The Middle s09e02 Episode Script

Please Don't Feed the Hecks

1 [ CROW CAWS ] FRANKIE: In some cities, cars are status symbols, but out here in the middle, it's sensible people with sensible cars.
Ta-da! What is this? You tired of getting eight miles a gallon, you wanted four? I'm a school bus driver! Wow.
So, when did this happen? Well, you guys have been pressuring me to get a job, so I got a job.
What do you mean? We didn't pressure you.
We haven't said a word since you've been home from Europe.
I know, which is actually more annoying than when you say something.
You guys are always sharing looks.
We don't share looks.
[ SCOFFS ] Okay.
I get it.
I'm not an irresponsible college kid anymore, so now, I am a contributing member of society with a job and a salary, but I don't get paid for two more weeks, so I need you to spot me a $20.
Oh, my God! You're doing it again! Look, Axl, we're very proud that you got a job and, frankly, more than a little relieved, but you worked hard to get yourself a business degree.
I know! That's the whole point of this sweet gig.
I am free to go on interviews in the business world.
You're going on interviews with your little hairdo there? Oh, my God.
Step into the twenty-teens, grandpa.
They're not gonna judge me on my hair, but I wish they would.
You know how much discipline it took - [ DOOR OPENS ] - to grow this thing out? Employers look for that.
Ta-da! Say hello to your new bus driver.
What happened to Rhonda? She was using her rifle as a crutch.
She shot her foot off.
- The other one?! - Eh.
Oh.
No offense, Axl, I don't want you to be my bus driver.
This is my big sophomore year.
I'm a single man now, and the bus is a traveling meat market.
In the winter, when it gets dark by 4:00, that's when things happen.
[ SIGHS ] Look, if we're gonna do this, I can't have you cramping my style.
You don't look at me.
You don't talk to me.
Hey, you stay behind that white line and don't bring any gum or hazardous materials on this bus and we'll be just fine.
Saw that! Lexie, do you realize this is the first year we are coming back to school not full of indecision? [ SIGHS ] We have our own apartment! No crappy dorm room, no bin.
I got all the classes I wanted, I've got a super cute boyfriend, and my dad got us that machine that makes fro-yo out of bananas.
You know it's gonna be an awesome year because I've already labeled it! "2017/18 is Gonna Be Heaventeen/Great-teen, AKA Makin' It Happen, Takin' No Prisoners Sue Heck in Da House!" [ SQUEALS ] [ BOTH SQUEAL ] Unfortunately, Sue Heck wasn't the only one in da house.
[ DOOR OPENS ] Knock, knock.
Oh, hey, Nancy.
Hey, Frankie.
An Orson time capsule chairwoman's job is never done.
I had to take a peek at each capsule before the big burying, and I'm sorry to say you're not allowed to put in anything with liquid.
Liquid? What liquid? [ GASPS ] Oh.
Sue's snow globe.
Oh, no, this was a mistake.
This should never have gone in there.
Sorry about that.
No worries.
You can't believe what I've seen.
One guy tried to put in his long johns.
Can you imagine? The city of Orson digging it up in 100 years, thinking we were all perverts! [ LAUGHING ] We'll find something else.
Maybe I should put in our gas bill.
Then they can hound my descendents.
[ LAUGHS ] I always admire your ability to laugh in the face of adversity.
[ CHUCKLES ] Ooh, why don't you ever wear this scarf? It's beautiful.
Really? You think it's beautiful? You think it's a scarf? Oh, it's so pretty.
I love it.
You know what? Take it.
No.
I couldn't.
No, really.
It's been hanging there for years.
Somebody should enjoy it.
Frankie, I can't remember the last time I got something this nice.
[ EXHALES FORCEFULLY ] I'm gonna steam-clean it, and then I'm gonna wear it.
[ CHUCKLES ] [ DOOR OPENS ] [ DOOR CLOSES ] Living here? What do you mean you're living here? I mean, I start a new job on Monday, and I Therebnb'd this place till November.
I'm sorry, but there must be some kind of a mistake.
We never Therebnb'd our apartment.
All we did was sublet it for the summer to Derek and Andy.
Well, Derek and Andy Therebnb'd it to me, and I've got a contract.
But my name's on the lease.
But my name's on this contract.
But we have nowhere else to go! Look, you seem like reasonably nice, if overly excitable, girls, but I'm running out of patience here.
You got a problem, take it up with Derek or Andy or my lawyer, but I've got this place through November, and I'm staying through November.
But What I can't believe this.
How are we sleeping in our cars when we have a perfectly nice apartment? Well, what are we supposed to do? It's not like we can tell our building manager.
I'm not sure we were even allowed to sublet.
Why wouldn't you let me call my dad? Are you sure you don't want to call your dad? Lexie, we are almost 21.
We have to lean into our power as women and take care of this on our own.
We are gonna go over there after class today and be firm and strong and get our apartment back.
Oh, and I heard people listen to women more if they speak in a lower vocal register.
[ DEEP VOICE ] Like this? No, that's sexy.
[ GRAVELLY VOICE ] More like this.
[ NORMAL VOICE ] Oh.
That sounds like you're burping.
I am a little I'm nervous.
NANCY: Guess who? [ DOOR CLOSES ] Here's a hint she's wearing a beautiful scarf from the best neighbor in the world.
Aww.
[ CHUCKLES ] Hey, I don't remember it being purple.
I know.
It turned into a whole nother color when I cleaned it.
[ CHUCKLES ] So, as a thank you, I spent all afternoon baking my special apple pie.
I don't even make it for the school anymore.
It causes riots.
[ GASPS ] Oh, Nancy, you didn't have to do that.
Oh, I wanted to.
Well, I got to run.
Ron likes to meet at Chili's for happy hour.
Keeps the spark alive.
Usually I just go as Nancy, but tonight, maybe I'll be [ WHISPERS ] Yolanda.
Wow.
[ CHUCKLES ] That's a lot to know.
[ CHUCKLES ] [ FRONT DOOR OPENS, CLOSES ] She gone? You're such a baby.
Yeah, a baby that didn't have to talk to anybody.
Mmm.
Mmm.
What's that smell? You get apple pie air freshener? No, I got apple pie.
What? Nancy gave it to me 'cause I gave her my scarf.
You have a scarf? I had a scarf.
Now I have pie.
Mmm.
Oh.
Mmm.
[ CHUCKLES ] Am I crying? I feel like I'm crying.
Maybe it's just the saliva welling up to my eyes.
How do people not believe in God? Oh.
Hey, maybe if I keep giving Nancy stuff, she'll keep making us food.
[ BOTH CHUCKLE ] We do do that a lot.
[ VEHICLE APPROACHES ] Crap.
That's Axl.
- I'm not sharing this pie with him.
- Mnh-mnh.
He'll scarf it down like an animal.
Mm.
Let's eat it in the bathroom.
Mm-hmm.
No, no, no.
Don't you hold it! Just keep your mouth open.
I'm dropping stuff.
Come on.
Come on! - Come on.
Give me a bite.
- Nope.
Sue felt empowered.
They had a plan.
She was gonna stand tall and get her apartment back.
Yep, everything was falling into place.
Hello.
I'm Professor Mark Beckett.
Welcome to Statistics 204.
[ SIGHS ] Oh, my If I tell you something, you promise you won't regale your bus driver buddies later with stories about me? Brick, even if I had bus driver buddies, I wouldn't risk losing them by telling 'em lame stories about my boring brother and his dorky life.
So, go on.
This is a safe space.
Well, as you may have observed, this route isn't exactly the rolling meat market I had hoped.
Sophomore year is nothing like they make it seem in the movies, and it's quite possible that my breaking up with Cindy was a terrible idea.
Yeah, you're gonna die alone.
No question.
And to top it off, Career Exploration Day is coming up where everyone's parents show up and talk about their jobs, but no parents will be there for me, which means I won't get the extra credit points, and of course, there's the obvious emotional damage Mom will do it.
She'll wear a big purse and hit the janitor's closet for cleaning supplies.
Mom's not allowed to come since that whole thing with 8th grade graduation where she threatened to burn the school down.
She's on some district-wide list.
Well, ask Dad.
If Dad didn't do it for you and Sue, you know he's not doing it for me.
Sometimes I think I hear him run out the back door when I come home.
Look, I know it's not his thing, but if you just told him it's important to you, he'll do it.
You really think so? It's in their DNA.
Goes way back to, like, the dinosaur days when the mama and papa dinosaur would protect the baby dinosaurs from people who'd try to put 'em in museums and stuff.
Hmm.
I'm pretty sure that's wrong.
But thanks, Axl.
I'm gonna ask Dad.
Great.
You know, a bus driver's a lot like a bartender in that, uh I was gonna tell you.
Then why do you only have one fork? It's more romantic? Look, I know I was joking when I said we should trade the stuff in our house for Nancy's food, but then, just for the hell of it, I thought I'd give it a try.
So I gave her the good rake, and half an hour later, voilà! Casserole! Wait.
The rake with the brown handle? That was the Norwoods'.
Whatever.
I am telling you, I am on to something, here.
I mean, think about it we got a house full of crap we need to get rid of, and Nancy loves doing nice things for people.
It's a victimless crime.
Except for the Norwoods, but they had to know when they loaned us that rake it was never coming back.
Just give me the fork.
[ WHINES ] Oh, Lexie, Lexie! Oh, good, you're here.
I Okay, remember, I'm good cop, you're bad cop.
Let's do this.
[ KNOCKING ON DOOR ] Whoa, no, no, no, no, no.
Lexie, did you not get any of my texts? [ GASPS, SIGHS ] What is this? I thought I made myself clear.
- I know.
- Mm-hmm.
We understand how difficult it must be to move to a new town and to find an apartment So, no worries.
Stay as long as you want.
- Uh - [ CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY ] Sue, uh, isn't there something else you wanted to say? You know, something firm and strong and in a low-register voice? [ HIGH-PITCHED ] Nope, no, no.
[ NORMAL VOICE ] Nothing comes to mind at the moment.
Buh-bye, now! Stop.
I saw you today.
No.
You're in my 3:30 lecture, aren't you? The girl in the front with the sparkly notebook.
It's not that sparkly.
Just when the light hits it.
But, isn't it crazy that you're my statistics professor? What are the odds of that? I guess you could tell me.
Ha! [ CHUCKLES ] I don't know.
But here's something I can tell you the odds of me taking one step out of this place before November are Hang on.
Let me calculate that.
Oh, right.
Zero.
[ DOOR SLAMS ] On the upside, the sun is like nature's alarm clock.
Shut up.
Dad, can I bother you? Highly likely.
Um, my Life Skills class is having this career day where parents come and talk about their jobs.
I know it's probably something you wouldn't want to do, but it's been a little tough for me so far this year.
No girlfriend, no social scene on the bus.
And the freshmen are all taller than me.
Anyway, I think it could be fun if you came.
If you want.
[ SIGHS ] So there it is.
No whoops, no whispers, just a boy standing in front of a dad asking him to speak at Career Exploration Day.
No.
After five days of sleeping in her car, Sue decided professor or not she had to get her apartment back.
And the only way to do that was to be a strong woman.
So she sought out the best drama coach she knew.
Okay, let's ease in with a scene from "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
" Are you okay with hair pulling? 'Cause I am if it's for art.
Actually, I just wanted to practice what I was gonna say, so I need you to be Professor Beckett.
Got it.
What's he like? Just be mean.
Mean.
I'm a mean man.
Go.
Go now.
I'm there.
[ CLEARS THROAT ] Professor Beckett, there is no doubt this is an untenable situation for both of us, but I just want to be clear about what exactly my expectations are here.
Brad, what are you doing? You're supposed to be mean! I'm sorry.
It's just so hard.
You're too adorable.
It's like a gumdrop started talking to me.
Okay.
Okay.
I got this.
[ SIGHS ] [ CLEARS THROAT ] Professor Beckett, there's no doubt this is an untenable Tell it to someone who cares.
Think everything revolves around you, don't you, sister? He's not gonna talk like that.
Oh, what if he does? What if he gets right up in your grill and tells you you're weak or desperate or your purse is an obvious knock-off? You gonna cry? Huh, little girl? You gonna cry? [ VOICE BREAKING ] No.
This was good work.
I think in a month or two, you'll be ready.
[ CRIES ] What's the hold-up? I've been sitting on the tub waiting for lasagna.
She gave us pepper steak, and not bathroom quality, either.
Mm.
- Tastes okay.
- Exactly.
When has Nancy ever made us anything that's just okay? [ SIGHS ] You know what I think? I think this is crock-potted.
I think she threw it in a Crock-Pot, went off and did some dumb charity thing, came back, and this is what I got.
- Hmm.
- She's playing with me.
I give her a crystal bowl, and she gives me this? Unh-unh.
I need to go over there and suss out what she knows.
I don't want her to think I'm some lunatic who's just bartering old crap for food.
But you are.
Yeah, but I don't want her to know that.
What is the best way to do this? Do I confront her? Do I give her something bad and see what I get back? Where's that inflatable foot bath? - It's over, Frankie.
- No, it's not! I just need to figure out how to handle Nancy.
I mean, if you know I'm pawning off old junk on you just to get you to cook for me, be classy and say it to my face.
I just don't like the dishonesty.
[ SIGHS ] I made pepper steak.
It's on the counter.
Hey, I need to talk to you! Brick told me you're not going to his career day.
That's right.
Why not? 'Cause I don't want to.
Oh, boo-hoo.
I don't want to get up and drive a bus at dawn, but I do it.
You've done it for three days.
In a row! You know how many mornings in a row I've gotten up to go to work? Don't tell me.
Tell Brick's class.
Thousands.
And every one of those thousands, I have to clock in.
And if I don't clock in 'cause one of you kids are sick or Grandpa Big Mike's power's gone out again, I don't get paid.
And if I don't get paid, you guys are wiping your butts with junk mail again.
Look, you don't see him when he gets off that bus at school.
I do.
All the other kids are talking to each other.
He just goes off by himself, walking through the wrong door, every day.
You think he'd get the right door just once, by accident, but he doesn't ever.
It's a little funny, but mostly really sad.
So, if we can give him a win here, we need to give him a win.
No.
I just can't sleep in a car anymore.
I was a debutante.
It's wrong.
Sue? Lexie? Brad, what's up? - Hey.
- Hey.
Oh, Sean is going to med school next door at St.
Matthew's.
Uh, how's it going? Great.
Got to watch them restart a guy's heart this morning, then I went to class.
Ha! Med school humor.
[ CHUCKLES ] Um, I know another one that's funnier, but it's kind of dirty.
I don't feel comfortable telling it.
Sorry.
It's not you.
We're just down.
It's a long story.
We sublet our apartment to Derek and Andy, and they sub-sublet it to this guy who turned out to be my professor, so we can't kick him out and he won't leave, so we've been sleeping in our cars.
When people say, "It's a long story," they don't usually tell the long story.
It's also brought out a pretty mean side of Lexie.
Wait, wait, wait, wait.
That is just not acceptable.
We're gonna get this straightened out right now.
I was gonna offer to do a dance fight, but it seems like Sean's got a handle on it.
Evening, Nancy.
[ CHUCKLES ] We had your, um, pepper steak.
I mean, it was good.
It was good.
It wasn't You know what I'm saying? It wasn't this.
Oh, Frankie.
I'm sorry it was so terrible.
You probably tasted my tears in it.
What? No! No, no, no, no.
I mean, it was here.
It was so here.
[ DISH THUDS ] The past couple of weeks, I have just been in a really bad place, and I don't even know why.
Do you ever wake up and not want to clean the windows or make your own salad dressing? Is this a trick question? I always try to put on a happy face, but I'm human, you know? I get sad and I get tired, and it showed up in the pepper steak.
[ VOICE BREAKING ] I'm so embarrassed! Oh.
[ KNOCK ON DOOR ] Come in.
Who are you? Hello, sir.
Sean Donahue.
I just wanted to welcome you to our fair state.
I heard you just moved here.
Uh, what's up? I'm busy.
Well, I hear there's been a slight snafu.
See, this is their apartment, and you aren't supposed to be here.
Yeah! [ SIGHS ] And how does this involve you? I'm the guy who's gonna fix this.
Yeah.
Well, there's nothing to fix.
I've got a contract, and I'm not going anywhere.
Okay.
Fair enough.
Although, I'm just wondering if the East Indiana administration would take kindly to knowing that one of their professors was living with one of his students.
I'm not.
Aren't you? Sue's stuff is here.
Your stuff is here.
Look, if you're not worried about your reputation, then great.
I just know the academic world is small, and it's all about optics these days, am I right? [ CHUCKLES ] [ SIGHS ] Well, it's gonna take me a while to pack my stuff.
Well, I'd be more than happy to help.
[ SQUEALS QUIETLY ] So being on AJ Foyt's pit crew led me to start my own tire store.
And now we have 40 locations throughout Indiana.
[ APPLAUSE ] Okay, Brick, anyone here for you? Um [ SIGHS ] [ FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING ] Hold on! Yes.
I am here [SNAPS FINGERS] to talk about my career.
Axl! Everyone, this is Axl Heck.
He was a star athlete here, and he just graduated from East Indy.
Let's hear what he's up to.
Well, I am driving a bus.
[ CHUCKLES ] What's that like? Good question.
Well, when your parents are driving, you've probably seen them go like this But when I'm driving the bus, I go like this.
Yeah.
What else? Let's see.
Um MIKE: I got this.
Yes! [ LAUGHS ] The man you want to hear from! Ladies and gentlemen, Mike Heck! Yeah.
[ CLEARS THROAT ] Hi.
I'm Mike Heck.
I'm, uh, Brick's dad.
That's Brick.
Um I work in a quarry.
Any questions? Well, you both pooped the bed.
That was embarrassing.
But at least I got the 10 extra credit points.
Tried to tell him no.
He really should've listened to you.
Hey! Sharing a look! I get it now.
A pizza toast to Sean for standing up to that jerk.
SEAN: [ LAUGHS ] Now, it was no big deal.
You guys had already loosened the jar.
[ BRAD CHUCKLES ] Suzy Q? You okay? Yeah, sorry.
Can't thank you enough.
You were awesome.
Uh, are you sure about that? Damn it, Sean! I was trying to fix this myself and I had a plan and I rehearsed it with Brad and I was going to assert my power.
And then you just show up on your white horse, and you rescue me.
Sorry.
I didn't And the really disturbing part of it is I liked it! And so I am annoyed with myself because I feel like I shouldn't because that's bad.
But you know what? If they don't want you to be happy to be rescued, they shouldn't make rescuing so nice! Being a woman is hard! Sue.
Remember that time when I was about 12, you were 10, and I got stuck in that drainage ditch that I wasn't supposed to be playing in? And you threw down your jump rope to help me climb out? Oh, yeah.
Yeah.
And you didn't tell my mom.
Or anyone.
Mnh-mnh.
So see, Sue? Rescuing isn't a man or a woman thing.
[ GASPS ] Oh.
We rescue each other.
Ah.
You know, a big part of growing up is knowing when it's time to grow up.
And though there were times when she'd have to present a tougher face on the outside [ EXHALES FORCEFULLY ] she'd never lose the glitter on the inside.
Okay, listen.
I just came from the grocery.
We got to cook something really nice for Nancy.
What? Why? She is in bad shape.
I have never seen her like this.
Turns out that pepper steak was a cry for help.
So, you're gonna grill her some ribs.
I'll make that really great sauce.
We really got to bring it, Mike.
Ron! Get in here! They fell for it.