Season 2 Episode 12

Doctor's Orders

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 09, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
205 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The spirit of the doctor from the episode “Penny for your Thoughts” is back and after Allison's daughter Ariel.

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  • excellent episode

    The ghost of a doctor who appeared from an old episode is back. He set his sights on Allison's daughter Ariel, by appearing to her. Allison deals with another person out there who happens to be in the control of the dead psychotic doctor. It's a really interesting episode. This episode looks really good with the reappearance of a character from a previous episode. This raises the stakes a bit for Allison. The actors were amazing, they acted their roles so well that it makes the episode feel so creepy and exciting at the same time. I really enjoyed this episode.moreless
  • An interesting concept for an ongoing nemesis...but was the return too quick?

    At the end of the first season, in the episode “Penny for Your Thoughts”, there was the hint of an ongoing storyline for the series in the form of Dr. Walker: a spirit that would routinely take control and twist the minds of young men so they could become murderers themselves. The episode suggested that Walker, thwarted by Allison, would become a recurring problem. More to the point, it introduced the idea of spirits with considerable malevolence with the intention of subtle possession.

    While this is a natural extension of the “mythology” of the series, since Allison herself has been overcome with the desires and mandates of powerful spirits (the previous episode being an example), there are drawbacks. The writers need to be careful with the idea of a recurring spirit killer, because the series is grounded in a certain level of everyday reality. Such a concept could quickly become silly and break down the suspension of disbelief.

    At the same time, I think that the idea of Walker targeting Ariel makes sense. For one thing, it’s an interesting measure of revenge. Walker uses Ariel to distract Allison, and there’s the sense that he is testing the waters. In short, Walker is trying to find a way to beat Allison and continue with his murderous ways.

    I’m not sure that this was the best way to approach this idea, because in some ways, it violates the logic of “Penny for Your Thoughts”. Walker would typically take years to twist the minds of his “hosts”, roughly 15 years at a time, which is what made the idea so disturbing in the first place. If someone can be transformed into a killer by a malevolent entity with a taste for living vicariously, how can one predict and prevent the subsequent murderous activity?

    Yet in this episode, Walker pushes a butcher into his dirty work with very little prodding. Sure, the butcher seemed to be ready to kill in the first place, but it doesn’t quite track. The story also required a young woman to make herself an easy victim. Did Walker know that the young woman was that sexually adventurous? That guy wasn’t much of a catch, so it wasn’t convincing for her to have been making a concerted effort to have a torrid affair.

    The writers seem to be reaching for a metaphor, but in rushing the story, the idea loses power. Walker could have become a stand-in for all the fears that parents have regarding their teenage daughters as they step into the shark-infested waters of young adulthood. Parents are endlessly worried about what kind of hidden influences will shape their children’s psychology, and Walker is an extreme example of a situation specific to Allison’s daughters. As interesting and clever as the episode was, I worry that any future return for Walker would be mitigated by the fact that Allison, Joe, and Ariel actually have reason to look for trouble.

  • Doctor Charles Walker strikes back (spoilers)

    Allison is sleeping at the precinct while Scanlon brings her a coffee, he urges her to focus on what's happening right now, tells her Davalos can't help them and after a small pause he starts reading her rights. We jump 5 days earlier; this time Doctor Charles Walker, the butcher of Wichita, is after Ariel using the father of the boy she likes to get to her...or so it seems.

    Once again Joe proves to be the Davis to Allison's Tru (or the Giles to her Buffy if you will) providing a rational take for her maternal instincts going overdrive even though Walker appears to haunt Allison with visions of her daughter impending death or to give Ariel the worst of advices any friend could give someone her age. Problem is: Ariel can't recognize Walker as something that it isn't really there which leads her to an unfortunate accident that puts her on the Doctor's table just about the right time for Allison to see and so she's imprisoned for the assault on the father of the boy Ariel had a crush on.

    The episode feels more as the second act in the Allison vs Charles saga rather than any sort of conclusion; he plays her maternal instincts as if he would toy with her, enjoying the game far more than the outcome itself. The victim is saved but only because he underestimates the role both Scanlon and Joe play in her life - something he learns later on - and he is still free, evolving and leaving us to wonder: What would he do next?moreless
  • Continuing a good back-story

    As is, I really like the back-story of the doc. Is good to have a nemesis in most TV shows, as well as having several descent back stories. This episode had some promise of that. With the old doc from the first season. The storyline was ok, not the greatest, but it was entertaining and better than most on TV today.
  • Interesting plot, but that dialogue...

    What a pity. The plot of this episode was very well thought out, but how can anyone write dialogue this bad? When Allison is confronted with her nemesis, who she thinks tried to slaughter one of her kids, she says "I hate you!". Wow, really?

    Anyway, I liked the plot, it kept me guessing for quite a while.
James Eckhouse

James Eckhouse

Dr. Jim Gramada

Guest Star

Reiley McClendon

Reiley McClendon

Todd Gramada

Guest Star

Dyllan Christopher

Dyllan Christopher

Todd's Friend

Guest Star

Miranda Carabello

Miranda Carabello

Marie DuBois

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • As Allison was talking on the phone toward the end of the episode, the refrigerator in the background had letter magnets. Four of them spelled out: ENZO, the name of actress Patricia Arquette's real life son. This also occurs in many other episodes.

    • Goof: Scanlon apologizes to Allison for being unable to get her out of jail because it's a Sunday, but when Allison's mug shot was taken only minutes earlier the date shown is January 30, 2006 -- a Monday.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Det. Scanlon: (as he goes to see Allison in jail and tells her Joe's on the phone for her) You know, you have one very excitable family.

  • NOTES (1)