The Paper Route is the nineteenth episode of season three.
Brick needs money to buy night vision goggles so he becomes a newspaper delivery boy. Matt's family moves to Chicago but Sue convinces herself they can maintain a long distance relationship. In the mean time, Sue adjusts to wearing full-on headgear. Mike's secret hoarding of batteries is discovered.
Brick needs $34.95 to buy a pair of night vision goggles. Frankie encourages her boy to earn the money himself, so Brick picks up a paper route. He vows to approach this job with the same sense of responsibility that he always does. That's what's making Frankie so nervous. Mike, however, thinks this new gig may be good for their son. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Brick is Orson's newest paperboy!
Dispensing the daily news proves to be a time-consuming task. Brick skips school in order to fulfill his delivery duties. Mike offers to help him shave a little time off his route. Eventually, life on the newsbeat speeds up. That's because Frankie and Mike end up delivering all the papers once Brick gets sick. Hey, it's better than cleaning up his barf.
While driving around on the route, Frankie learns that Mike has been hoarding batteries. They are part of his private stash. He's been keeping a secret battery supply for a decade. Frankie is upset that her hubby won't share, but Mike brings up the fact that his wife has her own hidden supply of frosting in the garage. She keeps it tucked away behind the paint brushes.
Frankie and Mike eventually realize it's time for Brick to ditch this particular job. Their attempt to quit is met with scorn from the newspaper's head honcho (guest star Ed Asner). The guy forces Frankie and Mike to reconsider their resignation. On the bright side, Brick gets those night vision goggles. On the dark side, they don't work without power. So, Frankie heads out to buy a bunch of batteries. She hides the extras in the garage next to her frosting.
Matt and the Orson High wrestling team finally win their first meet. Woo hoo! Sue is finally getting her braces off. Woo hoo again! These two glorious bits of news are dampened when Matt lets Sue know that he's moving away. Boo hoo. Sue then gets her braces off to learn she must wear a hideous retainer complete with headgear. Boo hoo again.
Sue and Matt decide to maintain a long distance relationship. Axl knows these things don't last. That's why he takes it upon himself to give his sis some brotherly advice about how guys think. Sadly, he's right on the money. Matt starts spending lots of time with a girl at his new school. Sue remains clueless as to how this threatens their long distance love right up until the moment Matt dumps her.
Sue is devastated, but cheers up a bit after an unexpected pep talk from Axl. Her big brother even invites her to his baseball game. Sue gets a firsthand look at Axl's new pickoff move. By firsthand look, we mean she gets head in the head with the baseball. It's kind of cool to see Axl jump into the stands to make sure his sis is okay. Thankfully, the protective headgear that came with Sue's retainer saves her from any serious injury.