TV REVIEW Medium 4.01 "And Then"

Original US air date: 7/1/08

Written by: Glenn Gordon Caron

Directed by: Aaron Lipstadt

Rating:

The One Where: An out-of-work Allison helps PI Cynthia Kraner investigate a child murderer, while Ariel nabs a lead role in the school musical.

In Dreams: Allison sees a man lure a child using a puppet; then she sees him exposing himself to the boy; then she sees him as a mouse (which actually looks more like a rabbit, to be honest).

Verdict: From its inventive “story so far” recap (using vox pops) to its usual “tie everything up in under a minute” climax, Medium’s fourth season opener is an absolute cracker. With showrunner Glenn Gordon Caron providing a script of amazing economy, so much seems to happen you wonder if you’ve just watched a two-hour season premiere. It intelligently moves the ongoing plot forwards, telling you what all the characters are up to after the event in last season’s climax – which left Joe, Allison and Devalos jobless, Scanlon demoted and a new DA sitting in Devalos’s old office – and still has time to offer up a gripping and brutal murder mystery as well. Even the subplot involving Ariel trying out for the school musical – which has the potential for major gloopiness – has a lightness of touch which keeps it watchable, and also provides the basis for an audacious montage scene at the episode’s end, in which the murderer is exposed to the accompaniment of “These Are a Few of my Favourite Things”. It’s never sounded quite so sinister. Not a 100% classic episode, but Medium doing what it does best, and doing it effortlessly.

Gratuitous Time Check #1:
Allison [bleary-eyed]: “What are you talking about? It’s the middle of the night.”
Joe: “No, Allison. It’s 11.45.”

Gratuitous Time Check #2:
Joe [bleary-eyed]: “Allison, it’s barely six o’clock.”

Hmmm: Why does Scanlon think that using puppets to teach road safety is more suitable for “older” kids?

Star Turn: Anjelica Huston is a masterstroke of casting as PI Cynthia Keener. She gives an understated performance which immediately makes you like her but suspicious at the same time.

Best Line:
Van Dyke: "I need to know if I can count on you."
Scanlon: "I don’t know what to tell you. It’s after midnight and I have to get up in five hours to talk to a group of student crossing guards about the importance of walking on the green... and not in-between."

Dave Golder

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