By Alynda Wheat
Updated February 19, 2008 at 11:48 PM EST

Heeeeey, how’s it goin’? (Or, for the four of you still speaking in LOLCat-ese, “O, hai!”) It’s been awhile, yeah? Me, I’ve just been doing what I do, y’know — got a new couch (love!), new haircut (do not want!), and spent way too much money at a clothing chain named for third-world dictatorships. But you! You haven’t changed a bit in the (what’s it been?) month since we last saw each other. Whatever you’re doing, you should bottle it.

So yay, Medium’s back — with an episode directed by Patricia Arquette’s brother David, no less — and it’s about damn time. To celebrate, I’m boozing it up with a Wyder’s peach cider, made by our neighbors to the north (it really is true what they say — they are so very nice). But before I could enjoy my fruity buzz, there was Allison’s Dream of Random Exposition and — crap — another kiddie-in-peril scenario. Anybody else get the sinking feeling that as long as Cynthia Keener (Anjelica Huston) is in our lives, Medium will continue to be tot-torture-of-the-week fare?

Oh well, at least this has a nice twist: The kidnap victim in question is deaf, so Allison woke up unable to hear. The doctor said it was some sort of sudden-onset condition, but we all know it’s psych(ic)-somatic, just like that time she had “I Will Survive” stuck in her head until she solved the case. Full disclosure: I’m hearing impaired (though far from deaf), so I kinda sympathized. Especially when she missed conversational cues. Especially when people started barking at her (honey, if she can’t hear her own damn screams, how do you figure she’s gonna hear yours?). But especially when Allison told Joe over the phone, “If you’re there: Sweet dreams, sleep tight, and know that I love you. And if you’re not there: Sweet dreams, sleep tight, and know that I love you.” See, now that she can’t hear, all of Allison’s other senses are heightened — especially her sense of ooey gooey luuuuuv.

Enough with the mush, though, because this episode was really about hard truths.

addCredit(“Patricia Arquette and Anjelica Huston: Craig T. Mathew”)

Hard truth No. 1: You gotta jack with kidnappers. Change the rules!Negotiate! Screw them on the asking price! It’s one of the mostprofound lessons Mel Gibson’s ever taught us — besides how much the ladies love having their sweater meat compared to fructose.

Hard truth No. 2: Rex Van de Kamp (Steven Culp) is always gonna be the morally shady dude. He’s in that class with Adrian Pasdar, Michael Emerson, and William Fichtner — youdon’t know that they’re the bad guy, but the odds are against them. So nohuge surprise that he set up the whole stepdaughter kidnapping, onlytoo eager to trade her blood for the red ink his company ishemorrhaging.

Hard truth No. 3: You do NOT cross Anjelica Huston. I could say thatthis was particularly evident in the part where she trained her piece(Glock? .45? Damned if I know) on Step-Daddy Dearest and put it in nouncertain terms, “Just so you know, it would give me enormous pleasureto put one of these right between your eyes, and another through thecenter of your chest.” But honestly, staying on Anj’s good side justseems like a practical life lesson.

So what’d you think? Is Little Brother Arquette getting good at thisdirecting thing? How great was it to see Nancy Travis again? Isn’tpeach the best of all the Wyder’s ciders? And who thinks it’s adorablethat Marie is reading (and that they haven’t replaced the kids, soapopera-style, with hot, demographically desirable teen actors)?