The new MIDDLEMAN devoted some time to filling in lovely Lacey’s backstory — she has issues with her mother, “Dr. Barbara Thornfield, M.D., Ph.D.,” who would rather chat with Henry Kissinger than attend her daughter’s spoken-word performance.
Then again, her BFF Wendy also had trouble making the scene, since this week’s “pesky temp emergency” involved trout-eating zombies. Yes, you read that right: zombies obsessed with eating trout. Which is more than a little strange, since the outbreak was blamed on the venomous bite of the “Peruvian Flying Pike.” (Which isexactly what is sounds like.) The venom turned humans into zombies, so Middle Man and Dub-dub had to find a cure before the disease could make the victims’ “heart explode like a sausage casing full of weasels!” That MM sure knows how to turn a phrase (Exclamation of the week: “Flowers for Algernon!”)
There were two soap shout-outs: Drew Tyler Bell (ex-Thomas, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL) popped in to play Pip, a snotty painter/monologist. And Noser was asked if he could play Rick Springfield‘s “Jesse’s Girl.” (He knew it, but didn’t play it.) And the pop-culture references did not stop there. The first victim of a zombie attack was named “Rod Argent” — a clear homage to Italian horror filmmaker Dario Argento, producer of the zombie masterpiece Dawn of the Dead. And MM invoked Japanese martial-arts master Sonny Chiba.
In end, the zombies were defeated, Lacey and Wendy made up, and Lacey’s “No Animal Testing” T-shirt made me a believer.
And I believe this week’s SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL was my favorite episode yet. After exposing her secret to best bud Ben last week, Belle managed to draw him into conversation about her line of work. “Would you believe me if I said I enjoyed it?” she asked. While they talked, Billie Piper fixed Ben with pained expression of sympathy that almost looked like she was feeling sorry for him for having to deal with the reveal. Piper’s capacity to project compassion could be the best thing about her portrayal. Even when she’s shooting the camera a snarky glance, I never get the sense that Belle is judging her clients. We learned the “secret origin” of Belle: When a particularly good one-night stand handed Hannah a lot more than cab fare the next morning, she realized she had been paid for sex. And she liked it.
Alas, the heart-to-heart was interrupted when duty called… literally. “Do you do girls?” Belle’s agent asked. “I’m hardly a girl’s girl,” Belle’s voice-over told us, “but I will go gay for pay.” Turned out Belle’s regular Wednesday client, Ashok, wanted a threesome. So Belle teamed up with a new girl, Naomi. And after a fun session (“The pleasure was half mine,” Belle japed), Belle and Naomi became girlfriends. No, notthat sort of girlfriends — gal pals. But when Ashok requested Naomi instead of Belle the next Wednesday, Belle was devastated. Sobbing, she summoned good ol’ Ben to share her pain. Then Ben asked her, “Will you be my best man?”
Will you come back for the next installment of Night Shift?
Originally posted on Soap Opera Weekly.com