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October 13, 2015

Medium: Burn Baby Burn (part 2) - VIDEO

by Paul Goebel, posted Mar 18th 2008 1:02PM

Jake Weber(S04E08) I'm really starting to wonder how long D.A. Van Dyke is going to stick around. Since he's already been established as bad at his job and an all around douchebag, hasn't he worn out his welcome? More to the point, Devalos is starting to seem a little petulant to me. If he keeps whining about wanting to be the D.A, people are going to stop wanting him back, even the die-hard Medium fans

Kathy Baker seems a little more comfortable in the second part but maybe that's the wine talking. It's the mark of a good actor to be able to manufacture what is supposed to be a long-term relationship between two characters. Jake Weber and Baker seemed very used to each other while she was sharing stories. I liked watching it.

I know I mentioned this before but I feel it bears repeating. Isn't it an accepted fact that when a dentist is involved with a burned body there's a good chance that he tampered with the dental records? I can't remember that type of thing happening in the real world but inside the TV it happens all too often. I think TV characters should have caught on by now.

Seeing Allison, Scanlon and Devalos in the car working together was so great. As soon as they came together on a piece of information they jumped into action like the Fantastic Four (minus the Human Torch 'cause that would be in bad taste).

As an aside, the scenes with Joe & Allison in the bedroom are a major part of why this show works. Seeing Allison in her sensible jammies and Joe in his t-shirt immediately conveys the kind of life these people live. I was just discussing on my podcast how I don't really like shows where everyone is beautiful and well-dressed. While Weber and Arquette are certainly attractive, their characters live in a world that at least has a passing resemblance to my own. It only makes the rest of the show that much more believable.

Speaking of Jake Weber, it is so refreshing to see a character on television who is not only intelligent but also has good common sense. Too often, the "smart" people on TV are portrayed as being clueless when it comes to their everyday life, but Joe Dubois is intelligent enough to know when his Mom and wife are keeping a secret from him. It's also nice to see a husband who is a supporting character and isn't an idiot, an oaf or a wimp.

I usually appreciate the dramatic courtroom revelation of the truth but I had a problem this week. Why would Manny go to the trouble of spelling out the details of the crime when all he had to do was bring in the supposed victim and prove that she was alive? I understand that she and the dentist had to be arrested for their crimes but that has nothing to do with him or his client. As soon as she walks in, cuffs are off and the details can be sorted out later.

If you ask me, it's about time Scanlon got reassigned. D.A. Dumbass made a huge mistake keeping him on his detail in the first place. I'm sure it had something to do with wanting to make Devalos look bad. Ah, hubris.

How hilarious was the scene between Allison and Joe's Dad? I'm not a big believer in guardian angels but the whole thing with the "system" and the "orientation" was awesome.

Will Van Dyke be out by the end of the season?
Yes92 (92.9%)
No7 (7.1%)

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I alway's enjoy Medium, but this one fell apart for me in that last scene of the courtroom "reveal". I'm all for suspending disbelief, but come on! For all the reasons pointed out in the previous posts, it all came together just a little too quick & neat. Usually, the show does better.

I do like all the family aspects of the show, too. It really works well. And having them have finacial problems adds to the realism, too often people on tv act like they have way more money than they actually would (or things for that matter, the apartment on Friends, for example in New York, that would have cost a small fortune). I wonder if Joe & Allison would think about moving, maybe it is hard to get a job in his field, even if you're very good. All in all, though, I'm glad the show is back, even if I disliked this particular ending.

March 19 2008 at 3:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ric Kaysen

Since I time shift everything, I finally got around to actually viewing the episode. I have to agree...they didn't go over budget on the legal and medical research. The legal problems were well identified in another post, but the detective testifying as to what's possible for a dentist to accomplish??? What's up with that? And the reason they use dental records to identify corpses is they're almost like fingerprints. You can't just put fillings in the same places and replicate someones' mouth. Unique tooth structure and filling shapes are easily seen on an x-ray.

March 18 2008 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Morjana Coffman

I love Medium, and enjoyed this episode, but the last 15 minutes invoked my nit-pick spidey senses, and had me wondering who did their research on the legalities/logistics involved with:

1) Flying to Barcelona, Spain and back to the US within a 30 hour time limit, especially as...

(Unless of course, Angelica Huston's character didn't actually fly there, but had some of her contacts already in Europe do the deed...)

2) Once in Barcelona, they had to find the suspects. One would think they would NOT be using their real identities. And...what if they were off on vacation somewhere?

3) Getting an arrest warrant to arrest the suspects, seeing as how the District Attorney was/is the "bad guy" and not likely to issue one...

4) Extradition hearing from Spain? Hello? Spain, AFIAK, has no death penalty, and as Arizona does, Spain probably wouldn't let suspects arrested in Spain be extradited without a hearing.

(Of course, that doesn't mean the Angelica and/or her contacts didn't kidnap the suspects...but then that might open a whole other can of worms down the line...)

I think there were some others, but those were the highlights.

Paul, I loved your pun about the Fantastic Four.


March 18 2008 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On this show, it usually takes Alison half an episode longer than the audience to figure out what's going on. Since this was a two-parter, it took her an episode and a half this time around. Maybe psychic ability detracts from any other mental abilities.

How exactly did Anjelica Huston fly to Barcelona, find and capture the wife and bring her back in about a day? (I believe it was "30 hours" from the hearing the night before Alison hired her.) For that matter, how did they get the police to arrest the wife and the dentist and bring them both to the courthouse without anyone informing the DA?

March 18 2008 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ric Kaysen

OK, like I said, I probably missed something. Granted it would be difficult to switch the films although in TV land nothing is impossible in the pursuit of a dastardly deed, but still...a pathologist would only need one tooth to compare existing dental records to the x-rays from the corpse to demonstrate they're not from the same person.

March 18 2008 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ric Kaysen

On the subject of taking the more convoluted and complex route to a more easily arrived at conclusion; wouldn't it have been a whole lot easier for the dentist to simply take new x-rays of the victim and substitute them? There's no way he could have perfectly replicated the dental work to where a reasonably observant forensic pathologist couldn't tell the difference. Of course, not yet having watched my recording of this episode, I may be missing something.

March 18 2008 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ric Kaysen's comment

Given the initial interview with the dentist, he's clearly not the wife's dentist nor was he the consultant dental pathologist, so how would he go about substituting the x-rays? [I agree that it would be easier if he could, though].

Besides, the idea here was to hand the police an obvious suspect and a motive. Since other methods of identification (DNA, fingerprints) were unavailable, the dental comparison becomes a case of confirmation rather than trying to identify a nameless body. That's a lower threshold (i.e., "close enough"), but it's still shoddy police/forensics work.

When the dentist hits her in the mouth, that's probably to cause damage that will both "prove" that the victim was attacked prior to the fire and that will damage the mouth to make any minor imperfections explainable.

March 18 2008 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like this two parter but I think it took Allison a little too long to figure things out. As for Manny spelling out the crime, I think it was to make Van Dyke look even worse than he did. Also, just because the victim was alive, does not mean that the husband did not set the fire thinking he was killing the wife. Manny had to show that the husband was not involved in the crime at all.

March 18 2008 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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