Finalewatch: 'The Middleman'
Nothing says "season finale" like visiting a dystopian Mirrorverse. How I love The Middleman, let me count the ways...
The Middleman and Wendy have been thinking over the details of a string of robberies for 11 hours (with Ida's help of course) to no avail. Calling it a night, Dubby heads home to meet up with Tyler for dinner. Too bad he's way late thanks to all his work at Fatboy Industries with Manservant Neville. But on the upside he gives her a lab-grown diamond tennis bracelet and tells her he loves her (which she reciprocates). Except before it can get more lovey dovey, Neville and MM call - Tyler's got to leave and Neville swings by to pick him up in a helicopter.
The next morning, Wendy and Middleman check out the latest robbery - naturally grown baby doll eyes. Creepy much? Adding these purloined glassy goods to the previously pilfered beryllium sphere and oscillation overthruster equals a bunch of no good. Namely the ability to generate quantum singularities. When the Middleteam arrives to stop the bad guy (one Ivan Avi whom they have given the name "The Palindrome" thanks to the clues left on mirrors), MM gets knocked out and Wendy gets sucked into an alternate universe where Fatboy Industries runs everything and a goateed Manservant makes declarations to a suppressed, destitute populace on a big screen. Having drawn the attention of the local stooge military for being feisty and not having an ID card, Dubs has to make a run for it and find a way to get back to her real 'Verse.
Mirrorverse stories can be hard to pull off but, like all season, the writers and actors have done a masterful job at both ridiculing and revering this most hallowed sci-fi staple. The opposing versions of the characters were well played and it was funny just how many different goatees the make-up department came up with. The plot itself wasn't exactly a mystery in terms of how it was going to turn out but there were a couple twists there that I appreciated. Besides, it's not always about the destination, it's about how fun the ride was and this was E-ticket all the way.
Assorted Bits & Pieces
- The overt references tonight were from original Star Trek and John Carpenter's classic Escape from New York but there are also nods to Galaxy Quest, Seinfeld, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and The Terminator among others.
- The anti-versions of everyone was interesting because a good chunk of them weren't exactly evil, which is what you would expect. Wendy tells MM at the end that no matter what universe it is, she knows that at his core he'll always be someone she can depend on. It's a great sentiment but does that mean that this wasn't a true Mirrorverse where all her friends would be legitimately evil? Sure, Lacey was a meat-eating stripper-madame, but she wasn't actually evil. Let the nerd debate begin!
- Speaking of opposites, let's give it up once again for Matt Keeslar. Not only did he play both parts fantastically, I had to rewind when he stood up from fixing the Middlehog. I was staring at his abs and blocked out everything else. Good gravy!
- I don't know the actress' name but kudos to the woman who played Ida's Mirrorverse counterpart. She was good times.
- Also, I like how the Mirrorverse version of Manservant Neville wasn't 100% bad or good. The quasi-ambiguous nature puts a smidge of doubt into the assumed definite evil of regular-verse Neville. He may just be 97% evil.
- I thought it was funny that the Obscure Crimes Database is known as OCD.
- Nice shout-out to both the O.G. of personal game systems, the Gameboy, and "Castlevainia Legends."
- I'm with Wendy in how disconcerting that pile of eyeless baby dolls was. Yeesh.
- When Wendy meets Anti-Noser, they share a Shaft exchange similar to the one featured in the first episode of the season.
- I want, nay, demand another season. DEMAND IT! I must know how Tyler's job at Fatboy Industries turns out. If he indeed is the sidekick to evil (which we all know he is), I demand to see how Dubby, Tyler and MM will deal with it and if Tyler succumbs to the lure of the Dark Side. I must know what sinister and nefarious scheme is tied into the uMaster. I must know if Lacey and MM finally hook up or if Lacey ever "figures out" what's really going on (I suspect she may sorta know already). I must know what really happened to Wendy's dad. Yes, I will buy the comic but I still demand another season.
Quotes of the Week:
"Sometimes putting your nose to the grindstone just gives you a bloody nose." -MM agreeing to call it a night after 11-hours of deliberation
"Hot Pockets are the empanandas of America." - Dubby to Tyler about what she "cooked" for him
"How many dates have you had unfold like the second act of Miss Saigon?" - Wendy to Lacey regarding Tyler Airwolf exit the night prior
"That's going to give me J-Horror nightmares." - Wendy on the pile of glassy eye-challenged baby dolls
"Peter pipin' weirdos." - MM on the Palindrome
"My Little Pony!" - MM's exclamation at realizing the Palindrome's plan
"House of pancakes!" - another exclamation from MM
"I'm pretty much trapped in Alan Parker's 1982 version of The Wall." - Dubby describing the alternate dimension she's trapped in to the Middlewatch
"Grab ankle m%*&# f#&(@!" - the not-so polite way Mirror MM tells Ivan Avi to surrender
What are your thoughts on the finale? Did I miss your favorite reference? What were you favorite moments from the season? Anything else you want to add? See you next season!