This episode finds Allison Dubois (Arquette) experiencing night terrors about a deadly plane crash. One of the imperiled passengers she dreams about is Threshold's Robert Patrick Benedict. Fortunately, no bio-altering signals are involved...
Anyway, Allison is drawn into the case of a missing woman in Phoenix. The victim's worried husband is Captain Call (Chad Lowe), a highly-skilled airline pilot...and he is the very pilot Allison saw in her dream; the one man who can pull the imperiled jet out of a dizzying descent and keep it from pulping Cleveland. When an investigation points to Call as a man who killed his own wife and buried her in the desert, Allison seeks Joe's help in asking a variation of an important question: "do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one?"
In other words, should Allison let Captain Call off the hook - thus betraying his dead wife - so that he may fly that otherwise doomed plane and save two hundred lives? Or is Allison's responsibility purely to the victim? Should she see that Call is arrested, even though if he is incarcerated, he can't fly that endangered air liner?
It's a fascinating tale of precognition, and another really fine episode of Medium. I'm getting hooked on this show, in part because each episode takes unexpected turns, and asks unique questions. I noted last week how much of this series takes place in Allison's bed during the wee hours of the morning...and I like that. There's a very intimate feel between Allison and husband, Joe (Matt Crower), and I appreciate that so much of the program involves their relationship, and they way they deal with familial responsibilities.
In terms of the horror genre, the "doomed" airliner is genre convention going way back to The Twilight Zone and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." Since then, the same plot device has been utilized on shows such as The Sixth Sense's "Coffin, Coffin in the Sky" (1972), Freddy's Nightmares' "Cabin Fever" (1989), The Burning Zone's "Night Flight," Poltergeist The Legacy's "Let Sleeping Demons Lie" (1997), Millennium's "The Innocents" (1998), G vs. E's "Airplane" (1999), The Others' "Souls on Board" (2000) and this season's Supernatural entry, "Phantom Traveler."
Medium's "airplane" story distinguishes itself primarily through its climactic ambiguity. I enjoyed the fact that Call didn't end up flying the plane, and that the plane didn't crash, either. Neither possibility emerged, and Joe felt like he'd given Allison some good advice. "See, the plane didn't crash," he told his wife. "This year," Allison replied, hinting that her dream might still come true at another date. That's chilling!
Although it's not in the class of Veronica Mars (TV's best show; hands down...), I'm continuing to really enjoy Medium, and hope you're watching too.