Episode no. Season 1
Episode 3
Written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik
Original airdate June 30, 2008
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"The Accidental Occidental Conception" "The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum"
List of Episodes


Wendy and Lacey are discussing Lacey's problem with finding work and the fact that Wendy hasn't been paid yet. Wendy reveals that she will be paid when her training with Sensei Ping is done, and Lacey reveals that she now works at the Booty Chest. On her way to work, Wendy's car breaks down, and Tyler sees her and begins talking to her. After some discussion, it is revealed that Tyler was almost recruited by the Middleman.

At Middleman HQ, the Middleman is visibly antsy by the imminent arrival of Sensei Ping. Ida reveals that a diamond has been stolen from the Metro Museum of Rare Antiquities. It is the world's most complicated diamond, which produces a cage of light when a laser is shown through it. Wendy and the Middleman head to investigate.

After looking quickly through the museum, the Middleman sends Wendy to pick up Sensei Ping from the airport. After she does not say the most hallowed verse of greeting correctly, Sensei Ping becomes angry with Wendy, which only increases when Wendy's poor car is revealed. Meanwhile, the Middleman finds Mole sauce on the floor of the museum, causing Ida and the Middleman worry over the safety of Sensei Ping. Wendy and Sensei Ping continue fighting in the car until Sensei Ping grabs the wheel, stopping the car. A force of Lucha Libre wrestlers attack, capturing Sensei Ping and knocking out Wendy.

The Middleman finds Wendy, and questions her about what happened. After the explanation, the Middleman tells Wendy to go home. She finds Lacey, who admits she doesn't work at the Booty Chest anymore. However, she does mention that she saw a group of Lucha Libre wrestlers there. Wendy grabs Lacey's uniform and heads to the Booty Chest. The Middleman and Ida start narrowing down places to find the laser that powers the cage which holds Sensei Ping.

Wendy is at the Booty Chest, and meets Tyler, who is working there now too. She meets El Comelon and learns that Sensei Ping is in the Yucatan, and that the wrestlers are laying a trap for the Middleman, which he falls into. During a fight, Tyler is knocked out and the Middleman is taken away. Wendy heads back to Middleman HQ, and Ida says that Sensei Ping and the Middleman are being held at the Dread Pyramid of Itzilichlitlichlitzl.

Wendy takes the Middlejet and flies to the Yucatan. Meanwhile, the wrestlers accuse Sensei Ping of killing El Sapo Dorado. Sensei Ping states that he did not kill him, but rather, he died of a heart attack during a 26 day duel between the two. Sensei Ping demands a trial by combat, which the Middleman must win. The Middleman must face off against Cien Mascaras. Wendy ejects over the pyramid, and begins watching the combat, which the Middleman is starting to lose. Wendy fires her gun, destroying the laser keeping Sensei Ping encased. Sensei Ping defeats all of the wrestlers, giving El Maestro De Ceremonies the Wuhan Thumb of Death.

Afterward, Wendy visits Tyler in the ER, learning that he has two day amnesia, conveniently forgetting everything about Wendy. The Middleman visits Wendy in her apartment, giving her her first check and keys to a new car.

Characters and LocationsEdit

Pop Culture ReferencesEdit

General Pop Culture Reference Theme: Disco and the Early Eighties

  • The J.R. "Bob" Dobbs International Airport references the "founder" and mascot of the Church of the SubGenius, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs. The Church was founded in 1979 and became briefly popular in the early eighties.
  • Tyler: "Like you know how El Santo and Blue Demon are like the Superman and Batman of lucha libre." Santo the Silver Masked Man and the Blue Demon were two luchadore superheroes that starred in many films.
  • Schlermie Beckerman Memorial Square/Alfred Necessiter Memorial Hospital is named for two doctors in the 1983 film The Man With Two Brains.
  • Tyler says his roommate loses the message from the employment agency between a stack of 12-inch singles from the 1980's (a popular record format from the disco period). The records are
    • The night version of "Girls on Film", a classic early hit from Duran Duran
    • An import of Ant Music, a classic early single by avant garde British musician Adam Ant. When Wendy responds with "New Romantic, very nice!" (a reference to the mini-genre of which Adam Ant was a prime example), Tyler responds with "You should see him in his puffy shirt", a reference to both what Adam Ant wore as a stage costume and a classic 90's episode of Seinfeld.
  • While investigating the museum break-in, Ida eliminates a print from "Metro Officer Leslie McClaine", a reference to the artist on the Middleman comics (and co-creator of the series), Les McClaine. He may be a "Metro Officer" in a nod to Bruce Willis' character from Die Hard, Officer John McClain.
  • When Wendy realizes the Lucha Libre wrestlers are at the Booty Chest, we get a brief clip of Wendy in a Robin costume from the 60's TV version of Batman, except instead of an "R" on her chest there is a "MM". She gets to say a Robin-like line: "Holy Coinkidink, Batman!"
  • The power signature of the energy beam emitter is the same as a "Teledyne Water Pik with custom high-output heating element and an aftermarket turbo-powered wash accelerator". The Teledyne Water Pik was a popular device in the 80's for cleaning teeth.
  • Tyler says "Stone Cold and Hollywood Hogan have nothing on those guys", referring to the Mexican wrestlers. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hollywood Hulk Hogan were popular American wrestlers in the 80's
  • Sensei Ping is playing with El Sopodorado at "Rock Em Sock Em Robots" when the wrestler has his fatal heart attack.
  • When Sensei Ping attacks the wrestlers, he poses for a moment and his shirt is "ripped off his chest" by being whisked off his arms. This is identical to how the martial arts fighter is revealed in the Kentucky Fried Movie.

Common Middleman Jokes Edit

Interjections Edit

  • "Holy jumping bananas, we're in Dutch!"
  • "Mutual of Omaha!"
References Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, a nature-oriented US television program that ran from 1963 until 1988.
  • "Sweet mother of Preston Tucker!"
References the 1988 biopic Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
  • "Hot flaming pork buns!"

Aliases Edit

  • (at the museum) Special Agent Hillel Goldfarb, of the Mossad, and his assistant Lieutenant Esther Finklestein

Noser Knows Edit

Obligatory Johnny Cash Reference Edit

  • Noser: Yo, Wendy Watson!
  • Wendy: Hey, Noser.
  • Noser: You know what tortures me?
  • Wendy: The ring of fire? When the man comes around? That your daddy named you Sue? The fact that God's gonna cut you down? That you're in the jailhouse now? The Folsom Prison Blues? That the road goes on forever?
  • Noser: What was the sixth one?
  • Wendy: The Folsom Prison Blues?
  • Noser: Yeah. That is what tortures me.
  • Wendy: You and me both, Noser.

Note: all of Wendy's lines are from different Johnny Cash songs. And, indeed, it is the Folsom Prison Blues which contains the lyrics:

"But I know I had it comin',
I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a-movin',
And that's what tortures me."

Middleman Gets In On The Act Edit

  • Middleman: What does become of the broken-hearted?
  • Noser: I think eventually they gotta find peace of mind. Maybe.

What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted was a hit single from Motown Records in the 60's.

Ida Is Edit

Wendy calls Ida:

  • "3PO" (reference: C-3PO the android from Star Wars)

Time And Place (References in the place/time lines) Edit

In order:

  • 9:15 AM Pacific Daylight Savings Time (Wendy in her apartment)
  • 8:05 AM Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (at Middleman HQ)
  • 10:30 PM Moscow Daylight Time (at the Metro Museum)
  • 7:30 PM Foxtrot Time (at the airport)
  • 9:50 PM Mitteleuropaische Sommerzeit (as Wendy drives into the square)
  • 5:00 AM Japan Standard Time (when Middleman wakes up Wendy)
  • 9:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time (as Wendy returns to her sublet)
  • 2:33 PM Pacific Daylight Savings Time (North America) (as Wendy walks in the door)
  • 5:00 AM India Time Zone (at the Booty Chest)
  • 11:40 PM Coordinated Universal Time (outside the Booty Chest)
  • 9:32 AM Australian Central Daylight Time (at Middleman HQ)
  • 4:00 PM Charlie Time (at the Dread Pyramid)
  • 10:45 AM Heure Avancee de l'est (in the skies over the Yucatan)
  • 5:10 PM Alaska Standard Time (at the pyramid)
  • 12:35 AM Zulu Time (at the hospital)


  • The music played when Sensei Ping uses the Wu-Han Thumb of Death is the Dies Irae, a song played at Requiem Masses in Roman Catholicism.
  • Among the images shown when Sensei Ping uses the Wu-Han Thumb of Death are the crash of the Hindenburg and a speech by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
  • Ida reports that an incident is a "red ball", police slang for a high profile case that draws media and political attention, as seen on various police television shows (including "Homicide" and "Law & Order")


  • "Lucha Libre Lovers" by Senior Flavio
  • "Beautiful Night" by The Go Find


Ida: It's worth more bread than the two of you meatsocks put together.
Wendy: See, that's why I'm an artist and you're a soulless android from outer space masquerading as a cranky librarian.

Israeli Museum Curator: (in Hebrew) Are you a product of the Kibbutz movement like me?
The Middleman: (in Hebrew) A man asked me that question once. I kicked his male reproductive organs into his watch pocket. Now he must check the time whenever he wishes to copulate.

El Maestro de Ceremonias: (in Spanish) Sensei Ping, your day of judgment is at hand.
Sensei Ping: (in Spanish) No! The only judgment will come at the hands of Sensei Ping.
El Maestro de Ceremonias: (in Spanish) Ha. Is this your new apprentice?
Sensei Ping: (in Spanish) Never! The little one is nothing!
Wendy: (in Spanish) Hey, I understood that!
The Middleman: You must be mistaking the Clan of the Pointed Stick for one of the rational societies of paranoid, celibate, martial artists.
Sensei Ping: (after being freed by Wendy) Nicely done, young one. Sensei Ping may have to revise his opinion of you. Sensei Ping will take it from here.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.