Harmonies of destruction on 'The Middleman'
I love me a good Pop tune but now, thanks to this episode of The Middleman, I don't know if I'll ever be able to look at a boy band the same way again...
The villainous scheme du jour involves Cindy, a lightning-casting, obscenity spewing, violent, genius of a seemingly 14-year-old girl and the group Varsity Fanclub ("the most popular boy band in the world"). There are holes in space opening up, each one bigger than the last, and it seems that Cindy is going all Misery and wants to do them harm.
But it's never that easy is it? In actuality it's the boy band that are the perpetrators. They're really 5 intergalactic dictators banished from their home galaxy but trying to return. They started the group to get money to build the machine that generates the warp holes. And the power source? The screams of all their fans. Ingenious! Cindy is really a high ranking soldier from the rebel faction responsible for the banishment.
To stop them, she came up with a device - a black box with three switches that need a big power source. One that she steals out of Ida's back. The only problem is, once the device is activated, it drains all the power out of the battery which spells the end for Ida. Cindy gets fatally wounded (just two weeks away from retirement) and it falls on Middleman and Wendy to finish the task. As much as it pains him, MM flips the switches and Varsity Fanclub are struck by lightning from the warp hole, stricken from existence.
Back at MiddleHQ, Double M boxes up Ida. Wendy puts a flower in her hand and walks out as MM plays taps on his father's bugle. But wait! What's this? A giant box with a giant red button on its side sits in wait in the reception area. With the Interrodroid 4000 with her (its been helping out since Ida was incapacitated), she presses the button. Suddenly, a fist punches through and knocks poor Interrodroid's head off. It's Ida! Hooray for a happy ending.
Assorted Bits & Pieces
- There sure are a lot of d-bags in Wendy's life. Pip, the son of the guy who owns the place they illegally sublet, copied Dub's paintings and got a gallery showing at The Gate - the place for up and coming artists. She confronts him but he threatens to get everyone evicted. When she tells MM, he wants to kick his butt. He's not a fan of plagiarizers. Resigned to sacrifice her art in favor of her friends, she attends the opening with Noser and Lacey. Double M shows up and, with the help of a Truth Bomb, gets Pip to not only admit his crime and recognize Wendy for her brilliance, gets him to admit it during a TV interview.
- Lacey not only knows who Varsity Fanclub is, she knows their songs and dances. Much mocking was had in response. Also, their final concert ironically took place at the Metro Theater
- Speaking of Varsity Fanclub, they keep two different notebooks - one full of pictures of girls willing to maim and/or kill (both them and for them) and another of pictures of the angry parents of all the girls they've slept with. Classy.
- When investigating the first hole in space, they find a duck stuck inside it. Poor thing. Middleman disperses the crowd by saying he's a street magician named Renee the Remarkable and Wendy is his assistant. Mary...the Enthusiastic. Wendy needs to work on her ad-libbing skills.
- With Ida incapacitated and Cindy captured, a video message arrives from the intergalactic rebel leader and fills Middleman and Dubs on what's really going on. It's beamed from the Interrodroid 4000's eyes and states an executive decree numbered 24-5-17-8-93-55-2-39-3. Rebel factions? Intergalactic despots? Messages played from a robot? Lightning cast from two hands? Cindy hiding out at 1981 Lucas Drive? Star Wars references anyone?
- Aside from learning that Middleman hates people who steal ideas from other artists, we get one other small bit of intel. When Wendy asks what his name is whilst under the truth bomb's influence, MM deftly answers," My name...is the same as my father's."
Quotes of the Day
"Totally! For her 14th birthday!" - Wendy to Noser after he suggests buying Lacey Varsity Fanclub concert tickets
"Chocoholics anonymous!" - One of Middleman's exclamations of surprise
"I'm a Country man...But I've always been fascinated by the ability of pre-assembled sets of sub-masculine archetypes to tug at the heartstrings of a 12-17 year-old fanbase." - MM when Wendy asks if he's a fan of Varsity Fanclub
"I could tie him to a chair. I'm just saying...the rest takes care of itself." - MM offering to help Wendy with her Pip problem
"Only tweenage of ecstasy have the power to cut a whole in space itself." - MM regarding Varsity Fanclub's ingenious power source
What were your thoughts on the episode? Favorite quotes I missed? Other references that slipped by me? Will you ever be able to look at a boy band the same way again?