Middleman Review: “The Accidental Occidental Conception”


Middleman: Personally, I’ve never had emo that didn’t interfere with the job.

Wendy: I find that hard to believe. I mean that you’ve ever had emo.

Wendy Watson sure does have a lot of emo in this episode, too. It opens with our heroic sidekick bailing Lacey out of jail. Wendy makes smalltalk with the desk sergeant – as two battlers on the side of law and justice – while Lacey is brought out. She’d exposed herself in a sushi restaurant to open the eyes of the world to the dangers of high mercury levels. In frustration, Wendy calls Lacey’s protests “pointless pranks” and Lacey tells DubDub she has “no idea what it takes to save the world.”

Tired and cranky the next morning, Wendy drinks her morning java – conveniently produced from a compartment in Ida’s midsection – and debates with the Middleman whether she’s fit to perform. The argument is short, as a call comes in about a mudslide…inside a restaurant.”

Earth, Wind, and Fire Raining From Above

A little sleuthing and the text off a placemat help our duo of dynamism discover that a Terracotta Warrior has been set loose in the world. Middleman admits to an area of weakness and brings Wendy to his supernatural resource, Roxy Wasserman. Roxy’s a lot of things – successful business woman, head of a world-renown fashion house, purveyor of all things fur – but mostly she’s a reformed succubus. She fills in the blanks on the Terracotta Warrior.

An Earth elemental, the Terracotta Warrior draws its power from the Earth and can take any form as long as it is composed of earth. Middleman’s not happy: “Grapes of Wrath, Dubbie! Do you have any idea how much of the Earth is made up of earth?”

Roxy tells them not to worry. A potion of aquatic banishment can destroy the warrior, but it will take some time to get together the ingredients. In the meantime, they need to find the warrior’s target, the heir to the Ching dynasty. The warrior’s goal is to take the last living heir to the land of the dead and release a hail of fire to destroy the Earth.

While Ida works on locating the heir, Middleman brings Wendy by her apartment. Since they’ll be heading off to China to find the heir first, she needs to pick up some clothes. Wendy and Lacey continue their fight. Wendy tells Lacey she’s working with Roxy Wasserman and Lacey grows livid because Roxy’s single-handedly keeping fur in style. She grabs a can of fake blood from the fridge to go throw on Roxy’s furs and heads out.

Karl Lagerfeld with Breasts

Before Lacey can throw her blood-ette (nauga-blood? hemo-fauxbin?) Roxy asks for her fashion advice. Recognizing an idiot savant, she hires Lacey as her assistant on the spot. She puts her to work, getting the bottles of Tahiti water needed to complete the aquatic banishment potion.

While Lacey’s becoming a cog in the fashion-succubus machine, Wendy and Middleman are headed to Frank Herbert Junior High School (which oddly does NOT sit on a giant sand dune) to find Duncan, heir to the throne. On the way, Wendy tries to call Lacey to no avail. Middleman asks why, thinking she “solved her female problems.”

A quick fight – and a quick shout-out to the T-1000 – and our heroes take the kid and bolt to his house. When they get there, Lacey is waiting with the vial. Unfortunately for them, she “saved the world” by substituting the bottled water with tap. The Terracotta Warrior gets away with Duncan leaving Wendy and Middleman covered in mud. Not the good kind you go to a spa for, either.

The Road to Hell

The Underworld looks like an office building from the ’40s with Muzak piped in. An officious and flamboyant clerk tells Middleman that he just missed the Terracotta Warrior and points him on his way. Carrying the scythe that allows them safe passage in the Underworld, he runs to where the rite is being performed. But Wendy, carrying the vial, stays behind to ask the clerk to find a record for her father. She wants desperately to know if he’s alive or dead. But when she hears the yells from Middleman – only now realizing that he’s gone on without Wendy – she follows.

All three – Middleman, Wendy, and Duncan – run away from the Terracotta Warrior and to the elevator back to Earth. This time the potion has been correctly created and destroys the warrior, sending the threesome back to Earth.

The Earth is saved, the heir to the Ching Dynasty lives, but Wendy is no closer to knowing the truth about her father. She and Lacey make up, though. So she’s got that going for her.