There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the NBC show Medium is centered around the Allison DuBois (Patricia Arquette) character, who is, of course, the “Medium” that the show’s title refers to. But try to imagine Medium without the presence of her husband Joe. It’s tough to do. Joe, played fantastically by Jake Weber, has redefined the role of TV “background husband.” His unflagging support of and belief in Allison is a key contributing factor to the audience’s support and belief in her. He is the everyman – the voice of reason and logic when things are teetering on the ledge of the freak-a-deak abyss. When Allison wakes up in the middle of the night from her most recent psych-adelic trip in dreamscape and immediately wants to call D.A. Devalos, it is Joe who asks: “Is this really something that can’t wait until morning?” Even though it never really can wait, it is still the logical question to ask.
His place in the DuBois family is well established – he is the cornerstone. He is the family’s firm foundation. He is the calm within the psychic storm. While Allison is gallivanting around Phoenix looking at corpses and talking to dead people, Joe is taking the kids to school…again. This is why the latter half of Season 3 packed a surprisingly more emotional wallop to the longtime Medium fans who have always relied on Joe to be the safe port in Allison’s storm. Instead, Joe is the one thrust into a living nightmare in “Joe Day Afternoon,” flipping the DuBois status quo on its ear. As fantastic as that episode was, it became retroactively fabulous when Joe wasn’t “back to normal” by the next episode; thus breaking another non-serialized television rule. His symbiotic relationship with Allison was affected, the kids were worried about him for a change, and things deteriorated to the point that he eventually lost his job in the Season Finale!
This is not the Joe we know and trust; but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Throwing Joe into that hostage situation, and not letting him just “get over it” so easily, has given us added dimensions to a character that had become almost pigeon-holed by his steadfast loyalty and dependability. It is refreshing, and it makes the extended wait that much more difficult to bear.
– Amy J. Johnston, BuddyTV Features Writer
(Image from NBC.com)