'The Middleman': "It's 'Die Hard' in a building"

Marypatgleason_middleman_240 After this week's The Middleman, if the show doesn't get renewed for a second season I'm going to take it personally. That's how attached I've gotten. Seriously.

Spoilers

When the first listed time in the episode reads, "26 hours, 42 minutes before the inevitable detonation," you can just feel you're in for a doozie.

Voyager 2, which was sent out into space on a one-way trip, is hurtling back to Earth. Middleman informs Wendy that there's only three reasons that could happen and all of them equal certain doom.

Bringing the felled remains back to MiddleHQ, an installed device explodes and causes the place to go into lock down. The mini-bomb is from the same planet that Varsity Fan Club (the 5 intergalactic dictators masquerading as a boy band) are from. Now that they're potentially infected, MM and Wendy must scrub each other down since the Interrodroid that was assisting them got blown up. Wendy is not at all comfortable with this (but hooray for shirtless MM!). Except, shortly after, they discover that there was no virus...well, not one that affects humans. Whatever was in there has taken over Ida.

I enjoyed the A plot, what with Dubs and Double M traveling through air ducts and Wendy disguising herself in an Interrodroid exoskeleton, but the B plot is what has me the most jazzed.

Tyler is the epitome of a broke, struggling musician but he's okay with that. Wendy supports him and he's never felt so inspired. When he saves a guy from getting beat up after a car accident, the guy gives him a business card and offers him an undisclosed job. Perfectly content pursuing his music, he has no interest in following up. Turns out the mystery man is Manservant Neville (though "Manservant" is not pronounced the normal way), billionaire environmentalist and creator of the uMaster which 1 in 25 humans own.

When Tyler doesn't call him (though the card only said his name), he tracks him down to Wendy's apartment. Manservant shows up with two large bodyguards and knows Tyler, Lacey and Noser's names. Creepy. But he won't take no for an answer and Lacey pushes Tyler to go to Fatboy Industries' downtown office. After taking a series of tests in a sequence that looks an awful lot like Wendy's Middleman exams, and after speaking with Neville again, Tyler finally takes the job. He doesn't know the full extent of his duties but is looking very sharp in a dark suit.

First of all, Mark Sheppard plays Manservant Neville which is made of win. I heart Sheppard (Romo Lampkin, Battlestar Galactica; Badger, Firefly). But, given his track record, I don't trust the characters he plays instinctively and knew trouble would be had the second he popped up on screen. The altruistic yet ominous fashion in which he convinced Tyler to take the job didn't help either. He reeks of Anti-Middleman.

Assorted Bits & Pieces

  • Hazzah for the return of Tyler! Boo for what I can only assume will be the eventual fight of protege vs. protege that might lead to he and Wendy breaking up (or worse)!
  • If I don't get to see the resolution of not only this storyline but a second season all together, I'm going to majorly miffed. And they better pray to their dear and fluffy lord that I don't get miffed.
  • The majority of the references were from Die Hard but there were Doctor Who, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Speed bits in there too.
  • Poor Interrodroid. Even though its memories get downloaded into subsequent models, being constantly behead is a sucky way to go.
  • Lacey is wanted in three states. We don't know what for.
  • The Middleman has over 300 emergency protocols.
  • People break into MiddleHQ and threaten to blow it up about 3 times a year.
  • That scene with Interrodroid 6000 stalking MM and Dubby with a laser gun reminded me of something but I can't figure out what. I want to say Westworld but I'm not sure if that's correct...
  • I know there are certain things that have to be explained for the sake of the audience but Wendy not knowing what nanobots are is unbelievable.
  • Big ups to Matt Keeslar on his emotional scene towards the end of the episode. That was tearing up of the highest caliber - not too much, not too little, not overwrought. Impressive.


Quotes of the Week
"Son of a monkey's uncle, Wendy Watson. What part of "this is an emergency" didn't you get?" - A disgruntled MM showing up at their door wearing a hazmat suit when Wendy takes too long to get downstairs

MM: "It's coming in hotter than the devil's wedding tackle."
Wendy: "That's graphic." - MM about the speed at which Voyager 2 is rocketing back to Earth

Ida: "So, did they teach you about labs in art school?"
Wendy: "Yes. And they also taught me the ancient art of color matching."

"It's your chance to handle a piece of history, albeit through triple-strengthed prophylactics." - MM before beginning his examination of the quarantined Voyager 2 remains

"It's like oompa loompas with power tools." - Dubs upon seeing the nanobots in Ida's system

"You sound like Graham Chapman and you dress like a Vestal virgin" - Wendy when Alwin says he's not "High Alwin"

"If you were a magazine they'd call you 'Tyler Beat'." - Dubs to Tyler about how awesome she thinks he is

Your thoughts about the episode? Did I neglect to mention your favorite reference? What do you think about this whole Tyler/Anti-Middleman situation?