“The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome”
September 1st, 2008
For a show that is extremely close to cancellation, The Middleman sure didn’t use its first season finale as some type of course correction designed to sell the network on how it can change itself to appeal more to ABC Family’s core audience.
Instead, the season’s 12th episode offered more of what we expect from the series: an intelligent and well-executed episode which played with popular culture conventions and demonstrated just why this series needs to stick around for more time. Playing with a mirror universe on this type of scale should have felt like too much to handle in a single episode, but the episode played to the strength of our emotional relationship with the characters and broader questions of good and evil that the show should be allowed to resolve with time.
And while the episode was a satisfying end to the show’s first season, there is no question that abandoning these characters at this point in time is the type of decision that could earn ABC Family a black mark from critics – a renewal, meanwhile, could prove that ABC Family would be an evil mastermind in the parallel world and a shining beacon of television hope in our own.