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'The Middle' recap: This party rocks!

Season 6 | Episode 11 | “A Quarry Story” | Aired Jan 14, 2014

Well, tonight’s episode of The Middle was one big party! And not just any party. A quarry party! Because there ain’t no party like a quarry party ’cause a quarry party … is a superbad idea because there are explosives and giant holes and death traps basically everywhere.

But let’s back up. How did we get here? It all started when Sue found out her job at Spudsy Malone’s was cutting back her hours. Apparently making your own baked potato is more appealing for customers than having someone do it for them. Or something. Anywho, since Sue’s current mission is to make as much scrilla as possible to pay for college, she needs a new job.

Enter Mike Heck, who is the manager at the local quarry. Reluctantly, Mike has given Sue a job at the quarry, mostly cleaning bathrooms and making coffee.

But let’s just say, thanks to Sue, the Quarry is now a LOT cuter.

And Sue is great at her job, too. So great that Mike has given her a key to the place so she can come in early.

Therein lies the problem.

Because, as anyone who has ever been a teenager knows, if you get the chance to have a key to a supercool, dangerous place, your first instinct is to abuse the heck out of that privilege. Teens are always looking for places to have a party.

So Sue, Brad, and Carly sneak into the quarry to eat pizza and take selfies. Is it a bad idea? Probably. Is posting pictures on Instagram saying “party at a quarry!” where hundreds of other teenagers can see it and show up wanting to join the superfun abuse-of-power party an even worse idea? Definitely.

What started as just three friends is now a full-blown teen rager.

Back home, the Hecks are starting to have a little trouble keeping up with their dish-washing-in-the-shower routine. It’s time to fix the sink. And who better to provide the sink than Orson’s favorite hoarder, Big Mike.

Big Mike has all the tools to fix the sink, and he enlists Axl’s help with doing it. Problem is, Axl has made an escape plan for himself to get out of actual work. That escape plan is he is absolutely terrible at whatever job people ask him to do, so they get frustrated and no longer ask for his help.

(Side note: I also used this plan for every chore my parents ever asked me to do as a child, and it definitely works. Keep this in mind, any small children reading this.)

The only person who doesn’t buy it, however, is Big Mike. He teaches Axl a valuable lesson that hard work done right is the best way to get things done. This is good for Axl. I, on the other hand, prefer to just be lazy.

Also, Frankie found an old check from Ehlert Motors, and she is determined to get it cashed. Only problem is it’s expired; the only way Ehlert will honor it is if she comes in and works for a day. Which she does, and in that one day she sells two cars! Which I think is more than she sold the entire time she worked there. Turns out she’s actually a good salesperson when she cares absolutely nothing about being a salesperson. Axl is definitely rubbing on her.

And Brick has found his new calling. He is going to be a game show host. And he’s pretty good at it too. Watch out, Drew Carey!

So, exciting times in the Heck household. Axl has learned the value of hard work. Brick has found his calling in life. Frankie is making cash. And the kitchen sink is back!

Everyone is happy until Mike finds out there is a party going on at his quarry.

Because a quarry party is a superfun idea until your 7-foot-tall dad shows up and finds out someone has died!

Just kidding. No one has died. Yet. But that doesn’t make parties at quarries any less of a terrible idea. Remember that, crazy teens.

The Middle airs Wednesdays at 8/7C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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