Native Tongue was the seventh show, in the seventh season of “Medium,” and maybe it was the theme of seven that had this episode feeling like Joe DuBois was going through the seven year itch. The episode started like the others, with a murder awakening Allison DuBois, a man was set on fire and killed when the trailer he was in exploded. When Allison woke, the murder wasn’t the psychics only problem. She soon discovered she couldn’t understand her husband when he spoke. A worried and frustrated Joe brings his wife to the hospital, where a beautiful doctor tells him there’s nothing physically wrong with Allison, and the condition will eventually correct itself. It’s apparent Dr. Natalie Salem is flirting with Joe, and she leaves her card with him, telling him to call anytime.
At work Allison experiences the same problems. She only hears gibberish when others speak, until she meets a woman speaking the Navajo language, Jane Livingston. Though Jane isn’t speaking English, Allison can understand her, and the women soon strike up a friendship. Because she can communicate with Allison, Jane offers to help, and accompanies Allison to the crime scene. At the scene, Jane appears disturbed when she see’s the bullet ridden body of the victim. For now, while Allison is unable to understand anyone else, Jane volunteers to act as a translator
Problems at the DuBois Home
When Allison returns home, she is greeted by her angry husband. During their marriage, Joe’s dealt with the nightly disturbances caused by Allison’s dreams. He’s accepted there are things she sees that he can’t understand, but not being able to communicate with one another is putting further distance between them. To Joe it’s another problem he has to deal with, and he’s not sure how much more he can take. In a moment of weakness, Joe calls Dr. Salem, but hangs up before leaving a message just as Allison walks in. Even though he didn’t complete the call, it’s clear Joe was tempted by Dr. Salem. Allison explains how frustrating this is for her, asking Joe if he even cares. He responds by using his cell phone typing messages to Allison so she can understand. He apologizes and eventually ends up in the bathtub with his wife, and the two make up.
In typical “Medium” fashion, Allison helps close the case. The dead body was a bank robber who was robbed, and killed by a man who overheard him bragging about the heist. The case may have been solved, but Allison’s new friend, Jane, was missing. A worried Allison fears the worse. After she dreams of her friends death, Allison leaves a message on Jane’s phone stating she’s in danger, that she’s going to be killed, but that night another dream exposes the truth. Jane was involved in the crime. When Jane calls from out of the country to thank Allison for the warning message which saved her life, Allison responds, “I hate you.” For Allison, a woman without many friends, Jane’s betrayal was hurtful. In the end, Jane made a mistake her partner scolded the robbers for, talking too much, and it cost her her life. A merchant who overheard Jane talking to Allison about the money, murdered and robbed her, and the show ended with Allison waking from a dream of Jane’s death.
The non verbal communication was beautiful in this episode. After their disagreements, Joe would eventually gather Allison in his arms and hold her. With all the death and violence she sees, in Joe’s arms is the one place Allison can feel safe, even from her dreams. Joe is committed to his family, even though his relationship with his wife causes frustration. That’s what makes “Medium” enjoyable, it’s part murder mystery, part family drama, and part romance, and this episode was a perfect blend of all of them.