TV REVIEW Medium 4.07 "Burn Baby Burn (1)"

Original US air date: 10/3/2008

Written by: Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Directed by: Leon Ichaso

Rating:

In Dreams: Allison witnesses a prostitute having some rather extreme dental work, while a classmate’s mum immolates herself in Ariel’s dreams.

The One Where: Joe’s mother makes a surprise visit while Allison tries to help Cynthia Keener locate a missing girl.

Verdict: “And in a packed programme tonight...” Blimey there’s a lot going on here, what with Ariel’s dreams, Allison’s dreams, Scanlon’s problems at work, DA Van Dyke out to humiliate Devalos, and Joe’s mother coming to visit and telling Allison she’s dying.

Even though this is the first of a two-parter, the plot strands seem to struggle for space, and there’s a disjointed feel, not helped by the fact that a couple of the dream sequences take time to reveal themselves as dreams. The sense of disorientation may be deliberate but it doesn’t make for satisfying viewing.

And how come it takes so long for someone to make the connection between Ariel and Allison’s dreams, and even when they do, they don’t seem in a hurry to look a little deeper? There’s a lot of great moments to enjoy (Joe’s mum’s revelation, Joe’s ghost dad being as curmudgeonly as ever), and the central mystery about whether the guy killed his wife or not keeps your attention, but it’s all a little too stilted and contrived at times.

Trivia: Kathy Baker last appeared as Joe’s mum in season one’s “In The Rough”.

Gratuitous Time Check: Scanlon: “Where are you going? It’s barely
seven o’clock.”

Best Line:
Cynthia: "Tell me whether you get a twinge."
Allison: "A twinge?"
Cynthia: "A twinge, an orgasm, a hot flush – I don’t care."

Dave Golder

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