From the desk of Alynda Wheat:
I don’t know when it occurred to me — maybe that time Hiro’s waitress honey got whacked on Heroes, or when Superman realized he was kind of a deadbeat dad — but it’s true: Superpowers don’t improve your life, they only complicate it.
Otherwise Allison and Joe wouldn’t be rushing toward the Cliffs of Despair as if the Dread Pirate Roberts were on their tail. (Sorry, I seem to be speaking in pop-culture allusions. Might be the fact that I’m about as high on cold medicine as you’re legally allowed to be without ending up on the Suspected Meth Dealers watch list.) We knew it as soon as Joe made it clear that he really wanted the job with the Family Ties dad (curse you, Robitussin!), he wasn’t going to end the episode employed. Something would go awry, feelings would get hurt, lines crossed.
It started, as usual, with the DRE (Dream of Random Exposition): Couple in a hotel room, Paris, judging by the 500-euros-a-night view of the Eiffel Tower. All of a sudden, the wife snapped, did a Norman Mailer (with a corkscrew instead of fork) on her creepily patronizing husband, startling Allison enough to wake her up. The next morning we surveyed the usual Dubois routine, realized that when Bridgette says “rather” it rhymes with father, not blather, and decided we love her more today than yesterday.
Then things got hinky. Because what employer invites a guy he hasn’teven hired yet to his house for a dinner party? And because saidpotential wage-slave has a psychic wife? This is when the super powersget complicated, because we discover — of course — that Mr. Keaton’sdaughter Melissa is none other than Allison’s corkscrew-y honeymooner.(She’s also the daughter of Meredith’s mom on Grey’s Anatomy, but since Meredith’s having enough trouble dealing with the half-sisters she’s got on that show, we’ll let it be.)
Do you tell potential-employer-power-couple about the dreams? Whatabout when the daughter comes up missing? What about when the dreamssay she didn’t run off, but was instead kidnapped? If you’re Allison,the answer to all of the above is “yes.” But then you run risks. Likethe risk of having parts of the “evidence” contradict your dream,prompting Mr. Keaton to threaten you with Johnny Law. Risks like havingyour husband end up without the job because in the end, Mr. Keatondecided to “spend more time with his family.” Risks like alienatingyour husband.
Only what’s great about Medium is that the last neverhappened. Part of the underlying strength of this show is that nomatter how beyond credulity some of Allison’s abilities may be, there’sa very believable, very supportive marriage girding the fantasy. Thesepeople bicker, annoy the hell out of each other at times, and stillmanage to be deeply supportive (not unlike Tami and Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights).We’d have to pay an intern for the better part of a month to count allthe times Allison’s woken Joe out of a dead sleep because she’s had oneof her DREs. As annoying as that is, he’s never once expressed a realdesire to want out of his marriage. It’s deeply satisfying to see twopeople struggle, wrestle with baser instincts, yet always work it out.
But what about you guys? What’d you think of this episode? Did youmiss Anjelica Huston? Did anyone else think Mr.This-Is-Why-We-Need-a-Restraining-Order was going to stuff and mounthis ex to be part of one of his dioramas? Am I the only one loving whatthey’re doing with Allison’s bangs this season? Talk to me.