After a somewhat ho-hum start to its sixth season — and a move to a new night and network (Fridays on CBS) — Medium has gotten back on stride, and last night’s “The Future’s So Bright” found the procedurals-are-better-with-psychics drama back at its creepy, inventive best. The episode followed Patricia Arquette’s Allison after she borrowed a pair of sunglasses from the department’s lost-and-found drawer to deal with a sudden sensitivity to light — and discovered every person she encountered had a number floating over his or her head that corresponded to the number of days that person had left to live. (If correct, looks like Devalos has just under 33 years left, while Scanlon’s got 42 years to complete his bucket list.) But talk about moral conundrums! How do you avoid slipping on the shades and checking the lifeline of your husband, your children, yourself? And should you? I loved the scene where Allison stood facing the bathroom mirror, grappling with turning Pandora’s predictor on herself.
Luckily, the magic accessory did more than offer ultimate expiration dates. Turns out the sunglases belonged to a deceased, midlevel drug dealer caught between turning on his employers, or getting an upper-body massage with a power sander. (Allison dreamed it all, natch.) You kind of knew there had to be a crooked cop in the mix — why else were the shades at the police department to begin with? — but the whole showdown at Scanlon’s apartment was nonetheless played out with as much tension as you can hope to get when you know deep down a major character isn’t actually going to be bumped off. That final scene where Allison warned the bad-guy detective — ominous “1” floating over his head — that his life was in danger provided sweet closure. “Don’t lose any sleep worrying about me,” he smirked, and suddenly the numbers over everyone in the hallway dropped to the floor, signaling the unavenged victim would soon be looking down on sweet, street-style justice. And fret not…I’m sure the Lunesta butterfly was hovering over Casa DuBois that night.
Bonus points go to this episode for using underrated actors from three series I once watched with religious fervor — Rick Gonzalez from Reaper as the dealer, The X Files‘ Mitch Pileggi as Joe’s new, new-agey boss, and Central Park West‘s Tom Verica (yes, I said CPW…don’t judge) as the shady detective. Pileggi’s screentime was all too brief, but the good news is he’s looking hotter than ever the writers appear to be setting the stage for a story arc where he’ll reignite some power into Joe’s solar-technology dreams. And when Joe’s happy and thriving, we’re all happy and thriving, no? Plus, dude is overdue for some career luck.
What did you think of last night’s Medium? How have you felt about its sixth season overall? And are you looking into the future and seeing a seventh? Sound off in the comments below. And to get all my pop-culture musings, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.