Wendy Watson ain’t got no money. Lacey Thornfield ain’t got no money. And the Middleman’s just stressing over the arrival of Sensei Ping.
Wendy won’t get paid until she finishes her training and Lacey’s a confrontational spoken word performance artist whose last show had an audience of two. One of whom was Wendy’s mom. Things are rough in the illegal sublet Wendy shares with another young, photogenic artist. That’s why Lacey is starting a job at the Booty Chest, the pirate themed sports bar with scantily clad waitresses.
On her way to Middleman HQ, Wendy’s crapmobile, a Kruk Bugbear, breaks down. A friendly musician, himself looking for a job, stops and helps her out. He’s a fan of the “poor man’s Yugo.” Turns out the young man had a job opportunity but his roommate lost the message. An opportunity at the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Temp Agency! Hmm. Wonder if we’ll see him again tonight?
At HQ, Middleman is stressing over Sensei Ping’s arrival. But O2STK (Middleman’s boss) has called with a Red Ball! La Cage du Lumière, which is the most complicated diamond in the world, was stolen. If you shine a light through it, it makes a “cage of light.” Middleman is verklempt, as he can’t leave Sensei Ping waiting at the airport, but duty calls and it’s off to the Metro Museum of Rare Antiquities.
Posing as Mossad agents, MM and WW show up at the museum. The director of the museum served in the Israeli army and asks in Hebrew whether MM is “a product of the Kibbutz movement.” Middleman responds right back in Hebrew:
A man asked me that question once.
I kicked his male reproductive organs into his watch pocket.
Now he must check the time whenever he wishes to copulate.
Huh. Maybe this is why ABC Family moved it to 10pm.
MM stays on the scene to investigate and sends WW off to pick up Sensei Ping (Mark Dacascos).
He’s a bit abrasive to our laidback sidekick, so on the drive back to HQ she quickly breaks the three rules MM had given her:
- She comments on his mask
- She comments on his age
- She brings up the Clan of the Pointed Stick
Sensei Ping does not take kindly to these affronts to his honor and swerves the car into the shoulder where they are quickly set upon by a group of Luchadores.
Oh no! The Luchadores used La Cage du Lumière, plus a high-powered energy beam emitter they’d stolen two days earlier, to trap Sensei Ping in a cage of light!
Wendy Gets Benched
Middleman wakes WW up and tells her to be prepared to leave the country in four hours. If Sensei Ping doesn’t make his traditional breakfast of chicken feet in 17 hours, the Clan of the Pointed Stick will send out three highly trained assassins to kill MM and WW. Wendy doesn’t think that’s very fair, but Middleman doesn’t care: “Ladida, Dubby. You must be mistaking the Clan of the Pointed Stick for one of the rational societies of paranoid celibate martial artists.”
Back in the illegal sublet Wendy shares with another young, photogenic artist, WW finds out that Lacey quit her job at the Booty Chest already. It was just a den for frat boys and gropers, and then a group of Lucha Libre wrestlers showed up. Aha! Wendy gets tarted up so she can go undercover at the pirate themed sports bar with scantily clad waitresses.
Ida scans for the high-powered Mexican laser, but it’s got the same power consumption characteristics as a Teledyne Water Pik with a custom high-output heating element and an aftermarket turbo power wash accelerator. There are at least five of those in the city, so Middleman’s got some legwork ahead of him.
At the Booty Chest, WW sees her dreamy musician hunk from the morning. He needed work, so he applied for a busboy job. He doesn’t want WW to talk to the Luchadores because they’re evil, not good Lucha Libres. He watched a lot of Lucha Libre growing up in Panama – his dad was in the military, just like WW’s – and knows these guys are bad. But he promises to get WW’s back.
While WW holds an atomic de-moleculizer on the big bad, he tells her that Sensei Ping and the Middleman are both to be killed. Out in the alley, wrestlers lie in wait with a Teledyne Water Pik with a custom high-output heating element and an aftermarket turbo wash accelerator. It’s a trap!
WW and the Busboy head to the alley, fighting Luchadores, but it’s too late. Middleman is knocked cold and taken to the Yucatan.
WW Has a Visible Jet
Wendy takes the Middlejet to get to The Dread Pyramid of Itzilichlitlichlitzl. That’s right, there’s a Middlejet. It’s parked above the Middleboat. And how does WW know how to fly it? Her father taught her, of course.
There’s two things I know how to do better than anyone. Painting abstract expressionist renderings of paranormal phenomena; flying any crate with wings and an engine.
The Luchadores believe Sensei Ping killed their former leader, but he did not. The two of them dueled for 25 days without dishonor. On the morning of the 26th day, he was felled by a heart attack. Sensei Ping took his mask as a tribute to the man he could not defeat. The wrestlers don’t buy it. Not that it matters. Sensei Ping demands his right for trial by combat. Middleman likes the plan, until he finds out he must be Sensei Ping’s champion.
Middleman fights 100 men and does admirably until one gets him in a toehold. Fortunately, Wendy has parachuted into the pyramid and shoots the high-powered Mexican laser. She and Middleman stand aside as Sensei Ping finishes off the Luchadores, killing the final one with the Wu-Han Thumb of Death.
Poor Wendy. Cute boy got a concussion and has two-day amnesia. He won’t remember her at all. But Middleman does finally pay her. Plus a bonus: a brand new Smart Car. All in all, not a bad couple of days work.
This has to be one of the hardest shows to recap. All I want to do is quote it. Every single, eminently quotable line. What was your favorite?