Season 1 Episode 15

Penny for Your Thoughts

Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 09, 2005 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
207 votes
  • A psychotic killer from beyond the grave, wonderfully played by Mark Sheppard, is possessing people to commit horrific murders.

    Allison gets a supernatural nemesis, wonderfully played by Mark Sheppard, who uses other people to commit vicious murders. It is a nice change of pace to see Allison face off against a proper nemesis who is a part of the supernatural world, which she deals with everyday.

    Science fiction fans will know Mark Sheppard from great guest starring roles on the X-Files, Firefly and Chuck. He plays a great supernatural serial killer, and the writers did a good job of giving him a properly creepy background, which Allison has to slowly uncover. My only real complaint is that they should have had more episodes with this character in it, so that he could have been a true nemesis, instead of a villain who is only seen a few times, before being totally forgotten about.
  • A terrific episode! Creepy and compelling in equal measure.

    An eerily effective episode that builds to a fantastic climax, 'Penny For Your Thoughts' actually starts off rather slow, gruesome opening teaser aside, but soon sets a chilling tone as it demonstrates that you don't need gratuitous scenes of violence to depict a heinous crime. |

    Mark Sheppard is used sparingly here, but his character emits a creep-factor that would give Hannibal a run for his money. Admittedly, there are definite shades of Silence of the Lambs here, albeit supernatural ones, and both Patricia and Robert Joy offer up stellar performances during those interrogation scenes.


    The mythology continues to grow, and I got a great kick out of an evil soul targeting Allison, concluding that she's a psychic and detailing why Psychic's aren't just useful for seeing the dead, but are also more susceptible to possession. Dr. Walker's monologue about eviscerating young women is extremely difficult to listen to, especially since, and there's no offence intended, Robert looks incredibly off-putting. |||

    The subplot involving Ariel's math teacher felt a little tacked on; it didn't really contribute to anything, only highlighting Joe's handicap when it comes to parenting, since he can't connect to people the same way his wife can. I'd imagine he feels isolated, but it's not dealt with sufficiently enough to give much thought to.


    The ending is superb. SUPERB! I did not see the Elisha possession come at all, and the young actress playing the part was absolutely fantastic â€" Medium has a nack for locating exceptional child actors. Allison shows Walker she's a force to be messed with and the very fact he threatens he has more potential victims in mind means we'll more than likely see him again in the foreseeable future (one hopes!).

    Overall, it's one of the more difficult episodes from Medium. Its subject matter dark, with very little in the way of comic reprieve that we've come to expect. The bad guy even gets away!
  • A thrilling episode of Medium not to be missed.

    This episode plays out like a really exciting psychological thriller, starting with a disturbing incident that takes place behind closed doors of a doctors surgery while the mother sits in the waiting room waiting for her daughter. When Allison sees a vision of the attack it does not just involve the doctor but a mystery man, but to her surprise no one else can see him.

    After further investigation Allison starts to see a pattern forming of similar attacks where the perpetrators hear a voice. I love watching thrillers so if you do as well I think you will really enjoy this episode. Great plot and some fantastic acting. Highly recommended episode.
  • great episode

    Allison dreams up of a psychopathic doctor who raped and murdered a number of girls 15 years ago. When she learns that this doctor is already behind bars, she doesn't have much of a lead to go with. That's until she interviews the convicted doctor for the second time, it turns out that the doctor was possessed by a soul of an evil serial killer a long time ago. Ariel's psychic abilities becomes a problem in school when her math teacher accuses her of cheating. This is a really exciting episode, the doctor mystery really makes this episode very interesting.
  • Doctors Without Marbles

    Penny for Your Thoughts sees Medium sliding into Silence of the Lambs territory, with Allison questioning a creepy doctor in prison who cut up a young girl 15 years ago.

    The A-story was excellent, and didn't disappoint following the insanely gory teaser. Mark Sheppard is always dragged out to play evil psychopaths, but his presence was used well here. I also loved the idea of an "evil soul" that Allison has to battle with every once in a while, and I thought the closing moments where she was essentially shaking Walker out of Elisha featured some awesome acting work from Patricia Arquette and guest star Danielle Panabaker.

    My favorite scenes were probably the interrogation between Allison and Dr Holloway, in particular how he changed accents whenever he was possessed by Walker. Walker is probably the most terrifying nemesis scene on the show so far and he becomes a recurring nightmare for Allison to investigate, making more appearances as the series goes on.

    The subplot was also very effective. A simple story involving a teacher believing Ariel cheated in class, it proved how different Allison and Joe are, and it was pretty sad to see that Joe's intervention was pretty useless, as Allison proving her own "guessing" powers eventually won over the teacher's trust.

    Whilst it's no classic, this is an effectively creepy episode with a sick bad guy and some unexpected twists and turns as the story goes along.

    Director: Aaron Lipstadt
    Writer: Moira Kirland
    Rating: B
  • Allison meets a psycopathic killer...

    One of the greatest Medium episodes with a story that continues until the last minute. The juxtapositioning of Allison investigating a murder and visiting the school about Ariel directly after is done very well too. Also, some of Joe's sarcastic and cynical comments are laugh out loud funny, making for some good comic moments in an otherwise grisly tale.
  • Charles "the butcher" Walker first appearance and Detective Lee Scanlon’s first prank (spoilers).

    Allison wakes up from yet another nightmare in which a mother finds her teenage daughter slaughtered by her own Doctor while she was reading in the waiting room, as she learns the Doctor is in prison Allison focus on the accomplice she saw on her dream.

    Using the DA's sketch artist to produce a picture, she's found at the photocopy by detective Scanlon who seems upset enough to notice 'the ones who pick her' are nothing but cold cases with a suspects no one is even looking for but not enough to reveal the nature of her source to the sketch artist. In the end it all works out as he calls her late at night with the big news: the suspect is also a regular in the dinner he goes to eat.

    Allison gets dressed and leaves Joe to find a conspicuous Scanlon sitting at his table, after a few hints they pretend to walk through the dinner as if they were there together only to find a wall with a wanted sign from last century with the Doctor's picture in it only since he was killed by an angry mob at 1902 Scanlon can't place him at the escene of the crime in 1992: "C'mon, admit it's funny" he says as she walks by "...Ok. maybe not".

    Long story short, the dead killer is not only the accomplice but the instigator of the crimes living vicariously through Doctors sensitive enough to listen to him but not strong enough to resist his pull, the girl on Allison's dream is the next Doctor picked earlier in life because she's a female since the victims of his preference don't go to male Doctors anymore so they make an deal: leave the girl to avoid Allison's interference which the butcher does ...until "Doctor's orders" on season 2.
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