The Middleman

ABC Family (ended 2008)
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1,075 votes
  • show Description
  • Fighting evil so you don't have to.Wendy Watson is recruited by The Middleman as his protégée. The Middleman, a milk-guzzling comic-book-like superhero, protects humanity from the supernatural forces that lurk in the shadows.The Middleman is based on Javier Grillo-Marxuach's series of graphic novels.

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  • Episode Guide
  • S 1 : Ep 12

    The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome

    Aired 9/1/08

  • S 1 : Ep 11

    The Clotharian Contamination Protocol

    Aired 8/25/08

  • S 1 : Ep 10

    The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation

    Aired 8/18/08

  • S 1 : Ep 9

    The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown

    Aired 8/11/08

  • S 1 : Ep 8

    The Ectoplasmic Panhellenic Investigation

    Aired 8/4/08

  • Cast & Crew
  • Matt Keeslar

    The Middleman

  • Natalie Morales (II)

    Wendy Watson

  • Brit Morgan

    Lacey Thornfield

  • Mary Pat Gleason


  • Jake Smollett


  • Photos (27)
  • Top Contributor
  • Gislef

    User Score: 728


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (167)

    • The Middleman: No more monologuing, or I'll Swiss-cheese you on principle.

    • The Middleman: So, what's it going to be: Keep the secret, or death? Wendy: What do you think? The Middleman: Ma'am, specificity is the soul of all good communication. Wendy: Yes. Duh. The Middleman: Outstanding. You're good under pressure. Wendy: Are you hitting on me? The Middleman: Just making an observation. Wendy: Hellooo, nutjob, party of one. The Middleman: No, Ma'am. I'm just The Middleman.

    • 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: Tell the truth if you want, but if you do I'm going to have to root you like a hog and kill you.

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    Notes (40)

    • The crew could afford only one gorilla suit. As such, Mike Starr plays all of the gorilla characters in the episode. During the laboratory sequence, as the camera pans through the lab, Starr portrays one gorilla, slips away once the cameras pass him, runs to the next station, and plays a different gorilla. The only time two gorillas appear is when they use a CGI gorilla doing Tai Chi.

    • The machinegun used is the actual gun used in Scarface (1983), from which much of Spanky's dialogue is taken directly.

    • Director Jeremiah S. Chechik worked on The Avengers (1999) and the inclusion of various references to the episode were asked for by series creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach. One such scene is the Middleman looking through a magnifying glass, his face itself magnified. It parallel a scene in the movie where Sean Connery's character is looking through a magnifying glass the same way. Another was the brief black-and-white sequence with the Middleman and Wendy (which took 14 minutes to shoot).

    • Stephen Sowan (Ben) originally read for the role of Noser. He failed to get the part and was cast as Wendy's girlfriend.

    • Series creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach can be seen twice in the episode. He's a scientist teaching a gorilla to read in the lab, and his face appears on the Omerta Rat poster in Spanky's private room. Comic book artist Les McClaine's picture appears in the Italian restaurant: it's the large photo hanging on the wall.

    • Mary Lynn Rajskub (Dr. Gibbs) is credited as a special guest star.

    • "The Pilot Episode Sanction" was made available on iTunes and Xbox Live prior to its ABC Family broadcast.

    • This episode is based on the first four-issue The Middleman mini-series released in 2005, consisting of "The Temporary Employment Sanction", "The Secret Recruitment Ultimatum", "The Experimental Simian Identity" and "The Primate Domination Factor". In July 2006 they were released as a trade paperback, The Trade Paperback Imperative.

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    Trivia (22)

    • Trivia: The name of the Italian restaurant — Il Mutande Grandissimo — translates to "The Really Big Underpants".

    • The mob killer who is presumably one of Gibbs' "operatives" is clearly not a gorilla. The killer is much shorter and thinner. In the opening shootout the killer is wearing gloves but glimpses of human skin can be seen between the gloves and the cuffs. The DVD commentary notes that the director and creator deliberately kept it vague, to suggest it might been a human operative, but that doesn't account for the banana dropped at the scene of each crime.

    • Trivia: In the scene where Wendy is on her bed reading a graphic novel, the cover is for Oddly Normal. Viper Comics produces the graphic novels for that series as well as The Middleman. The title character is a 10-year-old girl, half-witch and half-human, raised by her aunt in the land of Fignation.

    • Trivia: There are several reference to the band The Zombies. Wendy's alias of "Mrs. Blunstone" refers to Colin Blunstone, the band's vocalist. The group formed in St. Albans: the duo talk to victim Rod Argent is the St. Albans Hospital. Rod Argent is the name of another member of the Zombies. The Atkinson Memorial Insane Asylum refers to band member Paul Atkinson (who also attended St. Albans). Mr. White is named for band member Chris White. The fishery, Odyssey & Oracle, is named after the band's 1968 album.

    • Trivia: The Middleman claims he's from the American Shrimp and Crab Amalgamated Processors, but says he can't use the acronym due to copyright reasons. The acronym ASCAP belongs to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers... who among other things protect copyrights. (There is no American Shrimp and Crab Amalgamated Processors organization in real life.)

    • Trivia: There are numerous real-life references to the RMS Titanic and the films and books surrounding it: * The names Erica Ambler and Ray Ward Baker refer respectively to the writer and director of A Night to Remember (1958), another movie version of the sinking of the RMS Titanic starring Kenneth More, Honor Blackman and Ronald Allen. * The Middleman uses the aliases of Harland and Wolff. Harland and Wolf is the company that built the RMS Titanic. * Edward J. Smith High School refers to Edward J. Smith, the captain of the Titanic. * A school poster in the background says the team is "Fighting Icebergs", a reference to the iceberg that sank the Titanic. * The Middleman's exclamation of "Sweet Molly Brown!" refers to Margaret Brown, an American socialite aboard the Titanic on its first and final voyage.

    • It's never explained how Cecil escapes Middleman HQ. They know he's hunting for the tuba, and he's not to be trusted, so it's unlikely they'd let him go until they at least recover it, and nothing in the episode establishes they let him go.

    • Trivia: The Middleman uses the aliases of Boetticher and Kennedy Budd. Boetticher directed Ride Lonesome and Burt Kennedy wrote the screenplay.

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    Allusions (142)

    • Jolly Fats Wee Hawkins: The name of the temp agency references Cracking Up (1983), starring Jerry Lewis. The Jolly Fats Wee Hawkins airline agency is a low-budget carrier.

    • Dr. Gibbs: get him to stop painting those damn soup cans. Referencing Andy Warhol (1928-87), an American artist and prime mover of the pop art phenomena. He rose to fame in the 1960s with works such as Campbell's Soup Cans and other paintings of brand name products.

    • Spanky: Man has climbed Mt. Everest, gone to the bottom of the ocean. He's fired rockets to the moon, split the atom, achieved miracles in every field of human endeavor. Referencing Goldfinger (1964). Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) delivers the same line as he describes Operation Grand Slam.

    • The Middleman: Barry Allen or Wally West? Referencing two incarnations of The Flash, a comic book superhero. Barry Allen is the Silver Age Flash, first appearing in Showcase #4 (October 1956). The character was created by Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino and Bob Kanigher. His nephew, Wally West, first appears in The Flash (vol. 1) #110 (December 1959–January 1960). Wally West was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. Both gained their powers of super speed by being doused with electrified chemicals. Wally started as Kid Flash but later took on the role of the Flash when Barry Allen died.

    • Wendy: Does Rosie have an off switch? Referencing Rosie the Robot Maid from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon The Jetsons (1962-1987). Like The Flintstones, the series featured a normal everyday family in a different timezone. George Jetson was the father with wife Jane, teenage daughter Judy, and younger boy genius Elroy.

    • Wendy: Cut out the twang, Gomer. Referencing the character Gomer Pyle, who first appeared in The Andy Griffith Show. A good-natured country boy and gas station attendant, played by actor Jim Nabors, the character was later spun off into his own successful series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. (1964-69).

    • Spanky: Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Referencing a line from The Godfather: Part III (1990) spoken by Don Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and referring to his attempts to get free of the Mafia.

    • Wendy: Get your filthy paws off of me, you damn dirty ape! Parodying the line spoken by Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes (1968). The dialogue is the first line spoken by his character, George Taylor, to the ruling apes after he is rendered temporarily mute by a gunshot wound to the throat.

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  • Fan Reviews (22)
  • Wendy Watson is a "Temp Jobber" is recruited by "Middle HQ" to be trained in becoming the Next "Middle Man", With help from the current Middle Man and Sensei Ping's unorthodox training and endless list of life lessions" Does "Dubby" have what it takes?

    By SyNNeR6x3, Jan 10, 2009

  • Well what can I say...

    By Jooj, Oct 31, 2008

  • Hands down the best-written comedy on TV, and hands down my favorite.

    By PutU2REM, Oct 23, 2008

  • Summarizing this show isn't the way to give it credit. The Middleman is a scifi/comedy about a girl named Dubbie who is recruited by "The Middleman" to work for a secret organization keeping the average joe from knowing about extra terrestial threats.

    By mplsbill, Oct 14, 2008

  • From episode 1, when Wendy meets The Middleman and Ida to join the fight to same humanity, to the season finale when she is pulled into a parallel universe; she and her friends charm us with their humanity. No challenge is too great for friendship.

    By fallison, Sep 16, 2008