Patricia Arquette may play a clairvoyant on NBC's Medium, but neither she nor co-star Jake Weber ever saw the show lasting so long: Season five kicks off tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT with the episode "Soul Survivor." And this year, one of them goes behind the camera for the first time.
As the new year begins, Allison Dubois (Arquette) is back working part-time for district attorney Devalos (Miguel Sandoval), but now the public knows her secret. Meanwhile, her husband, Joe (Weber), is again earning a paycheck as he starts his own scientific engineering company.
SCI FI Wire was on the line last week when Arquette and Weber spoke to journalists to promote the new season. Following are edited excerpts of that conversation.
How different has your experience on Medium been versus what you might have been expecting when the show premiered five years ago?
Weber: We really didn't have any expectations. I mean, I think if you asked either of us five years [ago] that we'd be doing this, talking to you on the phone from our dressing rooms at Medium, it would just be surreal. The show sort of takes on a life of its own. ... I hadn't really had any expectations, and I still really don't. All I know is what I have most fun working on—and that's when I think the show is the most successful—is when the plot lines are integrated and the home life and Allison's work life intersect in a way, [when] the two storylines feed each other. That's when I think the show is at its most successful. And, you know, they've gotten better at that.
Arquette: Well, me, I didn't have any expectations. I was very ignorant about television, and I was told if I did this pilot the chances are it would never even get aired. So it was such a long shot. But I really liked the material. So I certainly didn't expect to be here in five years, because people started making it clear to me how rare that was.
But I have seen a lot of transition, I think, when I look back. I just knew that there could be interesting stories for several years if that was the case. And I think the writers have done a very good job of being very inventive along the way. And one of the major things I think that I knew would be interesting but I couldn't foresee exactly how—because I have a 20-year-old son now—is the changes in the kids. When we started, Ariel [Sofia Vassilieva] was just a little girl, our character Ariel, and now she's like a young woman. And the transitions that the kids go through, and exploring that a little bit as a family, I think is interesting. And I didn't really foresee it going so fast.
The new season will start with "Soul Survivor," in which Allison tries to help Devalos crack the murder of his friend's sister. What more can you tell us about the episode?
Weber: Well, the first one has a very sort of intricate plot that involves a ... who's this guest star? His name is Max ...
Weber: Max Casella, right.
Arquette: From The Sopranos.
Weber: Right, and he plays a guy who sort of comes back from the past, and he has this sort of injury. It's very complex, the A storyline. The B storyline involves little Bridgette [Maria Lark] drawing nude photographs of her [art] teacher, and it gets her in all sorts of problems.
Arquette: Nude drawings.
Weber: Nude drawings, yeah.
Arquette: And we don't understand what's going on. As parents, you get worried that she been exposed to something.
Weber: It turns out, ... well, you'll see how it turns out.
Patricia, you make your directing debut with "A Person of Interest," the season's third episode, which will debut on Feb. 16. How would you describe the experience?
Arquette: It was very humbling. I think it was a really good experience for me as far as being grateful to other directors, because ... There were times where I felt like that person who's patting their head and rubbing their stomach and hopping, because I was still acting in a lot of it, and we didn't have playback. And certain scenes, my back was to the camera, because I was doing this, like, secretive work I was working on. So I couldn't even see Jake's face. But I had to depend on a lot of other people. And I had a hard time casting this boy's part, so I ended up calling my son [Enzo Rossi] the night before and telling him, "You have to do this for me." So it was really neat working with him, but nerve-wracking and exciting. But the whole thing was pretty humbling, I've got to say, and I have a lot of respect for directors.