Medium: Head Games
Seeing as how the episode opened with Walter Paxton (Jason Priestley), let's start there. The dream within a dream open was very good. The head in the pantry came as quite a surprise, and led to a great Joe moment. He was so calm and forgiving when he woke up in the dream, but so frustrated and fed up when he woke up for real.
I've always liked Jason Priestley, from 90210 right on through to his more recent work on Tru Calling and Love Monkey. It's nice to see him again, and with a very interesting character. I really like how they presented Walter's situation, casting doubt on Allison's visions. I was as shocked as Allison when Mrs. Paxton's head showed up with the wrong body. The explanation that she never saw the killer, so the message she was sending to Allison was who she thought killed her, but not necessarily correct, was a nice twist. It doesn't clear Walter, but it puts the doubt out there and opens up all kinds of possibilities.
And speaking of doubts and possibilities, meet Debra (Neve Campbell). I guess we can chalk it up to stress over what is happening with Joe, combined with the ongoing Paxton dreams and the trial, but Allison really missed some big red flags with Debra. For starters, the car accident. That's a big ol' parking garage, and there really wasn't any damage to the car. Not only does Debra want to fix the pretend damage, but she just walks straight to Allison. And then we have the lunch meeting where she so clearly was digging for info about Devalos and the case. It's a nice performance by Campbell, because I didn't trust her from the get go, and I don't think things are going to end well between the two of them.
And now, what I thought was the best part of the show, the ongoing story of how Joe is dealing with the aftermath of the events in "Joe Day Afternoon." This is something that I never expected to see on Medium, but I'm so happy that they are doing it. They really could have just dismissed any repercussions from that episode. The Paxton case, and the weirdness with Debra are enough to carry the show through the finale. This bonus story of Joe though is just endlessly fascinating to watch. Most of the reason for that is Jake Weber. He's making a solid case for an Emmy nomination as he has captured what Joe is going through perfectly.
I loved the exchange where Joe told Allison that the therapist said he was angry. She asks, "What did you make of that?" and he responds, "It pissed me off." I have every confidence that Joe will pull through this eventually, but it is interesting to see the whole story play out. The situation with Melinda (Katie Kreisler) adds nicely to the story as well. Their scene in the hospital was very well done. On the surface it was all friendly, congratulations about the baby, cigar for the husband, etc. But it was clear that both of them are struggling, and their shared experience has formed a bond that wouldn't have otherwise been there. Great stuff on the Joe front.
With all of that going on, there wasn't a lot of screen time left for the Dubois kids this week. Their early scene where Bridgette was jinxed and couldn't talk was very cute though. I'm sure there will be more for them to do in the coming episodes.
Overall, another very good episode. It is looking like the three part Paxton/Debra story is going to end season three on a very high note. I'm giving this one a 6, out of 7.