24 Episodes 2012 - 2013
Season 4 marks a pivotal year for the middle-class Heck family of Indiana, with Axl (Charlie McDermott) a high-school senior, Sue (Eden Sher) a sophomore (16th birthday!) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer) learning the birds and the bees from Axl, in graphic detail. When she's not battling trashy neighbor Rita Glossner (Brooke Shields) over stolen items or trying to upstage the Donahues by inviting Marines to Thanksgiving, Frankie (Patricia Heaton) dedicates herself to dental-assistant's school, taught by Jane Kaczmarek (a frazzled TV mother herself on "Malcolm in the Middle"). Mike (Neil Flynn) takes on a season-long task of teaching Sue (whose middle name is revealed to also be Sue) to drive; consults with the therapist (Dave Foley) at Brick's school; and delves into the mystery of the broken family-room window. Meanwhile, Axl develops a relationship with his tutor and continues some dim-witted bonding with his senior buddies, one of whom steals the show when Frankie sits the family down for an Oscars pool, which consumes her to the point of forgetting to pick up Brick from a class trip to Chicago.
Last Whiff of Summer
Wed, Sep 26, 2012 30 mins
In Part 1 of the two-part fourth-season opener, Frankie gets nostalgic about the summers of her youth. Meanwhile, Axl attends summer school; Frankie wants to know which parent her kids favor; Brick grows a tomato; and Sue attempts to bond with her dad.
Last Whiff of Summer
Wed, Sep 26, 2012 30 mins
In the conclusion of the fourth-season opener, Frankie gets nostalgic about the summers of her youth. Meanwhile, Axl attends summer school; Frankie wants to know which parent her kids favor; Brick grows a tomato; and Sue attempts to bond with her dad.
The Second Act
Wed, Oct 3, 2012 30 mins
Frankie loses her job at the car dealership and decides to enroll in a technical school. Meanwhile, Axl begins his senior year of high school; Sue becomes a mentor to a freshman; and Brick gets on Mike's bad side when he's impolite to Mike's buddies.
Wed, Oct 10, 2012 30 mins
A therapist advises the Hecks to get a pet for Brick so he can develop his bonding skills, but the family wind up with a malicious rabbit. Meanwhile, Axl dates two cheerleaders at once; and Sue sets her sights on becoming the school mascot.
Wed, Oct 17, 2012 30 mins
An angry Rita claims Frankie stole her garden hose. Meanwhile, Sue discovers her dad takes home a small salary, so she cancels her class trip to save money; and Axl provides detailed supplemental information to the sex education Brick learns in school.
Halloween III: The Driving
Wed, Oct 24, 2012 30 mins
Sue begins learning how to drive and injures Axl's foot, jeopardizing his ability to play football. Meanwhile, Brick has a surprising reaction to overindulging in Halloween candy; and Axl prepares to vote for the first time.
Wed, Nov 7, 2012 30 mins
Frankie clashes with her stern teacher at dental-assisting school. Meanwhile, Axl's parents pressure him to get a tutor to help improve his grades; and Sue and Brick believe they've found a coveted item, so they bring it to a pawn shop.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 30 mins
Marines are guests at the Hecks' Thanksgiving dinner, which is filled with squabbling thanks to Frankie's folks. Meanwhile, Axl fights his growing attraction to his tutor; and Sue searches for the bandit who snatched part of her mascot costume.
Wed, Dec 5, 2012 30 mins
Frankie wants a part-time job at a department store so she can get a discount on Christmas presents. Meanwhile, Mike's brother stashes stolen furniture in the Hecks' garage, which Axl transforms into a bachelor pad; and Brick is cast in a holiday play at church.
Wed, Dec 12, 2012 30 mins
Frankie suspects that Mike has grown bored with her as their 20th wedding anniversary approaches. Meanwhile, Sue wants her brothers to help her throw a party for their parents; and Brick acts catatonic after Axl ruins the ending of a book for him.
Wed, Jan 9, 2013 30 mins
Axl is paired up with Sue for a life-skills project, much to his dismay. Elsewhere, Brick's school therapist advises him on how to make friends; and Frankie and Mike deal with a difficult insurance company when they file a claim for a broken windshield.
One Kid at a Time
Wed, Jan 16, 2013 30 mins
Frankie and Mike spend an entire day with each kid over a three-day weekend, and their activities include visiting a paintball range with Axl, completing a 17-point itinerary with Sue and attending a sci-fi book convention with Brick.
Wed, Jan 23, 2013 30 mins
Frankie arranges an adult playdate for Mike, who's angry when he learns what she did. Elsewhere, Sue and her fellow Wrestlerettes fight the cheerleaders for the right to cheer at wrestling matches; and Axl fears he's not smart enough for his girlfriend.
Wed, Feb 6, 2013 30 mins
With Axl's classmates getting their college-acceptance letters, Mike and Frankie fret that their son may not be getting the sports scholarship they were banking on. Meanwhile, Sue undertakes a school project that will prove smiling is contagious; and Brick bugs his parents for an iPad.
Valentine's Day IV
Wed, Feb 13, 2013 30 mins
Axl and his pals help guys break up with their girlfriends prior to Valentine's Day. Meanwhile, Mike sends a romantic text to the wrong person; Sue's ex-boyfriend invites her to a dance; and Brick is hurt to learn that his mom has discarded his artwork.
Winners and Losers
Wed, Feb 20, 2013 30 mins
Frankie worries that Brick will get lost on a class trip to Chicago, and her anxiety prevents her from getting excited about watching the Oscars. Elsewhere, Sue needs to know if Axl's buddy is interested in her.
Wheel of Pain
Wed, Feb 27, 2013 30 mins
The kids lie about breaking a window, so Frankie and Mike try to yield a confession by making them spin a wheel filled with consequences. Meanwhile, Frankie attempts to win over her teacher in order to land a favorable spot on a dental rotation.
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 30 mins
Frankie needs to study for her finals, so Janet volunteers to run the household and finds herself unprepared for the utter chaos. Meanwhile, Axl tries not to feel threatened by Cassidy's ex-boyfriend; and Sue wishes to change her redundant middle name.
Wed, Apr 3, 2013 30 mins
The season finale of "The Bachelor" disheartens Frankie, so she sulks about it for several days. Meanwhile, Mike tries to mold an overly polite Sue into a cutthroat competitor when she joins the tennis team; and Axl and Cassidy reexamine their romance.
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 30 mins
Frankie struggles to find a job as a dental assistant. Elsewhere, Axl's band book their first gig, and Sue pesters them with unwanted advice; and Mike must chaperone a camping trip for Brick's new scout troop.
From Orson With Love
Wed, May 1, 2013 30 mins
Frankie tries to boost Sue's online popularity by creating some online aliases who like Sue. Elsewhere, Frankie's dad persuades Mike to spend time listening to his life lessons; and Axl and Brick make a James Bond-style video starring adoptable animals.
Wed, May 8, 2013 30 mins
Sue keeps failing her driving test while her friends all pass, so she seeks advice on how to stop resenting them. Elsewhere, Frankie drops hints about what she wants for Mother's Day; and Cassidy delivers some bad news to Axl at the prom.
Wed, May 15, 2013 30 mins
People mistake Frankie for a doctor, and she likes the perks so she tries to keep up the charade. Meanwhile, Axl tries to persuade Sue to ditch school for a day; Dr. Fulton questions Brick's fears about middle school; and Mike's fishing trip goes badly.
Wed, May 22, 2013 30 mins
In the fourth-season finale, Axl gets ready to graduate, but he dodges Frankie's questions about a party, creating friction between them. Elsewhere, Brick is reminded of his duties as class historian; and Sue takes her driving test for the sixth time.