At the Metro Police station, Wendy and Noser try to get to through to the desk sergeant to get Lacey released: she was arrested for indecent exposure at a sushi restaurant during a protest. The desk sergeant eventually releases Lacey but Wendy is less than thrilled.
The next day, a tired Wendy checks in at Middleman HQ and needs coffee. She wonders if she’s sounding like her mother, and suggests they use the computers to hack into the police records and erase Lacey’s record. The Middleman warns that she can’t afford to be distracted. They’re interrupted when they get a case: a mudslide inside a Chinese restaurant.
The duo arrives at the Terracotta Warrior Tea House where they find a dead man smothered in mud. They investigate the crime scene and Wendy notices a missing terracotta statue. They talk to the bus boy, who reveals the murdered man, the boss, had to take out a mortgage to buy the statue and spent the nights chanting an awakening ritual to it. They then meet with Roxy Wasserman, a reformed succubus who runs a fashion salon and knows supernatural creatures. She identifies the Terracotta Warrior as an earth elemental and offers a water potion to dissolve it. However, it will take time, and she notes that the warrior will try to find the last heir of its Emperor and take it to the Land of the Dead, then unleash a thousand-year hail of fire.
The duo prepares to head for China after the Middleman gives Wendy an inoculation. She gets back to her sublet where her mother is on the phone. When Wendy mentions she was at Roxy’s, Lacey plans to go protest the abuse of animals for fur. Lacey ignores her and goes to the fashion house only to discover that Roxy doesn’t use fur. Lacey attracts Roxy’s attention with her instinctive fashion sense and Roxy selects her as an assistant.
At Middleman HQ, Wendy tries to get hold of Lacey while Ida locates the Emperor’s heir: Duncan. They go to his junior high school to pick him up. Meanwhile, Roxy has Lacey assemble the components for the water potion, but one of the components is Tahiti Water, which is environmentally unsafe. Lacey chats with Trevor, Roxy’s assistant, and admits she just took the job to find where Roxy hides her fur.
The Middleman and Wendy locate Duncan, an American. They’re interrupted when the Warrior materializes from the brick roof, but the Middleman temporarily breaks him apart with one well-placed shot. They quickly get Duncan away and get word that Roxy has completed the potion. They go to Duncan’s home and have Roxy meet them there, only to find Lacey waiting for them with the potion. Wendy and Lacey still have issues, but the Middleman takes the potion and flirts with Lacey. After she leaves, they explain to Duncan’s parents what is going on and Duncan’s mother Jessica admits she got drunk and had an affair in Shanghai. The parents go off to resolve their matters and Wendy tries to reassure Duncan with the fact her father disappeared when she was 14. They’re interrupted when the Warrior comes in through the patio window and demands the heir. The Middleman throws the potion at him, but nothing happens. Wendy realizes that Tracy substituted tap water for the environmentally-unsafe Tahiti war. The Warrior covers the partners in mud and leaves with the boy.
The Middleman calls Roxy to give her an update while Wendy complains that they need to resolve her personal matters. The Middleman says they need to deal with it later, They get to the fashion house where Roxy explains that she simply fired Lacey instead of doing something more… violent. Roxy has a new potion prepared and gives them an alternative route to the Underworld. Roxy warns it’s dangerous and the Middleman must go alone, but he insists that Wendy has to go along to hold the potion.
Outside, Trevor checks to see if Lacey is okay and she admits she needs Wendy, who is always there to bail her out. Trevor offers his help and she comes up with one idea.
Armed with a mystic scythe that he must hold on to at all times, the Middleman prepares to go through the portal to the Underworld. The Middleman tries to explain a time when he had emotional issues by relating a football story of how he was distracted by his girlfriend and a teammate was injured. He insists he’ll always give Wendy a hundred percent, and expects the same from her.
Roxy and her staff open the portal… and the Middleman and Wendy find themselves in an office lobby. They go up to the information desk and Wendy notices file cabinets which the Middleman says contain the records of everyone who has ever died. They finally get a clerk who says the Warrior has already beaten them there. The Middleman heads upstairs but Wendy asks the clerk to locate the records on her dad. When he refuses, she draws a gun on him but she can’t kill the dead. Amused, the clerk decides to help her anyway.
Upstairs, the Middleman confronts the Warrior and calls for Wendy to help him, only to find she isn’t there. He runs downstairs with Duncan and Wendy has to leave just as the clerk returns with the proper file. They run back downstairs and past the clerk, and the Middleman warns her not to look back. They get in the elevator and Wendy throws the potion, and the Warrior explodes. They materialize back at Roxy’s just in time.
Later, Wendy admits she left personal stuff get in the way but the Middleman assures her she came through in the end. He says they have time for an emotional breakdown but she admits she’s too numb for one right now. Wendy figures her father would have been proud, and he notes he still might be. As Wendy gets out, she sees Tracy and Trevor stealing Roxy’s furs but decides to apologize. Trevor leaves them alone and they make up, and then Lacey shows Wendy her new plan: convincing Roxy to give her the furs so she could hand them out to homeless people.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 3, 2016