Medium (2005–2011)
7.7/10
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You Give Me Fever 

When samples of a deadly viral disease go missing, Allison's visions could help prevent a massive bio-terror attack. Also, Scanlon is ready to propose to Lynn, but Bridgette's dreams could foreshadow problems on the horizon.

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Dr. Erik Westphal
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Mitchell Lomis
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Wesley Judson
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While Homeland Security and FEMA warn the authorities that a highly contagious specimen of a killer virus is missing from a local lab, Allison dreams of a man speeding down the highway obviously intent on killing himself. When it happens the next day, Allison learns that the man was actually a research scientist at a the biochemical firm responsible for the missing sample. Worse, it's possible he may have been infected with the virus meaning Allison, her family, Det. Scanlon and all of the emergency workers at the scene may have been infected. Meanwhile, Scanlon finally plans on proposing to Lynn DiNovi but Allison is concerned when Bridgette has a dream where she saw Scanlon looking very sad. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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4 December 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Too much already.
1 March 2010 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

WARNING: Contains Spoilers

I watch MEDIUM frequently, not a fan (=fanatic) but do enjoy the occasional episode. This one, however, magnified the faults not only of the show's basic premise but also its increasingly outlandish elaborations by the staff writers, and deserves a special place in TV hell.

The story was basically fun, a variation on the Wolfgang Petersen movie OUTBREAK where Dustin Hoffman unconvincingly dons the outer space gear of an epidemiologist in the field and even less convincingly saves the world for conspiracy theorists. Here our coincidence-prone heroine played to the hilt by a now hefty Patricia Arquette gets sick and inadvertently gets herself (and her family) briefly in trouble by giving the authorities info that might link it to a potential spread (by terrorists) of a deadly virus.

Nothing wrong with all that, but the writers stumble repeatedly. Whenever there is pertinent, no VITAL, information about the bad guys or the progression of the plot, Arquette dreams about it. The convenience of this lazy writing ploy is so obvious I don't know how even loyal viewers of the show can stand for it, week in, week out. Enemies of political correctness will no doubt be thrilled at the revelation that the villain of the piece turns out to be gay (or at least AC/DC), but that is also a ridiculous plot twist, meant to amplify his comeuppance after he gives his co-conspirator the familiar mafia style "kiss of death" in one of Arquette's dreams. The dead guy is even allowed to get a bit of sweet revenge in a completely absurd "wish it would happen" finale, typical of the series' anything-goes approach to psychic phenomena.

I date back TV's use of simple-minded "reveals" roughly 35 years or so to the somewhat forgotten "Petrocelli" lawyer series, where Barry Newman would explain the entire plot & secrets at the end of the episode in a nearly 10-minute block of flashbacks. This type of spoonfeeding has latterly given way to an endless sequence of rather idiotic forensic shows, where we get cheapo animation and microscopic closeups purporting to show us how crimes resulted in the various corpses avid TV addicts have come to expect as a regular part of their gruesome diet. Yes, B-movie schlockmeister H.G. Lewis of BLOOD FEAST infamy would be quite amused to see how the boob tube had adopted his once-shocking (47 years ago!) gore emphasis whole hog.

MEDIUM eschews this approach in favor of the constant DIRECT dissemination of crucial facts to the viewer via Arquette's dreams. Even her offspring are getting into the act via inheriting her psychic powers. It's all a fake "fly on the wall" approach that would make Conan Doyle turn over in his grave. Instead of dogged detective work, the protagonists are handed all the secret doings of the ne'er-do-wells on a silver platter each week and we get the vicarious thrill of seeing exactly what happened, by psychic methods. I'm willing to suspend disbelief enough to let Arquette "see" things, but frankly balk at her dreaming up exactly the right incriminating scenes, both before they happen and also in traditional flashback form. It's too easy, and ultimately a turnoff.


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