The Middleman (TV series): Wikis


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The Middleman
Genre Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Dramedy
Created by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Les McClaine
Developed by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Starring Matt Keeslar
Natalie Morales
Mary Pat Gleason
Brit Morgan
Jake Smollett
Theme music composer Tree Adams
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Javier Grillo-Marxuach
John Ziffren
Producer(s) Shane Keller
Sarah Watson
Ron McLeod
Original channel ABC Family
Original run June 16, 2008 – September 1, 2008

The Middleman is an American television series. The series, which was developed for television by Javier Grillo-Marxuach for ABC Family, is based on the Viper Comics series, The Middleman, created by Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine. The series ran for one season in 2008.

Originally confirmed for an initial 13 episodes, the order was reduced to a 12-episode season due to low ratings. In February 2009, a comic book based on the unproduced 13th episode was announced, confirming the series' cancellation.[1] Billed as a "series finale", The Middleman – The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse is scheduled for release in July 2009. The season-one/complete series DVD set was released on July 28.[2]



A struggling female artist is recruited by a secret agency to fight against evil forces.[3] The pilot episode features a super-intelligent ape who escapes captivity, murders several members of the Italian Mafia, spouts a half dozen catch phrases from American movies on the subject including Scarface, Goodfellas and The Godfather, before being revealed as the pawn of the true villain.

The Middleman is a freelance fixer of "exotic problems," which include mad scientists bent on taking over the world, hostile aliens and various supernatural threats. Because of Wendy Watson's coolness under pressure and photographic memory, Ida, a robot in the form of a grumpy schoolmarm, and the Middleman recruit her to become the next Middleman. The series includes various pop-culture references, including many comic books, such as when Wendy calls herself "Robin the Boy Hostage", a quote from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, demonstrating how Robin was often kidnapped or held at gunpoint by Batman's enemies.

Wendy lives in an illegal sublet apartment with her young, photogenic, animal activist friend Lacey, across the hall from lyric-spouting Noser, and had a boyfriend in film school named Ben.



On July 28, 2009, Shout! Factory released a DVD set containing all 12 episodes of the television series.

  • Disk 1
    1. The Pilot Episode Sanction
    2. The Accidental Occidental Conception
    3. The Sino-Mexican Revelation
    4. The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum
  • Disk 2
    1. The Flying Fish Zombification
    2. The Boy-Band Superfan Interrogation
    3. The Cursed Tuba Contingency
    4. The Ectoplasmic Pan-Hellenic Investigation
  • Disk 3
    1. The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown
    2. The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation
    3. The Clotharian Contamination Protocol
    4. The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome
  • Disk 4
    • Bonus features

References to pop culture

  • Every episode used the Wilhelm scream in some way, and the phrase "It's sheer elegance in its simplicity," whenever a villain's plan is discovered, a reference to spy fiction.
  • The screenwriters often choose for each episode an overall theme or reference to a particular work of pop culture, especially those related to geek humor. For example, in episode two, many names were taken from Frank Herbert's Dune, and in episode four, the names were taken from the Back to the Future series. The fifth episode, which was about zombies, contained numerous references to the band The Zombies. The eleventh episode, which involved an alien threat, contained many references to classic Doctor Who characters, and a "pan-galactic gargleblaster", a drink from The Hitchhiker's Guide is mentioned. In The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation, many references were made to Ghostbusters. In The Clotharian Contamination Protocol a theme used very frequently were paraphrased or directly taken dialogue fragments from the Die Hard movies. Also, the Clotharian message sent to Earth was written in Aurebesh, the Star Wars alphabet, specifically the one created by Boba Fonts—as revealed by the number system unique to the font. Additionally, in "The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome," references are made to the John Carpenter film Escape From New York, such as The Middleman and Wendy taking the undercover names of "Van Cleef" and "Russel" respectively. Also, the alternate Middleman is a tribute/parody of Snake Plissken, the aforementioned film's protagonist. In the same episode, numerous references are made to the classic Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror", specifically the Mirror Fatboy Industries logo and the fact that every man in the alternate universe scene is sporting a beard, in honor of Spock's mirror counterpart in that Star Trek episode.
  • Further references to in-jokes in the various episodes can be taken from the creator of the series himself in the Middleblog.

Critical reaction

  • Daily Variety wrote that "this series could potentially work on any number of networks, and it's almost too smart for the room at ABC Family; nevertheless, this sprightly summer arrival should fit nicely into the evolving niche the channel established with Kyle XY."[4]
  • TV Guide had it as its "Mega Rave" for the week of June 15, 2008, and wrote that "It's loaded with clever banter — like Men in Black if Will Smith's character was a geeky girl."[5]
  • UGO gave it an A- overall and an A for story, calling it "fun to watch."[6]
  • The Boston Herald gave it a B- and wrote that "all that's missing are some onscreen blurbs like 'BAM!' and 'POW!'"[7]
  • Newsarama wrote that "stylistically, the current show this most resembles is Pushing Daisies, with its colorful sets and rapid-fire screwball dialogue" and that "it's about goofy ideas and having a good time, the kind of show you'll want to watch repeatedly to catch a line you missed the first time."[8]


See List of The Middleman episodes.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

The Middleman is an American television series developed by Javier Grillo-Marxuach for ABC Family and based on the Viper Comics series, The Middleman, which was created by Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine.


Season One

The Pilot Episode Sanction

Wendy: Hello, nutjob. Party of one.

Wendy: Get a hold of yourself man. What's easier to believe: a gorilla holding a gun or a big hairy guy doing a drive by?

The Middleman: I don't get it, why the mob?
Dr. Gibbs: Money! Fast, tax-free cash money. This is a federally funded lab. Every year the government is less and less interested in making smarter apes and every year they slash my budget. Without money, I will never fulfill my dream.
The Middleman: What dream?
Dr. Gibbs: To build an army of genetically engineered super-apes...
Dr. Gibbs/The Middleman: (together) ... and take over the world.

The Middleman: What makes more sense? That a monster trashed a science lab or that a gas main exploded? If I hadn't planted your Zippo some pink skin normal would have still come up with a rational explanation. People want to believe reality's normal. The ones who don't are freaks and no one believes them anyway.

The Middleman: Special Agent Watson, slacking off the dress code, I see.
Wendy: Oh, I don't do dress code after sundown.
The Middleman: It's bad apples like you that put Mr. Hoover in a dress.

Wendy: Thank you for calling A.N.D. Laboratories, rescrambling your DNA, how may I direct your call?

The Middleman: You know how in comic books there's all kinds of mad scientists and aliens and androids and monsters, and all of them either want to destroy or take over the world?
Wendy: In comic books, sure.
The Middleman: Well it really does work like that.
Wendy: Get out.
The Middleman: You already forgot what you saw?
Wendy: And you're the superhero?
The Middleman: I never wear tights.
Wendy: I'm crushed.

Wendy: ...and [rule] three, you don't date my roommate. Got it?
The Middleman: That's just mean. I'm single. I'm eligible!
Wendy: Just drive.
The Middleman: Are you ashamed of me?

The Accidental Occidental Conception

Wendy: Uh, the Boy Scouts called. They want their family counseling merit badge back.

The Middleman: (about Wendy's worries for Lacey) I can see this development is upsetting, but I must remind you to...
Wendy: (interrupting) ... Delay any emotional reaction until we've safely delivered the Earth from peril. I got it without the lecture

The Middleman: Caffeine is a drug, Dubbie.
Wendy: I'm holding a molecular stun cannon.

The Sino-Mexican Revelation

Wendy: Uh, Sensei Ping. Like an unborn lotus festering in the mud waiting to blossom, I come to you with humble greetings to beseech your guidance, most awesome...
Sensei Ping: (laughs) Did The Middleman tell you to recite the most hallowed verse of greetings to Sensei Ping?
Wendy: Uh, yes.
Sensei Ping: He is such a comedian. You know, most of us masters of the martial arts are actually very laid back.
Wendy: Really?
Sensei Ping: No! (slaps her)

Wendy: Uh, why is my car being surrounded by a bunch of lucha libre wrestlers?
Sensei Ping: That is a very long story for another day, my impudent young weasel.

The Middleman: Well la-di-da, Dubbie. You must be mistaking the Clan of the Pointed Stick for one of the rational societies of paranoid celibate martial artists.

The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum

Wendy: Shouldn't it be "Middleperson" or "Middlewoman"?
The Middleman: We did have a Middleboy once.
Wendy: What does that make me, the "Middlegirl"?

The Middleman: What is this device?
Wendy: Uhh, it's the thingy you point at things with.
The Middleman: This is the BTRS scanner.
Wendy: And BTRS stands for…?
The Middleman: Beyond the Realm of Science. As in, this machine scans for things that are…
Wendy: Beyond the Realm of Science? Wow. Handy.

The Middleman: I know you and I have been through Hell and back together…
Wendy: I thought Hell and the Underworld were two different things?

Wendy: So did I ace it, or did I ace it?
The Middleman: There's acing it, and there's what you did. Kind of like shooting a cow with a Howitzer.
Wendy: I would never shoot a cow.

The Flying Fish Zombification

Wendy: And I get the feeling you don't share my enthusiasm.
Ida: Then I'm wearing the right expression.

Ida: Sensei Ping loves pain and suffering like tornadoes love trailer parks.

The Middleman: My gut says we may be dealing with the seminal stages of a zombie outbreak.
Wendy: Entrail-ripping brain-chewing zombies?
The Middleman: The very same.
Wendy: Cool.

The Middleman: Do you not realize how serious a zombie outbreak is? A Middleman once died in a zombie outbreak only to come back as a zombie, his own Middleman in Training had to shoot him in the head. Do you want to shoot me in the head?
Wendy: Well, no.

The Boyband Superfan Interrogation

Noser: You got your nude self-portrait into a gallery show?
Pip: That was my sister. And no, my period of erotic sibling representation is over.

The Middleman: But I've always been fascinated by the ability of preassembled sets of submasculine archetypes to tug at the heartstrings of a 12-to-17-year-old fanbase.
Wendy: Funny, I've always been fascinated by their ability to bring up my lunch.

The Middleman: Now, let’s try to get there before that little girl sucks the band through a hole... (noticing Wendy's horrified expression) space.

The Cursed Tuba Contingency

Lacey: What do you do for a living?
The Middleman: We are international consultants that solve exotic problems for corporations, individuals and even governments. Obviously our clients often prefer anonymity.
Lacey: That's so clear... concise.

The Middleman: We're agents Boetticher and Kennedy from American Shrimp and Crab Amalgamed Processors. Law enforcement branch.
Cecil: ASCAP?
The Middleman: We avoid using the acronym for copyright reasons.
Wendy: But, uh, whenever unexpected shrimp or crab appear in the context of a homicide, we're not far behind.

Ida: Time to quit your grinning and drop your linen, people.

The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation

Ida: I told young Tyler to scram.
Wendy: You made the cute boy go bye-bye?

Wendy: But Casper's such a friendly guy.

The Middleman: Dubbie, I can badge my way into Fort Knox. I can talk my way into Lincoln's bedroom. But a sorority house? When it comes to that forbidden stronghold of femininity, I'm afraid penetration is nearly impossible.
Wendy: That's not what I've heard about the Omegas! Oh!

The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown

Wendy: I just wish I wasn't having such a difficult time of this.
Lacey: Sex, waffles and video games? What am I missing?
Wendy: Can you keep a secret?
Lacey: Have I told anybody about that thing with the blueberry pudding pops and the elliptical machine?

Lacey: You got to stop looking for the emotional rip-cord, Dub-Dub, or you're going to find out that your parachute is really a backpack.
Wendy: What's that even mean?

Wendy: Check this guy out. The Fabulous Face. He tries to replace everyone in the White House with evil doubles.
The Middleman: And he succeeded, though no one seemed to notice at the time.

The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation

Wendy: Oh, I'm a gonna get my Buffy on.

Wendy: I'm not sure Vladdy's gonna start biting anyone just yet.
Ida: Look, it's trying to think.

Ida: (to Wendy) No pressure, hon. I fully expect you to fail.

The Middleman: If you want to help Mr. Noser right now, you'll dedicate yourself mind, body , and soul to preventing undead creatures of the night from rising from the grave to suck him dry.
Wendy: You don't talk to other humans much, do you?

The Middleman: Dubbie, did he just turn into a bat puppet?
Wendy: Man, I don't even have an opinion.

The Clotharian Contamination Protocol

Lacey: Look, I don't care what you say, you are going to that interview and I'm driving you there.
Tyler: Lacey, I'm a musician.
Lacey: And this is like Bono offering you a job.
Noser: Bono, Buddha and the Wizard of Oz.

Tyler: Seriously, Dubbie, since you and I met, I've been writing like a song-nado.
Wendy: A tornado made of songs?
Tyler: You know it.

Noser: If you saved his life using kung fu, he owes you what the Chinese sifus, the Japanese sensei, and the Jedi Knights refer to as a "life debt".
Lacey: Every kung fu movie ever made can't be wrong.
Noser: In terms the common man can understand: you own his ass.

The Middleman: Son of a monkey's uncle, Wendy Watson, which part of "this is an emergency" didn't you get?
Lacey: Wendy, why is your boss standing outside our door wearing a hazmat suit?

The Middleman: I'm not gonna lie to you, Dubbie. The tailgate party's about to begin and we have a 10' manure hoagie on our hands.
Wendy: What's with the salty language?

The Middleman: Voyager 2 is rocketing back home, and it's coming in hotter than the devil's wedding tackle.
Wendy: Whoa, that was filthy.

Lacey: Put this on.
Tyler: That's the tie that Wendy and I hang on the stairs when we're…
Lacey: Like I don't know.

Wendy: Shouldn't we be doing this in the lab or something?
Ida: So did they teach you about labs in art school?
Wendy: Yes, and they also taught me about the ancient art of color matching.

Wendy: What if something happens to the box?
Ida: Well, then I'd say it's been nice knowing ya, but it hasn't.

The Middleman: It's your chance to handle a piece of history, albeit through triple-strength prophylactics.
Wendy: No. And please don't call them that.

Wendy: Clothar? The war-torn galaxy that sent us Varsity Fanclub, five intergalactic dictators masquerading as a boy band and threatening to destroy Earth and everyone on it?
Ida: You remember that? And I thought you were on the happy leaf the entire time.

Wendy: Showers?
Ida: Yeah. D-con protocol, honey. That's what you get for being made of meat.

The Middleman: (stripped naked) There's no such thing as modesty when life and death are at stake. Now, quit your grinning and drop your linen.
Wendy: I'm not grinning.

The Middleman: I record a Code 47 for you during every mission. I'm as serious as a German film festival.

The Middleman: (pre-recorded) Dubbie, if you're seeing this, I have perished in the Underworld. Hopefully, we've stopped a thousand years of fire. If not, you might want look into getting an asbestos umbrella. Or a really good insurance policy. (edit)
The Middleman: (pre-recorded) Dubbie, if you're seeing this, we were unable to stop Varsity Fanclub, the Clotharian rebel fleet opened up a warphole, and their armada has reduced the planet Earth to a smoking cinder. I'm not sure how you managed to survive, but "Good for you!"

Wendy: Ida. It's me, the toker. Hophead McStoney. Pick up!

Wendy: Can I say something?
The Middleman: That's what the Founding Fathers fought for.
Wendy: What's up with the vents? I mean we're coming from an isolation chamber inside a secret headquarters built by an organization so covert we don't even know who they are. Yet somehow we have vents large enough to crawl into with accessible registers everywhere. Was this building designed by TV writers or what?
The Middleman: No, it wasn't.

The Middleman: Nanobots are strong, but you're smarter. It's like what Sensei Ping says about weasels.
Wendy: They can easily hide in a tube sock?

The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome

Wendy Watson: Who leaves a palindrome?
The Middleman: Typical supervillain horse feathers. Can't wait to hear this guy's monologue. "I am the Palindrome, feel my power! Power my feel, PALINDROME THE AM I!" Peter-pipin' weirdos.

The Middleman: Eyes without a face! Polydichloric uthenol, you fool! Do you have any idea what you've done?!
Toy store owner: What kind of grief counselors are you?!


The Middleman

The Middleman: Oh, phooey. (repeated line)

The Middleman: Profanity cheapens the soul and weakens the mind. (Episode 1)

The Middleman: Let's kick the tires and light the fires. (Episode 1)

The Middleman: I'm as serious as a Hefty bag full of Rottweilers. (Episode 1)

The Middleman: Katy bar the door! (Episode 2)

The Middleman: Grapes of Wrath, Dubbie, do you have any idea how much of the Earth is made up! (Episode 2)

The Middleman: Hands Across America! (Episode 2)

The Middleman: Sands of Zanzibar! (Episode 2)

The Middleman: Guns of Navaronne! (Episode 2)

The Middleman: What the monkey! (Episode 3)

The Middleman: Jumping bananas, we're in Dutch. (Episode 3)

The Middleman: Mutual of Omaha! (Episode 3)

The Middleman: Sweet mother of Preston Tucker! (Episode 3)

The Middleman: Hot flaming pork buns, I knew it! (Episode 3)

The Middleman: Lord love a duck! (Episode 4)

The Middleman: Great hearts of palm! (Episode 4)

The Middleman: Flowers for Algernon! We're on our way. (Episode 5)

The Middleman: We don't find an antidote...(sigh)...her heart's gonna explode like a sausage casing full of weasels. (Episode 5)

The Middleman: Hold the onions! (Episode 6)

The Middleman: Chocoholics Anonymous! (Episode 6)

The Middleman: Shoots and ladders! (Episode 6)

The Middleman: Hawks of the Luftwaffe! That's it, you've cracked it! (Episode 6)

The Middleman: Great Barrier Reef! (Episode 7)

The Middleman: Tropic of Cancer! (Episode 7)

The Middleman: Sweet Molly Brown! (Episode 7)

The Middleman: Ghosts of the living! (Episode 8)

The Middleman: Great Caesar's ghost! (Episode 8)

The Middleman: Story of O! (Episode 9)

The Middleman: Fragments of moon rock! (Episode 9)

The Middleman: Fire and brimstone! (Episode 9)

The Middleman: Ripley's Believe It or Not! (Episode 9)

The Middleman: Halls of Montezuma, Dubbie! (Episode 9)

The Middleman: Shores of Tripoli! (Episode 9)

The Middleman: Bram Stoker's widow! (Episode 10)

The Middleman: Son of a monkey's uncle, Wendy Watson! Which part of "this is an emergency" didn't you get? (Episode 11)

The Middleman: Hold the wire! (Episode 11)

The Middleman: Pipefitters' Local! (Episode 11)

The Middleman: Eyes without a face! (Episode 12)

The Middleman: My Little Pony! (Episode 12)

The Middleman: House of Pancakes! (Episode 12)

The Middleman: Jimmy crack corn! (Episode 12)

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