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Not very bloody scary, Mary.

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Ghost Whisperer: Season 3, Episode 2 “Don’t Try This At Home”

We open our second scary Friday evening of the season with Jim asking himself the age-old question: Tube socks or crew socks. As a rule, we here at Boob Tube are pulling for the tube option. He also asks why we’re using the royal we. Why would we use the royal we when we can use the editorial we? Jim throws caution to the wind and the crews back in the closet. Tubes win! Yay!

Melinda, meanwhile, is across the room holding a separate conversation in front of the vanity while playing with jewelry and displaying her own whimsical fashion sense by wearing a really cute flowery blue nightdress and black nail polish. She wonders aloud if the post office keeps track of address changes. Detectives track people down, how do they do it, she asks. They do a lot of leg work, as opposed to a lot of antiquing. Jim notes that he’s been on the night shift for too long because they’re talking to themselves like the other one’s not there.

Melinda was gushing about gumshoes because she wants to know how her dad lived all these years. Or how he died, as the case may be. Jim thinks her dad will find her. Perhaps in a dream like the one she had when she was dead-ish in the field in last season’s final episode. She says she could sure use her dad’s help. Jim wants to know with what and Melinda exposits about the ghost at the city archives (Played by Joan of Arcadia’s Hey! It’s that Hot Guy God, Kris Lemche) who made threats about angry spirits and a serious darkness in Grandview. Jim wants to know if there’s anything they should be worried about, but she laughs it off and for some unknown reason, tries to get the hot, half-dressed EMT to leave her bedroom. Her priorities are totally screwed up.

Melinda pads to the bathroom to brush her teefs and when she rinses her toofbrush, the camera transitions from her bathroom faucet to the image of a girl washing her face in a dorm bathroom in front of a fogged up mirror. The water in the sink beside her is also running hot, fogging up that mirror too. Hey, don’t worry about wasting water. Al Gore won his Nobel Peace Prize. So I guess the environment is all fixed. Waste away. The girl notices her reflection in the faucet and drapes a cloth over it. The reflective surface of the metal soap dispenser similarly offends her and it gets the cloth treatment too. Another girl tells ‘Al’ there’s a clear mirror on the other side, but she doesn’t go over. The other girl leaves and she frantically washes her face and then slooooooowly looks up, shivering as Maestro Mark Snow hammers away at a triangle. “No!” She gasps, staring in horror at her reflection. “Noooooo!” she screams at the mirror. This episode is about a very famous urban legend, y’all. That’s right. It’s the one about the Noxema girl.

The hospital. Jim is thinking to himself how glad he is he accepted my council about the tube socks when Melinda saunters into the ER wearing what every girl wears to meet her husband at his place of work: A short black cocktail dress with a keyhole cleavage-peeping neckline. She asks Jim if he’s ready for breakfast (At Tiffany’s?) because she’s buying. He’s ready, but first, he wants to show Melinda everybody he rescued tonight. Aw. He’s like a kindergartener showing his mom his fingerpainting and the cubby where he keeps his nap mat! Jim leads her to a room where a girl is laying, while spouting medical jargon. Something is flooding this girl’s neurals. I have this brilliant spray that clears my neural congestion right up. But then I can’t operate any heavy machinery. Melinda asks him to dumb it down a notch or eight. He says he thinks the girl was almost scared to death. Melinda wants to know how and Jim says before she lost consciousness, the last words out of Allison’s mouth were ‘Bloody Mary.’

“Like the drink?” Melinda… you are so dumb. Jim patiently explains he meant the ghost. Melinda corrects him. The urban myth. Riiiight. THIS she’s doubtful about. Through a series of close ups of the girl’s face and none-too-subtle musical cues featuring Mark Snow’s signature “tinkly piano notes of fear” we deduce that Melinda miiiight believe the girl was scared almost to death. So Professor Jay Mohr made the credits. Yaaay! Melinda asks Jim what really happened and he reveals there were no witnesses. Tox screens will take days, but until then, his professional medical opinion is: “Sumthin’ scared her.” Mel gets Jim to recite the legend of Bloody Mary because somebody has to and I am losing my patience with everybody pretending not to know it. The “legend” is actually a game played at slumber parties. You stand in front of a mirror in the dark, call out Bloody Mary, spin around a few times and the ghost of Bloody Mary appears and comes through the mirror. Then she joins you in eating Doritos, slurping diet coke and playing “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.” As is my understanding. According to Jim, she scares you to death. Whatever. I like my version better. Through the window, they watch as Allison’s friends use a towel to cover a mirror sitting conveniently and inexplicably on the rolling tray by her bed. Melinda doesn’t know what to think, so she goes to Rockland University, hoping Professor Jay Mohr will tell her “everything you know about Bloody Mary.”

Having known Melinda longer than two seconds, the professor is no longer impressed or challenged by her weird requests. He tells her she’s the hundredth person to ask. He says he has students clamouring to get into his class because of the news about Bloody Mary. He says he’s offered extra credit to anyone who does the ritual and an automatic A for the first kid who dies. Just the first one? What about all the others that are sure to follow! They deserve As too! Melinda calls him a ghoul. He claims to be riding the cyber wave. “What’s a cyber wave,” Melinda asks. Jesus. “What’s Bloody Mary? You mean the drink? Who’s a cyber wave? Can I have one?” Dur-hurr. Get with it, Melinda. The Professor makes fun of her for me and shows her his laptop, which is helpfully cued up to the “Shame the Devil” blog from last week. (Hint: we will meet that blogger again.)

He taps a few keys and is redirected to You know, as a blogger, I am kind of offended by these shitty sites. Melinda, no0bness on full display, is like “Whole websites devoted to one myth?” Jaysus! We don’t have time to explain the Internets to you, Melinda! Let’s just say it’s a series of tubes. Professor Hax0rZ explains that there are “Bloody Mary sites all over the world.” He brings up like, two. The better to demonstrate the vastness of the Internets. She asks for “The Rockland U version.” It starts the same, but then, the Rockland U students “who I normally mock because their brains are tiny, mushy and unformed” got creative. says once you contact Bloody Mary, you go into a catatonic state for four days. Mary appears to you, day after day, until you go mad. Then on the fourth day “you die, you’re dead.” This lovely site has a helpful countdown page for poor Allison. She has 3 days, 14 hours and 42 minutes left. Melinda decides to waste some of that precious time by sticking her pert little nose in where it doesn’t belong. She visits the hospital and speaks with Al’s friends, Sloane and Jenna. She tells them her husband (She’s married, yo.) is the paramedic who brought Allison in. Sloane, who you might recognize as Taylor Townsend of The O.C., earns my undying affection for being all “Who? Am I supposed to know you?”

Melinda makes a face like “Oh! How cute! A troubled teen! I shall rescue her from herself!” She grills them about Bloody Mary and tells them they can talk to her because, basically, she’s hip, cool, with it and most definitely not an uncool authority figure. It’s kind of funny. She gives off a very “Adults! Ew! So! Let’s dish about ghosts!” vibe. Of course, the girls are having none of it. Sloane gives her the Stranger-Danger speech, but prefaces it by saying ‘No offence.” Aw, c’mon. Offend her. It’s fun! Sloane is being secretive, but Jenna says “She heard the noise.” Melinda, hearing valuable information, is immediately distracted by something shiny. Specifically, the image of a ghost dashing from the X-Ray machine to the paper towel dispenser. She drags her attention back to the girls and tells them if they’re “scared” they can go to her. But she needs more info. Like, did anyone close to Allison die recently? Sloane tells her to buzz off and Melinda leaves. The end! Well, that was thrilling! I’m going to go watch Pushing Daisies instead, okay? Oh. It’s not over. Dammit.

The Professor is hanging at Jim and Melinda’s newly redecorated (but somehow much uglier) home and ranting about “two” Bloody Mary legends. One is from Rockland U, the other from Grandview proper. The Rockland version has been distilled from the town version. About 150 years ago, Mary was a teenager who got a disease. She slipped into a coma and the doctor declared her dead, but she wasn’t. Still, they bury her, but tie a string to her wrist first. The string is attached to a bell which sits on her grave. So if she ever wakes up, in case she’s not dead, she’s “a dead ringer?” Melinda puts in. Yes. Melinda’s parents wake up from a grief-induced hangover to find the bell “off da hook.” They dig her up, but it’s too late, now she’s REALLY dead and there are bloody scratch marks on the lid of the coffin where she tried to get out. Melinda thinks now all the versions of the myth make sense. All the blogs say a bell would ring and Bloody Mary would appear. Melinda jumps to the conclusion that this is what Jenna meant when she said Allison heard the noise. “Ipso Ghosto?” Melinda admits she saw something in Allison’s hospital room, but she doesn’t think it has anything to do with Bloody Mary because “why would a centuries old ghost show up to terrorize co-eds?” A fine question which will hopefully be solved within the next 20 minutes. I’m bored.

Rockland U library. Jenna, who I’m now calling Cho Chang, is arguing with her boyfriend, who looks unfortunately like Harry Potter, about the Bloody Mary phenomenon. He tells her of COURSE Allison isn’t in a coma because of stupid Bloody Mary and Cho gets up and huffs away. He doesn’t go after her. There’s a long sequence where Cho here freaks while waiting for an elevator. There’s lots of misdirection with a shiny garbage can. The elevator shows up and a bell dings, which freaks her even more. Mark Snow is earning his paycheque by manipulating some wind chimes. Cho looks up to see a mirror and a ghostly image standing behind her. The elevator door slides shut on her crying face as she begs whoever it is “please don’t do this.” When we come back, she’s being carried out on a stretcher by two paramedics who are, amazingly enough, not Jim Clancy.

The Professor and Melinda are there because when he was coming back to his office, he heard an ambulance. So he just HAD to check it out. Look, Jay Mohr. This town already HAS a paranormal busy-body. And she’s standing right next to you. They do a little Scully/Mulder banter, but in reverse from their usual roles. He says he’s PAID to be a skeptic, but he’s running out of reasons to doubt the myth. Seriously? Then you’re not a very good skeptic. She says all this crap makes a good story, but it doesn’t make it real. They ride the haunted elevator as he gives her a lecture about mirrors and their place in the history of the supernatural. He tells her the Greeks felt any reflective surface will do, even a puddle. Cultures “throughout space and time” have always believed mirrors serve as a veil between our world and others. Pay attention children. This will be on the episode pop quiz later. The doors open to find the mirror and they also hear the bell. Ah-HA! He was right! “Who you gonna call the next time you got a ghost plugging up your works?” Yeah, okay, Venkman. Step aside. Melinda the pro is on the job.

She’s going to call the one and only Bloody Mary. But first, she’s going to stop at home and change into a pale, turquoise halter top with a big floppy bow on the front, paste on some fake eyelashes and lip gloss and curl her hair. She appears to be in the basement of Same As It Never Was. I know that whenever I have to call on centuries-old vengeful spirits, I like to go to a damp, dark basement all by myself to do so. She’s set up a bunch of mirrors and says she’ll do it the hard way since “Mirrors are your thing.” Melinda calls Bloody Mary, turns around. Lather, rinse, repeat, there’s a ghost darting from mirror to mirror, but she’s scared away by a bell. Which appears to be on Delia’s “Great Art Nouveau clock.” Haha. That is the ugliest effing clock I have ever seen in my life. Melinda storms up the stairs and jumps on the RU Bloody Mary site. Delia follows, all “Ah-ha! You were calling her weren’t you? That Bloody Mary ghost.” She says Ned always has the browser open to that site. Melinda uses her newfound Pwnge skills to figure out that Sloane was lying about not knowing anything about Allison’s accident since she’s all over and Jenna’s site (JennaBabe) chiding people about Bloody Mary and “making it worse.” She finds Sloane’s site and sees a ghost on the WEBCAM Sloane has set up and turned on. You know, in her grief. Goddamn this is stupid. Melinda takes off.

Sloane lets Melinda into her dorm where all the reflective surfaces are covered with towels and blankets. Melinda gives her the “I see dead people” talk. Sloane is all “Yeah? And?” Melinda is shocked that Sloane isn’t laughing at her. Me too, frankly. Because that top with the floppy bow is hilarious. Sloane is not amused. She thinks she’s next. Melinda tells her whatever she believes is a bunch of hoo-ha because ghosts don’t jump out of mirrors and try to kill people. She says they can stop it if Sloane will help her find the connection. But Melinda doesn’t know what she’s talking about because Sloane INSISTS the legend is all true because everything listed has happened. “You call Bloody Mary, you hear the bell, she comes through the mirror, you die.” But nobody has died, as Melinda sensibly points out. Oh-ho! But that’s where you’re wrong, busy-body! Sloane says “Rachel died.” She was there when it happened. Flaaaashback. Rachel was one of Jenna’s suite mates last year.

Allison, Jenna and Sloane were chatting about ‘blogs and stuff’ and the Bloody Mary ritual and daring each other to do it when Rachel, the quiet girl who’s been listening to their conversation volunteers herself. Rachel is wearing a billowing white nightgown no self-respecting college co-ed would wear. Seriously you guys. In Melinda’s world of sexy negligees, this looks like the dowdiest frock in the world, but not even I would wear something this hideola. It’s like a bed sheet with lace trim. Is this a sanitarium? Does Rachel have TB? Is she my Grandma? Did she make this fugly thing herself? Does she, like, spin yarn and churn butter and, I don’t know, use the term “fortnight”? Because this garment here is 32-year-old virgin issue circa 1867.

Rachel and her fugly nightgown make their way to the bathroom where candles are lit, lights are turned off and more frumpish nightgowns are donned. Sloane voice-overs that they were impressed with Rachel’s guts. So before her big evil ghost-summoning ritual, Rachel is understandably skittish. She takes a drink of water to calm her nerves and clutches the glass in her hands as she says the name Bloody Mary three times and turns around and around and around. In the mirror, she sees bloody hands and another nightgown coming at her as a bell chimes. She’s so scared, she breaks the glass in her hands, which are immediately bloodied. She freaks and falls to the floor, gasping for air and clutching at her chest. She writhes around and loses consciousness as Sloane voice-overs that Rachel went into a coma and died. Four days later. ZOMG! That TOTALLY HAPPENED to a friend of a friend of a friend of mine! Melinda says she’s never heard any of this. Well, that was before you made it your beeswax, missy. You were busy with other ghosts. Sloane says the university doesn’t exactly advertise unexplained deaths on campus. Der, but it probably was reported on. At least in the campus newspaper. Even the local paper would have had something. Unless the Rockland Gazette and the Grandview Times-Herald are filled with incompetent nincompoops. Which they probably are. Never mind.

Sloane says they made a pact never to discuss what happened, but when they came back to school this year, it was “like Mary knew we were here, like she was watching us.” Sloane thinks that though it was Rachel who called her, Mary is coming for everyone who helped wake her up. Melinda is all “I understand, but that’s insane” and Sloane is like “No you don’t! This is not how we do things in the O.C., bitch!” Except for the last part. Melinda offers to help. Sloane says it’s too late. Her best friends are gone and anybody she told would think she was nuts. Yeaaaaah… except… the woman standing here in front of you… offering to help. Sloane shows Melinda out and shuts the door right in her face. I wish more people would do that. As Melinda leaves, we see an eyeball in the shiny doorknob. One reflective surface Sloane forgot to cover. Dun-Dun-Dunnnnn! Seriously. That’s the musical noise Mark Snow’s Casio makes. He probably has it programmed in. “Oh! Time for commercial on Ghost Whisperer! Better hit the ‘Dun-Dun-Dunnnn!’ key.”

When we return from the commercial break fed and watered, Jim is telling Melinda what we already know about Rachel’s death. Melinda, meanwhile, is wearing silk PJs (Ha! You thought she only owned nightgowns and negligees! Well there are silk jammies too!) and checking out Jim DOES tell us Rachel died of heart failure. She was literally scared to death. Jim is all “lovely” to the blog which is now telling us Allison has one day to live. Jenna is on here too now, and Jim says she’s displaying the same symptoms as Allison, only a day later. Lovely indeed. Melinda admits the myth is possibly responsible, but still expresses doubt. Jim implies she doesn’t know her job (which is what, exactly? I thought she had a handle on selling old crap.) but I am so distracted by how incredibly fake and long Melinda’s eyelashes are that I can not focus on the dialogue. I wonder if they’re heavy. Her eyelids, I mean. There’s so much goop on them! I have tried to get my makeup this thick, just to see if it’s possible. And it never works. Melinda looks like a cheap hooker here.

Jim brings up Archival Ghost and says maybe there’s something to his threat about darkness in Grandview. So she goes to the archives and seriously tells off the archivist. Not the ghost archivist, but I’m sure that’s coming too. Mel pisses off everybody she meets lately. She’s searching for records of the real Bloody Mary. Ghost Archivist God (Kris Lemche) calls her plucky and gives her another vague ‘you’re going to get hurt’ warning. He just wants her to let the dead rest, but she wants to know what he knows. G.A.G. says Mary is real. He says the doctor who mispronounced Mary dead of diphtheria was actually her own father. He adds a detail about her father finding Mary’s fingernails torn off and stuck in the wooden lid of the coffin. Groooossss. So NOW, Melinda is in the graveyard trying to get Mary to talk.

Melinda’s phone rings, scaring her. It’s the Professor. He tells her something about some historical building. Mary’s home, I think. The Prof got in because he plays poker with the chair of the historical society or something and he’s a very bad poker player and owes Rick $138. Melinda flirtily asks if she now owes HIM a favour. Yes, he says. And $138. I like him. So we’re in the historical home of bloody Mary. It’s your typical haunted house. It even has sheets on the furniture. Melinda finds a mirror and calls Mary up. But Mary doesn’t want to be called. A bloody hand reaches through the mirror and a bell chimes. Mary screams and the mirror shatters. Mark Snow borrows a tune from the music guy on Lost and uses a “WAAAAAHHHHH!” blare of trombones to denote a tense moment. Back at the Haunted House of Nightgowns, Jim is halfway out of his uniform and Melinda is making tea. Both sound good. He thinks it’s cool she saw Bloody Mary. “Really? The real thing?” Melinda hems and haws. “Weeeellll, I was at her family home, I said her name, she appeared, her hands were bloody.” Yes. I can see where you’d have doubts. Jim too, wonders WTF is wrong with this scenario. Well, the girl has all her fingernails when we know (thanks Hot Guy God Ghost!) the REAL Bloody Mary lost hers in a tragic coffin clawing accident. The bell sounded off too. Like it was a recording. Like it came from the Casio. That would make a good horror novel. “It Came From The Casio!” Jack Black could play Mark Snow. Somebody get on this!

Melinda is convinced the ghost is Rachel. Ding ding ding! Also: Der. So Melinda goes for coffee with the parents of Rachel. Basically, they were over-protective because she had a heart defect. There were lots of precautions. Including a heart monitor that would alarm if she got too stressed. Melinda visits Sloane next. Sloane is apparently avoiding the mirrored surfaces in the bathroom by not showering because she looks pretty greasy. Melinda says she can help now, but Sloan is leaving school. Melinda says Bloody Mary isn’t after her, that the ghost is Rachel. She explains about the heart condition and how “the excitement or the fear” was too much for her. Sloane is all “But I heard the bell!” Heart monitor. The scare killed her, not Bloody Mary. Sloane is all “Ohhhhhhhh. So THAT’S why she’s after us and saving me for last.”

This is so lame. SO. LAME. Here’s what happened: Sloane thought Allison or Jenna would take the dare to do the ritual and she just wanted to scare them. So when Rachel took the dare, Sloane decides to scare her. In a flashback, we see Sloane, Jenna and Allison leaving Rachel in the bathroom to do the ritual. Sloane says she’s bored already and is going to bed to the twin “whatever!” chorus of Jenna and Allison. We see Rachel’s death again, but this time, the pair of bloody hands coming for her clearly belong to Sloane. What a bitch. She says Jenna and Allison never even knew she’d done it. And now, this is unbelievable, she’s like “So I did this? I killed her?” Um, DUH!? Did you miss the part where you scared her and she dropped to the floor? Melinda lets her off with an “It was an accident.” But she guilts Sloane into “helping Rachel move on.” Melinda tells Sloane to come to the bathroom, but she says she can’t do it.

Sloane comforts herself by listening to some angry punk music and sitting in the dark. A cloth flies off the sink handle and the water turns on, overflowing the sink and spreading across the floor to where Sloane is propped up against the wall. She finally notices the water and freaks as she sees Rachel’s reflection in the water. I would freak too. I bet I’d say something like “AUUUUGH! OH MY GOD! That nightgown is so fucking ugly!” Melinda arrives to see Rachel standing there, bloody and pale. “Stop it!” she says. But Emo-Rachel is all “but they killed me!” And Melinda fucking rebukes her. “You took a dare that went wrong!” Oh, so it’s all her fault! She mumbles something about being “left for dead. By you.” She stares at Sloane. Melinda defends Sloane again all “She didn’t know you were going to take that dare! You have to forgive them!” Whatever. I’ve been watching this show for two years now. Of all the “ghosts out for vengeance” episodes, this is probably the strongest case of ‘yeah, go ahead and haunt them, for they deserve to suffer’ yet. So don’t listen to her, Rachel. Keep on with your pale, bloody self! Lose the nightgown though. Maybe trade up for a cape or something. A nice silk robe.

JUST when you think we might be getting somewhere in the helping Rachel cross over part of the episode, there’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo about how Rachel’s parents buried her alive, just like Bloody Mary’s parents. God. I still think Melinda is wrong to be on Sloane’s side, since Sloane is annoying and also TOTALLY AT FAULT in Rachel’s death, but I get that she’s annoyed with ghosts sometimes. They are so STUBBORN! I mean, Jesus, Rachel! Just cross over already! What does unfinished business mean in the light anyway!

Sloane wants to know if it’s over. Melinda says “No, not yet, but I think I know where I can find her.” New rule in the Ghost Whisperer drinking game. Every time a scene ends with Melinda nodding knowingly and saying words “I think I know where I can find him/her/it” drink. At Mary’s grave, Rachel is wandering around. Melinda wants her to “remember who she is.” Rachel likes scaring people though. She likes being able to go anywhere and do anything without having to rest. SNOOOOORRRE. Melinda tells her to let Mary go and she’ll help Rachel. So she invited Rachel’s parents over to the Haunted Mansion. There is a positively CHARMING story about a snowstorm and a snow mobile and a lot of crap about how she’s happy they let her live her life, even if it meant she had to die. Heartwarming violins are quivering gently in the background as the piano of “Daddy loves you very much” tinkles. Sloane is here too! “This is Sloane,” says Melinda. “She killed your daughter.” Okay. She doesn’t. But she should.

Rachel sees the light. It looks like a beautiful, shimmery, white silk nightie! It’s so gorgeous! Heaven is wonderful! God has delivered me from this hideous frock! She disappears. Tears flow from all parties. Allison wakes up in her hospital bed surrounded by her family. Some crappy song with “meaningful” lyrics like “waking up, lost in a fog, you were the light that led me home” plays in the background as Cho (Jenna) and Harry are reunited. Subtle, guys. The song, in case you ever need to have a moment in your life where trite lyrics and cloyingly over-produced pop vocal harmonies take the place of real emotion, is called “I Don’t Wanna Let You Go” by Ross Copperman. Enjoy, Googlers.

At Same As It Never Was, the professor comes in all mad and shouting (as is his wont) about how Melinda’s meddling means those girls woke up from their comas, gets like, five hits a day, mostly from him, and his classes and lectures are empty again. Sarcastic Melinda apologizes, saying she “should have known how it would affect you.” He wants to collect on the $138 she owes him. She says she has no cash, but he may take his pick from all the crap in the store. “From here? Do I have blue hair? Do I live at the end of the block with 15 cats? Forget it! You owe me $138! This is me leaving, disgruntled!” He runs into Jim on his way out. They have reservations at 8 p.m. Apparently, his night shift days are done. As they kiss and Melinda closes the shop, a face observes them from an antique mirror. As they leave, the bell over the door rings and the REAL Bloody Mary watches them go, a reflection in the window.

Wow. That was tedious and not at all frightening. Sorry it took so long to put up, but it was a busy week for me. We have a couple of new things in the works. Jess has an entry coming up which will astound you at the sheer stupidity on the part of the CSI fans who inspired it. I’ll be posting more from Ghost Whisperer and Melinda’s astounding array of nightgowns later this week!


About Tanis

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

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