The Middleman

Season 1 Episode 9

The Obsolescent Cryogenic Meltdown

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Aug 11, 2008 on ABC Family



  • Trivia

    • Trivia: An ångström is a measure of length (equivalent to 10^(-10) meters). Nonsensically measuring a fuel source in terms of length was a deliberate reference to Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), when Han Solo boasts of making the Kessel Run in "less than 12 parsecs".

  • Quotes

    • The Middleman: Fire and brimstone! We do not smoke in the Middlemobile!
      Guy: Why not? Is there something combustible in here?
      The Middleman: Only my temper, when I see a man willingly invite cancer into his body!
      Guy: Cancer? Everyone knows the Surgeon General is a red dupe.

    • 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?

    • Wendy: The Batter of the Bulge Pancake House? Well, in the pantheon of places I like to be taken to by a gentleman caller…
      Tyler: You don't find the promise of Luftwaffles and Panzer cakes irresistible?
      Wendy: While I do admire the culinary genius who thought to forge the human drama of the Allied struggle against Nazi Germany with the tasty goodness of all-day breakfast…

    • Tyler: Step this way, please.
      Wendy: But I was just about to order a crueler named after the invasion of Crete.

    • 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 Middleman: This is amazing. I always knew O2STK had the technology to cryogenically freeze Middlemen.
      Guy: O2STK?
      Ida: "Organization Too Secret to Know". It's our little joke. Like you and I had.
      Ida/Guy: WTHWWF.
      The Middleman: "Whoever the Heck We Work For"?

    • Guy: I knew The Candle faked his death. It was the only way he could shake my tail.
      The Middleman: Sheer elegance in its simplicity.
      Guy: Bad guys still say that?
      The Middleman: Like a broken record.

    • The Middleman: Oh phooey.
      Guy: Phooey? What is that?
      Wendy: It's a polite way of saying *bleep*.
      Guy: Oh. Since when are we polite?

    • Tyler: And now I'm testing your oven.
      Wendy: We have an oven?
      Tyler: It's the metal box where you store your extra paint.

    • Derek: Come on, a guy leaves you a melting ray, you're not going to steal something. The whole thing is just…
      The Middleman/Guy/Wendy: (together) Sheer elegance in its simplicity.

    • Wendy: Guy! What are you doing here?
      Guy: At present I'm looking for some hooch.
      Wendy: You stay away from my roommate.
      Guy: I meant a drink.
      Wendy: Oh.

    • Ida: (attaching a hook hand) Hold still, my little wubie.
      Guy: Pan down the puppy dog eyes, Ida. This isn't the hand that rocks the cradle, if you know what I mean.
      Ida: Don't get fresh with me, pony boy, I might actually have to take you up on something.

    • Guy: The Candle is out there. And I know right where he's taken that Balthorium-G.
      The Middleman: Snake Island.
      Wendy: What is that, like near Dead Man's Bluff?
      Guy: Right below the Devil's Throat. I'm glad to see you've done your homework.
      Wendy: Seriously? I was just being snarky.

    • Wendy: So how do we get to The Candle's lair?
      Guy: Well, maybe Scotty can beam us down.
      The Middleman: Huh.
      Guy: It's an obscure reference to a cancelled television show. I'm sure you've never heard of it.

    • Wendy: I have a question: Why are you guys in wet suits and I'm in this Honey Ryder Thunderball nightmare.
      Guy: Honey Ryder's from Doctor No.
      Wendy: Ah, you make me sick.

    • Guy: Sorry, toots, but the only thing more dangerous than an attractive woman is an intelligent woman.

    • Wendy: I thought Middlemen only told the truth and nothing but the truth.
      The Middleman: I am telling the truth. It's only the facts I'm changing.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Titanic

      Gogol's stake in the game of Shibumi is the necklace Le Coeur da la Mer, seen in the movie Titanic (1997). It's the necklace that Cal (Billy Zane) gives to Rose (Kate Winslet) and that she keeps with her until dropping it into the sea near the end of the movie.

    • Action-Thrillers

      Numerous spy movies and television series are referenced throughout the episode:

      * Klebb's Fine Jewels refers to Rosa Klebb, the SPECTRE villainess in From Russia With Love (1963).
      * The Middleman's IDs of Alexander Scott and Kelly Robinson refer to the two main characters of I Spy (1965), starring Bill Cosby and Robert Culp, respectively.
      * The Candle's alias, Lloyd Cramden, is the name of Derek Flint's superior (played by Lee J. Cobb) in the two Flint movies (1966-67).
      * The boy's name is Derek, alluding directly to Derek Flint, portrayed by James Coburn.
      * The alias "Harry Lime" refers to the villain in the movie The Third Man (1949), played by Orson Welles.
      * A fifth of Fleming's Commander Jamaica rum refers to James Bond creator Ian Fleming and his fondness for Jamaica.
      * Govinda alludes to Gobinda, the henchman in the James Bond movie Octopussy (1983).
      * Guy and Wendy's aliases of Harry Rule and the Contessa Caroline di Contini refer to the character played by Robert Vaughn and Nyree Dawn Porter in the British action-adventure series The Protectors (1972-74).
      * The villain named Anatol Gogol refers to the recurring KGB head played by Walter Gotell in five James Bond movies.
      * Count Manzeppi refers to the villainous magician in the Wild Wild West Western/spy series of the sixties played by Victor Buono in two episodes.
      * The odd cheek-poking gesture Guy does to Vilma Schnipp is taken from the spy parody Top Secret! during a dance between Val Kilmer and Lucy Gutteridge.
      * As noted, Wendy's bikini is the same one worn by Ursula Andress in Doctor No (1962).
      * Shibumi references the 1979 spy novel of the same name by Trevanian (aka Dr. Rodney William Whitaker).
      * Lord Jeremiah Purcell references the Destroyer novels featuring Remo Williams and Chiun. Purcell is the protégé of one of their opponents, Nuihc.
      * "You bet your sweet Brioni" references James Bond's preferred tuxedo manufacturer.

    • Guy: I do have a plan: the DSV-4600 Middlesub.

      Referencing seaQuest DSV (1993-1996). The series follows the adventures of first Nathan Bridger (Roy Scheider) and then Captain Oliver Hudson (Michael Ironside) and his crew aboard the seaQuest DSV 4600. Javier Grillo-Marxauch's first Hollywood script was for the episode "Destination Terminal".

    • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

      Balthorium-G is a fictional element originally used in the making of "doomsday" devices, as mentioned in the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The black comedy, directed and written by Stanley Kubrick, based on Peter George's novel, stars Peter Sellers (in three different roles), George C. Scott, Slim Pickens and Sterling Hayden. In it, General Jack Ripper goes insane and launches a nuclear bomber strike which, if the Russians retaliate, will cause the destruction of all life on Earth.

    • The Middleman: What this group needs are stakeout treats!
      Guy: Will you pick me up some Jelly Babies while you're out there, Hazel.

      Referencing Doctor Who (1963–1989, 1996, 2005–), the longest-running science fiction television series in the world. The protagonist of the British series is The Doctor, an alien Time Lord who can regenerate up to 12 times and gain a new body, and travels through time and space in a TARDIS. He's typically accompanied by one or more attractive female sidekicks. Jelly Babies are a favourite confection of the Fourth Doctor (the Second Doctor, the Seventh Doctor and the Eighth Doctor also shared an affection for them).

    • The Middleman: Fragments of moon rock!

      Referencing Flash Gordon (1980), starring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow and Ornella Muti. Dr. Zarkov (Topol) exclaims this line while looking upon fragments of moon rock.

    • Tyler: Don't get all mushy on me, Princess!

      Referencing Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Tyler is paraphrasing one of Han Solo's lines ("Don't get all mushy on me. So long, Princess!").

    • The Middleman: Story of O, turn it off!

      Referencing the erotic novel written by Anne Desclos in 1954. It tells the story of the willing sexual enslavement of O, a Parisian fashion photographer. It was adapted into a film in 1975 and a Brazilian mini-series in 1992.

    • Wendy: With great power comes great responsibility.

      Referencing the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The line, "With great power comes great responsibility.", is a paraphrase of a narrative caption in Amazing Fantasy #15.

    • The Middleman: Ripley's Believe It or Not!

      Referencing the three TV series (1949, 1982-86 and 2000-03) and the franchise of syndicated cartoon strips, books, radio programs and theatrical short films. Robert Ripley specialized in collecting bizarre and unique artifacts and informing the public of their existence.

    • Guy: Well, maybe Scotty can beam us down. Huh. It's an obscure reference to a cancelled television show. I'm sure you've never heard of it.

      Referencing the science fiction television series Star Trek, which ran for three seasons from 1966-1969. The series, starring William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, and Leonard Nimoy, suffered from low ratings throughout its run and was cancelled in 1969 after 79 episodes.

      The series spawned multiple spin-off television series (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise and the non-canonical Star Trek: The Animated Series) and eleven feature films.