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Medium Watch: Bring Your Daughter to Work Day

It’s truly a remarkable feat when a show can, against all odds, survive cancellation. The fact that Medium was able to make the switch from NBC to CBS last year and just keep on a-chugging is a testament to the quality of this drama, which has been one of my very favorites since it debuted… and no, not just because it takes place in Arizona, the current residence of the ACTUAL Allison DuBois. The stories are well-written, the drama is compelling and there is just the right mix of humor and spooky horror to keep me coming back week after week.

Last season, Allison died of a brain tumor that had plagued her since the previous season. And while that condition normally is permanent, you just knew it was all a dream/vision, a plot device that is a means to an end. Oldest daughter Ariel, who was preparing to travel across the country to begin college, is convinced by Allison’s ghost to not only stay but take over her position (by proxy) at the D.A.’s office. But after Devalos’s untimely death, his successor disposed of Ariel’s services. Allison’s motherly nurturing soon became relentless badgering and Ariel, desperate to live her own life, disappears. And then… the dream ends, Allison wakes up, Ariel goes to Dartmouth, Lee Scanlon married Linda, happy ending.

Season Seven opens with what looks like Bridgette making a home movie, complete with cute little cartoony captions. She introduces her family in order, and along with the cast of characters we’ve come to know and love is a recently deceased gentleman who bears a striking resemblance to Paulie Walnuts (because it is). “Tony” is there because he wants Allison to tell him who whacked him, something Allison is reticent to do. But after days of trying to crack Allison’s resolve, Tony eventually gives up. And then Bridget turns the camera on herself, and says she’s ditching the first day of middle school and embarking on a crime spree, starting with filching mommy’s wallet and car keys. And then… nope, sorry, this isn’t reality, it’s another patented Medium opening dream sequence (hereafter referred to as an ODS). Allison wakes, and immediately sets out to nip Bridgette’s criminal tendencies in the bud.

Allison’s first crusade of the season occurs as she strides into work, where a bespectacled man named Durant is trying to get in to see Devalos (and failing). Allison intercedes, and he explains to her that someone is offering homeless people – including his estranged father – to mutilate or humiliate themselves for cash and then putting clips of it online. The trouble is, repugnant as it is, it’s not illegal per se.

Later that night, Allison catches Bridgette watching an unspecified “classic” sci/fi movie on TV (she met a boy at school that day named Cameron who is a big film buff), and sits down to watch it with her. Cut to the bespectacled man’s homeless father Walter being propositioned once again by the mystery sadist (whose voice is being heard through a distorter), who tells him to drink from a bottle of isopropyl alcohol that he gives him. But when Walter starts choking and bleeding from the mouth, Bridgette wakes up. She nudges Allison awake, and they toddle off to bed… except that Bridgette is heading for Allison’s room and vice versa. Uh-oh, the old body-switching trick. It doesn’t take long for the whole family to realize that something is very wrong, and the scene that plays out is hysterical.

The next morning finds Bridgette admiring her new rack, and Allison fretting over the fact that she can hardly show up for work in her new body. To complicate matters, Bridgette has an important math test, so they agree to do what Fred Savage did in Vice Versa and have Allison take the test for her while Bridgette stays home. But a lounging, carefree Bridgette takes a call from Devalos, who tells her that based on Joe’s recount of Allison’s dream, officers found Walter dead that morning. Meanwhile, Allison finishes the math test only to run into Cameron, who asks her if she wants to go to the movies with him. Oh boy.

We next find Bridgette, clad in denim jacket and heels, accompanying Devalos and Mr. Durant to the morgue, where Durant positively ID’s Walter. Devalos explains that the rubbing alcohol given to Walter was actually drain cleaner, so this is now officially a homicide. And later that night, we revisit the original scene with Walter using a pair of pliers to extricate one of his own teeth, but this time we see that the person behind the camera… is Cameron. Guess that date is off the table, huh?

Bridgette does not take the news about her new friend well, telling her parents that they’re wrong about him. In fact, Bridgette runs to school in her mother’s body to tip Cameron off that the police may be on to him, but Scanlon arrives moments later and they take Cameron in.

At the D.A.’s office, Devalos explains that most of the videos of Walter were uploaded from a library near to Cameron’s house. Cameron vigorously denies it, and says that he was home alone playing Guitar Hero at the time of Walter’s death. Bridgette flashes on Cameron doing exactly that, and blurts out that Cameron is indeed innocent. This makes Devalos irate, because her outburst effectively destroys any case they could build against Cameron, as well as opening the D.A. office to possible litigation. Enter Joe and Allison, who are even less enchanted.

That night, Cameron shows up at the DuBois home, and confesses to both Allison and Bridgette that he did indeed make most of the videos, but not the one where Walter died. He produces a DVD that contains footage of him following Walter around, having conversations with him, the best of friends. Allison tells Bridgette that it doesn’t prove Cameron’s innocence, but Bridgette retorts that the fact that bringing the video to them isn’t something a guilty man would do. The pair fall asleep in the same armchair as before, and when they wake up a few hours later, bob’s your uncle, the girls switch back. Mystified as to why the switch took place, they re-watch Cameron’s video, which shows Walter arguing with his son, which is instantly suspicious because he said at the morgue that he hadn’t seen his father in years.

The next morning, Durant finds himself in very hot water. Scanlon explains that Walter was a veteran, and as such his death benefits meant a substantial payout in the event of his death. Devalos then relays the information that they pulled Durant’s credit card statement, and discovered that on the day of his father’s death, Durant purchased a video camera, a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a bottle of drain cleaner. Busted!

Allison picks Bridgette up from school, who dourly shows her the C+ that she got on the math test. Allison tells her that that’s not bad for someone who hasn’t taken pre-algebra for decades, and Bridgette replies that she hopes next time, she switches places with Joe because he is infinitely better at math. Don’t kids say the darnedest things?