The Middle S8E10 Review
S8E10 "Escape Orson"
The episode begins with the Hecks starting off 2017 all sitting on the couch, and there are some pretty funny lines here. Frankie discovers that a coupon they have for an escape room expires that day, and when they run into the Donahues, who insult them, they are determined to beat their record, This is a pretty typical set-up. However, it brought the family together to achieve a common goal, which is very rare. There is a funny joke that comes up a couple of times about escape rooms being popular eighteen months ago.
The family is paired with a man who Brick believes is secretly the author of the Planet Nowhere series. Sue is apparently great at games, which seems more like a Brick trait than a Sue one. The episode also introduces a story where Frankie has a dream about herself and Frank Sinatra, which is a really annoying story. It is really funny when Sue accidentally uses up the first clue on something they already knew, and then when the person falls asleep. Sue reveals that she cheated at games, which seems very un-Sue.
The Frankie and Mike plot finally gets somewhere funny when Mike claims that he doesn't dream. Brick's story has a funny moment when he gives Milt his sentence, which is also a great callback. The characters also seem to have moved their focus away from winning, as they are more involved in their personal stories than this. But when the time ends, they turn their attention back to that, as they convince the person running the room to give them another two minutes because she fell asleep. It's nice that, for once, the Hecks got to succeed.
At the end of the episode, Mike asks Frankie how her day was, because in her dream she was asked that. It is revealed that Brick was wrong about Milt being the author of the Planet Nowhere series, and I'm glad that story had some resolution to it, because it was feeling like it wasn't going to. Sue is also happy about winning something without cheating, and having something to put on her wall that doesn't say participant.
This was The Middle's weakest episode yet. Frankie's story has been seen in many sitcoms in the past, and wasn't even well-executed. Sue's story was completely out of her character. Brick's story was the only good one, and it wasn't even great.
What did you think of "Escape Orson"? Leave your thoughts in the comments!