Medium Watch: Labor Pains

Only two episodes left. I’m starting to get wistful. I hope that some of you readers have enjoyed this show as much as I have. I came across a list of notable stars and actors who have made appearances on the show, and it really is quite extensive. Check this out: Neve Campbell, David Carradine, Blythe Danner, Miguel Ferrer, Peri Gilpin, Kelsey Grammer (who also co-produces the show), Michael Gross, Emma Stone, Thomas Jane (Patricia’s BF), David Morse, Kelly Preston, Jason Priestley, Molly Ringwald, William Sadler, Eric Stoltz, Jeffrey Tambor, Rumer Willis and Kurtwood Smith. I would have to say that my favorite guest character was Texas Ranger Kenneth Push, played flawlessly by Arliss Howard, who made several appearances in the first few seasons but none in the second half of the show’s run. I was hoping he’d come back one last time, but I guess not. Bummer.

Tonight’s ODS is a bizarre one: first Allison recounts some of her life in narrative form. Through a series of headlines, we learn about Allison getting her job in the D.A.’s office, Devalos losing and regaining his seat, and Allison being publicly outed as a psychic. One aspect of her unwelcome fame is the copious amounts of mail that she has received from people the world over asking for her services. (It’s an aspect, funny enough, that we’ve never been shown until now.) We see Allison being buried by an avalanche of letters and postcards, and then she wakes up. Not much foreboding there.

The next morning finds Allison packing for a one-day trip to Denver. Apparently her application to law school has reached the approval stage, and though the school is local, she must fly to Colorado to meet with the dean of the school, who is also a friend of Manuel’s. At the office, Allison is approached by a man named Jeremy Haas, who informs her that his eight-months-pregnant wife disappeared two years ago and has been writing Allison letters twice weekly requesting her help. The police are convinced that she ran away because of a note she left, but Jeremy is convinced that she wouldn’t do that. Allison tells him she’ll look at the police case file but can’t promise much beyond that. After he leaves, Manuel confirms that the appointment between his friend and Allison is all set up, but before she gets on a plane that evening, there’s the small matter of a body that’s been found in Chandler, and they’re going to pay a visit to the man that was convicted of her murder, currently serving life in prison.

Not much to say about that interview except that the scumbag does indeed cop to murdering the owner of the bones that were found, but can’t provide details as to her identity. However, during the interview, Allison flashes on the image of a brunette (the dead girl in question) woman smiling at someone nearby, someone who comes up behind her and jabs her in the neck with a syringe. This would seem to indicate that the man was lying.

On the way out of the prison, Allison receives a call from Joe that little Marie was pulled out of her class after breaking down crying during a spelling test. I mean, spelling wasn’t my favorite subject when I was five, but crying? That can’t be good. A quick confab between Joe and two of Marie’s teachers proves to be ominous. One teacher relates that Marie’s academic performance has been slipping recently in all her classes, and believes that Marie has a learning disability. The other teacher suggests that Joe take her to a specialist. Joe is incredulous, to say the least.

That night, Allison is back home and ready to head for the airport. Joe assures her that he’ll see to whatever problem Marie is having. Then Allison’s phone rings, and is surprised to hear that it’s Jeremy. After finding out that he lied to one of her co-workers to get her private number, Allison tells him that she hasn’t had time to devote to his wife’s case. And then she tells him not to call her at home again, before hanging up. Cut immediately to an airport parking lot, where Allison is surprised by Jeremy twice in as many hours… only this time, he’s got a gun. Guess that trip to Denver ain’t happening after all.

After the commercial, we see that Jeremy has brought Allison to a remote cabin that used to belong to his wife. After giving him a piece of her mind, he calmly tells her that he plans to keep her there until she has some sort of dream about his missing wife, Elena. To speed her along to Dreamland, he even puts sleeping pills in her water. And it works, though probably not in the way that Jeremy wanted it to: Allison’s dream is not of Elena but the brunette she flashed on earlier. She is quite dead, her body wrapped in a bloody sheet and being dragged and then dumped into a shallow grave by a mysterious woman that we haven’t seen yet. Poor woman.

The next morning, Allison awakens in a bed with her hand cuffed to the bedpost. She tells Jeremy of her dream, and that he needs to make peace with the fact that Elena may very well have just up and left him, and also that he needs to let her go so that she can inform Lee about her dream. Not surprisingly, he refuses.

By now, of course, both Joe and Manuel have realized that Allison never made it to Denver. They call Allison’s phone repeatedly, but Jeremy destroys it. He drugs her again, and voila, she dreams again: this time it’s a Lamaze class, and the mysterious woman, sporting a sizable baby bump of her own, is having a conversation with another pregnant woman who wants to leave her husband. And yes, this time it IS Elena. I think I see where this story is going. When Allison informs Jeremy that his wife was talking to a murderess, he seems relieved that she didn’t leave him after all. Allison points out that she didn’t actually see Elena get murdered. Jeremy responds that she just needs to keep trying. Thankfully, before he can drug her for a third time, the house is paid a visit by the local postman. Allison screams for help, and her cries cause the postman to break down the door. I was sure that her rescuer would get a bullet in the back from Jeremy, but it didn’t happen. Rather that do that, Jeremy chose to merely flee.

On the Marie front, Joe takes Marie to see the specialist, but after a battery of tests cannot find anything wrong with her. On the contrary, she finds Marie to be quite smart for her age. That doesn’t explain her spelling breakdown, but the specialist reasons that perhaps it’s because her mother is away from her for the day. Which sounds like a flimsy reason to me, but you never know with little kids. However, later that day, when Joe takes Bridgette and Marie to the hospital where Allison was transported, Marie admits that, once again, her comprehensive abilities have mysteriously vanished again. Oh, me.

Allison, on a happier note, seems none the worse for wear after her ordeal, so Joe is able to take her home. They get a call later that night from Lee that Jeremy was arrested and is being taken back to Phoenix so Allison can identify him. More good news as she drifts off to sleep again. And, of course, we get another dream: the mystery woman (who I now see is played by Judging Amy’s Jillian Armenante) is paid a visit at her house by Elena, who confesses that she finally got up the courage to leave Jeremy. She seems less than sure about her decision, however, but before she can have a change of heart, the woman jabs her in the neck with a syringe. Poor Elena.

The next morning, Allison comes face-to-face with Jeremy again, and he looks like a beaten man. He apologizes profusely for kidnapping Allison, but maintains that he had nowhere else to turn. Allison then surprises him, and me, by informing him that based on what she now believes happened to Elena, she can no longer find it in her heart to press charges against him. Wow, what a gift. I doubt I could be that forgiving.

Meanwhile, Joe and Marie are back at the specialist’s office, and once again, she can find nothing wrong with Marie whatsoever. And finally Joe understands: since the episode began, he had been on his laptop trying to create an algorithm or something or other for a proposal that his company will be making very soon, and the solution had completely eluded him until, by pure serendipity, he made the acquaintance of a physics professor in the specialist’s waiting room, a professor who was able to get the kinks out of Joe’s equation in no time flat. So it would seem that Marie’s difficulties were there for the sole purpose of Joe meeting the guy and working out his math problem. Wow, that’s a stretch, but knowing this show’s writers, not surprising.

Tonight’s final dream sequence reveals the true heinousness of the mystery woman’s plot. We see Elena, covered in blood, dead on the floor, and her newborn sleeping in a nearby crib. The woman removes her fake (FAKE!!!) baby bump and picks up her new daughter, telling her that her name is Alexandra Tate.

The next morning, Allison summons Jeremy to a local preschool, where she informs him that the mystery woman, whose name is Veronica Tate, was arrested for stalking and killing two pregnant women – Elena and the brunette from earlier – and stole their babies, because her infertility made it impossible for her to have children of her own. So it’s good news-bad news for Jeremy; his wife is dead, but now he has a beautiful daughter to take care of. That’s really sweet.

Next week: it all comes to an end. Will Manuel win the mayoral race? Will Allison finally leave her job? Will Ariel make one final appearance? Come back in seven days and I’ll close it out for you.