Halloween in The Middle means pumpkin-carving at the Heck house. Too bad Frankie’s kids aren’t all that into the jack-o’-lantern thing these days. Well, Brick is. But Mike doesn’t think it’s a good idea for his youngest son to be wielding giant knife around the house. Isn’t that how Michael Myers got started?
Everyone in the family has big plans for Halloween night. Frankie and Mike are invited to a costume party. Axl is off to a haunted house. Sue wants to hit a school dance. That means Brick is on his own for tricks or treats. That’s fine with him. For years, Sue has used him as an accessory to her Halloween costume. When she was a hockey player, he was a puck. When she was a dog, he was a fire hydrant. You get the idea.
Rumor around school is that a kid named Wylie is going to ask Sue to the big Halloween dance. This is exciting news because it could lead to Sue’s first kiss. Sue doesn’t really know who Wylie is until he approaches her in the hall. But it’s not to ask her on a date. Wylie just wants her to know that, contrary to popular gossip, he’s not about to ask her out. Good to clear that up, bad to see Sue so sad.
[break]Frankie talks Sue into attending a teen group function at the church. It’s not as cool as the school dance, but it does have its perks. There’s a hayride and surprise appearance by Reverend TimTom. You remember the Rev, right? He’s the guy who still remembers Sue’s name even though he only met her twice and went to her family’s barbecue in Signals. Sue is totally jazzed to see TimTom. The roving Rev just gets her.
When Sue can’t find a dance partner, Reverend TimTom puts her on tambourine duty. Later, Sue tells the Rev that things aren’t working out the way she’d hoped. TimTom says brighter times could be right around the corner. The Rev was right. The Halloween hayride turns out to be the highlight of the night as Sue finally gets her first kiss from a boy. Thankfully, the kid removes his novelty teeth first.
[break]Axl and his pals plan to be brave heroes for their hot dates when they get to the haunted house. Make that “if” they get to the haunted house. The kids get lost on a deserted road. It reminds one of the girls of a story about a group of teens who disappeared on a night just like this—their headless bodies later found in a shallow grave.
When the car gets stuck in the mud, the guys try to give it a push. Something mysterious suddenly flies into Axl’s hair causing him and his pals to freak out. They regain their composure when they realize it was just a plastic bag and not a bat. So much for the notion of comforting the girls when things get too spooky.
[break]Aunt Edie and Aunt Ginny are on candy duty at the house while the rest Hecks are on their Halloween adventures. Mike won’t wear the hippie costume Frankie picked up for him. Brick, however, is dressed to the hilt for some Halloween fun. For his first solo costume effort in years, he opts to dress up as Sergeant Charles MacKenzie, the Scottish World War I hero. Hard to believe that costume doesn’t sell out more at party stores.
Brick’s costume isn’t quite up there with Spider-man and SpongeBob popularity-wise, but it is unique! Still, the only person who truly appreciates the outfit is neighbor, Mr. Johnson. Brick opts to hang out at his place to chat about the Scottish legend while his folks hit their Halloween party.
[break]Frankie tries to get Mike to loosen up and have some fun at the bash. It doesn’t go well and she storms off. Mike follows while dragging along the big bag of toilet paper he confiscated from some Halloween pranksters. Frankie says, “Everybody was dancing. The smoking baby guy, the screaming Mel Gibson guy, both of the Situations…oh, but not Mike.” She just wanted to have some fun with her husband.
Okay, so Mike doesn’t dance. That doesn’t mean he can’t have fun. Mike leads Frankie across a lawn where they put that big bag of toilet paper to good use by teepeeing the Donohue house. It’s a different kind of fun, but fun nonetheless. In other news, Aunt Edie and Aunt Ginny couldn’t hear the doorbell ringing as anxious trick or treaters waited outside. That’s probably why the Heck house gets teepeed, too. It’s all good because Frankie and Mike have some more fun cleaning up the mess. Happy Halloween!