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Heartwarming / The Middle

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"Brad. I know."

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     Season 1 
  • The ending of the first episode when Mike and the kids come to get Frankie after she was left stranded in the middle of nowhere by the woman she was trying to sell a car to who had three kids in jail.
    • Also, this line that Frankie says at the end:
    Frankie: [voiceover] That's the thing about family. Sure, they eat your food and wreck your face and you've got to save them a thousand times a day from who knows what. And every now and then they save you.
  • The ending of "Thanksgiving" where it turns out that Frankie's family made thanksgiving dinner for her so it didn't have to be cancelled when she had to go to work for Mr. Ehlert that day so she didn't have to do all the cooking like she usually does.
  • Axl's usually a total Jerkass, constantly complaining and barely ever showing affection. But in "The Break-up" he falls in love with a girl named Morgan. For days, he's bubbly because he's so in love. It's sweet to seem him so happy when he's usually so whiny and rude. Given the title of the episode, you'd know where this is going. Axl is heartbroken. Regardless of him being emotionally distant all the time, he breaks down and lets his mother hug him.
    Frankie: Oh god. I forgot how soft his skin was.

     Season 3 
  • In "Bad Choices", the Hecks aren't sure whether or not they should move into a Hickory Arms apartment. For example, Frankie seems to like Hickory Arms because it has more luxuries than their old home and their roof was broken, but Sue doesn't want to leave her friends and the other neighbors they knew. At the end of the episode, the neighbors come to help the Hecks fix the roof of their house, making Frankie realize that they truly belonged in this neighborhood that they were lucky to have to count on for help.
    Frankie: [voiceover] You see, the thing we've forgotten is that we're part of the neighborhood. And the more our neighbors showed up to help us, the more Hickory Arms became a distant memory.
  • "The Clover": Axl comforts Weird Ashley after her date dumps her at the prom.
    • "Hallelujah Hoedown": Ashley returns the favor the next year as she steps in to dance with Axl right after Cassidy dumps him and he's named "Prom King".

     Season 7 
  • For six seasons, a Running Gag has been Sue completely oblivious to how obviously gay her one-time boyfriend Brad is despite how everyone else can see it. Then in "Risky Business", the two are having a friendship moment alone in a car, and Brad suddenly becomes nervous and tells Sue that he wants to tell her something...but Sue just puts her hand on Brad's, smiles, and simply says "Brad. I know." They then share a warm hug.
  • "Crushed":
    • When Axl first encounters Lexie, he immediately puts on the charm to introduce himself to her. Lexie also extends her hand to him to try to shake his hand too.
    • It's shown that while Lexie only briefly humors Axl on him saying that he could easily date her if he wanted to, she's shown to be legitimately flattered by the attention and keeps her eyes on him through most of the scene. It's clear the two are intently interested in the other right from the start.
    • In the first line of dialogue Axl and Lexie each says to the other, the first word is "Oh".
    • Before Sue shoos Lexie out of the room, Axl flirtatiously waves to Lexie who sort of has a smile on her face when he does so.
  • "The Show Must Go On"
    • Frankie went through heaven and hell, with embarrassment and scorn, to give Brick the "moment in the sun" during his graduation ceremony. He later thanked her for it after the ceremony.

     Season 8 
  • "A Tough Pill to Swallow":
    • Sue forgets to renew her financial aid for college, and the only way to get into college is to pay the full amount. So Mike sells his half of the sports team diaper business to get the funds to put her through.
    • It's brief, but Axl running by Sue and Lexie when he's taking off to visit April. Yeah, his mind is on April, but he's still drawn to Lexie in spite of that.
    • Lexie cuddles Woofy Dog as Sue packs thinking her financial issues are getting her kicked out of college before Mike resolves the problems in secret. Sue means that much to Lexie as a roommate and a friend.
    • Axl's head is turned specifically towards Lexie as he's running past her. It helps support the idea that he's actually interested in Lexie and using April to either make her jealous or have someone to project his feelings for Lexie onto.
    • Axl is also running by on Lexie's side as well and not Sue's.
    • Lexie lingers on watching Axl after Sue’s already turned around. Despite his current relationship, she’s drawn to him too.
  • "True Grit":
    • Axl claims that Lexie is an Abhorrent Admirer to him in their two scenes in the episode when he's really trying to displace his own feelings for her because he's with April. He clearly cares about her, but is afraid to show it.
    • Further proof that Axl's feelings for Lexie are far different than any other girl he's been interested in before is that he hides his feelings rather than being outward with them. Not being confident about it shows how much thought he's putting into the idea.
    • Though speaking directly to Sue, Axl finds one way or another to bring the conversation back to Lexie's "interest" in him. He can't stop thinking about her.
    • Lexie has no reason to come down from the top bunk when Axl comes into the room. She subconsciously wanted to be close to him and stands behind him throughout a good portion of the scene.
    • When Axl inquires Sue about her issues with Jeremy, Lexie is the one who answers him. She can't help but show him attention too.
    • When Axl talk about how he gets girls he wants to break up with to break up with him by acting like a jerk, Lexie's reaction is split. Her jaw drops because as a girl, she's clearly offended, but when Axl explains that they're the ones who get to do the breaking up and it doesn't hurt their feelings that way, she shrugs and makes a face that suggests: "Heh, that actually makes sense."
    • Axl constantly showing up to the girls’ room could be him simply finding excuses just to be around Lexie since he always knows where she is (though he also does make it a point to help Sue through her issues with Jeremy too, albeit for a price).
    • Crossed with Funny: When Lexie comes back from a class after Axl and Sue have another conversation, Axl immediately begins telling Lexie off for "flirting" with him again and she slams the door in his face.
  • In "A Very Marry Christmas," Bill Norwood unexpectedly gives Mike a Christmas gift, a pair of sunglasses. Mike, not used to people doing things for him, feels uncomfortable with the gesture. He tries to find a gift to give in return, but can't come up with anything good, and the whole thing gets worse when he finally tries the sunglasses on and is forced to admit they look really cool (and Frankie agrees). Finally he can't take it anymore, goes over to Bill's house, and insists on giving him the money he spent. Bill doesn't want to take it, but Mike is adamant, so he does. Mike walks back out to his motorcycle, and Bill calls after him, asking if he at least likes the sunglasses. Mike looks back, the sunglasses now on, and says, "I love 'em." He gets on the motorcycle and rides off, and Bill just watches him, smiling.
  • "Hoosier Maid":
    • When Axl begins claiming that Lexie is flirting with him again, she decides to play along and doing so actually leaves Axl speechless and confused for a brief moment. Her actually being seductive towards him is not something he was prepared to react to.
    • They both clearly enjoy it, even though they know they're only playing with each other. It goes to show that neither one is actually trying to upset the other, they just enjoy the little game they play.
    • Lexie warns the boys when Dan is in the hall to give them the chance to hide and also helps hide one of their items too. Even though Axl’s "annoying" her and it’s so she and Sue don’t get in trouble, she still doesn’t want them in trouble either.
    • Crossed with Funny: After Dan is gone, Axl lets out a celebratory yell and Lexie throws her binder at him. Good or bad, she's also looking for reasons to give him attention.
    • Though he's very weary about sharing his Fluff with Sue, Axl offers Lexie half his sandwich when she also gets up for a snack. She's reluctant as first because she considers it "selfish", but still accepts the gesture anyway.
    • After letting Sue slip and fall in the RV earlier and only showing concern that the same could happen to April, Lexie slips and Axl catches her so she doesn't fall. Considering how Lexie was telling him off beforehand, Axl instinctively saved her anyway and that moment of genuine care and concern is what made Lexie realize that she does have feelings for him after all.
    • Even though he got them kicked out, Axl’s actions got Sue and Lexie out of The Bin after having been stuck there so long. It's also through that that Lexie was inspired to finally ask her dad for the apartment for her and Sue at Gumford Falls.
    • Lexie seems to be checking Axl out when they’re in the hot tub later on with Sue, Hutch and Kenny. Also, he’s honoring her request not to accuse her of flirting him and in turn, she’s not too annoyed that he’s sticking around longer.
  • "Ovary and Out":
    • Axl, aside from taking advantage of Sue living in such a nice new place to use the shower, probably was hoping to see Lexie too. Since she comes back shortly after, it clearly paid off.
    • You listen closely when Lexie comes back, you can hear Axl singing in the shower. His feelings for her (though he doesn't know they're reciprocated yet) are that strong.
    • Axl talking about how good he'll be at business when graduating and trying to be funny with the breadstick mustache. He's trying to get Lexie to pay attention to him instead of Sean.
    • Axl and Sue trying to side-step their feelings in their discussion (Axl’s for Lexie and Sue’s for Sean) and actually not fighting on what is a rare occasion. Not to mention they end up eating all the ice cream in the apartment together too.
    • Lexie deciding not to pursue a relationship with Sean because she wants "a bad boy" and "a guy who doesn't have his life figured out right now." Cut to Axl.
    • Axl emphasizing how smart Lexie is to Sean. He doesn't just care about her for how beautiful she is, her mind is even more important to him.
  • "Swing and a Miss":
    • Lexie gave up her trip to the Bahamas to get the chance to be near Axl. Goes to show how much she has really grown to like him.
    • Lexie inquires Sue about Axl and April’s relationship, which is what tips Sue off to the fact that Lexie likes him now.
    • Lexie is at first ashamed to admit that she has feelings for Axl, but that is shown to come more from the fear she had as to how Sue would react.
    • Also CMOF: Sue is outright horrified when she find out Lexie has developed feelings for Axl, but gives her permission to pursue him in spite of that and an analogy about whether or not turkey and chocolate would work as a couple.
    • Lexie confiding in Sue first invokes how it's not any old crush she has on Axl, but one of real, actual romantic interest. Shows how even more important it is.
    Lexie: I'm sorry. It's just that he's kinda cute and funny and I-I can't help it!
    • It's not emphasized how long Lexie's had romantic interest in Axl, which could go towards either it being when he caught her in "Hoosier Maid" or before that during their first encounter in "Crushed".
    Lexie: I've known for a while. I thought I would get over it, you know like-like the flu!
    • Lexie's continuous attempts to be close to Axl throughout the break, despite the increasing amount of ailments she suffers. She likes him that much that she's fighting through the suffering to be with him whenever she can.
    • Lexie's first attempt involves trying to use callbacks to past interactions with Axl in order to get him to take notice. Plus, the fact that he's still honoring her request to not accuse her of flirting with him even then.
    • As Axl walks away to go clean the cow, Lexie attempts to wave goodbye. She ends up looking at her hand in futility not disappointed in him, but more disappointed in herself.
    • Lexie asks Axl about ideas of what to do in Orson while there and he tries his best to answers her. He also expresses concern when she first starts itching from her rash too.
    • Lexie comes through the hole in the wall and tells Axl she did one of the things he suggested she do while in Orson: She went down to the high school to look at his trophies. Before having a coughing fit, she also tries to suggest that the two of them do something together (likely of a romantic nature).
    • Axl isn't really put off by Lexie's puffed up hair, skin rash or allergies and isn't judgmental towards her for any of it. It's just that after all the stealth flirting he did with her earlier in the season, he doesn't realize she's flirting with him now.
    • As she and Sue are leaving, Lexie asks if Axl is still around so she can say goodbye. On a sadder note, her genuine disappointment that he's not there anymore too.
    • Axl's genuine surprise that Lexie has feelings for him. As well as his increasing delight when he learns more and more about how deep it goes.
    Axl: Well, I know I always joked around about her liking me, but I never thought she really...
    • Sue goes on to confirm to Axl that she reminded Lexie of his relationship with April and told her of all the gross things that he’s done and that she still likes him despite all that. It’s important to note that Axl didn’t have to pretend to be a version of himself with Lexie and she fell for the real him as a result.
    • After finding out Lexie has feelings for him, Axl goes to the St. Patrick's Day party that he said he definitely would not go to just to find her. He's more confident in himself with her now because of that and much like Lexie putting herself out there for him, he's now putting himself out there for her.
    • Concurrent to the Axl/Lexie story, Frankie was trying to find a reason why she should be proud, when Nancy Donahue called her a proud lady. And then halfway in the episode, the real reason came from a voice message from the school: Brick made National Honor Society, making him the first Heck child to achieve such a high honor, much to both Frankie's joy and Mike's amazement.
    Frankie: I AM so proud!
    • During Brick's induction ceremony, Mike and Frankie attended the ceremony much to his genuine delight (although they clearly hate going to school events), despite the fact that Frankie originally had a prior engagement with her mother.
    • Frankie even spent the entire prior night baking an entire table of desserts just for him, and this was an activity she also HATED. Even Brick loved what she baked.
    Frankie: It's easy to do things you like for people, but doing something you hate, that's love.
    Brick: Wow! Seeing as they're filled with hate, they're delicious!
  • "Exes and Ohhhs":
    • A bit of a retcon, but before he runs into Devin, Axl calls out to Lexie when he sees her across the room. Gives a bit more of a sense of urgency on his part to him showing up and seeing her.
    • Last time Axl saw Lexie before the St. Patrick's Day party was when she got so sick from staying with the Hecks to begin with. How she looked then doesn't matter to him because all he wants when he goes to that party is to find her regardless.
    • Axl forgets Devin and Cassidy are there for a moment when Lexie shows up and he impulsively tells her she looks good. Flattered, Lexie thanks him.
    • Cassidy and Devin both look impressed by Axl and Lexie's interest in each other. Even they can sense it, it's that powerful.
    • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When Lexie describes running into Axl and his exes at the party to Sue, she points out how awkward it was and says: "Thank God he had no idea how I feel about him". The next time we see her onscreen is the end of "The Par-tay" and that just makes that moment even more of an incredible payoff.
    • Even without the awareness of what happens the next episode, Lexie is fearful of Axl knowing about her feelings for him, but she clearly doesn't need to be. After all, he was on the verge of telling her he felt the same way.
    • While Axl’s Love Confession was only an attempt and didn’t actually go through, the fact that he came so close to it threw fans in a tizzy and it’s shown that even though he was with April, it wasn’t her that he wanted to be with. It was Lexie.
    • Axl's conversation with Devin about why they didn't work. Despite not staying together, the two show how amiable they still can be.
    • Same for his conversation with Cassidy and yes, even with Ashley.
    • Feeling bad for having led her on all these years when he should have just said he wasn't interested, Axl leaves Ashley all his money when paying for his drinks.
    • Axl and April mostly part on good terms, until they end up stuck on the RV when Sue hijacks it and April's feelings quickly grow into resentment. Even though fans clearly didn't like her, it's still shown that she's a good person with feelings.
    • The purpose of the episode seems to be of Axl cleaning out the baggage he had left with his past girlfriends so that he could free himself up before even considering being with Lexie. It helps reconcile whatever skeletons he had before things go any further.
    • Another in hindsight: Axl breaking up with April is also this because trying to get with Lexie while still being with her would have been wrong and he clearly didn't want that. The "Universe" wanted him to do the right thing first.
  • "The Par-tay":
    • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Sue mentioning planning to meet Lexie and her reaction later on to realizing she forgot to meet with Lexie. It's not only a subtle hint to the audience of what's to come; how Lexie clearly is too preoccupied with what happens to worry about Sue and that the big moment still takes the audience completely off-guard, but ties into the episode's storyline with Axl perfectly too.
    • Axl's obliviousness to Danna showing interest in him is not a slight against her, but his preoccupation with what's going on with Brick and just the fact that he's incapable of falling for any other girl after Lexie.
    • Axl tells Brick when Danna comes into the restaurant that he's avoiding relationships right now after ending things with April. While still uncertain about his feelings for Lexie, it explains why Axl didn't just go straight to her after being done with April: showing more respect and value in Lexie than making quick, easy work of it.
    • It seems like Axl didn't try to get together with Lexie right after ending things with April because Axl wanted to be respectful and not cheapen his feelings for Lexie. He also still had uncertainty after finding out her feelings for him because he didn't think after all that that it was what the "Universe" wanted.
    • After Brick bluntly tells Axl that he should get a girl before it's too late, Axl makes up his mind right there and then. He obviously decides that Lexie is the one he wants and he can't be convinced otherwise.
    • Axl leaves the restaurant after Brick's speech about getting his bookmark, goes to Sue and Lexie's apartment and when Lexie answers the door, Axl kisses her!
    • Once Axl gets to the apartment, he doesn't just use the key he had made in "Ovary and Out" to barge in to talk to Lexie. He stops, knocks at the door and waits instead.
    • The look Axl and Lexie exchange right before it happens too shows how much of a climactic moment it is. There's been so much tension since the season first started and they both seem to know in that one moment that it all comes down to it and the mix of emotions in that split seconds has a lot of weight to it.
    • Neither Axl or Lexie needed to say anything to each other the instant she opened the door to him. The silent moment of uncertainty mixed with them each having made up their mind was more than enough.
    • Axl is out of breath when he finally gets to the apartment to see Lexie. That indicates he either ran the whole way or walked the whole way and if the latter, it was a long distance.
    • If he wasn't out of breath from the trip by foot to see Lexie, Axl was hyperventilating because he was nervous. This was clearly something he knew would have a big impact either way and never seemed to have gotten worked up about any of his previous girlfriends the same way.
    • Had Axl gone to Danna instead, it would have also probably been a sure thing, but he chose Lexie. He made the effort to go to her above any other because SHE was the one he wanted.
    • Lexie's face after their First Kiss says it all. The guy she has romantic feelings for and was trying to develop a relationship with not that long ago came to her apartment and kissed her out of the blue! Of course she's gonna be happy about it, as well as probably relieved too (same can be said for Axl)!
    • On top of that, after he comments on her not brushing her teeth, Lexie proceeds to turn and run, but then Axl dramatically pulls Lexie back in a sliding motion, says that he doesn't care and then kisses her again regardless.
  • "The Confirmation":
    • Brad describing Lexie's attraction to Axl involving attempts to flirt with him when he's come to the apartment to do his laundry, which involve wearing a sexy top and playing with her hair. In addition to him and Sue being completely oblivious to the fact that Axl and Lexie got together, there's also the juxtaposition from that scene to the diner scene that shows it ultimately all worked out.
    • The diner scene right out of the gate has Axl and Lexie kissing when the scene with them at the end of "The Par-tay" ended with them kissing too. There's also the fact that it's the same diner Axl left to go see Lexie at the end of that episode too.
    • Crossed with funny, but all the scenes of Axl and Lexie sneaking around and passionately making out each time are this. The two are so into each other that they can't keep their hands off each other. The rawness of the kisses may also be in part because Charlie McDermott directed the episode, so the intensity probably wasn't reigned in that much as it was and shined through every bit.
    • They're holding hands all through the diner scene in the beginning.
    Axl: This is awesome! You're awesome!
    • Lexie agreeing to keep their union a secret. She senses and understands how uncomfortable Axl would be if he got judged for being with her so soon after he ended things with April and doesn’t want to put him in that position. His other girlfriends in the past would not likely have been as empathetic to his plight as she is.
    • While there is an awkwardness to the restaurant scene, Lexie is still smiling and laughing at the different ways that Axl badmouths Chester. While nervous and uncomfortable, she still finds him funny.
    • The look Lexie gives Axl as they're leaving. It's an incredulous, but amused one.
    • Axl and Lexie quietly discussing the circumstances of her being forced to go out with Chester to appease Sue and Brad. While there's an urgency to the situation that makes each one stressed out, Lexie tries to assure Axl that he's the one she wants and is not angry at him for being jealous, but surprised and sympathetic.
    • Axl confiding in Chester about his relationship with Lexie. It's the one point he gets real about the situation before he confesses the truth.
    • Crossed with Awesome: Becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the secrecy (that was his idea in the first place), Axl finally declares to Sue and Brad (and one of Lexie's classmates) that he and Lexie are together.
    Axl: Lexie and I are dating, okay? She's mine! All mine! Tell the others!
    • Along with the grand gesture of Axl caring enough to fight for her and not wanting to lose her, Lexie's reaction alone in which she cups her hands over her mouth with both excitement and surprise qualifies as she can now freely tell others about being with him as she wanted to to begin with.
    • Doubling as CMOF: Sue's bipolar reaction to finding out Axl and Lexie are together. While clearly uncomfortable with the idea, she's also glad that the two have found happiness together.
    Sue: I knew that Lexie liked Axl, but I didn't know...
    • On the other story in the episode, Brick was forced to learn 2,000 years of biblical history from Reverend Tim-Tom to get him confirmed. Along the way, he met, initially antagonized, and gradually warmed up to Blake Ferguson, the boy he was switched at birth with for the first month of their lives.
    Brick: We're practically brothers! (hugging a very confused Blake)
    • Blake's parents, Charles and Anna Ferguson, later confronted the Hecks when they were angry the truth came from Brick. It was overly clear the Hecks would Never Live It Down over this years-old-mishap, but despite the tension, the Fergusons never held any ill will towards Brick. In fact, they saved his baby pictures and his favorite toy, and even gave him a one-month birthday. In fact, Brick himself was estatic that he [briefly] had a reading nook, and had someone read him his favorite book.
    • Doubling as a Ruleof Funny, the Fergusons were astounded that Brick almost went home with them, briefly exchanging a look as if saying "What did these people do to him?"
    • After getting religiously confirmed, his family sincerely congratulated him as even Axl was impressed his little brother aced the "Apostles' Creed" better than he did. But Axl and Sue started arguing soon after, thus reinforcing Frankie's earlier fear that he would rather live with the Fergusons, as "he's been stuck with [Mike and Frankie] for all these years". However, Brick in a moment of honesty [and no quirks] stated he did NOT want to live with the Fergusons, which gradually lifted Frankie's spirits.
    Brick: I've been thinking about it and...[the Fergusons] are actually kind of boring. You guys make life interesting. Besides, no great author EVER came from a functional family. You people are going to make great characters in my book someday.
    • Throughout Brick's short monologue, you can see his entire family his touched (and in the case of Frankie, reliefed) by his words. For a brief moment, Sue was so touched by what he said, she affectionately tapped his shoulder.
    Frankie (in narration): On Brick's Confirmation Day, the most important thing he confirmed was that he wanted to be in our family. God knows why.
  • "Adult Swim":
    • While Lexie is absent from the episode, it's shown that Axl spends all his time at the apartment now to be with her every waking moment. As the episode opens, he's waiting there to see her when she gets back from class.
    • Axl tells Frankie that he's with Lexie and she approves of the relationship, being how she's always liked Lexie and she's the first of Axl's girlfriends that Frankie really got to know.
    • Axl hesitates to tell Frankie at first because he's afraid she'll react the same way she did with April. He values his relationship with Lexie that much that he doesn't want to lose her.
    • Axl comments on how he's gonna take things slow with Lexie and it becomes abundantly clear that he's never felt this way about any other girl he's been with before and doesn't want to mess it up.
  • "The Final Final":
    • Lexie jumps into Axl's arms when she arrives to announce that she's finished her last final and it becomes apparent that she immediately wanted to celebrate with him more than anyone else.
    • After reluctantly telling her he has to study, Axl promises that when he's done with his last final ever, they'll do something together before her Caribbean trip on her family's catamaran.
    • The two share a quick kiss goodbye and then at different points, each watch the other walk away.
    • Again like in their first scene in "The Confirmation", they're holding hands throughout the entire scene pretty much.

     Season 9 
  • "Vive La Hecks":
    • Though Lexie is again not present, the first person Axl immediately goes to see after he gets home from Europe and has reunited with his family is her.
    • The next time the rest of the Hecks see Axl after he sees Lexie is late the next night. He spent pretty much nearly two days with her! And that was after they'd been apart about three months!
    • Fridge Brilliance/Fridge Heartwarming: Axl saying "Going to see Lexie" and immediately leaving to do so is a Call-Back and Ironic Echo to him telling Sue and Lexie "Going to see April" back in "A Tough Pill to Swallow".
    • Axl encouraging Sue to find love to feel complete on two counts: One, in his own way, he's trying to help ease his sister's stress. The other, he hasn't said it yet, but he's clearly hinting that he himself is in love with Lexie and now his world has meaning.
  • "Please Don't Feed the Hecks":
    • Lexie boasts about being with Axl when she talks with Sue about how great things are going for both of them.
    • While Axl and Lexie don't share scenes in the episode, fans online were immediately filled with joy when Lexie came back into the picture. They've really grown attached to Daniela Bobadilla and her portrayal of the character.
    • In one scene at the fountain, Lexie is wearing the same pajamas she was wearing in "The Par-tay" when Axl first kissed her.
    • Crossed with funny: The longer she and Sue go without the apartment, the more embittered and snarky Lexie becomes to the point that she shows how similar she can be to Axl and it shows how much of a perfect match they are.
  • "Meet the Parents":
    • Axl and Lexie kissing in the apartment (though only a promo shot) counts all on its own.
    • The promo shot of them sitting together later on is also a real heartwarmer too.
    • The two wanting Frankie and Mike to meet Lexie's parents to begin with shows how crucial their relationship is getting at this point and how they're now willing to take that big step.
    • Axl mentions how in the case of April, Frankie and Mike met her parents after they got married and now they're meeting Lexie's before he gets married again. He really imagines himself having a future with her someday!
    • Axl helping out with the dishes in the apartment. He cares about Lexie that much that he's willing to do chores.
    • Axl bragging about how beautiful he thinks Lexie is. He feels very lucky to have her.
    • The two snag tickets to a Chance the Rapper concert and are very excited to go. If not to the concert itself, than just to go together. That's all they need.
    • Bennett and Tammy speak very highly of Axl to Frankie and Mike. They join her as official Lexl Shippers On Deck.
    • Axl’s shown in the past how much of a people person he can be under the right circumstances, but how hard he worked to impress Bennett and Tammy shows how important Lexie is to him that he wanted that much to make a good first impression with her parents.
    • Axl and Lexie being inseparable most of the apartment scenes and it's in very close proximity showing how casual they are now and how any boundaries between the two are virtually nonexistent now.
    • Frankie is impressed with how accepting Bennett and Tammy are to her and Mike and how accepting they are of Axl and Lexie's relationship too. There's also a joke in there about swapping kids.
  • "Halloween VIII: Orson Murder Mystery":
    • The Lexl scenes in the episode (as well as the promo shots of Axl and Lexie themselves) ooze with Charlie and Daniela's infectious chemistry.
    • Axl and Lexie are planning to go to a Halloween party when he didn't get to last year because April made him give out candy with her instead.
    • Axl and Lexie are holding hands when they enter the house and continue holding hands until they reach his room.
    • Lexie's developed a tolerance to the Heck house after how sick she got the first time so now she can come see Axl all the time.
    • In fact, it means she’s been visiting him there multiple times since then and while she continued to get sick up to this point, she kept coming back anyways! If that’s not love, it’s hard to know what is!
    • The two kissing in Axl's room before Sue comes in through the hole. Last time they were seen in there together, he didn't know Lexie had feelings for him and she was suffering from all kinds of ailments. It's nice to remember how far they've come since then.
    • Axl and Lexie want to find a couples costume for the party. It's important that they dress up together.
    • The two have no qualms about making out passionately in front of Frankie and Mike. They don't notice anyone else when they're together.
    • Neither one knew about the fact that Donny and Marie Osmond are brother and sister, so that helps reduce the Squick factor when they find out while making out.
    • The two still try to make out despite the poor costume choice because they care about each other that much. They also are equally uncomfortable, so just further proof that they're very much on the same page.
    • Even though they didn’t know they were choosing a brother and sister duo, Axl and Lexie wanted to pick a couples costume of one that stayed together because they want to stay together.
    • Neither Axl nor Lexie has the heart to tell Sue that she has to stop being a third wheel to them. Lexie cares too much as her friend and she also brings out Axl's Big Brother Instinct to not want to do the same and for once, Axl doesn’t want to be the bad guy.
    • The two hide in the bathtub together so they can avoid Sue and keep her from intruding on them again and Lexie points out at they’re in his "parents’ house", meaning they’ve possibly fooled around before this point.
    • Until Axl mentions they're in the "death tub", he and Lexie are thrilled to have alone time for the first time in weeks and start making out again while hiding in the bathtub. The barrier of the poor couples costume choice is also broken too.
    • Though she's breaking down when it happens, Sue acknowledges that she needs to respect Axl and Lexie's personal space when they're together and not intrude upon it. Axl in turn agrees to set a schedule so they can spend time together so Sue will not feel like that.
    • After how tentative she was before, Sue became an official Shipper on Deck for Lexl. She's very accepting of the two in spite of being the third wheel to not feel lonely.
  • "The 200th":
    • Sue brings up to Axl that when they were at Lexie’s lake house, she felt guilty just for having a sip of a drink. While it could be because Lexie was Sue’s best friend before Axl’s girlfriend, it’s a reminder that when he’s with Lexie, Axl doesn’t mind having Sue around and how much more mature Lexl is compared to any other ships with Axl.
    • Axl seems annoyed that Sue brings up Lexie and part of it could be that Sue is once again freaking out about something trivial as usual. For another reason though, it’s also because he misses Lexie when she’s not around.
    • Having not seen Lexie with Axl since "Halloween VIII: Orson Murder Mystery" and not seeing her onscreen at all since "The Setup" (she won’t appear again until "Mommapalooza"), it’s nice to get a reminder of her. Nothing is said about her and Axl's relationship going wrong, so it’s apparent that everything is going right.
    • Bringing up Lexie is also another means of motivating Axl to get the new job at the plumbing supplies store. He wants to work towards being a provider so they can have an actual life together.
    • Brick was trying to reconcile with Cindy after breaking up with her in the first episode. He eventually apologized for dumping her, admitting it was the worst mistake he ever made. While she didn't show too much emotion, she was clearly impressed:
    Cindy: It takes a brave man to admit he was wrong.
  • "The Christmas Miracle": Three words; Sean kissed Sue! Also qualifies as a Moment of Awesome.
  • "The Other Man":
    • The long stretch of time with no mention of Lexl (though she actually had been mentioned in two episodes prior to this one) is finally broken with Axl mentioning Lexie's return from Colorado and it establishes that they’re still together!
    • The moment he finds out Lexie is back (even though he's breaking his plans with Mike), Axl immediately drops everything and rushes to go see her!
    • Axl was very likely talking to Lexie often offscreen and waiting in anticipation for the day that she would come back.
    • The moment also provides reason as to why we've barely seen Lexie as we were unaware that her trip was this long and unless Axl traveled there to see her, all they could do is just talk on the phone.
    • During the story, Frankie becomes jealous as to how close Axl and Mike have bonded since he got a job. So out of spite, she went to spend a night with Brick. Frankie eventually apologized to Brick for using him as a pawn, saying that she feels invisible to the family. In response, Brick understood what she was going through, since he's been in her shoes. In a rare moment, he gave his mother sound advice on how to get through life: depend on yourself if you're happy with yourself, and to not let certain things drag you down. At the end, mother and son had a connection and eventually went for a burger.
    • When they got to a burger place, Frankie ordered seven slices of birthday cake for Brick, one as compensation for each birthday she missed.
  • "Mommapalooza":
    • The apartment scene has Axl and Lexie smiling, talking and sitting together. Even a point where they briefly hold hands!
    • Axl has his broken shoe on the table without protest and that signifies how casual he and Lexie are together at this point.
    • After having not seen the two together for nine episodes, it immediately sets the right mood for the Lexl fans to see that they are still together after all this time.
    • Axl insists to Lexie that she not help him by paying for the things he needs because he doesn’t wish to have that dependency on her. She’s more than just money to him.
    • Lexie is more upset that Axl can't afford the things she can rather than him being prideful. Again, she gets it.
    • The two have a couple casual kisses in the apartment before the big ones at the end of the episode.
    • Lexie trying to make Axl think he's getting things by luck is this too because he matters to her that much that she’ll do whatever it takes to spend more time with him.
    • In addition to the $100 bill and the steak dinner, Lexie makes it look like Axl just so happened to find tickets to Demetri Martin, a comedian they "both" love.
    • When Lexie pretends to win the gift certificate to a fancy restaurant for two, it's for the one she and Axl both said they'd love to go to, again showing how impeccably in-tune their tastes are.
    • With how much build-up they got the previous season and how little screen-time they got together this season, it's great to have the two back onscreen together after all that.
    • Axl and Lexie finally say "I love you"! The fact that Axl never really said it to any other girl before shows he’s sure of it this time and that it’s real now.
    • Lexie was the first to say it. Granted by accident, but having her be the one to initiate it adds value regardless. She doesn't care that they come from different classes because that's NOT! WHAT! MATTERS!
    • Before Axl says it back, he asks Lexie if it's alright if he can kiss her in the restaurant!
    • The two get up to kiss, Axl says it and then they kiss again!
    • The shot of Axl and Lexie's kiss after the "I love you"s is shot very similar to their kiss at the beginning of "The Confirmation".
    • After Lexie's parents cut her off, Axl offers to teach her how to be poor. Again, they each mean more to the other and money is not a factor.
  • "Guess Who's Coming to Frozen Dinner":
    • After Frankie starts to berate him for buying the huge TV, Axl mentions how he was talking to Lexie about being conservative about how much they spend. It means their relationship and most recent encounters are fresh is his mind.
    • Also note that he said they. The two are starting to join their finances and keep track of everything together to prepare for the future.
    • Axl also probably wanted to indulge himself after Lexie went through all that trouble for him in the previous episode because while he felt wrong about her paying for things, it showed how much he appreciated his lady love's affection for him.
    • Axl and Lexie combining what they have also aims towards the fact that he's helping her however he can to not feel so bad about getting cut off.
  • "Great Heckspectations":
    • When Lexie gets back from her new minimum wage job, Axl lets her vent to him and complain about it. As someone who grew up in a completely different class, he has nothing but immense empathy for her plight.
    • Axl and Lexie have now both worked in poor fast food jobs this season. Each one definitely understands what the other is going through and Lexie having gotten a taste of how Axl's life is all the time and not bowed out shows their relationship can withstand anything.
    • Axl is happy to see Lexie despite her current mood. Just being with her is enough to make him feel fulfilled.
    • Axl also lets Lexie put her legs over his lap when she sits on the couch next to him. Just another way in which there are ZERO boundaries between them. Axl also massages Lexie's feet while her legs are on his lap. It's not too dissimilar to when he and April massaged each other's feet when he believed he was in love with her, but we know he and Lexie have the real deal this time.
    • Axl was at the apartment patiently waiting for Lexie to get back from work. Probably the only reasons we haven't seen much of them together after "Mommapalooza" is that she's been busy with college and her new job, but it doesn't mean that they haven't been regularly seeing each other offscreen because they clearly have.
    • Lexie tells Axl that he should get Sue a birthday present since she's his sister and he agrees. Frankie comments in her narration that she knows she wouldn't have gotten him to do it otherwise while Lexie did.
    • On the Brick side of things, he passed his driver's test and got his license (much to his parents' horror), and they forced him to go to prom with Cindy as "punishment", since he didn't care for prom. After Frankie arranged a pre-prom reunion with his former classmates from the social skills class, she was worried: they outgrew their quirks while Brick didn't, and she was alarmed that he would make a fool out of himself. But Mike responded as follows:
    Mike: Our son, who has a driver's license, is heading to prom with someone who he can legitimately call his girlfriend. Did you ever in your life think that was gonna happen? I think he's doing fine.
    • It was clear that Mike, no matter how weirded out he can be by Brick's tics and eccentricities, was impressed with how his son exceeded his parents' expectations, and he verbally declared that he would NEVER trade Brick for a normal kid. He was very touched and nostalgic by how his son thinks very unique thoughts, like "taking all the raked leaves and release them back into the wild".
    Mike: Yeah, [Brick's] weird, but I'd take him over some normal kid any day.
    • Later, in Cindy's last scene in the series, Brick took her to the public library rather than the prom dance. They may not have been a traditional couple like Axl and Lexie, but no matter how weird those two were, they were made for each other.
    • Brick's quote to Cindy really drove home how he feels about her:
    Brick: The library has everything I love: books, and you.
  • "Split Decision":
    • Axl cites one of the main reasons why he doesn't want to take the Denver job is that he doesn't want to leave Lexie. She's the love of his life and he would rather be with her than without her.
    • Lexie holds her feelings in about not wanting Axl to leave when he tells her. She understands how important his feelings about the whole thing are and doesn't wish to belittle them.
    • Lexie barges into the house without knocking. She’s welcome to come and go any time because of just how close she and Axl have gotten.
    • Frankie teams up with Lexie to get Axl to not take the job. She knows Axl values Lexie's input greatly and that he'll listen to her.
    • While conspiring with Frankie, Lexie seeks to help change Axl's mind because she doesn't want him to leave. This results in her making out with him in his room.
    • Lexie is afraid to give Axl an ultimatum to stay. She thinks doing so will put their relationship in jeopardy.
    • Lexie comments on who she dropped the phone when Axl told her and that she hasn't slept for days either. He means that much to her that the worry is keeping her up at night.
    • Axl opens up to Lexie about his reservations towards taking the job. He is clearly comfortable opening up to her because he knows she won't judge him and tell him what she really thinks.
    • Lexie comments to Axl that she drove over from Carmel just to see him. The two also share a hug as well.
    • Frankie is clearly not happy about it, but Lexie tells about how she listened to and understood Axl's reservations, but didn't play into them. She talks about how she loves him and will clearly support him in whatever he decides.
  • "A Heck of a Ride" Part 1:
    • Lexie is among those coming to see Axl off to Denver. She's the first person in the crowd he tries to go to before Brad gets in the way.
    • Axl walks off with Lexie and spends most of the outside farewell with her. They have their arms wrapped around each other the whole time pretty much.
    • Axl and Lexie separated themselves from the crowd. They wanted their privacy.
    • Crossed with Tear Jerker: Lexie cries during her final moments with Axl because she'll miss him that much. Axl is also clearly sad too and is rubbing Lexie's back to comfort her, so he'll clearly miss her that much too.
    • For the second time, we see Axl and Lexie say "I love you" to each other. They kiss until Bill unexpectedly kills the moment.
    • Lexie plans to go see Axl in Denver in July. They intend to maintain a Long-Distance Relationship.
    • Axl and Lexie hold hands as long as possible after their goodbyes are done. They clearly don't want to let each other go.
    • As the Hecks take off in the car, Lexie is waving the fastest and hardest of everyone else. She’s clearly gonna miss Axl the most.
  • "A Heck of a Ride" Part 2:
    • When Sue confronts Axl about telling Sean she was with someone when he came to give her the snow globe, he reiterates that he thought Sean came for Lexie. Aside from Axl protecting his relationship with Lexie, he didn’t intentionally set out to screw his sister Sue over either.
    • Lexie is Axl's wife in the flash forward. They clearly made being 15 hours away from each other work for as long as it needed to.
    • Axl is shown to have three kids in the future. With the reveal that Lexie and him are married after that, it's clear the two have a very happy life together.
    • Axl's sons are also all relatively the same ages that he, Sue and Brick were at the beginning of the series. Helps give a bit of an idea as to how long Lexie and he have been married as of that point in time.
    • Lexie is pregnant at Sue and Sean's wedding. If it's their fourth child, then they're still going strong after all this time and their family is getting even bigger.
    • Even if it isn't their fourth child and just their first, Axl has his arm around Lexie and it's abundantly clear that they're there at the wedding together. The two are about to at least start their family and nothing is going to get in the way of that now.


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