Medium Watch: Talk To The Hand

I think it’s cool the way the writers of Medium find a way to incorporate utterly wacky things into Allison’s dream sequences. When your easel is the dreamscape of a noted psychic, pretty much anything goes, and time and time again, they find ways to entertain and amuse in ways that you never thought possible. Example: one time they incorporated Allison into George A. Romero’s classic movie Night of the Living Dead. This time, it’s Mr. Bill.

For those of you who weren’t around when Saturday Night Live first started in 1976, Mr. Bill was a clay figurine who was the star of a series of short skits that was meant to be a parody of kiddie shows. He had a high-pitched voice, and usually met some kind of sadistically violent end at the hands of… well, “Mr. Hands”, a pair of human hands (complete with voiceover) that would proceed to squash or dismember Mr. Bill and his little clay friends, eliciting Mr. Bill’s trademark cry, “Ohhh nooooooooo…”

Tonight’s ODS seems to be a perfect mimicry of one of those shorts, except that Mr. Hands this time is actually Mrs. Hands (Allison), who tortures Mr. Bill for a minute or so before accidentally spilling boiling water on her left hand. This, of course, is the waking moment, but instead of finding herself lying next to Joe, she’s in a hospital bed. Having suffered some major burns, she has just undergone a skin graft to repair the damage. Let this be a lesson, kids: keep those pot handles turned in! (Nice to see, during the credits, that they’ve left Sofia Vassilieva’s name in for the meantime. I miss her already.)

After the commercial, Allison returns home and we get to see her rather icky-looking wounds as Nurse Joe changes her dressing. He’s pretty good at it, too. We go right from there to the next dream sequence, where a young woman clad in hospital scrubs returns home to notice that one of her doors has been kicked open. She’s in the process of calling 911 when a man comes up behind her and zaps her in the neck with a taser. After waking the next morning, she phones Lee, who is recuperating at home from last week’s gunshot wound, and he informs her that the lady’s name is Monica Janeway and she was abducted about a week prior. Allison tells Lee that she’ll meet up with him later to give him a description of the man from her dream, but later notices that her bandaged hand seems have developed an affinity for fiddling with the TV remote without Allison noticing. It begins…

Due to Allison’s incapacitation, Joe has volunteered to be Soccer Dad. I wasn’t aware that Bridgette was on a soccer team, but I am now. Though it’s strange: Joe and Allison seemed to be under the impression that Bridgette was just her team’s equipment manager, but after dropping her off, Joe is told by another parent that Bridgette is not only playing for the team but is a phenomenal goaltender. When Joe asks her why she kept her soccer talent a secret, Bridgette responds that she’s just subbing for the injured starting goalie, and that she didn’t want them to know because she’s afraid they would turn into overly-serious sports fanatics like some disreputable Hockey Dads. I smell a rat.

It would seem that the man from Allison’s dream is not your average criminal type: in fact, he’s Heath Timlin, one of the country’s leading transplant surgeons, who just happens to work in the same hospital as Monica. Lee promises to investigate further, and as he gets up to leave, Allison latches on to his arm with her bandaged hand, and has to use her other hand to forcibly pry it off. The hand then picks up the sketch of the doctor and flaps it right in Lee’s face. He promises to look into the doctor today, and leaves Allison with a very bewildered expression on her face.

The doctor who performed the graft on Allison reassures her that there’s nothing physically wrong with her arm, but then he alludes to the fact that the skin donor was, in fact, a deceased person. Which makes a lot of sense now, if you think about it. Of course, Joe has a ball with the situation; otherworldly possession of one of his wife’s limbs is one of the funnier crises she’s endured over the past few seasons. The next dream shows Dr. Timlin driving his car into a garage where a balding, bespectacled man awaits. Timlin tells him that they have a mutual problem, and opens the car’s trunk to reveal a just-waking Monica. Timlin slugs her back into unconsciousness, which jars Allison awake again.

The next morning, Allison goes to work to find Devalos concluding an interview with Timlin who, despite having no alibi, has been completely forthcoming about cooperating with the investigation. And once again, Allison’s hand goes right for the remote for the TV in Devalos’s office, prompting a very puzzled look from the D.A. and an increasingly flustered Allison. That night, Allison’s hand slaps her awake (ouch) and practically drags the rest of her body out to the living room, once again going for the TV remote. It flips through a few channels, finally settling on a commercial for a funeral home. And the proprietor of that funeral home? A man named Wayne Lundgren, Dr. Timlin’s balding, bespectacled accomplice.

Meanwhile, Bridgette remains adamant that mom and dad stay away from her soccer games, lest the added pressure snap her team’s winning streak. Joe says that he’s going to find a way to observe Bridgette in action without her knowing. And the next day, he does just that: with him and Marie watching, they see Bridgette impressively fend off some would-be goals. The eerie twist is, Marie can see a man standing in the goal with her, telling her what to do, a man Joe can’t see, and suddenly her reason for wanting her parents’ absence is clear. It turns out the man is a deceased soccer coach who seems to be directing Bridgette to be in the right spots to block shots. Joe is worried that this teeters on the brink of cheating, but Bridgette doesn’t see a problem with using her “abilities” to be able to hang with older, more athletic kids.

Allison and Lee, now walking with a cane not nearly as cool as Dr. House’s, pay a visit to the funeral home. Lundgren says he knows Timlin because he arranged a funeral for the doctor’s mother the previous year, but that’s it. Allison’s possessed hand then takes over again, and leads her and Lee into an empty viewing room where a deceased elderly man is on display. And then, her hand starts undoing the man’s belt, just as the widow walks in. Yikes, does it get any more awkward than that?

Bridgette, meanwhile, brings her father’s concerns to her ghostly soccer mentor. Dead Coach insists that he’s simply coaching her, for the noblest of reasons, and that he’s not helping her cheat. He tells her he’ll leave if she really wants him to, but points out that she might let down her team if she does that. Make that a really BIG rat.

The next dream shows Timlin and Lundgren laying out their whole criminal enterprise over Monica’s unconscious body: apparently Timlin, who is in charge of his hospital’s tissue donor bank, has been harvesting tissue samples from Lundgren’s corpses and fudging the paperwork, but Monica noticed something hinky when one of the samples turned out to be cancerous. And now, apparently, she’s gotta go. He slits her throat, and just like that, she’s just a collection of body parts… including one particular patch of skin that is now sutured to Allison’s burn. Okay, is there anyone out there that DIDN’T see that twist coming?

At Bridgette’s next big soccer game, Dead Coach’s ulterior motive is finally revealed: he used to be the coach of the squad that Bridgette’s team is now opposing, a fact that Bridgette realizes when she sees that the soccer field was named after him. And since he chose game-time to disappear on her, her goalie-ing skills take a nosedive and her team is soundly trounced in the first half, 5-0. Faking a knee injury to hide her shame, she confronts Dead Coach with his trickery, but Dead Coach rightly points out that she didn’t do anything to improve her athleticism, but merely followed his instructions and nothing more, so she deserves what she gets. Determined not to let the jerk get the better of her, she puts on her game face and steps back into goal… and to her credit, she stops a fair amount of shots. Not enough to win, but at least she enjoys herself. And the lesson is learned, because she tells her family that she no longer bans them from attending her games, and she will try harder from now on.

Bad news: Devalos tells Allison that the skin from her graft has commingled with Allison’s to the point where they can no longer identify the donor’s DNA. But one dream sequence later, we see that the dastardly duo made the mistake of taking numerous samples from the corpse Allison tried to de-pants earlier, but because his body was buried and not cremated, Devalos was able to have his corpse exhumed. This puts both Lundgren and Timlin on the hook for fraud, but there’s still no evidence that links them to Monica’s murder.

Of course, if there’s one thing this show almost never does, it’s let murderers skate by. On her way out the police station door, Allison sees a middle-aged woman patiently waiting. It turns out that she is Wayne Lundgren’s wife, and darned if she isn’t wearing the emerald pendant that Monica was wearing when Timlin slit her throat. Coincidentally, it is at this moment that the cops are hauling Timlin in, and Allison tells him with a wry smile that Monica is looking forward to seeing him again. Yeah, baby!

Next week: things get truly tense as it looks like some primo baddies are fixing to detonate a dirty bomb in downtown Phoenix. (Keep in mind, I live about five miles from that location, so that is truly a scary thought.)