Lacey wants to watch SMACC (Supremo-Destructo Martial Arts Combat Channel), because the martial arts are the most confrontational of all the arts. But she can’t adjust their satellite dish and comes back in when Wendy Watson sees fuzzy porn. Turns out, it was just Varsity Fanclub. Then Lacey demonstrates her fandom by dancing along with the five perpetually pubescent harmonizers.
Pip drops by to invite the gang to his gallery show, Deus ex Pip, at The Gate. But, “his” paintings are Wendy’s! Uh, but the armed gorilla is still in the illegal sublet Wendy shares with another young photogenic artist. How’s the Pipster pulling this one off?
WW threatens Pip for copying her art work, but Pip comes right back at her with threats of eviction. From that illegal sublet.
A duck’s caught in a warp hole. That can’t be good. Middleman and Dubby disperse the crowd and bring the duck back to Middleman HQ where they discover it’s a perfectly normal duck, even if it’s a perfectly abnormal warp hole.
Ida gets on the Hadar to seek out an energy source large enough to open a warp hole. While she’s plugging in, Dubby and MM open a box with a Truth Bomb and a Concussive Stun Field Generator.
Feeling a bit down, she tells MM that Pip’s stolen her artwork.
There’s no negotiating with plagiarists, Dubby! You take credit for a man’s ideas you rob his spirit. Now, it’s one thing to forgo credit for saving the world as a Middleman, but art, and the artists behind it, are what make the world worth saving.
Ida gets pinged. Another Hadar starts scanning her and MM unplugs her. She blue screens and MM reboots her. Ida’s got an address: 1981 Lucas Drive, the home of Elliot Marshall.
The Biggest Little Fan
The nervous professor is at a loss in his lab. He doesn’t know what equipment he has or what any of it does. Also, the lab benches are really low.
When his daughter, Cindy Marshall gets home, Middleman and Dubby get a dose of high voltage from the foul-mouthed tween’s fingertips. Then she takes off, FAST on her bike.
Turns out Cindy isn’t the professor’s daughter. She showed up at his door one day and promised to get him tenure for his assistance. When he bit on her offer and started bringing her the equipment she demanded, she blackmailed him to keep it up or she’d spill about him stealing the equipment. After a year, the professor knows two things that stand out about Cindy: her lab, including a black box that needs a very powerful battery; and her room, festooned with posters for Varsity Fanclub.
Middleman’s a fan of country, but he’s “always been fascinated by the ability of pre-assembled sets of sub-masculine archetypes to tug at the heartstrings of a twelve-to-seventeen year old fan base.” And he knows all about Varsity Fanclub.
Ida calls on the Middlewatch and lets the sleuths know she’s found five more, incrementally smaller warp holes. Newark, Toledo, Albany, Kalamazoo, and Cleveland. The same as the tour stops for the Wholesome Fivesome. Tonight, they’re at the Metro Theater in town. So Middleman and Dubby head to the sound check before “that little girl sucks the band through a hole…in space.”
More Pip. Wendy is trying to suck it up to avoid confronting Pip and getting everyone evicted.
Middleman and Wendy warn the boys that Cindy’s a threat. They’re willing to provide security, or even better, help cancel the evening’s show. Then Varsity Fanclub get their books. The first contains girls who’ve threatened to kill them, kill for them, maim them, or maim for them. The second book contains pictures of the parents of girls they’ve slept with. “David didn’t always have that cane.”
Ida calls on the Middlewatch to let Middleman know Cindy’s at Jolly Fats. Too late. Cindy blasts Ida and removes her battery. Dubby and Middleman return, and the tall one of square chin and spotless suit spots Cindy hiding up in the ceiling and uses the Concussive Stun Field Generator to knock her out. And Wendy, too.
The Rebel Alliance
Ida’s battery is now powering the black box. A box intended to close the warp holes. Middleman interrogates Cindy but gets nothing but name, rank, and serial number. And a whole lot more foul language. She’s got a really dirty mouth. Looking up her serial number in the ESDI – Extraterrestrial Serial Data Index – Middleman finds out that she’s a rebel soldier from a wartorn galaxy, who has been fighting against 5 notorious oligarchs.
A holographic message comes from billions of miles away through the Interrodroid 4000. It’s a message from High Aldwin, Supreme commander of the Clotharian Rebel Fleet. Cindy is on Earth to shut the warp holes, destroy the machine intended to create them, and kill the Pentarchs of Clothar. Wendy’s a little shocked to discover that “the boy band Varsity Fanclub is actually five intergalactic dictators.”
Middleman has no choice but to let Cindy free to complete her mission even though it means the end for Ida. Otherwise, the Clotharian Rebel Fleet will come destroy the Earth.
Middleman knows sometimes you have to take one on the chin. Just like Wendy is with Pip.
A Night at the Boy Band Opera
Wendy heads back to Middle HQ where Middleman is up at the lobby desk doing paperwork. With Ida gone, they’ve got a lot of new tasks to tackle. But Wendy has a surprise: concert tickets. Maybe they can find and destroy the warp hole generator before Cindy has to burn out Ida’s battery. Middleman had the same idea, but his tickets are way better.
In the audience, Middleman finally figures it out. The five Great Kazoos are using a Scream Harvester. “Only tweenage screams of ecstasy have the strength to cut a hole in space itself.” The stage is the warp hole generator. A warp hole begins to form above the stage and Middleman and Dubby run backstage to stop Cindy. She’s knocked out everyone back there, but been shot.
On the floor, bleeding out. Right before dying and disappearing, she says, “You wanna know the real bitch of it? I was two weeks from retirement.” Time’s up. Middleman’s got no choice. He activates the black box and shuts the warp hole, eliminating Varsity Fanclub in the process. Also eliminating Ida.
Deus ex Pip
Wendy, Lacey, and Noser show up at The Gate for the show of the stolen artwork. Lacey tells Pip that during his interview, she’ll be glaring at him. Her glare of guilt and truth. But sexy boss man showed up with the Truth Bomb.
Pip tells the truth on camera. All of the truth. Every last word. Lacey thinks it’s her burning gaze. Pip can’t stop. He acknowledges stealing the paintings and being a talentless hack before running out in fear. But Dubby takes advantage of the Truth Bomb. She asks Middleman a question…
Wendy: What’s your name?
Middleman: My name is…the same as my father’s.
Wendy goes back to work to say goodbye to Ida. As she’s leaving, she sees a large crate in the lobby. Pushing a button on the side, a fist punches through and beheads the Interrodroid 4000. Then Ida runs out and back to work.
This week’s were all George Lucas-themed. I believe I missed way more than I caught, but here’s what I did manage to pick up:
- Rene and Marion
- The High Aldwin
- Ravenwood and Jones
- Howard the Duck
- Club Cairo
- 1981 Lucas Drive
- Henry Jones University
- Agent Brody
- The holographic message
The Very, Very Bad
Rumor has it that ABC Family pulled the plug on Middleman today, shutting down before shooting on the 13th and final episode. I hope this rumor isn’t true, but based on the time change and poor ratings performance suspect it is. Disappointing.