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My father, the ghost

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Hey guys! Has it been a year already? If so, a year has never gone by so fast. I was unprepared for the kind of commitment recapping a show would have on somebody with an actual full time job. Then I thought, why should my full time employment hinder you from getting the very best snark I have to offer? So I recommitted myself to the snark. I’m so committed that I watched the entire second season of Ghost Whisperer in three sittings last weekend. The things I do for the shows that I hate!


So laaaast year, on Ghost Whisperer, dark spirits were rising up all over the place and giving Melinda a bunch of signs fortelling the fact that “down below” was getting a might more powerful. There was another Ghost Whisperer in town, but Gabriel was a baaaaad Ghost Whisperer, collecting souls for his own personal amusement. He and the spirits he collected were blocking the light. Light blockers. Ultimately, Melinda and her merry band of ghost busters, including hubby Jim (Melinda is married guys, just go with it), Professor Rick Payne (I like to call him Professor Jay Mohr), co-worker and new best friend Delia and her kid, did not put together any of these signs until the final episode, and then it was too late and… she died for a couple of minutes and her dad told her she had a brother. Then she miraculously recovered. Too bad. It would’ve been awesome to see a Ghost Whisperer who was an actual ghost. At any rate, we left off wondering who the hell Melinda’s brother and father are and we wonder still.


On to this season!


Apparently, watching his wife almost die (or die and come back, as the case may be) was so crazy traumatic that Jim had to stop and get a haircut. Dudes. I know there’s a whole summer in between filming, but maybe, I dunno, film a few scenes you KNOW you’re going to have happen before your male lead goes out and shears off his long locks? (He looks so much hotter this way.) It seems that Melinda is having some X-rays done after her accident. But are they GHOST X-rays?


Oh my God. They are. There’s somebody’s face in Melinda’s X-ray. Who is it? Her brother? What if it’s Gabriel, she asks Jim. Then I guess you can rule out the secshul tension between those two. Such as it was. So other than the ghostly image, Melinda appears to be fine, because now we’re in Same As It Never Was and Delia is selling concert passes to Charlie. Oh. Except for once, her name isn’t Charlie. She was Charlie in Heroes and Charlie on Ugly Betty, but here, Jayma Mays is playing Jennifer.  


She’s getting rid of a mysterious trunk full of stuff from her past. Included in this trunk are photos of her and her father when she was little. Um, who takes photos to a consignment store? “Say! Perhaps you’d like these 1982-era photos of me and my dad? What do you think you could get for them? Nothing?” The trunk also contains an old watch strap. I don’t buy that it’s over 20 years old, but my dad had one just like it that I wear now. But that’s not important. Apparently, Melinda is such a bad antiquer that she just buys trunks full of junk with no hope in hell of selling any of it. The trunk is just an excuse for us to learn that Charlie’s parents are dead. No. It’s Jennifer. Whatevs. I’m calling her Charlie.


Oooh, the credits. Mark Snow’s name flashes across the screen. Ahhh, Mr. Snow. We meet again. I hope you brought your wind chimes, because I brought my snark cymbals.   


Charlie’s trunk is taken down to the new basement in Same As It Never Was. Which… never existed until now. Right? I mean, I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a basement before. Just a back room. So they had a basement dug in the, what, two days between Melinda dying in a field and getting X-rays? Nice. She’s fully recovered though, cuz Delia gets her to lug the big ol’ trunk down to the basement. She sets it on the ground and watches it zoom over to the wall. The new wall. In the never before seen basement.


When she wanders over to it, the wall is wooden and has some sort of old, brass knocker, but then when she snaps out of her trunk-zooming daydream, it’s brick. Well hey, maybe when they dug the basement, they put in two rooms, right? One that was brick and one that was wood. Like that’s not plausible! I mean, she sees ghosts! It’s entirely possible this is a ghost basement.


Turns out, Delia was sending her to the basement so she could set up a surprise party where Melinda gets a plaque because she saved lives by almost getting killed at the memorial. Yeah. Sure. And there’s cake! Which means Professor Jay Mohr is here.


To avoid the cameras (one), she asks Jim to take her to lunch. Being hunkily heroic, he’s busy ACTUALLY saving lives as a paramedic. And probably wondering where the fuck *his* plaque is. Luckily, Professor Jay Mohr is available!


So in the next scene, Professor Jay Mohr is sincerely telling Melinda he thought she died and it really upset him. He’s worried he was never going to get a chance to tell her things. But he’s just talking to air, which is revealed because she comes back from powdering her nose. And applying false eyelashes and 18 metric tonnes of eyeshadow. Clearly this “Melinda, I, Professor Jay Mohr, have feelings for you, despite my dead wife and her evil spirit” thing is going to be a theme this year. It’s too bad Jim is so effing hot, or I’d totally root for him as the underdog.  What? I like Jay Mohr! Sue me!


But his moment is over and he isn’t going to tell her how he feels. So Melinda asks about doors. He says they’re symbols of endings, beginnings, the way to the truth is through the right door. Or so various game shows would have us believe. She tells him about the face on her X-ray. “Even your X-rays are haunted!” Dude! I know! I said that earlier! He asks about her father. (The last time she saw him was when she was 11) And Gabriel. (No sign of him.) “This town is too small for two people who see ghosts.” Or “Show too poor to bring back guest star.” I hear ya sister. CSI: Miami got all the budget for special effects and guest stars. At least they didn’t slash the nightgown budget.   


Melinda decides the key to all this is her past (of course, it’s all about her) and she says she’s going to see her mother about her father. As she leaves the restaurant, Melinda sees something in the pavement. Sort of a pavement ripple. But then it’s gone. And so she asks Professor Jay Mohr if he sees it. He doesn’t. Of course. Because he can’t see things like that. Duh, Melinda. Are you new?


Her mom says she hasn’t seen her father lately either and doesn’t want to. Melinda tells her mom she thinks her dad’s dead cuz she saw him on the field (where she died) Mom tells her she’s had two head injuries in the last two years. (Haha! It’s hard out here, for a Ghost Whisperer when nobody will believe you, not even your own mom! Who also sees ghosts!) Melinda ignores this putdown and says somebody is haunting her and it has something to do with underground. She wants to know if she has a brother. Mom says no, of course not, but she does admit she hasn’t seen her father in awhile. “How hard you cried when he left. Don’t romanticize him, Melinda. He doesn’t deserve it.” Melinda’s dad was a douche. Gotcha.


So now we’re in the lair of the Buddy Holly bespectacled photographer who was at the plaque ceremony. He’s actually a blogger. Because thick framed glasses are code for “blogger.” Well, lookit that. I have thick framed glasses on. I guess they ARE code for blogger. As a blogger, I can tell you that a blogger would not show up at an impromptu frickin’ cake and plaque ceremony at a crappy antique shop to take a crappy digital photo. That’s an assignment even the most junior newspaper photographer would turn down. And why do we need him? Couldn’t Delia or Professor Jay Mohr have filled this role? No? So this guy has a future role to play, is what you’re telling me. Anyway, while going through some photos, he spots a ghost at the shop. He doesn’t know it’s a ghost, but he knows he doesn’t recognize the guy from any of the other photos. Instead of ignoring it, like a normal slacker blogger would, he trundles off to investigate.


Meanwhile, at the Craftsman Home of Doom, Melinda is going through her old photos for clues about her dad because “Charlie’s trunk reminded me of old things.” Okaaaay. It could be because I’m a little drunk, but Jim looks really fucking hot with his new, shorter hair. There’s lots of talk about Melinda’s dad, but I totally ignore it because Jim looks good enough to eat in all these shots. Jump on that, Melinda! The smelly garbage naturally deters Melinda from boning Jim, so she takes the kitchen catcher out to the curb and gets … caught in the lawn? Hands shoot up from it and drag her in. A face appears and says “It was you.” But Jim comes to her rescue. Man. I would SO bone him after that.


In the shop the next day: Delia thinks Melinda was making it up. I love Melinda’s navy shirt-dress, but it’s open down to her frickin’ navel. Nothing says classy antiques dealer like cleavage. She says she’s been looking for her dad, but Tom Gordon is a popular name and she gets thousands of hits. What? On Penthius? The search engine that magically brings up the exact result you need in the nick of time? I don’t believe you. Continue. 

So our friendly neighbourhood blogger comes in, intrepid reporter like, to ask who the dude in the photo is, because he can’t find him in any of the other shots. Melinda knows this guy, he runs the Driscoll County blog called “Shame the Devil.” Her husband (Wait a minute… are you saying… Melinda’s married? What!? That’s crazy!) loves that blog. Haha. Jim is a nerd! Call me, Jim. She helpfully informs him the title is from Shakespeare. Henry the IV. Melinda, he probably already knows that. But thanks anyway. (P.S. the full line from the play is: ‘O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!’)

He shows her the photo and she says it’s just a reflection. Except it isn’t and she knows it and she gets the dude to send the photo to her so she can give it to Professor Jay Mohr. Professor Jay Mohr doubts her. “Maybe it was a reflection.” She’s all ORLY? “It’s a ghost. Get over it.” She drops down a photo of her father and he’s all “Why is he dirty? Was he a chimney sweep?” Ha Ha! Chim Chiminee!


She says things aren’t normal. Spirits are rising from the depths. “I haaate spirits rising from the depths!” I love you, Professor Jay Mohr. Please don’t die and go into the light. That would be lame. He asks what the blogger thinks of this. Melinda says she played dumb. Too… many… jokes! Coming… too… fast! Plus, I’m distracted by the Professor’s new office. On what appears to be an entirely new campus.


He wonders if it’s all in her head. And then, seriously cuz she’s the Ghost Whisperer, if the things are around her head ALL the time. He takes a photo of her with his kirlian camera. Basically, in kirlian photography, an object on a photographic plate is connected to a high voltage electrical field (A ghost in this case, I guess) small corona discharges are created at the edges of the object and it leaves you with an image like the hand in the X-files title sequence. Except, of course, this is clearly NOT a kirlian camera because kirlian cameras use CONTACT photography. That means the subject has to come in contact with the plate. You can take a kirlian photo of your HAND, but not of your face. Most scientists and definitely most skeptics deride kirlian photography as a bunch of bunk. But that doesn’t stop Professor Jay Mohr. I guess he’s completely crossed over from skeptic to believer. Too bad. Skeptics are way cool.  


Later, Melinda must have returned to work because she says g’bye to Delia, locks Same As It Never Was and finds a wooden door with a barred window that’s in the middle of the street. She opens it and flies into its depths. That’ll teach you to open spirit doors. She walks into a trunk and somebody walks up behind her. But she’s in the middle of the street of course, for real, and a car runs over her. Or, I wish it would. She gets out of the way. The next day, she’s all up in the trunk’s grill, cuz she saw it in the daydream. Delia doubts her methodology, but she says she “doesn’t worry about the physics of it.” No kidding. Your brain would overload if you tried to make actual sense out of this show. The ghost is attached to the trunk the girl brought in. Of course it is. Jennifer Billings’ (Charlie’s) father is haunting Melinda for some reason. So she goes to Charlie’s coffee shop job to find out more about the mysterious Mister B. Charlie tells Melinda her father died in a work accident and her mother died the same day. “I was an instant orphan. Just add water, new parents.” Yeah. Okay. I’ll have a pumpkin spice latte with whipped topping, please, Charlie.


She freaks when Melinda presses her. She confesses she remembers her parents’ voices, not their faces. Oh Jayma Mays. You are better than a guest star. I hope you get a show of your own. Or at least another shot on Heroes. Melinda asks if Charlie’s father died underground. She tells her yeah, he worked for the gas company and died during a work accident.


Melinda visits the Town of Grandview’s record office. Hey, here’s hot, helpful Kris Lemche, who you may recognize as Hot Guy God from Joan of Arcadia. Aaaaaand he’s a ghost. Dag. His hot ass is always non corporeal. Too bad. I’d fuck that ghost. The real archives guy is a hard ass and won’t help her dig through archives. So she sort of sneaks around and the ghost helps her. Sort of. Too bad he appears to be evil. He tells her she’s in over her head and makes the lights flicker. Yay! I hope this means he’s a hot, recurring character! If Gabriel’s not coming back, we’re going to need one. He tells her to leave and not come back. Ever.


Aw. But Kris, you’re hot! Don’t make us… aw. Now we’re in Melinda’s boudoir. And she’s wearing the flowy “I am about to have a bad dream” nightgown of heaving bosoms. It’s very flowy. Same uggo headboard. Hope for a ghost who laments about her taste in headboards, guys.


She slips into bed next to newly hot Jim and a light floods the window. Just like when I go to bed, then wake up. In the morning. But Melinda sees her father out the window, whereas I see Don’s Produce truck. Fucking Don. And his produce. Her dad tells her she’ll understand and figure it out for herself. She asks for a hint. “With every riddle you used to give me a hint!” Her dad is the Riddler! This all makes so much more sense! So he says “Age 15” and leaves. Great. I forsee Melinda hunting through her hormone ravaged teen years and a visit back to my own high school life. This can only end in tears.  


Oh. Now we’re sneaking into the archives basement and finding a very heavy box marked H-15. Oh, H, not age. Damn. Enunciate please, ghosts! Of course, the box falls while the lights go out. As if! A ghost comes out of the wall and chokes her while evil Kris Lemche tells her there are a lot of very angry people down there he wants her to meet. She says she’s not afraid and he says (creepily) “You will be.”


Note to self: Ask Melinda where she gets shirts long enough got to make up for her heaving bosoms. I hate that problem.


Luckily, the EXACT RIGHT BOX tipped over because Melinda finds news of a gas explosion in an old newspaper clipping. P.S. This is not how city files are kept. Mom is in the photos. On the front page. So Melinda confronts mom, about why she lied to Melinda about living in Grandview and what the fuck she’s doing in a front page photo of a gas explosion/street collapse. Mom finally admits the ghost Melinda is seeing still thinks it’s 1982. “He thinks you’re me.” Why, Melinda and I want to know. Her mom says “I killed his wife.” DUN DUN DUN!


“I knew I had this ability. I was trying to avoid it, block it.” She knew she had the ability to kill people and was avoiding it? Good work. She was new to town, trying to get used to it, get to know the people. And there was a gas line break deep underground. Good job making the town square look like it might have in 1982. I mean, really. Even the trees look younger. Good job, set decorator. In her memory, a giant hole opens up in the ground.


Charlie’s mom is looking for her husband and Melinda’s mom sees the ghost of Charlie’s dad. He approaches Melinda’s mom, and asks her to talk to his wife. “I couldn’t tell her her husband was a ghost. She thought I meant he’d survived the explosion.”


She ran to the hole and Melinda’s mom didn’t stop her. So she died. Lame. Melinda’s mom says she couldn’t deal with them, she can’t stand to feel their pain. It “stops her cold.” Is that why she left Grandview? She dodges it and says “There were a lot of reasons.” Um, you should’ve just said “Yeah. That was why.” Her mom tells her to “just leave me alone.”


Professor Mohr is checking out online pics of Melinda. Not like that. The not-kirlian camera has revealed the bars are still on her face. He’s interrupted by “blogger” guy, Justin Yates who tells the professor he was in some of his classes. There’s nerdy rambling until the Professor interrupts with “You had me at ‘um’.”


He already knows about Justin and his blog. “You have that rate your professor page. ‘Scattered and distracted’ that’s what I remember reading about me.” The blogger has the good grace to blush. He shows the professor the shop photos with the ghosty guy who is very suspicious. Jay Mohr interrupts him again, this time with: “If you call me dude again, I’m going to bounce your head against one of these walls.”


Sneaky blogger guy says he’s been asking around about Melinda and he knows weird stuff goes down at that antique shop. Ruh-roh, Melinda! You’ve got a persistent blogger on your case! Better lock up your tendency to spill your secret to everyone you know. As Professor Jay Mohr belittles the kid by telling him “weird stuff happens all the time.” Then he pulls out his skeptic card and goes to get a book he thinks the blogger will like. Meanwhile, sneaky blogger sneakily downloads the kirlian photos from the computer (cuz Professor Jay Mohr has left them on his desktop and dumbly labelled them ‘Melinda G., Kirlian Photos’” The Professor gives him a “debunking otherworldly activity” book. Oh, Professor Jay Mohr. You are my hero. Also, really, really dumb.


Melinda tells Charlie’s dad a bunch of heartwarming ghost bunk in the new basement of debasement as saaaaaad music plays. “I didn’t see any light down there.” He doesn’t want to go there again. ‘My daughter. 25 years.” She’s a grown woman now. Yeah. I’m old. Melinda convinces him to leave with her to tell Charlie about her family. Heartwarming tinkly piano music plays. Mark Snow wipes away a single tear as he presses the “subtle violin” button on his Sanyo. Melinda, with the help of ghost dad, tells Charlie a bunch of stuff she couldn’t know without his help. “How could you know this,” Charlie asks. It’s a long story and Melinda is not about to start it now, thank God. So she shows Charlie a photo of her and her mom when she was a baby. Why Charlie didn’t find this on her own, I do not know. It’s not like it was in a hidden panel or anything. The back of the album just opens up. Tears flow. Ghosts cross over. I covet Charlie’s blazer. What? I get cold at work.


More tears. This time from Melinda. The mascara team is on standby. Schmaltzy music plays. Melinda visits her mom, who is dutifully and grimly sweeping leaves from her porch. You know what goes good with leaves? Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And pie. And turkey. Hurry up, Thanksgiving! Melinda looks stumpy in jeans and a sleeveless turtleneck. She tells her mom she wants the truth and her mom warns her to leave Grandview. “It’s not a good place for people like you and me.”


Melinda says no, she’s staying. This is her home! And she’s got the mortgage payments to prove it! Her mom’s all “I knew you wouldn’t” and leaves. Not creepy at all. Who does that? As if! She’d totally go in and talk to her mom! But it’s a TV show. A bad one. And she doesn’t. We end on a shrieking upnote courtesy Mark Snow and a tsk! face courtesy Melinda.


About Tanis

Badass, smokin' hot and overall nice to come home to.

2 responses »

  1. Jay Mohr is disgusting. Hot, if chubby, Jim 4evah! This post popped up on my LJ coincidentally as I was watching a hilarious season 2 flashback episode.

    Whatever heavy duty industrial eye makeup they use on J.Love is truly miraculous; when she and Jim meet under a rain tower — and he takes her for hotdogs on a park bench. Cheap, Jim. — her mascara does not shift. Even her hair remains three storeys high.

    You have me truly excited about season 3!

  2. I know he’s disgusting! I know, OK? But I have fond memories of him as Bob Sugar in Jerry Maguire! Anybody who beats down the spirit of Tom Cruise is A-OK in my book. And I also cried a little (a lot) at his scenes in Playing By Heart.

    Also, dude! Jim is totally not chubby! He’s the perfect size for cuddling! I do remember that episode where he takes her out for hot dogs though. My absolute favourite makeup moment on this show is from some random episode where she’s in her PJs and clearly ready for bed, but has about five inches of eye shadow caked on. I don’t even know how she does it! With a trowel, perhaps? I’ve TRIED to get my makeup that thick, just to see if it could be done. Conclusion: It cannot.


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