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September 5, 2015

Medium: But For the Grace of God

by Paul Goebel, posted Jan 15th 2008 9:38AM

The ladies of Medium(S04E02) "Hey now, hey now. Don't dream it's over." Alison Dubois & Neil Finn

So I'm guessing many of you immediately tuned out when this episode started with what appeared to be the aftermath of a horrible car crash. After last week's shocking image of a dead child in a box, you must have been relieved to receive some warning that a startling and disturbing image was on the horizon. Well, since you changed channels, let me bring you up to speed. The driver was Allsion's daughter, Ariel. You can, at least be thankful that you missed the required "What are we going to do now?" conversation that Allison and Joe have every episode.

I am less than impressed with Anjelica Huston. Why such an interesting, charismatic actress would pick such a bland character to play is a mystery to me. I'm hoping she reveals some more of herself real soon.

I mentioned last week how much I enjoy the development of the children's characters. What I failed to mention is how impressed I am by the acting. Kids on television are rarely up to the task of portraying interesting, three-dimensional characters but Sofia Vassilieva is definitely up to the task. The scene in the kitchen after she got busted was so believable it reminded me of the many times I had that exact same showdown with my own parents. More importantly, it made me realize I'm going to have to go through that same ordeal with both of my daughters.

Ariel's dream was the greatest part of the episode. Having her dream about her Mom was a very cool thing to see and I know I'm not the only one who had a serious acid-washed flashback after seeing those clothes and that hair. Watching Allison crying and singing Crowded House was hilarious.

When it became clear what happened between Casey and the cop it was my turn to be horrified. Not only did the writers shock me but they went that extra step by letting the scene go on way past the point of uncomfortableness. These are the kinds of things that make a show like Medium more than just another sci-fi drama like The Others or crap like that. The show is really about a typical American family trying to make it through their lives dealing with things we all deal with. It just so happens that the girls in the family are all psychics.

The wrap-up of the show was lovely. They put away the bad cop without showing us the inside of his horrible house and mother and daughter skated off into the sunset. Very lovely indeed.

Which fashion crime did you commit in the 80's?
Crimped hair20 (15.2%)
Leg warmers28 (21.2%)
Acid-washed denim43 (32.6%)
All of the above41 (31.1%)

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When this show first came on the air I had absolutely no interest in checking it out. The premise seemed hokey and I've never been a fan of shows that delt with the paranormal.

For some reason I watched an episode - and I've not missed one since. The eps are incredibly well written. Based on the premise you would think that the stories would be formulaic and predictable but in fact the opposite is true. They surprise me every week. That's saying a lot. :-)

I love what they are doing with Ariel this season. The actress thay plays her is outstanding for such a youngster.

I think we just need to give Huston's character some time to develop. She's only been on two episodes. I'm anxious to see what they do with her.

January 15 2008 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I continue to be amused by the actresses they choose to portray Allison in flashbacks. Neither Jennifer Lawrence (5"8') or the previous "young Allison," Jessy Schram (5'6") could possibly have grown up to be 5'1" Patricia Arquette. And let's not even get into the teeth.

January 15 2008 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like everyone, I hope Huston's character reveals herself to be more intriguing as time goes on, because right now, I want Manny, Scanlon, and the DeNovo chick back.

January 15 2008 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am SO GLAD this show is back on!!!! Good timing, too, as it's a breath of fresh air from all the reruns due to the writer's strike (be glad when THAT drama has played out!) When I first started watching this show - and i've never missed an episode - I wondered why they picked such a mediocre actress to play Allison, but now it seems very sensible. They wanted a believable drama, with real mother/wife, real kids, real problems in their daily lives, etc., and I think they all do a wonderful job - Allison looks like the women I run into every day here in NC, not like some pencil-thin Hollywood version of a mother. It adds an aspect to her character that's missing from the CSI/yeah-right-super-gorgeous-cleavage-busting women in other detective dramas. I get sick of cookie-cutter shows, and really appreciate when a network takes a chance to develop something different and interesting like this one. This is one of the few that's still on my "Must-See-TV" list; I've quit watching the others because they are so far-fetched, and I wouldn't watch a "reality show" if you paid me!!

As far as the Huston character: I too miss the old gang, but I think this is yet another "real" direction the writers have taken - many times in our lives we are forced to move on, whether we want to or not, and embrace new people/characters/opportunities that come into our lives. Thank God her husband didn't leave her for another woman... but anyway... most people's situations eventually change in some way, so I think this gives everyone in the show a chance to expand and develop. Hopefully there is much more on the horizon and they're just downplaying Huston's involvement at first - at least I hope that's what is going on...

January 15 2008 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a great episode. My son (11) was on the the computer surfing the net when the scene of the two girls being dropped off by the cop was on. He had been listening and stopped and said "that cop is sick" he wasn't even watching, he could hear her acting. The acting by her (Sofia Vassilieva) is very good. She made my stomach knot up and I could feel fear for her. She got my kid to look away from youtube for heaven's sake. This is one of the best shows on TV. Anyone know how many episodes we get?

January 15 2008 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Jimmy's comments. This episode was great, and the girl who plays Ariel does a very good job. However, Bridgette is my favorite Dubois, too. She cracks me up. Anyway, what I wanted to add was the little pieces we get of how they are getting through - like when Joe mentioned that he would pay the mortgage and pay everything else via credit, but not pay the credit cards. I appreciate the real family aspect of it: parents who are actually parents to their children rather than buddies, a husband and wife who love each other and don't berate one another, a woman who looks like a real wife/mother and not a 'desperate housewife.' The show has seem to become a little more shocking this season. I would like to see more of Allison's communications with ghosts, though, like when Joe's dad comes around. it's always about dreams anymore. I liked the first episode when there were all those people around Allison's bed at night and she talked to them. I would like to have seen where that aspect of the show could have gone.

January 15 2008 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with the dislike of Huston's character. She doesn't fit what I would expect of a woman who has given her life to help in the search of missing children, and Huston plays her like a shrew. I've been very disappointed in this character addition.

I thought overall it was a great episode. It helped to show how visions can be misconstrued. A lot of times we never know the whole truth of a case, but because Ariel was dreaming of her mother, we were able to see that Ariel only got part of the story in her vision.

I was a bit upset that Alison was so freaked out about Ariel in her own vision when the cell phone that the girl in the car was reaching for was clearly decade old technology, at least. Oh well, nothing is perfect!

I love the dynamic of this family, and think it is one of the best portrayed on TV. However, I did cringe when Joe continually said, "is there anyone we can call about this?" in response to Alison's visions. We get it...he's caring. We've known that for many seasons now.

January 15 2008 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, I like the show and there is a lot of good acting except the lead character, Alyson. Arquette has never been a good actress but the show is well designed to surround her with good actors including the children.

The scheduling of this show has probably hurt it but I was very happy to see Hustin added to the show. I am sure the creator of this series has plans on developing her role which can only add to the overall series.

January 15 2008 at 10:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I say this often, but Medium is one of the most undervalued series on NBC's schedule. They treat it like the red-headed stepchild yet it's one of the best acted and written series on network television. And you're right, the kids on this show are great; although, I like Bridgette much more than I like whiny Ariel. Every time I see her puffy, crying face I want to change the channel. However, this episode was fantastic and when we got to the scenes with Casey and the copy my heart lurched. One because of what happened, and two because Ariel was being forced to relive it.

I do have to agree with your opinion of Angelica Huston's character. Boring. I miss the old gang.

January 15 2008 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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