The Middle s08e23 Episode Script

Fight or Flight

1 [Crow caws] Congratulations again on Axl.
Terrific party.
If you have to have a party with store-bought food, this was the way to do it.
Can I toss these or did you want to wash them? Oh, ick, Nancy, no, of course, toss them.
- Congrats again.
- Oh, thanks, honey.
- Good night.
- 'Night! Okay, do you want to fish those out of there? Already on it.
[Sighs] How great was this day, huh? That kid inside, he got through four years of college, which let's just say it was a real nail-biter.
You don't need to tell me.
I was betting against him.
- I'm like the Pete Rose of dads.
- [Chuckles] Hey, that's pretty good.
Who can I tell that to? Did Bill leave? [Laughs] Oh, I am just so proud of him, Mike.
I don't think I've ever been more proud.
What an amazing kid we've raised.
[Sighs] I want him out of my house.
Well, that was a short love affair.
No, I love him, but he needs to get a job and move out.
If he doesn't, I'm gonna kill him or me or both of us.
I got used to him not living here.
I like knowing that when I open the cereal box, there will actually be cereal in it.
I-I like it when there's no dirty socks on the table or on my bed or in the fridge.
That one was on purpose.
It had to be.
Well, that's not gonna happen, 'cause we're gonna have ground rules and he's gonna follow them.
Yeah, right.
We tried ground rules before.
Remember how that worked out? Like when we drew up a contract that he had to take a bath every other day if he wanted TV.
Well, he was 5 years old.
He signed his name with an X.
I'm not sure it was legally binding.
Well, we should've been more concerned that our 5-year-old could only sign his name with an X and he's the one we read to.
Well, look, he's not 5 anymore.
He's a man.
And if we treat him like one, he'll act like one.
[Grunts] [Sighs] Fun party, huh? Guess we probably should clean up.
Okay, cool, thanks.
[Clicks tongue] Stop looking at me.
Axl, I know this was your big day, but we could really use the help.
Oh, my God.
It's my graduation.
I haven't had a day off in 23 years.
I'm exhausted.
I just want to take a break.
Can't Brick just do it for me? - Can't.
- [Gasps] I'm stretching my back.
I think it was a reading injury.
Last week, I did a page turn while reaching for a pretzel.
Okay, fine, we'll clean up the party stuff.
But, Axl, you need to put all this crap away.
I have standards not many.
That is not my stuff.
Unicorns, puppies selling flowers to each other.
Sue! You've got to get rid of this stuff.
Who keeps a Justin Bieber 2012 calendar? He's holding a kitten.
I also like this because this is back when he was religious Justin Bieber, not the kitten.
[Gasps] Maybe the kitten I don't know if animals believe in God.
I like to think they do.
[Gasps] Oh, no, no, no.
- I can't throw this out.
- [Sighs] I found it in the trash.
- I rescued it.
- Really, Sue? There's just something about it.
It spoke to me.
Actually, it kind of did.
When my garbage bag hit it, it started playing "Winter Wonderland," which is a surprisingly scary song when you don't know where it's coming from.
Listen, you need to watch it.
It's in your genes to become a hoarder.
Before you start collecting toilets, you've got to get it together.
- Axl: Got it.
- [Sighs] Frankie: But instead of throwing out the junk she didn't need, Sue decided to buy more junk to keep it in.
[Clank] [Whispering] Don't be a person.
Don't be a squirrel.
Don't be a person.
Don't be a squirrel.
[Squeaking] I think I figured out what's causing my back problems.
It's this chair you made me sit in.
Made you sit in? For years, you begged us to get you a normal chair.
Well, I have to listen to my body.
Besides, I miss my old chair.
I sat in it for as long as I can remember.
It's like a trusted friend, a faithful comrade.
You don't have to write it a poem.
It was a lawn chair.
Which happens to have been perfectly molded to my coccyx.
[Whispering] Coccyx.
Wow, that's been a while.
So where is it? [Sighs] I don't know, Brick.
Where is anything? I got into a car accident! - What?! - Oh, my God, what happened? - You okay? - Yeah.
And no people were hurt, and no squirrels were hurt.
I saw half a slug, but I'm pretty sure he was like that when I got there.
So, what happened? I backed up and I brushed into a car and [inhales deeply] I scratched it.
That's it? Well, I'm not 100% sure about the slug, - but yeah.
- Do you know where my old chair is? - What? - I'm suffering from back trouble.
Back trouble, Brick? I cheated death today.
Maybe you chucked it in the basement along with all my other childhood memories.
Possible, entirely possible.
How bad was the damage? Okay, here, I took a picture of it.
- I don't see anything.
- Me neither.
Expand, expand.
Expand! You mean that thing that looks like an eyelash? Yes! Oh, honey, I don't think there's any damage there.
Looks like you dodged a bullet.
[Sighs] Yeah, well, I left a note, just in case.
[Both groan] Why'd you go and do that? Because it's the right thing to do.
Come on.
No, she's right, Mike.
Leaving a note is the right thing to do when you've left an imaginary scratch on someone's car.
Better safe than sorry.
Okay, now, I am gonna go to my room and wait for the call.
Ah! [Gasps] You almost lost me today.
Ugh! You're never gonna believe this.
I have major news.
[Gasps] You got a job? He got a job! Better I'm going to Europe.
Wait, what? What do you mean you're going to Europe? Yeah.
Kenny's backpacking around Europe for the summer and he wants me to come with him.
Uh I started my car with a screwdriver this morning, and you think we're gonna pay for you to go to Europe? No.
I'm not asking you to.
Kenny might have some business meetings for his app stuff, and you know how Kenny doesn't like to talk, so he offered to pay for my ticket so I can come and be his voice.
Hold on.
Where exactly are you going? Don't know.
Probably lots of countries, I would think.
You know Rome, Paris, Europe.
How long are you gonna be there for? Don't know.
This summer.
We'll be back in August, probably, I think.
But their summer might be our winter, so I'm not totally sure.
- Where are you gonna stay? - Don't know.
We're just gonna buy a train ticket and figure it out on the way.
I'm going to Europe.
[Laughs] No, you're not.
What? Why? You just graduated college.
Now what you do is, you get a job and then you get married and eventually you have kids, and someday you'll tell them they can't go to Europe.
That's how it works.
Dad, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Do you think companies close up shop in the summer and start offering jobs in the fall? All the people you just graduated with are gonna get the good jobs and you'll be left with whatever slim pickings there are in September, when you get back from flouncing around Europe.
[Scoffs] I won't be flouncing.
Flouncing, traipsing, gallivanting all that European stuff, it's not what people do when they graduate.
Well, the chair wasn't in the basement.
But on the plus side, something dropped from the ceiling and bit me on the face.
[Sighs] Europe.
You believe that guy? You know what I was doing the day after I finished college? Interviewing for jobs? Interviewing for jobs.
But that's not for him.
No, looking for work is hard.
Flying off to Europe is easy.
He's not going, Frankie.
There's no way this is happening.
Right, exactly.
[Scoffs] Although it would be kind of incredibly cool.
What? Yeah, I-I-I-I'm just, you know, playing devil's advocate which, if you think about it, is a stupid expression 'cause the devil's a real stinker, it's not like Don't do the yammering thing.
Just spit it out.
Well, Kenny's paying for the ticket, so, I don't know, maybe he should go.
[Scoffs] What planet are you on, Frankie? The other day, you were planning a murder-suicide if he didn't get a job and get out of your house.
No, I still want him to get a job, and I definitely want him to get out of my house.
But he has the rest of his boring life to start the rest of his boring life.
It's not responsible to go to Europe unless you have a job and can afford to go.
He might never be able to afford to go.
We can't afford to go.
Remember that month we paid our bills off on time and we had this two-week window where we just watched TV? That was our Europe.
Maybe he should have the real thing.
I'm not sending my son halfway around the world when he can't even figure out a way to take his socks off with his hands.
I don't get you at all right now, Frankie.
Look, it's hard for you to understand 'cause you're not a carefree person.
It's not your fault.
It's just the way you're made.
You're a straight arrow.
You know what my mom said when she first met you? You're like a young Henry Fonda.
Henry Fonda? What's wrong with Henry Fonda? Oh, I was thinking of Henry Winkler.
What's wrong with Henry Winkler? Look, the point is, you're Henry Fonda and me and Axl are Errol Flynn.
We're swashbucklers.
We're carefree.
You know who else is carefree? - Rusty.
- Yeah, but Axl's not like Rusty.
He's a 23-year-old kid who just wants to have an amazing experience.
There's no such thing as a 23-year-old kid.
He's a 23-year-old man who's got to stop putting off being a man and face reality.
Yeah, well, reality bites the bazoonie.
Eh, well, the sooner he finds that out, the sooner he can get used to it.
While you and Axl are off swashbuckling, it's my job in this family to keep our feet on the ground.
I feel strongly about this, Frankie.
You got to back me up here.
If Axl's not going, maybe Kenny will invite me.
[Laughs] Just kidding.
Boo, Europe.
[Sighs] Hey, you found your chair.
Where was it? Outside, covered in your bras.
Ooh, yeah, sorry.
I read in some magazine that you can revive the stretch by drying them in sunlight.
So what'd you do with the bras? I dropped them on the ground.
- Brick.
- Don't worry.
I didn't touch them.
I used a stick.
Oh, yeah.
That's the stuff.
[Crow caws] Hey, did anyone call for me? No.
[Sighs] No one called my cell, either.
Why is the owner of the car not calling me? [Gasps] Maybe my handwriting was too shaky 'cause I had just been in an accident or maybe a bird flew off with the note.
Sue, birds don't just fly off with things.
I better go check.
[Crow caws] Turns out, the note was there.
But Sue left another one, just in case.
How's it going? I'm missing a bra.
What are you doing? I'm enjoying my old chair so much I take it everywhere I go.
No more back pain.
[Sighs] I feel 14 again.
Mike: What the hell is wrong with you? Axl: What is wrong with you? Since when do you talk to me like that? Except I'm not one of your buddies at school, you know.
I'm the one that's trying to do you a favor here.
I'm trying to set you straight.
Oh, thank you.
Thank you.
- Where is your head, Axl? - You're looking at it! What's going on?! What's going on? A messenger just dropped off a passport for your son.
He still thinks he's going to Europe.
Of course I'm going! It's Europe! We settled this.
Yeah, it's settled.
I'm going.
You get it, right, Mom? Yeah, I oh.
[Sighs] This isn't about you wanting to go to Europe.
This is about grabbing on to any chance you can to avoid real life.
I have always wanted to go to Europe always.
Invent a TV that turns on when you wake up, go to Europe those are my two dreams.
Come on.
The only time you've mentioned London or France is in that rhyme about seeing someone's underpants.
[Laughs] [Groans] "Underpants" makes me laugh, but I am very angry.
You will not disarm me with humor.
What the hell makes you think you can afford to be doing this? Kenny's paying for it.
He's paying for your ticket.
Who paid for the passport? Who's paying for your other expenses? That could've been money that was going to groceries.
It has never been my job to buy groceries.
Oh, right, 'cause you don't have a job.
Well, let me tell you something there's gonna be some ground rules around here starting now, and not like the bathtub contract.
Rules that get followed.
I don't care if you know how to spell your name or not.
What the hell are you smirking at? "Underpants" popped into my head again.
Grow up, Axl! Oh, I am all grown up, muchacho.
I'm going to Europe, and you can't stop me.
What are you doing? I'm packing my nunchucks for the trip.
Aw, that's great.
The boy genius is packing his nunchucks.
No one is letting you on a plane with nunchucks.
I believe you're thinking of toothpaste.
I'm not thinking of toothpaste! All the stuff you know about air travel is what you've seen on the TV, but I'm doing the real thing.
You know how important this is, right, Mom? Uh, I What if Kenny ditches you? What then? You don't know this guy that well.
He never talks.
How you getting back? I will figure stuff out there.
That's part of the experience.
Four years in college, and he comes back dumber than he went in.
No, four years of college, I learned there's a whole world out there.
You're just jealous 'cause you don't get to go.
Oh, snap.
Yep, you got me! That's it, Axl, I am jealous of you.
That's what it is.
I would love to stay a kid my whole life.
[As Axl] That'd be awesome.
I'm just gonna play the guitar and sit in my room.
I don't got to do adult stuff like work.
I've got long hair that hangs over my eyes.
I'm cool.
I am going, and you can't stop me.
- [Normal voice] You already said that.
- Yeah, I did, 'cause I mean it.
Gah! Do you think it's weird the owner of the car hasn't contacted me yet? Wha So two days after not hearing anything back from her accident victim, Sue left yet another note and the Donahues' number as a backup and a map and a pamphlet of things to do in Orson in case they were just visiting.
I don't get it, Brick.
I left a note several days ago.
Why hasn't anyone called me? [Sighs] It's clear what's happening here.
They're lawyering up.
What? You left the scene of the crime, you admitted guilt, you gave a timeline of events you pretty much handed them everything they need.
They're gonna throw the book at you.
But as long as I can bring this chair to prison, I'll come visit.
- [Spits] - Brick.
I didn't say it was a perfect system.
Sue, you're obsessing.
Oh, I was so cocky after the accident.
"Look at me not hitting a person.
Check me out, I didn't kill a squirrel.
" God is punishing me for my arrogance.
You want this Pillow Pet? Is the Velcro still good? No.
Then no.
Yes! Oh, why wouldn't he call? The car hasn't moved in days.
He had to have seen the notes by now.
[Gasps] Unless he's old, and he's on the floor in his apartment because he had a heart attack and nobody knows about it.
Oh, my gosh! Why would I just leave a note? Oh, I should have knocked on every door until I found him.
Then he might still be alive! Axl, you're starting to use Sue's pile as the laundry pile.
Respect the piles.
Oh, so, what you doing? Uploading my résumé to TheJobDonkey.
Got to get me a job before all the good ones are gone.
Wait, you had your passport.
You were all set to go.
Yeah, I'm not going.
But you were so determined.
You marched angrily through the hall.
No, I thought about what Dad was saying, and he's right.
I had fun for 23 years, but it's over now.
It is what it is.
Think I'd be good at selling tie clips? Also, what are tie clips? I thought they were, like, clip-on ties, but apparently that's a whole other thing.
[Exhales sharply] Screw that.
- You're going.
- What? You have the rest of your life to sell tie clips, but right now you need to see the world because it's amazing.
I mean, I haven't seen it, but I've seen pictures.
Wha I can't go.
It's too late.
Kenny's already at the airport.
The flight leaves at 4:00.
We can still make it.
What do you need? What? What do you need for Europe? Get your passport, I'll get your bag ready.
Wait, is that stuff clean or dirty? Who cares? French people smell bad everybody loves that about them.
Jeans, boxers.
Am I really doing this? What about Dad? I'll take care of Dad.
Oh! Coat.
And, um, umbrella.
Book! Gonna need a book for the plane.
Ooh, I got one.
Okay, this is written as a fictional conversation between a woman and her uterus, but it's really funny.
Neck pillow! Where's your toothbrush? Can't bring a toothbrush.
No, that's toothpaste.
What would possibly be the problem with a toothbrush? My God, I can think of three different ways to kill someone with a toothbrush.
Brick, Axl's taking your toothbrush to Europe.
What's going on? Don't talk, just listen to me.
You can talk after I get it all out, but you have to let me finish first.
I love you and I support you and I back you on a ton of stuff, stuff that I don't even agree with you about, like that whole thing with Ron Donahue and the giant spatula.
And the caves nobody wanted to do that, and all these years, you won't let anybody buy drinks or snacks at the movies.
And I always say, "Your father's right.
These prices are crazy.
" But here's the thing you can't get the Reese's Peanut Butter four pack at the grocery store.
You can only get it at the movies, and so you pay a premium.
And I think that's fair, but it's important to you, so I'm fine smuggling in crappy snacks.
But I'm not fine with this.
Axl needs to go to Europe.
I'm not talking about letting him go.
I'm saying he needs to go.
This might be the only chance he ever gets.
He needs to go, Mike.
I will happily eat off-brand peanut-butter cups for the rest of my life, but he needs to go.
You can talk now.
I don't want him to go.
Oh, my God, what is with you? You are so stubborn.
Just let him have fun.
It's his last summer.
After this, he moves into an apartment, then a house.
He'll have his own family.
And that's it.
I thought we'd at least have him for the summer, you know? We'd maybe, uh, you know, watch some games, shoot some hoops.
Europe's far.
It's just far.
That is so freaking Henry Fonda.
Okay, move, move, move.
He's leaving right now? Plane leaves at 4:00.
[Sighs] We'll take 39, it's faster.
[Gasps] Oh, wait! My dad has that third cousin in Ireland.
I'll get his contact info.
Their phone numbers are all weird.
Just punch it all in.
Why'd you park the 'Bago in front of the driveway? Well, there was a truck in my usual spot.
I didn't want to walk all the way down the block.
I've been really tired lately.
Okay, okay, just move it.
I'm looking for Sue Heck.
I'm Sue Heck.
You're Blue SUV Man.
Oh, my gosh, I'm so happy you're alive.
Unless you're gonna sue me.
I'm not gonna sue you, except maybe for extreme niceness.
[Laughs] That's not a real thing, right? I know, logically, it isn't, but I am in a very delicate place right now.
No, there's no damage to my car.
I just had to come and meet you in person.
Most people wouldn't have bothered to leave a note, much less 15.
I just felt so bad.
Are you kidding? You should feel good.
These days, people are at each other's throats, mean to each other all the time.
Clearly your parents raised you right.
Frankie: Don't be an idiot, Brick.
You can't take the folding chair to the airport.
Brick: What if there's a delay? Mike: Let's go, let's go.
Seriously? Again? Sue: [Chuckles] What you did was special.
If there's anything you ever need in the future, give me a call.
It's just one.
I could leave you more.
[Chuckles] No.
No, no, no, no.
One is great.
My mom thinks I'm kind of a hoarder.
Sue, let's go.
We're taking your brother to Europe.
Brick: Do they allow chairs on planes? - Mike: Plane's gonna leave! - No! Axl, what's the problem? It's dead.
Oh, you're kidding me.
Told you this would come in handy.
I already know I can't move it.
I tried before.
Well, can we go around? How? We got the hill on one side and the tree on the other.
What are we gonna do? [Gasps] Bring me back a mug or a stuffed animal.
I can never have enough stuffed animals.
You have enough stuffed animals.
I want to bring you a T-shirt with that statue of the lady who's got wings but no head.
It'll look cool when you're wearing it and you got no head.
Oh, you are not freezing my head.
Already put in the paperwork.
- Mom! - Mike.
- Sue.
- Rob.
Man: Welcome to the international terminal.
For your convenience, please try our new curbside check-in.
Passengers with boarding passes who are not checking in any baggage, you may proceed to Security.
All right.
[Grunts] Wait! Oh, okay, try to find free wi-fi so that you can e-mail us.
Let us know when you change countries.
And some cultures drink wine at lunch it doesn't mean you have to.
Sue: Take pictures so we know what the world looks like.
Just stand for five seconds.
Axl: I got to go, got to go! Hey, wait! If you get a chance, you should check out the Colosseum.
I saw a show about it when I was a kid, and it looked really cool.
Okay, I'll find the show online and watch it.
No, I mean go to the thing.
I know.
Just kidding.
[Chuckles] Oh.
- Thanks.
- All right.
All right.
Oh, I'll send you a postcard from Paris! Arrivedeverci! [Laughs] So we got the first Heck ever off to Europe and all because Sue left a note.
See? You put good things out into the world and good things come back to you.
[Scraping] [Gasps] Uh We'll just tell him on the ride home.