Allison Dubois (Arquette) is a strong-willed, devoted young wife and mother of three girls, who has gradually come to grips with her extraordinary ability to talk to dead people, see the future in her dreams and read people's thoughts. This season, Allison and her family's world is turned upside down after her abilities are publicly exposed, resulting in sweeping changes both professionally and personally.
The curtain falls on a reliably entertaining prime-time network drama as Medium
bows out with this four-disc set from its seventh and last season. Creator Glenn Gordon Caron, star Patricia Arquette, and the rest of the cast and crew were already well into production when they learned that CBS-TV, who had moved the show to a new time slot, had not only declined to renew it for another year but had also decided to shorten the current season to 13 episodes (previous totals had ranged from 16 to 22). That doesn't affect the first dozen, which hew to the same basic theme developed over the previous six years, with clairvoyant Allison Dubois (Arquette) and the unsettling visions that come to her in her dreams helping the Phoenix police and district attorneys solve various murders--a process that doesn't always go smoothly, as the visions are often incomplete or misconstrued. This time around, stories include the killing of a homeless man that's captured on video; Allison's attempt to play matchmaker after she sees hearts, stars, and such on people's foreheads, symbols that she mistakenly interprets as an indication of their compatibility; her knowledge that a terrorist attack reminiscent of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing will happen at exactly 9:18 a.m.--except she doesn't know what day; and a pair of episodes that focus on Det. Lee Scanlon (David Cubitt) and his unsavory, criminally inclined older brother. On the personal front, all three of Allison and husband Joe's (Jake Weber) daughters have inherited her powers. Ariel (Sofia Vassilieva), the eldest, heads off to college and has a reduced role, but middle daughter Bridgette (Maria Lark) and Marie (Miranda Carabello), the youngest, have considerably more to do; Lark is especially delightful in the first and arguably best episode, in which she and Arquette switch bodies, giving the actors an opportunity to do spot-on, very amusing impressions of one another.
And then we have the 13th and last episode. As Caron explains in one of the several bonus featurettes, the unexpected cancellation of the series led to the creation of a finale that was intended to wrap things up once and for all--which it does, but in a strange and largely unsatisfying fashion. The episode begins with Joe's apparent death in a plane crash; without revealing the ending, suffice to say that the mere possibility that he survived but now, seven years later, has amnesia and is working for a Mexican drug lord is a silly contrivance that does not do this fine series justice. --Sam Graham