Frankie knew better, and could automatically tell that there was something off, and that her kids knew more than they were saying.
So, Frankie interrogates Axl, while Mike interrogated Sue. Frankie did it by the means of practicing her dentistry on Axl, while Mike threatened using
their hard earned pennies in the Walt Disney World savings jar to fix the window. At this point, I’m asking myself why don’t they just ask Brick while he
doesn’t have a juice pack handy? For then, he won’t be able to lie. That’s when they take Brick out for ice cream alone. Although..the whole scene is cut, and they just say he doesn’t give in. Seems a little far fetched, but I guess we’ll take it
The title of the episode “Wheel of Pain” comes in when Frankie and Mike can’t think of anything else. It consists of 3 punishments. Whichever one it lands on will affect its respected victim. For example, Sue won’t get a birthday party, Brick won’t be able to read, and Axl will get an earlier curfew. The wheel lands not once, not twice, but three times on no birthday party for Sue, but Sue has her party anyway, which when you think about it…means already this episode has spanned at least 10 days in length.
Sue finally gives in when she can’t handle seeing her mom and dad fight anymore. She admits that all three were to blame for the broken window, and so Frankie is happy.Turns out Frankie was in prison to do some dental work on prisoners because her superior got ticked off with her towards the “middle” of the episode.
For the most part, “The Middle” is just your typical sitcom. It doesn’t really have any real serious sides to it, or cliffhangers at the end of the season. Each episode is pretty much consistent for quality, humor, and story. It does have a unique quality, however, which is why I believe the show is still on air. The characters have a loveability to them, and we do want to see them again and again. So was this episode amazing? No, but it wasn’t horrible either.