The Middleman

Season 1 Episode 10

The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation

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Aired Monday 10:00 PM Aug 18, 2008 on ABC Family
8.8
out of 10
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80 votes
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Episode Summary

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The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation
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To prevent the resurrection of every vampire that has ever lived, The Middleman and Wendy search for a possessed puppet that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler. Meanwhile, Noser pulls a disappearing act.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Wendy and the Middleman face off against a mannequin of Vlad the Impaler to prevent a return of vampires to the Earth.

    8.5
    Lacey tells Wendy about a salacious dream she had . . . about their jerk of a landlord, Pip! Noser is missing and Wendy gets a mysterious psychic message which seems to indicate a threat to him. And the Middleman summons Wendy to attend an auction of antiques associated with Vlad the Impaler. During the auction, a mannequin with the appearance of Vlad takes control of the auctioneer and escapes. Yes, these lines will all be tied together in the end.



    This episode has the type of silly version of a standard sci-fi fantasy standard that The Middleman specializes in and handles it well. It also develops an important relationship that the series has been working on but gives it a mystery twist at the end. And the references, as usual, are flying thick and heavy (and wonderfully obscure, thank heaven for Google). Well Done.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Trivia: The Middleman can be seen reading a book on vampires by "A. Dixon". Previously he was reading Bitten by Zombies: A Coping Guide by the same author in "The Flying Fish Zombification".

    • Trivia: One of Ida's sarcastic remarks, "Is it 4:20 already?", references cannabis culture. Four-twenty (4:20 or 4/20) originated at San Rafael High School in the early '70s.

    • Trivia: Wendy's line "...an encyclopedic knowledge of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing's work for Hammer Films." refers to the two British actors who worked together in four Dracula movies together: Dracula (1958), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) and Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973). They became close friends through their work. However, they appeared in many other movies both with Hammer and without.

    • Trivia: Wendy's line "...and I've laid eyes on at least three of the major Canadian syndicated vampire detective shows." refers to at least two definite programs, Forever Knight (1989-96) and Blood Ties (2007-08). It's not clear what the third series is.

    • Trivia: The Middleman's reference to "Bram Stoker's widow" refers to Abraham "Bram" Stoker, the creator of Dracula in 1897. Stoker took the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler and combined him with Eastern European mythology concerning the undead as the basis for his seminal work.

  • QUOTES (10)

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (16)

    • The Cat People

      Irena Dubrovna and Dr. Judd reference two of the main characters in Val Lewton's Cat People (1942). The movie, starring Simone Simon (Irena), Kent Smith and Tom Conway (Dr. Judd), tells the story of a fashion artist who believes she suffers from a curse bestowed on the women of her village that cause them to transform into panthers when excited or angry.

    • The Body Snatcher

      Some scenes take place at "The MacFarlane & Gray Hotel Spa & Convention Center". Dr. Wolfe MacFarlane (Henry Daniell) and Cabman John Gray (Boris Karloff) are characters in the Val Lewton-produced movie The Body Snatcher (1945), based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson. The movie was filmed in a hiatus during the production of Isle of the Dead (see below) when star Boris Karloff injured his back on that production.

    • Wendy: You give love a bad name.

      Referencing the first track on Bon Jovi's debut album, Slippery When Wet, released August 1986. With 33 million sales worldwide, it's the band's biggest-selling album. The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1986.

    • Ida: Look, it's trying to think.

      Referencing a line spoken by FBI Agent Albert Rosenberg (Miguel Ferrer) to Sheriff Truman in the fourth episode of Twin Peaks (1990–1991, 1992). The series follows FBI agent Dale Cooper's investigation into the death of Laura Palmer.

    • Wendy: Man, I don't even have an opinion.

      Referencing Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction (1994). The line is spoken by Marvin (Phil LaMarr) before Vincent Vega (John Travolta) accidentally shoots him in the face.

    • Isle of the Dead

      The auctioneer's name, Nikolas Pherides (Steve Valentine), references the name of Boris Karloff's character (Gen. Nikolas Pherides) in the Val Lewton-produced Isle of the Dead (1945). The production went on hiatus for four months after Karloff injured his back during filming. The movie tells the tale of an isolated Greek island community that is plagued by vampire attacks.

    • The Ghost Ship

      The name of the auction house Wendy and The Middleman visit, the Altair Auction House, references The Ghost Ship, a 1943 black-and-white thriller movie set aboard the sea freighter Altair. Produced by Val Lewton (see above) and directed by Mark Robson, the movie revolves around Captain Stone (Richard Dix), who goes insane with power. A new officer (Richard Wade) tries to stop him and a deadly game of cat-and-mouse ensues.

    • Dracula

      There are several references to Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897).

      * Renfield Renquist refers to Renfield, the mental patient in Bram Stoker's Dracula, who is confined to the asylum and works for Dracula as his human agent, driven by a thirst for immortality by consuming insects and other small creatures.
      * The John Seward Home for the Criminally Insane refers to the doctor of the novels, a student of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, who runs an asylum near the home in England where Dracula takes up residence.
      * 1010 Holmwood Drive refers to Arthur Holmwood, Lucy Westerna's fiancée who later inherits the title of Lord Godalming.
      * The Middleman mentions 1895, which is the year that Dracula was published.

    • Wendy: Does Usagi Yojimbo kick serious ass?

      Referencing the comic book series created by Stan Sakai featuring anthropomorphic animals in the role of humans. Miyamoto Usagi, the protagonist, is a humanoid rabbit that wanders Japan as a yojimbo, a mercenary warrior.

    • Wendy: Oh, I'm a gonna get my Buffy on.

      Referencing the movie and television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the lead portrayed by Kristy Swanson and Sarah Michelle Geller respectively. The series (created by Joss Whedon) ran seven seasons on two different networks and spawned a spin-off series, Angel.

    • Wendy: You do get it that I have reprints of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan's entire run on Tomb of Dracula?

      Referencing the Marvel comic series, first issued in April 1972, which ran for 70 issues. Colan illustrated all 70 issues but Wolfman only came on in issue #7 and remained on the series until its cancellation. Ida's later line about the Montesi Formula refers to the magical cure that was implemented in the comics, temporarily wiping out all vampires in the Marvel universe.

    • Wendy: Hey, I've seen all the Blade movies.

      Referencing the trilogy of movies based on the Marvel character created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan (see above) as part of their Tomb of Dracula series. Wesley Snipes plays the half-human/half-vampiric "Daywalker" who fights true vampires with an armory of silver and wooden weaponry and his martial arts skills.

    • Lacey: Time to see what Pollyanna can do.

      Referencing the title character of the 1913 novel written by Eleanor H. Porter. Pollyanna Whitter is a cheerful young girl who insists on seeing the good in any adversity. There have been numerous adaptations, the best known being the 1960 Disney version that rocketed Hayley Mills to stardom.

    • The Middleman: Transylvania 6-5000, Dubbie.

      Referencing the Bugs Bunny short, made in 1963, where Bugs ends up in Pittsburghe, Transylvania and enters into a duel of magic phrases with Count Blood Count. The title was later used for Transylvania 6-5000 (1985), starring Jeff Goldblum and Ed Begley, Jr., as tabloid reporters investigating monsters sightings in Transylvania. Both titles are a pun on the Glen Miller song PEnnsylvania 6-5000.

    • Wendy: I know you're upset about Chucky's grandfather.

      Referencing the Child's Play pentalogy which features a serial killer who uses voodoo to place his soul in a child's doll, Chucky. "Chucky" then goes on a series of bloody rampages only to be destroyed… and resurrected again in the next four sequels.

    • Wendy: Just thought a spoonful of funny might help the unbearable awkwardness go down.

      Referencing the song "A Spoonful of Sugar" from the 1946 Disney movie Mary Poppins. The song, composed by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, was written after Julie Andrews declared her unhappiness for the original signature song written for her character.

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