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The following below are blog/website reviews for the final episode of Medium. More will appear as I find them.

“Me Without You” Season 7 Episode 13 – Many brilliant shows are dealt a swift death after their first season. Even worse are the shows with enormous potential which do not survive long enough to see their potential realised. Worse still are the shows which started brilliantly but linger on until even the most ardent fans are sick of it. Medium managed to elude these television tragedies. Sure, it had some stinker episodes, but it rarely felt complacent. It always pushed the boundaries and took risks thematically and stylistically. When people talk about the lack of depth in network television, they clearly have not seen Medium.

As creepy and dark and twisted and downright scary as Medium could be, watching it was unlike watching a cheap thrills horror. This is because Medium was so firmly and eerily grounded in banal domestic life. This episode ended going right for the jugular: threatening the relationship between Joe and Allison. They ended the series on a swooping, eternal kiss. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Joe and Allison are easily one of the best television couples ever. An episode without Joe is always a lesser episode of Medium. An episode without Allison…well, Arquette is the show, isn’t she?

In this episode Joe’s plane goes down and he dies. Allison refuses to believe this after a dream (seven years later) which shows him washed up on a beach. Scanlon and Devalos were each given their final stoic scenes.

I was sad that the last scene we would ever see of the adorable Marie and the scene stealing Bridgette DuBois was so short and dismissive, but it was completely in keeping with the tone of the show, which has made drastic efforts to steer clear of easy but forgettable melodrama. Ariel returns in the seven years later segment for a brief pep talk with her mother, and then she was gone. Instead we were left with a pleasant but unfamiliar older actress to play Marie while the three girls who have grown up over the past seven years on our screens bid farewell not with tearful, self-indulgent scenes, but with the memories we have of their characters’ lives.

It was a solid episode of Medium, an entertaining and sad final episode. I will miss it. [SOURCE]
After seven years of using her psychic powers, Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette) solved her most personal case last night on CBS’ “Medium.” If you haven’t watched the series finale and still want to be surprised, click away now. Fair warning. The cold opening was a shocker: Joe (Jake Weber) went down with his plane, to the horror of Allison, who was helpless at home, listening to his final goodbyes before the telephone connection ended.

Jump seven years later: Allison an assistant district attorney, prosecuting a dangerous drug lord from Mexico. Daughter Marie is bitter that her father has never “come back” to check in on the family in all that time. He’s got a psychic hotline from the afterlife; why hasn’t he bothered? Daughter Ariel, visibly pregnant, hears all of this later from her mom and wonders (in one of the best lines of the night): “Mom, what are you talking about?”

And now things get scary. Allison’s boss is killed by a car bomb rigged by the drug lord. Allison takes over the case and starts seeing Joe in her dreams and in the courtroom. She ultimately comes to realize he survived the crash, washed up in Mexico, suffered a traumatic head injury, suffers from amnesia and has been working as a drug mule for the very man she is prosecuting.

And while I’m condensing a lot here, those at home were probably just as befuddled. The producers really weren’t going the old amnesia route, were they? Kind of cheesy, don’t you think? And he just happens to be working for the guy Allison is trying to put away? Granted, seven years have passed, but that’s convenient.

But it was all worth it for the reunion in Mexico. Allison went and found her longlost husband and rekindled his memories. Arquette just sold those scenes, brimming with love and excitement and tenderness as she wrapped her beloved Joe in her arms. Annnnndddddd then the rug was yanked out from under Allison - and those of us at home. Joe - the real Joe - stepped in and woke her up. Everything Allison had experienced in that “seven year” period - much of the episode - had been a dream Joe sent to Allison to comfort her, to let her know that she and the girls would have a great future without him. He had perished in that plane crash.

But as the ghostly vision commented, Allison’s love for him was so strong, she took over the dream and brought him back to life in their shared fantasy. Allison couldn’t believe it. She demanded to wake up, for real this time. But there was no waking up from this. Joe had really died. Arquette did a great job of moving from grogginess to disbelief to utter anguish as she realized Joe had truly died and she would have to go on without him.

And in the final scene, 41 years later, as an elderly Allison listened to a call from her great-granddaughter, her hand slipped and just like that, she was gone. To be reunited with her Joe, who swept her up in his arms, for all of eternity. Keep passing those tissues out. It was a good end to a solid series, and Arquette once again proved she is one of the most under-rated actresses in prime time. Maybe she’ll get some notice from the Emmy folks for her work here. What did you think? [SOURCE]
Well, the end has arrived. Six-and-a-half seasons, a change of networks, 129 episodes, several near-death experiences, growing pains, puberty, “I see dead people”, career ups and downs, many many Opening Dream Sequences, tons of guest stars, and scores and scores of murderers, rapists, kidnappers and other assorted villains getting their come-uppance. What a delight this show has been. It seems rather ironic that I would choose to recap this show, only to have it cancelled on me (I didn’t jinx it! I swear!), but I figure any show that can last this long, especially given the less-than-advantageous time-slots it’s been thrown into, has earned a whopping great amount of respect from TV historians like myself. God knows dozens of lesser shows would have fallen by the wayside given such abject circumstances.

I honestly don’t know what the cast will do with their lives now that Medium will, from this moment, exist only in syndication and on DVD’s, but I wish them all the best. They have brought tons of joy, thrills, chills, laughter, tears, and smiles to me for the better part of seven years, and for that, I am grateful.

Tonight’s episode does not start with an ODS, but a telephone conversation. But first, to backtrack: Allison’s kidnapping in the last episode prevented her from meeting with Manuel’s friend, the dean of the law school that she applied to. I don’t know if the rush to finish out the season meant that there were several episodes that were scrapped rather than aired (and which might cause a few noticeable plot holes this episode), but apparently all is well and good; Allison is about to start law school, and Joe is calling her from an airplane from Hawaii to Arizona, having spent nearly a week in the Aloha State at a business conference. Cut to several hours later, during the wee hours of the morning… Joe calls again and states that he’ll be landing an hour earlier than anticipated. He tells her this mere seconds before the plane hits a patch of terrible turbulence that ends with Joe’s plane taking a nosedive. His last words to Allison are that he loves her, and then the phone cuts off. And I pray to God that this is an ODS after all, but we are not shown Allison waking up screaming. Instead, we go right to the credits. Could Joe be… nah, they wouldn’t dare. (Or would they...?)

Instead of rejoining the story in progress, we fast-forward to seven years in the future. Allison, wearing thick-rimmed glasses and conservative lawyer attire, is practicing her opening remarks for an upcoming trial against a Mexican drug cartel leader, for which Allison will be second chair. Her boss, D.A. Dennis Caruso, heartily approves, so much so that he’s considering letting her take point. Upon returning home, Allison is greeted by Marie, who is now 14 years old (and played by Sasha Pieterse from Pretty Little Liars). The next day is the seven-year anniversary of Joe’s death, and Allison wants to take Marie to the cemetery to pay their respects. However, Marie balks, stating that since nothing of Joe was ever found (NOOOOOO!), they had to bury an empty coffin. Allison pleads, but Marie is adamant, saying she’s grieved enough. Apparently there haven’t been any “visitations” from Joe’s spirit in the seven years since either, a fact that kind of ticks Marie off because she still never had the chance to say goodbye. Later, at Joe’s grave, Allison catches us up on a little family history: Ariel ended up going to law school, but married some guy named Dave before she finished. Bridgette is now in college and has decided to pursue a major in creative writing. And Joe’s middle name is “Pritchard”, which is something I never knew before. Well, if that were my middle name, I probably wouldn’t tell people either.

Allison’s big trial starts, and the defendant is a man named Luis Amenabar (played by Enrique Murciano, who spent all those years on Without a Trace). We get a few moments of opening statements, and that’s all. Later, in the courthouse parking garage, Caruso informs Allison that Amenabar’s attorney offered to plead guilty if they shipped him back to Mexico, a deal they flatly refused. And then things take a turn for the tragic. Caruso gets into his car and turns the ignition, which sets off a car bomb that kills him instantly.

A shocked Allison meets with Mayor Devalos (cool), who is still being aided by Lee’s wife Lynn. And speaking of Lee, he has since been promoted to Chief of Detectives. He informs Allison and Manuel that security cameras at the garage picked up nothing, but it seems clear who planted the bomb. Manuel begs Allison to hunker down and prosecute Amenabar herself, because not to do so would be to let a cartel leader subvert justice. He even promises her that she and her daughters would have round-the-clock protection. This apparently is enough for Allison to agree to continue.

Later, Allison gets a phone call from Ariel, who stands by her mother’s decision (and, who seems to have a very noticeable baby bump – mazeltov!) to keep going. Allison retorts that she’s been feeling frustrated at Joe’s lack of posthumous presence. But we then get an explanation for that in the episode’s first dream sequence (putting aside for the moment that this entire “It’s a Not-So-Wonderful-Life” premise of this episode isn’t one great big dream sequence itself): a stray dog runs down what seems to be a Mexican beach and comes across a body washed up on shore. What do you know, it’s Joe! And he’s alive! Yes, that would certainly explain the lack of visitations, wouldn’t it? (It’s worth noting that the music that plays over this scene is very Lost-esque.)

The next morning, Allison is in Devalos’s office begging him to use his pull with the Mexican authorities to try to find Joe. Devalos seems reluctant to follow-up on a dream from events seven years in the past, but he agrees to help her in any way he can. But for now, back to the trial: we see Allison cross-examining a man who is presumably one of Amenabar’s enforcers, who is in prison for killing to of the cartel’s competitors. Not surprisingly, the man refuses to implicate his boss. But when Allison looks at Amenabar, she instead sees Joe, still sporting the same shirt his was wearing the day his plane went down. However, it’s only a momentary flash. And later that night, a phone call from Devalos brings bad news: all attempts to find Joe have come up empty.

If Joe is, in fact, alive, you may be asking yourself “why hasn’t he made any attempt to contact Allison or get home?” Well, the most obvious answer is the right one: he has amnesia. His head is bandaged as explains to a Mexican cop that his memory loss is likely permanent, and needs help getting home (wherever that is). The cop leaves Joe’s side, and walks across the street to a parked car, whose passenger is revealed to be Amenabar. He tells Mr. Druglord that Joe has amnesia, and Amenabar pays him for his services. That can’t be good. And then, of course, Allison wakes up.

The next morning, Allison requests a meeting with Amenabar and his lawyer. Using subterfuge, he offers Amenabar a chance to clear himself of a trumped-up charge concocted by Allison as a means to see if he knows anything about Joe. Unfortunately, Amenabar is a wily one, and sees right through the charade. Finally, he makes Allison a deal: get him extradited to Mexico, and he’ll tell her where to find Joe.

Of course, Manuel is none too pleased about Allison’s putting the state’s case against Amenabar in jeopardy to indulge a wild goose chase to find her husband. Though it doesn’t make much sense why a cartel leader would want an amnesiac American in the first place, Allison tells Manuel that making the deal is the right thing if it leads her to Joe. Manuel is less than convinced, and tells Allison that there will be no deal with Amenabar.

The trial commences with Allison questioning Amenabar’s accountant. Amenabar take the opportunity to let Allison briefly glimpse a photograph in his possession, which clearly shows Joe very much alive. She demands to know where he is, but Amenabar, having now taken up residence inside her head, remains mum. And this latest outburst is the last straw for Devalos, who tells Allison later that night that he has no choice but to replace her as lead counsel, lest their prosecution fall through.

The next dream sequence gives further information about the whereabouts of Joe: apparently Amenabar’s dirty cop friend Eduardo has convinced Joe that his name is Danny, and that he is an employee of Amenabar. Joe relates that he has been repeatedly dreaming about a “mysterious blond woman” that he’s convinced he knows, along with three little girls that “feel like” his family, but Eduardo tells him it’s all his imagination. And Allison awakes with a “we’ll just see about that” look on her face.

The next morning, Allison tells Manuel that she met with Amenabar again, and he confirmed that he has been using Joe as a drug mule for the past seven years, smuggling drugs that he didn’t even know he was carrying. He asks her why Amenabar would tell her such a thing when there’s nothing in it for him, but a phone call from Lynn lays it all out: despite being replaced, Allison used her influence to agree to the extradition deal with Amenabar. The prosecution is over, and Manuel looks like he just got stabbed in the stomach. It’s a good thing the series is ending tonight, because this is the kind of thing that puts a real crimp in relationships.

After the commercial break, we see Allison in her SUV heading down to Mexico with Marie in the passenger seat. Marie is fed-up as hell, wondering why her mother would destroy her career and her daughter’s life to find a man who probably won’t even remember them. But drive on they do, until they reach the location that Amenabar presumably gave to Allison. She pulls up to a small house and gets out, and heavens be praised, there is Joe. He doesn’t recognize Allison, of course, but after she explains who she is and who HE is, a flicker of recognition crosses his face, and she throws herself into his arms. However, as they embrace, Allison is interrupted by a familiar voice. She looks around, and sees Joe – another Joe – looking at her, and telling her that she needs to wake up. And so she does.

Allison gets out of bed to see Joe standing there. She thinks it was all a dream, and Joe has just returned from the airport. But then Joe gives her the horrible news: his plane did crash. He did die. And everything she just experienced was a dream that Joe sent her to show her “how things could be.” She breaks down crying at losing him for the second time in one episode, and Joe tries to reassure her that she’s strong enough to handle it. She begs him to stay, but then he’s gone.

The next caption reads “Forty-One Years Later”. We hear a young girl leaving a message for her great-grandmother Allison on an answering machine. We see an assortment of photos: Ariel with her husband, Ariel cradling her newborn, and a few other photos of Ariel’s daughter. There is also a stack of books listing Bridgette as their author. We see Marie at five, Marie at fourteen and Marie as a grown-up, married mother of three. We see a family photo of the Dubois family that we’ve grown to love.

And finally, we see Allison, a very old woman. She listens to the message, and suddenly her body grows limp. A nurse comes in and sees that Allison is, in fact, deceased. But almost immediately, we see Allison’s spirit, the Allison in her 40’s, standing their watching. And as she looks upon her own body, a familiar voice says hi. It’s Joe, and he’s been waiting for her. They kiss, passionately. A kiss between soulmates. A kiss for all eternity. And… fade to black.

Well, my first reaction is that of slight disappointment. I’m a sucker for a happy ending, and this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I suppose that concluding a show about otherworldly psychic abilities and the capture of murderers with a warm and fuzzy ending might be inappropriate, but no one likes to see their favorite characters die, even if its of old age. Knowing that it’s over, and that the Dubois saga has run its course, does make me feel better, though.

Final caption: “The real Allison and Joe continue to live happily with their daughters in the Southwestern United States.” And then we get some off-camera footage of the actors. Precocious twins Miranda and Madison Carabello (Marie Dubois). The stalwart David Cubitt (Lee Scanlon). The stern but noble Miguel Sandoval (Manuel Devalos). The adorable Maria Lark (Bridgette Dubois). The all-growed-up Sofia Vassilieva (Ariel Dubois). The terrific Jake Weber (Joe Dubois), who played one of the greatest unsung husbands in TV history. And, of course, Patricia Arquette (Allison Dubois), the psychic soccer mom whose charm and singularity of purpose were a joy to watch these past seven years. Thank you, all of you. You done good.

Thanks also to Glenn Gordon Caron for creating these exceptional characters and for keeping it fresh the whole time. To good old Frasier himself, Kelsey Grammer, for sticking with the show through thick and thin as producer. And thanks to you, dear readers, for allowing me to chronicle the waning moments of a truly worthy show.

Signing off. [SOURCE]

I'm really trying to figure out if this was a happy ending or not. 'Medium's' series finale was a roller coaster of emotion, and I still don't quite know how I feel about it. The biggest thing that struck me last night was the wish that we could have had a better buildup to this episode. Yes, there were several elements that were intentionally jarring, but it would have been nice if last week’s episode, for instance, could have started the foundation at all. Season 5 was full of two-part episodes, and this finale really could have used an extra hour. As a fan of the show, the cut 13 episode order for Medium‘s last season hurts the most in this way.

However, given the time frame with which they were working, the writers pulled together a fascinating and unexpected series finale. There have been several episodes during its run where I could call the conclusion 20 minutes in. This was not one of those episode. I honestly had no idea how this was going to end.

But now that we do know, I really like the choice of killing Joe off in such an unexpected way in the very beginning. If they decided he had to go, this was the way to do it. As viewers, we spent an entire hour wondering if what was happening was a dream, and then finding out Joe was alive. That way, when it’s revealed at the end that he actually did die in the plane crash, we can feel the jarring confusion and disbelief right along with Allison. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose thought process was something like, “No, he can’t, wait, so he was never, hold on. Oh no!”

The unfortunate side-effect of structuring the finale the way that they did was that we didn’t get to see a lot of the normal cast members. Marie was in it quite a bit, but she was played by someone else. Seven years is a tough jump to make when you’re working with kids. However, if there’s one thing that we learned from the Seinfeld finale, it’s that a parade of everyone who’s ever been on the show doesn’t a good episode make.

During the episode, I was kind of annoyed that we weren’t seeing more of the Dubois family together, but looking back on it now, they made everything work. We got to see everyone, at least for a moment, without it seeming shoehorned. I would have liked more Lee, but there simply wasn’t the time. The long-lost Ariel even got to make an appearance, albeit a long-distance one, so in the end, everybody did come together.

Medium‘s ending was dark, but as much as it resembled a family drama at times, Medium was always a dark show. As viewers, we want more of the nice family moments that we’ve come to love over the past seven seasons, but what actually happened — Joe dying after being away for six days and the family scattered about — is much more realistic, and that much more heartbreaking.

In the end, we do get the Joe and Allison reunion though. Allison becomes the woman she was when Joe died (which is interesting, because I don’t think that’s happened to any of the other ghosts), and they finally get to be together. This is, of course, Medium‘s version of a happy ending, but it’s still pretty heartbreaking.

At the end of the day, Allison, Marie, Bridgette and Ariel all lived for 41 years without Joe. He never met his grandchildren, or his great-grandchildren. While he appeared after he died, it didn’t look like he hung around. Allison certainly seemed surprised to see him when she passed. In the end though, the important thing is they did end up together, and that’s the closest thing to a happy ending that we’re going to get. [SOURCE]

Last night was the series finale of CBS's Medium. I used to watch the show religiously when it ran on NBC, but after the move to CBS last year, I thought quality went down. NBC wasn't afraid to shake up the series and make major changes. CBS, on the other hand, toned it down to a common procedural, something very successful on their network, because their viewers don't like to pay much attention apparently, but the reason I don't bother with much of their programming. Boring! However, having viewed a handful of episodes this year, and they were better, with more focus Dubois family, the true heart of the show.

Last night's series ender pretty much dispatched with the children all together. It was the love story of Allison (Patricia Arquette) and Joe (Jake Weber). In the first moments, Joe is killed in a plane crash. Flash forward seven years later, and Allison is working with the district attorney (Roger Bart, Desperate Housewives, The Producers) to bring down a major Mexican drug cartel. The DA is killed and Mayor Devalos (Miguel Sandoval) tasks Allison with finishing the case. But then Allison begins dreaming about Joe, convinced the accused has her husband stashed away down in Mexico. Joe has suffered from amnesia, and doesn't remember her.

I thought that the plot up to that point was unrealistic, and it was stretching my enjoyment. I like the series, and sometimes there are some fantastical things that happen, but even so, it was going a little too far. Amnesia? Come on. Been done before. Don't do such a hokey plot for your final episode! I kept trying to talk myself out of the disappointment and just enjoy the love story, but I was having a difficult time. When Allison blew the case on purpose to find Joe, it was really bothering me. Yes, she loves him, but she also cares about her job, and about putting away bad guys. Plus, I wasn't crazy about the new, older Marie. And, let's be honest, Arquette isn't the most talented actress in the world.

And then came the big twist: Joe had died in the wreck, and sent her the dream of seven years later to show Allison that she would be fine without him. Allison's only brain forced the Joe survived subplot into the story, and she took over the dream. Now we're back to the night Joe died, and he's telling her that he's really gone.

I was on board, now. Cool idea, executed wonderfully. Unlike Arquette, Weber is a hell of an actor, and he sold the whole thing brilliantly. I didn't see it coming, but it validated my doubts about the episode up until this point. Of course it seemed off, because it was! The whole Mexican case and amnesic Joe never happened! But with about ten minutes left in the show, I wondered what could possibly be done to top what the writers had just pulled off.

Sadly, instead of using that ten minutes, the series chose to only use a few of them, and then do another few minutes of goodbye montage to the main actors in the show. The music was a little hokey, but I can appreciate that after seven years, the series wanted to give credit to the people who brought the characters to life. The words revealing that the real Allison and Joe are still living happily together was nice, and surely appreciated by some viewers who had remained heavily invested straight through to the end.

Now, the last scene after Joe's reveal and before the tribute may have been the most interesting. It was set forty-one years after Joe's death, with Allison slipping quietly into, surrounded by pictures and memories of her family. Their three daughters were adults with children, and at least one great grandchild for Allison. Although she was alone at the time, it was clear that she was still loved by her family. And the aloneness worked out better, as just after Allison died, Joe appeared to take her into the after life.

My question is, did this scene happen? Or was it another dream sent by Joe to comfort her, and Allison didn't take it over this time because she had her happy ending? Or Joe knew she'd take it over, but also knew that it would work anyway? Or did Allison make it up herself? It was a beautiful demonstration of their commitment together. Their marriage has always been a major cornerstone to the series, and I loved that the final moments of footage were an affirmation of their bond. Thank you, Medium, for an uneven, but mostly interesting story of a fascinating and relatable family. [SOURCE]

New York Times
For seven seasons, first on NBC and then on CBS, “Medium” put across some of prime time’s most outlandish story lines by grounding them in one of television’s most believable marriages. So it was fitting that the series, a combination of paranormal murder mystery and domestic dramedy, crossed over to the TV hereafter on Friday night with a series finale that was narratively challenged but emotionally satisfying. It didn’t take a medium to predict that there would be tears.

The final episode, presumably prepared in a rush after CBS’s abrupt midseason cancellation of the show, was clumsy, overly sentimental at times and infernally clever. (Severe spoiler alert here if you haven’t seen it.)

Beginning with the apparent death by plane crash of the loyal and long-suffering husband, Joe (Jake Weber), it exploited the show’s familiar pattern of dreams and counter-dreams by the psychic crime fighter Allison Dubois (Patricia Arquette) to keep us guessing about Joe’s fate.

It was possible, and in fact mandatory, to hope until nearly the end of the episode that Allison would wake to a reality in which everyone lived happily ever after. That didn’t happen, a choice that may have infuriated some longtime fans but was entirely in keeping with the pragmatic, realistic way in which the marriage had been depicted over the years. A closing montage of the main cast members breaking character may have been cheesy, but what the heck? Few shows develop as convincing an illusion of family as “Medium” did over the years, and it was nice to see them signing off.

Ms. Arquette, playing a character based on the real-life “medium” Allison Dubois, was the series’s star and won an Emmy Award in 2005. But what made the show distinctive — providing the ballast of real life for the psychic flights of fancy — were the performances of the child actors who played her daughters and particularly the work of Mr. Weber, an underappreciated actor who was consistently terrific in a difficult and not particularly rewarding role. The final episode said it all: when the producers needed to amp up the emotions to their highest level, the first thing they did was kill off Joe.

The “Medium” finale drew 7.8 million viewers, an entirely respectable number on a Friday night. The show’s average of close to seven million viewers would be enough to keep a lot of series going, but those viewers were too old and the show, paying salaries to a relatively large number of actors who had been around for all seven seasons, was probably seen as being too expensive. On TV the nice blond woman from the district attorney’s office tells you when it’s time to go, but in the real world it’s the people in accounting. [SOURCE]

Date: 2011-01-25 12:44 am (UTC)
cyanne: (Medium Alison and Joe)
From: [personal profile] cyanne
Thank you so much for posting these. I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to be able to watch the finale, I can't handle someone being left behind, and I wound up watching just the last few minutes and the actor farewells. Thanks for this/ I did want to know what happened, I'm just going to pretend it didn't.


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