Previously, on Ghost Whisperer: Professor Jay Mohr left to be on a shitty sitcom. Professor Jamie Kennedy almost died, but came back with the ability to hear ghosts, though he can’t see them. He said goodbye to a ghost of his own. A passel of Grey Lady ghosts warned Melinda that there was a price to pay for her involvement with the unknown and some death might rub off on her and the people she loves. Melinda and Jim decided to try and have a baby and I decided to switch from chardronnay to hard liquor. Bourbon, in fact. And since I have a large glass here in front of me, let’s pretend I care about this week’s plot in which Melinda revisists some high school frenemies, shall we?
Some blond girl is knocking on Lucas’s apartment door. Who’s Lucas? I don’t know. The blond, who I now recognize as Rachel Leigh Cooke of She’s All That and Josie and the Pussycats fame, shouts to Lucas she’s sorry she’s late when a brunette who’s a fan of facial piercing prepares to enter the apartment next door and notes that Lucas should be home, his car is parked in his spot – and hers. She’s his neighbour and had to park on the street because that inconsiderate boob is taking up two spots! Having received no answer, the blond leaves and is walking to her car in the parking lot when she notices a blood red Chevelle SS with bloody streaks appearing on the window. She moves closer to find Lucas isn’t so inconsiderate that he wouldn’t asnwer the door. He’s sprawled out next to his car, bleeding from the head. Dudes. That is a really nice car. And considering who’s guest starring in this episode, I’m sort of surprised it’s not a ’75 El Camino. I also don’t know how the neighbour didn’t see him there. The blond gathers Lucas up in her arms and we’re treated to a “WHY! WHY! WHYYYYYY!?” Shot from above.
We move to Melinda, who is looking through magazines for baby crap. She tears out an ad for a crib mattress when the phone rings. “Sure I remember you,” she says, through the ruffles on her white babydoll nightgown. Jim comes in as she listens to the rest of the call and when she tells him that Lucas Marsten, a guy she went to high school with died, he asks if he was a good friend. No, not at all, says Melinda, wondering why she’s been invited to his funeral.
Thank goodness for flashforwards or we’d be treated to a 20-minute “Melinda applies her false eyelashes and squeezes into her little black dress that is not at all funeral appropriate” montage. A few people act weird to the blond who found Lucas and Jim wonders if “the guest of honour has arrived.” Melinda says not yet, but she’s seen a few people checking her out to see if he had. Jim suspects they’re just checking her out. She says she was the girl caught talking to dead people and was treated like a freak. They called her “Meloony Gordon.” Well, that’s just sad. Especially because Flesh Gordon is so much more appropriate.
Jim wonders why they’re here if these people were so mean to her. But Melinda says Lucas always seemed nice. Grace too. Maybe they were too wrapped up in each other to be mean. Grace is the pretty blond who got the “icy” reception from Haley, who was Lucas’s on and off again girlfriend. Not like it matters since Grace appears to be with Ryan. You know, I love it when high school jackasses stick together. Their gene pool becomes that much shallower until it eventually peters out entirely. Jim knows Ryan, BTW. Me too. Because Ryan is really Randall “Pink” Floyd. And Grace is Josie of Josie and the Pussy Cats fame! Jim knows “Ryan” here because he’s a surgical resident at the hospital. Melinda says it’s disappointing when the person voted most likely to succeed actually does. I was voted most disorganized student and next “Jerry Seinfeld” and look at me now! Makin’ fun of shows on the Internets! Wokka wokka wokka!
As Jim and Melinda get ready to leave, Grace runs up to greet them and asks if Melinda would mind riding with her back to Grandview. Because there can’t be one day that goes by where it doesn’t spookily rain in or around the Ghost Whisperer, thunder rolls as Melinda agrees. Grace is all “Remember in high school when you said you could see ghosts?” Melinda takes an opportunity to shame Grace all “Yeah. Remember when you all made fun of me for that? Good times!” But Grace really wants to know what it’s like. She asks what it’s like when somebody’s haunting you. Subtle, Grace. Subtle. As she’s speaking, her lip starts bleeding, but she shakes it off and tells Melinda even though the Medical Examiner said Lucas had been dead for hours, she saw blood streaked on his car windows. Ever since, she’s felt something around her. She doesn’t know how to describe it, but seeing as how they’re about to run down a ghost, Melinda doesn’t think she has to. The car slams into the ghost body and it slams into the windshield and drags its bloody fingers down the passenger window.
Melinda is explaining to her new professor buddy, Jamie Kennedy, what happened last night. He is expressing disbelief. Sort of. Man. Between J. Lo. Hew., Jamie Kennedy, Rachel Leigh Cooke and Jason London, this week’s episode is like a very special “Feel old as hell” Ghost Whisperer. Did you know it’s been more than ten years since Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer came out? And exactly ten years since Can’t Hardly Wait? And nine years since She’s All That? And motherfucking 15 years since Dazed and Confused was released? Holy shit am I old, indeed. Thankfully, I am not old enough to be reminiscing about The Big Chill, which is about a bunch of university students getting together for a reunion of sorts after one of their friends dies. This episode is called Big Chills. Hardy-har-har.
Professor Jamie Kennedy wants to see it all. He’s written books upon books (Orly? You’re a multiple author, doc? I don’t believe you.) that are about a thousandth as cool as what’s going on in his skull right now. He actually thinks it’s cool that he can hear dead people and wants to learn more. And he wants Melinda to teach him. Melinda just wants him for his RAM. She asks to use his computer. Because why? Her laptop is suddenly not working? She can’t Penthius up a one-hit search herself?
They read Lucas’s obit online and find that it’s a bit… how we say, embellished. While shooting down some vitamin juice in Professor Jamie Kennedy’s entirely too-lavish community college office that comes equipped with a mini fridge, they realize that when a perfectly healthy, bright, but underachieving gentleman such as Lucas keels over, it’s usually because of…. drugs. I’m so glad we can rush to that conclusion with zero details. Drugs. Don’t do them, kids!
But it seems to be true. Randall “Pink” Floyd is telling Josie and the Pussycat that he hasn’t seen the tox screen, but they’re saying overdose. Man, I ain’t believin’ this shit, man. Pink grew up to be a narc. Dude. Slater would find that so uncool. Pink tells Grace she has nothing to feel guilty about, but she says they “know what they did.” Faded out to nothing after a brief shot at stardom? Well, it’s nothing to be proud of, but certainly not anything to be ashamed of either. Pink goes to scrub into surgery. He feels a little touchy during surgery. Like somebody is watching him from a shaky camera. He sees dark, venal blood seeping through the surgical dressing and freaks. A nurse leaves the room and streaks blood down the window in the door, which freaks Pink even more and he runs out of the surgery. And right past Jim.
Of course. Jim, being the busy body he is, runs home to tell Melinda. AND, he says nothing happened. That there was no blood. The patient was fine. Weird, huh? Not in Melinda’s world. In Melinda’s world, the blood must mean something. The Melinda’s world we’re currently occupying has her playing susie homemaker and placing a sandwich before Jim before taking off for work. But not before he finds one of the ads she’s torn from a magazine. It’s for a six-burner stove. She wants to convert the garage into a living space for a live-in sitter. Or their mothers. And Jim is like “Um. Now?” She’s all “Is this because I’m not getting pregnant?” No, Melinda. It’s because the U.S. is about two shakes away from a depression and a paramedic going to med school and an antiques dealer already living beyond their means cannot afford a live-in nanny, let alone converting the garage into some crazy guest house. Jim’s like “Uh… no. It’s because when you DO get pregnant, we’ll still have nine months. Let me run the numbers. Think about it.” Translation: Six burner stoves are not necessary for live-in sitters. How about a hot plate?
Melinda and Grace meet for coffee with Pink and he says he’s still shaken up. But Lucas’s death was – Melinda interrupts, saying she thinks it was a ghost. Way to ease into it. Whatever happened to “My name is Melinda and I see dead people?” Pink is disbelieving, but Grace says she asked for help. Melinda is perfectly happy to go back to her life because she’s not afraid of the dead, but she reminds them they came to her. Yeah. Isn’t that just what she said? Melinda says she isn’t sure who the ghost is because she hasn’t seen it, but she teases Pink by telling him the ghost maybe hasn’t revealed himself because he wants to torture Pink. He accuses her of enjoying that, which she denies. She just doesn’t like to see souls linger and thinks Lucas had unfinished business. Pink is all “Well don’t ask me. I don’t know what he’s been doing for the last ten years when he was supposed to be building a life!” Man. These people really are my age and it’s kind of freaking me out. My ten year high school reunion just came and went and I didn’t go. I guess I should feel guilty because I haven’t “built a life” for myself by becoming a surgeon or popping out kids. Mostly, I feel good that I don’t need to go back to high school for validation. But it would’ve been fun to see which “cool kids” are fat and balding.
Um. Thus endeth my rant. But Pink’s just getting started. He says Lucas OD’d at 29. You want to know what he didn’t finish? Try everything! Josie notices that his nose is bleeding. Lovely. Melinda gets a flash of Pink in the parking lot with Lucas. As Pink leaves to find another napkin for his nose, Melinda asks Grace if she thinks somebody moved Lucas’s body, but Pink interrupts and tells Grace they’re leaving and they don’t need Melinda’s help. Well that’s a fine how-do-you-do.
Back at Same As It Never Was, Melinda brings out Hamilton High’s yearbook. “Ahh, 1998. Big hair and big dreams.” Um, hair wasn’t big in 1998, Melinda. Maybe she means her hair. I miss the giant hair of season one. She points herself and Lucas out to Delia, who squeals over how cute they both were. But now is not the time for squealing. Melinda needs to talk to Haley. Of course, Haley would never talk to her. So Melinda is going to get professional grief counselor Professor Jamie Kennedy to do it for her.
Yeah, that always works. Just tell him to call her up and offer her some free grief counseling. But apparently it did work, cuz Haley is walking her dog, a miniature bull terrier, with Professor Jamie Kennedy. Haley tells Dr. Grief that she spent a third of her life as Lucas’s girlfriend, but even in death, he goes to Grace. “Lucas is haunting Ryan, too” he tells her. Oh. Apparently they’ve dropped the pretense of him being a grief counselor. He wants to know if Pink and Lucas were rivals. She says Lucas and Grace were closer to each other than to anybody they slept with and they never hid it. Though he goads her, she says she never saw Lucas take any drugs other than anti-anxiety medication. She says life wasn’t always so hard for him and Jamie Kennedy really acts it up here. Look out Brando. He’s all “You make it seem like something happened. What was it?” Hey, Jamie Kennedy, it’s called a haircut. Look into it. Anyway. Haley says Pink, Grace and Lucas went on a trip senior year to check out colleges. Four days later, Lucas was never the same.
Professor Jamie Kennedy is such a quick study that Haley gave him a key to Lucas’s apartment. Man, Haley is dumb. He says people trust him. It must be that you look like a hobo. They snoop around, all the while wondering if Lucas is still in love with Grace or what. Lucas’s bachelor apartment is decorated in early 80s dude. Sad Ikea leather couch, a couple uggo chairs, unmade bed, fast food containers everywhere. There’s a Ken Danby-esque goalie painting on the wall, which makes me hate him, and a really cool framed print of the cover of Carter Beats the Devil, which makes me love him. Professor Jamie Kennedy wonders if they should be wearing latex gloves and carrying flashlights. He finds some anti-depressants and a wallet insert filled with photos of a man and a blond baby. A sister, he guesses. But Lucas was an only child. When Melinda touches the pictures, she gets a vision (because she’s psychic now) of a blond man lying on the ground covered in blood. Lucas, Grace and Pink are gathered around him. Grace is freaking out, Lucas is trying to calm her and Pink is bleeding from the head. We exit on Mark Snow’s trombone of “Wuh-oh!” as Melinda and Professor Jamie Kennedy look at each other very, very seriously while she proclaims “The three of them. They killed a man.”
Though they now know more, Melinda is still frustrated with the reluctant ghost because she doesn’t know who he is. Professor Jamie Kennedy says maybe the ghost wants her to come to him. She makes fun of him, but he notices a plastic sleeve with the impression of a piece of ID. Melinda grabs it for an up-close look and gives us an up-close look at her poorly done reverse French manicure. She finds a picture of his widow and says that’s her next step, but Professor Jamie Kennedy wants to take that step for her. He thinks he’s up to it. And Melinda is more than happy to let him go Ghost Bustin’ on his own. She’s got some sexin’ to do.
She runs into the Haunted Mansion just as Jim is heading out the front door to “relieve Sully.” But what about Biff? Melinda all but whines and stomps her foot. She’s tracking her cycle and now would be an ideal time to make a baby. So let’s drop those pants Mr. EMT! Jim is less than enthused about performing on command. He tells her he doesn’t want having a baby to be stressful. He thinks their trying to have a baby should be fun, not full of pressure. He loves her, blah blah blah. He has to go to work. She’s frustrated. In more ways than one, I’ll bet. Rrrowr! Jim, you so hot. Don’t die!
Professor Jamie Kennedy knocks on the grieving widow’s door and she and a young girl answer. The ghost is whispering in his ear that “that girl grew up without a father.” He finally manages to choke out that she has something of her husband’s and she lets him in. The photos are spread out on the table on a cluttered backyard patio. She doesn’t understand how his friend got the photos unless… he was there when her husband died. Metaphorical light bulbs go on. The professor hauls out Melinda’s yearbook and points to pictures of Pink and Grace and asks if she knows them. She doesn’t. But she knows Lucas. Except he called himself Mark. He told them he worked with her husband (Tim, BTW) and owed him some money. He sent money over the years, cashier’s cheques for $50, a few hundred. Widow Tim reveals that she cashed them because she thought he was a buddy who took pity on them and she needed the money. She’s crying as she tells Professor Jamie Kennedy she didn’t realize it was some sort of…. “Blood Money” the ghost whispers maliciously in his ear. SERIOUSLY, Jamie Kennedy. Haircut! Now!
“You should’ve heard it. This guy sounded so bitter. Like a big hunk of bitterness with front row seating in my frontal lobe.” Nice redundancies from the professor who claims to have written multiple books. He wonders if Grace and Pink have been haunted all this time, too. Melinda says she doubts it. She thinks it was new for Grace, who’s been asking “what a ghost can do.” Professor Jamie Kennedy posits that Grace thinks the ghost killed Lucas and that she and Pink are next.
Speaking of… Pink is driving Grace somewhere. She wants to go back to “the city” but Pink tells her she’ll miss “the send off” and that people who couldn’t make the funeral are flying out. She hates the phrase sendoff, but Pink reminds her she said memorial sounded geriatric.
If they don’t play You Can’t Always Get What You Want at Lucas’s sendoff, I’m declaring this association with the Big Chill null and void. I would also accept the “get high on the football field as the sun rises while Tuesday’s Gone plays” ending. Or a choreographed, yet completely spontaneous dance to Rockefeller Skank. Or a scene where Jim gets up on the table and air guitars to Welcome to the Jungle. Any of the above will do.
She wants to tell the truth, but he said they made a decision to get on with their lives. She tells him the ghost is “with us” and was with Lucas his whole life. The ghost is standing in the middle of the road where they’re driving. Of course, nobody can drive anywhere at night near Grandview without being inundated with rain or fog, so it’s pouring. Pink tells her only crazy people believe in ghosts. They drive right through the ghost man at exactly that moment. And that’s when Pink’s nose starts bleeding. And there’s blood on their windshield, which their intermittent windshield wipers (Thanks Flash of Genius!) conveniently wipe away. He pumps the brake and Grace screams as the car spins and flips. The windshield wipers keep going. Spooooky!
Melinda is at the hospital, where Jim is telling her they brought them in about an hour ago. Pink was banged up and is going for a full body scan. Grace is shaken up and in the waiting room. She asks Melinda to make it stop. She tells her the policeman who helped them out of the wreckage showed her it was just mud on the windshield, but “Do you know what I thought it was?” Oh, Grace. Melinda has played this game before. Melinda says she’s seen the blood, too. She tells Grace she knows about the man who died ten years ago. She wants to know exactly what happened. Grace tells her they were going to a frat party on their road trip.
You know what I like about these high school flashbacks? I get older and they pretend to stay the same age. Pink looks like the oldest high school senior in the world. Older, even, than sideshow Luke Perry in 90210. Lucas was supposed to be the DD, but he just ended up being the least drunk. There was a motorcycle on their ass and the he tries to pass them, but they’re going too slow because it was foggy. Pink goads Lucas into slowing waaaaay down to teach the guy a lesson. The motorcycle finally passes, but skids out and crashes. Lucas and Pink get out of the car to see what happened. “He must have been thrown,” Lucas says. From a motorcycle? Ya think? Grace is told to stay in the car, so she does. And of course, that’s where the dude is. Right by the passenger side window. He leans up on it, freaking her out and leaving the familiar streaks of blood on the window. The next scene has Pink doing CPR and trying to revive the guy while Grace whimpers and Lucas holds the guy’s almost severed leg together. But it’s too late. The guy is dead. Lucas wants to call the cops, but Pink cautions against this. They’re all drunk and there’s no evidence that they hit him. “It’s his own fault!” Pink screams. He asks Lucas if he wants his life to end on this road tonight, too.
This is the end of our flashback. And Melinda has some ideas of her own. She goes to Lucas’s apartment and says he can skip the blood, she knows it’s him. He’s been letting Grace and Pink’s guilt assume it’s the guy they killed haunting them. But it’s really Lucas. He wants them to take responsibility. Pink, however, will do anything to cover up the accident. Including kill Lucas, who was going to tell his story. “Who’s life do you think would be a lot better with me gone?” he asks Melinda. “Are you saying Ryan killed you?” Melinda, you’re a sweet girl, but you’re not too bright. Lucas is apparently also disappointed with her, because he disappears.
Melinda is cleaning up her baby coveting crap when Professor Jamie Kennedy knocks on her door. He says he knows how Pink killed his friend. Against her better fashion judgment, Melinda lets him in. He paces around her living room as Mark Snow gives his Casio’s “Oboe of Figuring Things Out” key a workout.
The Prof tells Melinda Lucas was on anti-depressants and tranquilizers, a bad combination. He had to go to two different pharmacies and two different doctors to get those filled. She asks how he knows that and he’s all “Duh. I’m a doctor.” Oh, pardon-moi! DOCTOR Jamie Kennedy. Melinda makes the PhD, MD distinction and he reveals that he did a little checking as Dr. Ryan Heller, but they didn’t need to know that’s not who he was. Fraud, so early in the game? Doctor Jamie Kennedy, I’m impressed!
Next scene, Doctor Jamie Kennedy and Melinda are crashing Lucas’s memorial and the prof complains that he should’ve changed. Yes, you should’ve, but not just because this is a memorial. Because that vest is hideous. It’s so ugly. Seriously. Where did he get this? My closet circa 1992? She poo-poos his desire to change, but I see she had time to go in for hair and makeup and to put on a black skirt with a ruffled jacket the colour of split pea soup. Lucas didn’t change, though. He’s crashing his own memorial. And standing right behind Pink as he gives a not very sincere address about how Lucas would want them all to move on. He reveals he and Grace are getting married. I guess Melinda isn’t really out of place at a memorial for a high school friend, but does she have to be front and centre?
They toast to Lucas and he appears behind Melinda, asking if she’s going to do something, or if he should. So threatened, she gets up to suggest to Grace and Pink that they speak outside. Pink is all “Statute of limitations!” Smooth. But Doctor Jamie Kennedy pipes up that the clock needs to be reset to the time when Pink prescribed conflicting medications for his friend. Ruh-roh! Grace is angry. She asks Pink to tell her he didn’t give him those pills. He says Lucas came to him about coming clean. Grace says she met with Lucas about how he’d inherited money and wanted to put it into trust for Tim’s daughter so he could finally get some peace. “You couldn’t let him have that, could you,” Grace asks. “You’d rather see him dead.” She stalks off, but he chases her. “You think you’re the only one who cared about him? He was my best friend!” He tells her it was their fault Lucas was driving that night. That he’s only trying to make things better. That’s all he ever does. Melinda reveals that Lucas is there with them and Pink suddenly believes and launches into a speech about how they’ve been friends since seventh grade. Lucas introduced him to Grace and Pink fell harder for her every day, but nothing ever happened until the frat party at the end of the road trip.
Flashback to the frat party. Lucas turns down a beer, then goes upstairs to find Grace and Pink making out. You know, this is all very interesting, but I am distracted by the very not 1998 music. So distracted, in fact, that I went looking for it. And found Mink. A band that was very much not together in 1998. Would it have been too much trouble to find some Third Eye Blind song? Because I went to college parties in 1998. And trust me when I tell you those are the songs popular douches were listening to back then. Lucas leaves and immediately downs a couple shots, depressed about Grace and Pink. Pink talks about how it was his fault and they did it to him. He claims to have been protecting everyone, not just himself. He says he was just trying to save Lucas.
Flaaaaashback! Lucas tells Pink if he doesn’t do something about this, he might die. Pink asks if he’s still seeing his shrink, but Lucas says he’s done with all that. Pink tells him he’s behind him, whatever decision he makes. He gives Lucas drugs to help him sleep and claims he told Lucas not to mix them with anything. Grace doesn’t believe him and asks Melinda to ask Lucas. Oh, this would go much easier if she could just ask Lucas herself. Lucas reveals it’s true. But the pills his shrink gave him weren’t working and he couldn’t sleep and what harm could a sleeping pill do? What harm could two do? He went out to his car to get headphones and the next thing he knew, he was standing over his own body. The sadness doesn’t go away. I love it when this show spends the entire fucking hour making somebody out to be the bad guy only to reveal in the last ten minutes that the ghost is just confused. It’s really nobody’s fault. YAY!
Doctor Jamie Kennedy and Melinda interpret this to mean that what was REALLY going on was that Lucas was trying to prevent them from keeping the secret that would ruin their lives the way it ruined his. Oh, those crazy, mixed up ghosts! They don’t know what they want until Melinda tells them! Grace and Pink apologize to Lucas. Great. Everybody’s sorry. Lucas says he never saw it coming, his best friend and his girlfriend. He asks Melinda if she saw, if she knew, back in high school. She gets teary because the popular boy is talking to her. She says what she sees now is it was an accident. “The crash, your death, all of it. You made a mistake. It’s time for you to move on and let your friends do the same.” Yeah, you selfish bastard.
Doctor Jamie Kennedy takes Grace and Pink to see the Widow Tim, who welcomes them in. Melinda and Lucas stand back. Melinda exposits that Grace and Pink are going to the authorities and taking responsibility. She hopes Widow Tim will forgive them so they can move on. Lucas says she just wants to know what it was like for her husband, about his final moments. We flash back to the scene of the accident. Grace is holding Tim’s hand as he dies. So that makes it OK. “Maybe she’ll take comfort in knowing he wasn’t alone,” Lucas says. Somehow, I doubt it.
All those years, he held in his feelings about being betrayed by Grace and Pink. But it was all he could think about. Melinda tells him now he can let go. And go into the light. He wants to know what it’s like, as they all do. She says she doesn’t know. He wonders if it scares her, the unknown. She says she’s just like everyone else, but it’s OK to be scared. Lucas says “You’re all right, Meloony Gordon. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” Don’t worry, Lucas. Nobody does. Melinda does her typical knowing head nod as he disappears into the unknown.
Haunted Mansion. Jim is starting on that addition to the garage. She’s all “I thought we were waiting.” Jim says yes, that would be logical, but it didn’t make Melinda very happy. She tells him about last week’s grey lady ghost telling her there’s a price to pay for her involvement with the unknown, with death. He says that’s exactly why they do this project. They should believe the right thing will happen and they just keep pushing until it does. She calls him brave, he calls her brave, they snuggle. Schmoopy music plays and Melinda cries us out to the credits.
Next week, there better be some serious developments about all this shadow crap. I didn’t wonder all summer just to have it be an omen.