Exploring the art of storytelling.
The creators were very clever in setting up the storylines for “The College Tour.” In the episode, Mike was away with Sue on college tours and Frankie was visiting Axl to watch him play in his first college game (and Brick? Well, he was left behind as usual). Both Sue and Axl had meltdowns in which their parents tried to console them. Sue freaked out over the fact that she used the wrong tray at the cafeteria. Axl was embarrassed with his horrible football skills, especially since Devin Levin watched the game. Unfortunately, Mike and Frankie were paired up with the wrong child. Mike left Sue alone when she just needed someone to talk to, while Frankie suffocated her son who wanted space. Mike commented, “Well, clearly we each have the wrong kid.” It’s always entertaining when characters are placed out of their comfort zones.
Never in a million years did I think I would see Mike Heck getting emotional. But in “The College Tour,” he was on the verge of tears, concerned that he wasn’t a good enough father for Sue. I never expected to watch a scene when both Mike and Sue are in a room, and Mike is the one crying. This was definitely the best part of the episode and the most touching scene “The Middle” has ever had.