FOX
February 14, 2017 at 09:00 PM EST

Every week, the cast and crew of Fox’s The Mick — the new comedy series that follows Kaitlin Olson’s reckless Mackenzie, a.k.a. “Mickey,” who’s tasked with caring for her on-the-lam sister’s three children — is taking EW behind the scenes of the latest episode. This week, writer Lindsay Golder takes us inside the ninth episode, “The Mess,” where Mickey discovers how hard parenting can be — and how much she can survive (spoiler: a lot).

We thought in this episode it would be interesting to see Mickey struggling with one of the worst parts of parenthood: learning how to discipline. The Mick creators Dave and John Chernin encouraged us to explore the realities of Mickey’s new life as a parent, especially since she’s not exactly the perfect mom bringing homemade brownies to the school bake sale. And if Mick made brownies, they definitely wouldn’t be for kids.

Throughout the episode, Mickey has to fight against who she feels she is as a person (totally awesome) and who these kids are forcing her to become (a total buzzkill). I imagine most parents out there know the level of irritation Mickey reaches in realizing that she doesn’t really have any disciplinary options left. How do you punish a couple of rich kids who have everything?

We get to watch Mick run the gamut of emotional states, including hurling herself onto the roof of Jimmy’s (Scott MacArthur) car to try to stop the kids from going to the big party of the year. We thought it was a nice callback to the pilot episode by having Jimmy hit Mickey with his car again — this time with the kids there to witness Mickey’s near death.

The party scenes were some of my favorites to see come to life. Maybe it’s Mickey’s Terminator homage, or watching Jimmy get his Edward Fortyhands stomped, or maybe it’s just Alba’s (Carla Jimenez) amazing rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” It really feels like a party worth locking up your drunk aunt to attend.

We talked in the writers’ room a lot about the scene where Mickey ultimately breaks down and spanks Ben (Jack Stanton) at the party. In that moment, Mickey is so frustrated that she makes the wrong parenting choice. Jack’s performance was great during this scene, and we made sure that he was safe during the stunt with protective clothing. Afterward, Mickey knows she messed up and attempts to make it up to the kids. When the kids aren’t into her peace offering, Mick comes up with her own way to establish she’s in charge once and for all, while still letting Ben know she’s sorry.

Parenting can be a rough road. Mickey’s seen rougher. But whatever you do, don’t try to hit her with a car. She’ll be fine.

The Mick airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

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