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September 2, 2014

The Middleman: The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome (season finale)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 3rd 2008 8:38AM
The Middleman: The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome
(S01E12)
"Can't wait to hear this guy's monologue. 'I am the Palindrome. Feel my power. Power my feel. Palindrome the am I.'" --The Middleman

Paul's out and about traveling; I think he's been recruited to the exciting world of temporary employment by the Jolly Fats Wehawkin Temp Agency; so I'm stepping in to cover the first season finale of The Middleman. I'm not even going to consider this as a series finale because it's just too smart and too good to end. ABC Family has yet to make a decision one way or the other about the future of the show, but apparently ratings haven't been great so it's riding the bubble right now.

The fact that they also haven't pulled the plug already means, however, that the network is maybe looking for a reason to bring it back. There's no word yet on a DVD set of the first season, but you have to figure there's one pending. This thing has cult series written all over it, and you just know that its fanatic fans would love to pick up a DVD set chock full of extras.

In tonight's finale, though, we got to look in a mirror to see what it is about each of our cast members that makes them so special. In an obvious, and stated, homage to Star Trek's "Mirror, Mirror" Wendy Watson finds herself trapped in a Bizarro version of our world. Each of the principal characters is revealed to be the polar opposite of their personality on this mirror world.

None more so than the Middleman himself, who's turned into a gun-toting Snake Plissken Middleman for Hire. In fact, Wendy has to hawk the diamond tennis bracelet Tyler gave her (and tell me that's not a sign of his imminent descent into the Fatboy dark side) just to get him to help.

I loved how virtually everyone was sporting those classice Mirror Universe goatees. Hell, I was a little surprised to see Lacey didn't have one. But she did have uncharacteristically on display cleavage. Which I guess was a fan service to the guys for not having Natalie Morales almost naked at all this week. That and having hot Ida in a bikini.

Okay, I know I said I wouldn't think of this as a series finale, but if it was there was a certain lack of closure for me. I want to know more about Manservant Neville and this Fatboy that Tyler works for. In the Mirror Universe, Neville was a force for good trying to give power back to the people after the company usurped it, while Wendy was the despot. Does that mean that real world Neville will try and take over the world?

Those who've read the graphic novels already have an idea of how this will all develop, but as we've yet to see any of it in the show, there's your larger plotline to drive a second season forward. Besides, Wendy's just too deliriously happy with Tyler for it to work out. The life of a Middleman is wrought with danger and even the Middleman himself has loved before and refused love with Lacey due to his Middleresponsibilities.

I think putting it on behind Kyle XY would be a smart way to improve its ratings. It's one of ABC Family's highest rated shows and it's sci fi tone and subject matter make it a perfect companion to the sci fi shenanigans of the Middleman and Dubby.

Which dangling thread has you most curious?
Who is the Middleman?36 (10.7%)
What happened to Wendy's dad?67 (19.8%)
What's the deal with FATBOY Industries?78 (23.1%)
Who's behind the Middleman organization?72 (21.3%)
Will Lacey and the Middleman hook up?41 (12.1%)
Will Wendy and Tyler last?2 (0.6%)
Will Tyler become evil?42 (12.4%)

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15 Comments

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Mark Cashman

Shoiw your support and buy Middleman on iTunes. You can get all of the episodes for $2 each.

September 12 2008 at 12:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liv

What a great show - I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks so - I never heard about how the ratings were for it.

September 04 2008 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maestro610

I enjoy this show so much I'd pay them to work on it. ABC Family has to find it an audience. I think they dropped a huge ball at SDCC in not inviting the entire cast to meet the fandom.

Here's hoping they fix that at NYCC in February, while also announcing a second season. I'd wait all day for a Middleman panel, especially if Natalie and Brit were in attendance along with Matt. Brit's a Jersey girl so they probably wouldn't have to work too hard to get her into the city anyway.

The best thing that can happen with this show is a first season dvd box set FULL of extra features. Maybe with an option to activate a pop-up video style reference meter. I shared Season 1 of Arrested Development when it first came out, I shared Dexter, and the first three seasons of Family Guy after it was cancelled. I would be proud to pass this show around to my friends.

It wouldn't hurt if they could also get some geek cred on the box set. I'm sure Joss Whedon's approval would go a lot further to move units than a nice review from Star Magazine.

Here's hoping to a Bones like growth in a second season for the Middleman. Point your friends to reruns when they get bogged down with the swamp that is lackluster network television.

September 04 2008 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

May I just say that Matt Keesler has an amazing body. However, I couldn't fully enjoy it because they dressed him up like Patch. I always wanted to see an evil-MM, this is partially it, but I still want more (w/o the cartoony voice/clothes). I'm surprised Wendy was more upset by MM's possible corruption than her own & I could never see WW becoming that evil. However, if she worked for Fat Boy and became eviline while Tyler remained good, it's probable that Tyler will become evil in the realverse and Wendy good. Side note: I love that all the middle ops have 'fat' in their names -

September 03 2008 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Muir

Buckaroo Banzai's Oscillation Overthruster, Galaxy Quest's beryllium spheres, Outland's polydichloric euthimal, a more-or-less historically accurate account of the Tesla / Edison feud, Escape from New York alias names.

I love the references on this show. Surprisingly smart.

If The Middleman gets cancelled it will truly be sucktacular.

September 03 2008 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

i was going crazy waiting for these review!!! :)

These show is wonderful, and i really really hope that they don't cancel it. The story that i'm hoping to see is the lost love of the middleman, and clgbutterfly... yay right back at you!!! (kessler is sooo yummy!!:)

i had a ton of things to comment, but i think that i lost them... :), hope we can get a season 2!!!

September 03 2008 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Roo

I loved the Equilibrium parody when Wendy arrives in the mirror universe.

September 03 2008 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Roo's comment
meh

Right? I told my brother it was an Equilibrium reference and he said it was just a general futuristic/military-controlled dictator-type setting. Father lives!

September 08 2008 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph

There were SO many references to other shows that I lost count midway through.

This show is amazing...

But you guys, you need to tone it down - the characters weren't all polar opposites of eachother. Lacey and Noser were both still good, although their lives were flipped from peaceful to anarchist.

The middleman was also a good man in both worlds. I have full confidence that both Tylers are, in effect, good guys.

Hopefully we'll have a chance to find out.

September 03 2008 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clgbutterfly

I would like to also comment since this was a short review how delicious the Mirror Universe was. Sexy Ida, MiddleHog, A half-naked Kessler (YaY!), Bad Ass Noser still quoting Issac Hayes. Plus I want to know if Mirror Tyler was good does that mean this one will be evil? Will they become Lover's across the enemy lines? Oh its delicious.

September 03 2008 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clgbutterfly

I want it renewed and early so my kids can watch. My 4 year old loves the show and has picked it as the Sci-Fi to watch with Mom. My 10 year old begs to watch it when it first comes on. Luckily I have a DVR so I can record it though its later than bed time and watch it the next day with them. This show is so much fun that the adults can laugh at the inside jokes, while the kids seem to be attracted to it on another level. If its to be pair with KyleXY put it first.

September 03 2008 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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