The Middle Wiki

The Play is the ninth episode of season three.


Frankie and Sue are both cast in the community theater's production of "The Wizard of Oz", but the director isn't happy with Sue's performance. Disaster ensues when Brick asks Uncle Rusty to school on Special Friends Day.


Bob has been cast as the Mayor of Munchkinland in the Orson Community Theater's upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz. He has lines and everything! When Frankie learns that anyone can be in the play, she figures it's the perfect activity for Sue.

When the show's director hears Frankie sing, he convinces her to be one of the Ozians. Frankie rarely gets to do anything for herself, so she's having the time of her life in this little Emerald City adventure. She fits right in with the theater world. Sue… not so much. The director wants to give her the boot. Correction—he wants Frankie to give her the boot.

Sue takes the news of her theatrical dismissal hard but is even more bummed to learn that Frankie is still an Ozian. She wants her mom to quit the show. That's too bad because Frankie really loves it. But with her daughter's happiness at stake, her choice is clear. She'll have to lie.

Axl has taken to snapping pennies through some holes in the living room fixture to entertain himself since he's grounded from playing video games. He also passes the time by blabbing to Sue that Frankie is still in the play. This leads to a late-night heart-to-heart between mother and daughter. Frankie demands that they find a place for her daughter in the play. They do. Sue works the lighting cues under the stage. You could say she's a shining star!

Brick needs a family member to show up for Grandparents and Special Friends Day at the school, so he asks his unreliable Uncle Rusty (guest star Norm Macdonald) to appear. As you may have guessed, the guy's a no-show. Mike lets his brother know that Brick was really counting on him, so Rusty shows up at the school to make things right. It's an endeavor that goes terribly wrong.

Rusty tries to make things up once again by taking his nephew out to lunch. Then he lets Brick take the wheel of his truck. Pretty soon, the little guy is cruising down the road. Brick's nervous, but Rusty points out that the worst-case scenario would be that they both die. And that's gonna happen anyway. Good point.

Mike's a little peeved when he sees his youngest son pull up in front of the house. He's tired of his brother's flakiness. Rusty tells his nephew that just because he doesn't show up for things, it doesn't mean he doesn't care for him. The same goes for Mike. And sometimes, Rusty does show up for things. He's standing in the back of the theater applauding as Frankie and Sue take their bows in the merry old Land of Oz.