Mark Watches ‘The Middleman’: Episode 5

In the fifth episode of The Middleman, zombie fish rabies. That is all. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch The Middleman.

“The Flying Fish Zombification”

Zombie fish rabies.

  • Zombie fish rabies.
  • zombie
  • FISH
  • Remember when I said that this show requires you to just enjoy the ride without questioning the logistics of it all? I had no idea what I was about to watch.
  • I think that “The Flying Fish Zombification” touches on an issue we’ve seen before, namely that Wendy’s got to balance the world of the Middleman and the world of her personal life. But this episode feels like the best combination of wackiness, sincerity, and humor, so I didn’t mind that this felt like a companion to some of the others that I’ve seen.
  • I’m serious, I really want to meet Wendy’s mother. SHE SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN.
  • One of the bigger themes that this episode addresses, though, is related to parental support. We’ve seen how often Wendy’s mother calls her and hounds her, but for Lacey, she’s actually jealous of that sort of attention. Yeah, Wendy feels like her mother can be annoying at times, but Lacey’s own mother is too busy being wonderful out in the world to give her daughter more than one day’s worth of attention per year.
  • It’s sad to watch, particularly because I know how much it sucks to have a parent who isn’t interested in what you love. That would be my father, who wanted me to be successful, but always thought I was wasting my life by pursuing writing and a career in politics. And the worst part is that he never got to see me do all of this; he passed away almost eight years ago, and I had dropped out of college and struggled through a ton of low-wage jobs, doing music and writing on the side. Hell, I hadn’t even been working as a contracted employee at Buzznet for six months when he passed, so he never got to see what all that hard work did for me.
  • All of this is wrapped up in one of the most difficult lessons that Wendy has to learn: sometimes, she is going to have to disappoint the people that she cares about. I wish she could just tell Lacey what her job was because that would take care of most of the problems surrounding this, but even then? Her job is going to pull her away from her personal life. Her responsibilities will consume her free time. And it sucks – a lot! – but if she’s to balance her artistic desire with her life of adventure, sometimes she’ll have to make difficult decisions that make people unhappy.
  • So! We open this story with Wendy KICKING ASS in Sensei Ping’s training session, completing the entire thing in less time than the Middleman did. (I just realized something: What the hell is the Middleman’s name??? We don’t know that, do we? I mean, he had to be someone before he was the Middleman. We know he went to high school in Ann Arbor and was in the Navy Seals, so… MYSTERY.) Which makes the Middleman kind of jealous. I mean, Wendy RULED. And I really believed that he was proud of her, but when you’re someone’s favorite, and it feels like you’ve been replaced… well, it’s natural! It’s natural to feel a little bad, right?
  • I truly feel like the fish zombies are the WEIRDEST thing so far, and I loved this without any sort of irony. Like, the first time they come across that woman screaming, “TROUT!” I was in. SIGN ME UP FOR THIS RIDE, BECAUSE I’M READY TO TAKE IT.
  • It’s just so unabashedly ridiculous, and I admire that. If this show had an unlimited budget and perfect special effects? I actually don’t think I’d like it so much. It’s the fact that this looks so campy that makes me enjoy it that much more.
  • Can we also acknowledge that Ida is on fire in this episode??? I’m maintaining my opinion from the video where I stated that she’s like Statler and Waldorf from The Muppets if you stuck them both inside of her. God, her hatred and snark is E V E R Y T H I N G. I think she’s made a drug reference about Wendy in every episode so far. PLEASE NEVER LET THIS JOKE DIE.
  • Another joke that was perfectly executed? Pip. Everything about him. His clothes. His rich white boy angst. His “ironic” rainbow shirt. HIS TERRIBLE MONOLOGUE. Oh my god, how many of you ever knew someone just like him?
  • I mentioned this in the video, too, but holy shit. It’s actually really satisfying to see Wendy get better at her job. Not that she was awful when she started it or anything, but look how quickly she’s able to take down a Peruvian Flying Fish and discover a clue that leads them to the Odyssey Fishery! That’s awesome.
  • Of course, there’s another subtext to this: Wendy is desperate to resolve this case as quickly as possible so that she can watch Lacey’s performance at Art Crawl.
  • I’m not ashamed of my Walter White joke. NOT ASHAMED.
  • This episode does that thing where everything seems resolved and there’s still fifteen minutes, so then I was just full of dread because THIS MEANS SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
  • That something is another zombie fish outbreak at the exact moment that Lacey steps on stage to perform her monologue. God, it was honestly rough to watch! Wendy made every attempt to support her friend, but it’s not like the Middleman went out and caused another outbreak just to ruin Wendy’s friendship. Still, I liked that the Middleman actually pondered whether Wendy’s perspective was right. He really wondered whether or not he was acting out of jealous, and it was a super satisfying sequence, y’all. Of course, that’s also because of Ida’s I DON’T CARE bit, too.
  • Can I just imagine that the energy drink in this episode is a reference to the band !!! (Chk Chk Chk)? Sure? OKAY GONNA DO IT.
  • I’m glad things ended on such a positive note for all these characters. Wendy apologizes to both the Middleman and Lacey, and both parties accept that this was a complicated situation. No one was being malicious, you know? And I realize that the whole “Intent is not magic” thing is important, but that doesn’t mean that intent doesn’t matter. It does matter for these people. The Middleman recognizes that Wendy wanted to do her job and be a good friend. Lacey understands that Wendy can’t control the chaos of her job. Her temp job, that is, that she knows nothing about.
  • Actually, now I can stop thinking about how disgusting an energy drink that tastes like fish would be. Jesus, that is brutal.

The video for “The Flying Fish Zombification” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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