Holy product placement, Allison. Medium clearly has a new relationship with a certain big-name American car company that I do not feel the need to promote further, as they are not paying me a dime, and it definitely showed in this week’s episode. Allison’s car is involved in an accident, but surprisingly, she’s not the one causing it with her horribly unsafe driving habits. The accident is an excuse to get Allison into a brand-new, product-placed earth-killing SUV.
Even though most of the plot that revolved around said SUV was little more than a heavy-handed commercial, there was a lot to enjoy: I thought the main idea of her satellite radio allowing her to hear the conversations going on in the cars around her was really fun, as was her desire to just dork out when “YMCA” started playing on the radio. Mostly, I enjoyed how much the technological advancements of her new car versus her old Volvo confused her. Her perplexed look when it came to the GPS is pretty much universal.
As for the main bank robbery plot, it was kind of blah for me. Todd Louiso, who was amazing in High Fidelity, was underused as the man who was forced into performing the robbery, and the resolution was a little bit unsatisfactory to me. I had a bad feeling about the bomb squad guy as soon as he showed up, but it kind of disappointed me that he was the one who masterminded the robbery.
At first, when we see it go down in Allison’s dream, it looked as though the bomb squad guy looked at the situation, saw a giant bag of cash, and realized he was in a unique position to get very rich, very quickly. An officer of the law getting greedy and taking over a bank robbery midway through is much more interesting to me than an officer who was just bad from the beginning and orchestrated the entire robbery.
What I found much more interesting in this episode was Ariel’s plotline, with her classmate Jaime, and her pill-popping mom. The whole scene with Jaime’s mom convincing her to tell everyone she was driving and explaining that her record wasn’t exactly clean, is kind of creepy, as was the newspaper article Ariel saw about Jamie’s mom eventually killing her in a car accident.
Here’s what I don’t get though: Ariel convinced Jaime not to drive with her mom to and from school anymore, and is helping her get her own license, but does Ariel honestly believe that Jaime will never be in a car again with her mother behind the wheel? How realistic is that? I’ve had my driver’s license for quite some time, and I still find myself in the passenger seat of my parents’ car fairly often.
How is Jaime supposed to tell her mother that she is never going to ride with her again, for the rest of their lives? Because Ariel’s solution only addresses Jaime: it doesn’t have anything to do with Jaime’s mother getting the help that she needs in order to stop being a danger to herself and others.
Joe and Allison have always been the kind of parents who encourage their children to be open and honest with them, and to come to them if they’re in a situation that they feel is frightening. So it’s weird to me that while Ariel emphatically told her parents that she was not going to be riding anywhere with Jaime’s mom anytime soon, she failed to mention why.
In all, while I mostly forgive Medium for the egregious product placement, I have to say this is the weakest episode of the season so far. Neither the A or the B plot completely worked for me– and while there were some fun moments (mostly provided by the newly funny Joe), I came away a little unsatisfied. However, there’s always next week, and it looks like it’s going to be a good one.