The Middleman recap: “The Vampiric Puppet Lamentation”

Young Noser will be rent limb from limb to save you!

You really can’t get much more literal than that, can you Middlefans?

Tonight’s episode of The Middleman finds Wendy Watson fighting to save Middleman, fighting to save Lacey, fighting to save Noser, and fighting puppets. Seems a bit of a let down that her big fight of the night was against a couple of vampire puppet minions, but she sure did kick their puppety butts.

Nosiree, No Noser Here

We open in the illegal sublet Wendy shares with another, photogenic young artist as she and Lacey doll up for a party. TMI for Wendy and us as Lacey tells her she had a sex dream about Pip. In her recollection of the sex dream, Pip was dressed as the Middleman which should have told her something, but Lacey didn’t seem to realize.

At the party, Noser is nowhere to be found, but when her Tarot is read by a poser goth girl, someone or something possesses the goth and tells her the fate to befall Noser. Then the little Noser Tarot card bursts into flame. With cause, Wendy will be worried about Noser throughout the episode.

Cleaning up the next morning, she expresses her concerns to Lacey and finds out Lacey had ANOTHER sex dream about Pip in an Eisenhower jacket. She’s about to start a hard-target search of every farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in the building when the Middlewatch beckons. Lacey tells her to go; she’ll find Noser.  Unfortunately, Pip is looking for Noser as well – he owes rent money – and Lacey ends up joining forces with her nemesis/sex dream partner.

At Middleman HQ, Wendy finds the Middleman packing a bag with wooden stakes and mallets. There’s an auction of Vlad the Impaler’s possessions and the Middlemission is to buy every single item for sale. Ida grabs loads of cash from the Middlesafe and adds that to the weapons they bring.

Wendy may have encyclopedic knowledge of vamps, but she doesn’t know that not just any wood will kill one. Only purest Carpathian wood will do. Unfortunately for us, we don’t ever learn what it means when a vampire offers you soup. I imagine you say no.

The Young Transylvanian Puppeteer

Lots of resources means lots of winning bids at the auction house. With their Middlecash, the Middleduo buy everything right up until the final, surprise item. Middleman’s a bit worried with only $400K left, but it doesn’t really matter. When the auctioneer puts Vladdy, the puppet made in the image of Vlad on his hand, he is possessed by the spirit trapped inside its wooden heart. Middleman and Dubby give chase – outside and into the sunlight – but when they finally corner Vladdy and his meatpuppet, Vladdy turns into a Bat Puppet and flies them away.

Vladdy is looking to bring about the Eternal Night of Blood, and by tracking down the last living owner of the puppet and talking to him through Senor Wences-style puppets Middleman and Wendy learn that a second vampire puppet – Lizzie, Vladdy’s lover – exists. Should the two of them be married while on the hands of two true loves getting married, they will reverse the curse trapping them in their wooden forms. A quick check from Ida finds Lizzie in the Middleman archives.

While Wendy and Middleman are searching the archives, Wendy gets a call from Lacey. She and Pip found security camera footage of Noser accepting a shiny silver briefcase from a stiking Eastern European woman. Wendy goes to check the license plate on the Hadar and Middleman continues his search. The woman: Irena Dubrovna who lives at 1010 Holmwood Drive. The puppet: found.

Unfortunately for Middleman, vamps don’t show up on security cameras, so as soon as he finds Lizzie, he is set upon by Vladdy!

Noser’s Gift

The Middleman is bitten by Vladdy and loses Lizzie. With a puppet on each hand, the possessed auctioneer leaves Middleman HQ and heads to destination unknown. Not totally unknown, as Middleman slipped his Middlewatch on them in the scuffle. He gets a shot of the antidote and tells Wendy she might have to fight this one alone. Once a vamp tastes the blood of his victim, he knows everything about the victim. Middleman is an open book to Vladdy and a liability in a fight.

They track the puppets to MacFarlane & Gray Hotel and Convention Center. It should be easy to find two puppets on a single possessed man, right. If only it weren’t the International Ventriliquism Grand Championships!

Lacey and Pip show up. They were told by Irena that Noser was a great artist, a master by age 6, retired by age 13. He gave up touring the world, entertaining kings and queens to be a goat farmer. A great ventriliquist as it turns out. Pip takes off to get his camera and Lacey heads inside to find Noser. Middleman and Wendy head in to find the vampire puppets.

Lizzie takes control of Lacey and that’s about it for our heroes. Knowing what non-evil lurks in Middleman’s heart, Vladdy takes possession of him. Wendy is left to fight off vampire puppet minions while Vladdy and Lizzie seek to bring on the Eternal Night of Blood (and extract their cursed souls from their puppet prisons.) Wendy dispatches and dismembers the vampire puppet minions in short order and tries to find the Middleman and Lacey. But first, she runs into Noser.

(There’s a marriage ceremony going on right now, but really if you’ve seen one evil vampire puppet wedding ceremony you’ve seen ‘em all.)

Lacey finds out that Noser spent all his money on his concept album and needed to come out of retirement to win the prize money at the IVGC. His puppet is Little Noser who looks just like him, and interestingly enough is made of purest Carathian wood!

In the chapel, Wendy finds Vlad and Elizabeth in human form, ready to rain death and distruction. Middleman and Lacey have been transformed into puppets. Not wasting anytime, Wendy shoots two arrows of purest Carpathian wood through the black hearts of the vamps, dusting them. They return to their puppety forms while Middleman and Lacey are depuppetized. She’s fortunately forgotten all.

Lacey’s final sex dream is appropriately about the man she actually loves – the Middleman. Middleman confesses to Wendy that he does love Lacey, but she’s not the only woman he loves!

Shout-outs

Well, I’m super-happy Javi is posting his references himself after the shows air now. I caught a good handful tonight – it was pretty easy if I just assumed most were going to be Dracula references – but felt I’d come up pretty short. Here’s a link to the complete list.

Final Thoughts

Only two more episodes and I have a bad feeling we’re not going to find out who the other woman Middleman loves is. Let’s all send M&Ms to ABC Family to make sure the show makes it back next year. I want to know what happens with Lacey and Middleman. I want to hear Noser’s concept album. I want Wendy Watson to wear the catsuit some more!!!

What did everyone else think?

R.A. Porter is an aspiring television writer who currently toils away in the software mines. He can be found at his personal blog and stalked on Twitter.