Ghost Whisperer: Parading into the light

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.22 “The Children’s Parade”

Methinks the writers of Ghost Whisperer knew that there was a chance the show wasn’t going to get renewed because this sure felt like a series finale to me. And with no word yet about whether ABC will pick up the show after CBS’ cancellation, it pretty much was.

Now, I have to say, Aiden didn’t bug me as much in this episode as he has in the past, which was good, since he had a much larger role in this episode. I mean, if the show were to go on, I can see him actually helping Melinda with getting ghosts to go into the light (I do cringe a little at that), but since this was set up kind-of as a series finale, it was needed. We needed to see the importance of Aiden’s gift.

Which is why, on that same note, we had to sit through the happy ending speech at the end of the episode. I would have liked it better if, in the end, Jim hadn’t had admitted he was wrong.

In this episode, we finally discovered who the Shinies were and why the Shadows wanted children. After all, if children went into the light, they became the Shinies–the Shadows’ enemy. Why this was all that important when the Shinies were ultimately scared of the Shadows and wouldn’t do anything, I’m not sure. But in the end, they came together and “defeated” the Shadows–at least making them let go of Melinda.

Now, here’s where I actually wish they could have made this a two-parter. I realize the Shadows wanted to take over Melinda so she couldn’t help people into the light, but what else is their purpose? What were they making her do while she was held up in the antique store? I would have liked to see a longer portion of an episode develoted to “Bad Melinda” to see what she would really have gotten up to while the Shadows controlled her.

Instead, we got a pretty quick defeat, where she was basically blasted with light and came back to normal–so much so that she knew it was Aiden who stopped them without even looking out the window. Wow.

I will say, the show has room to grow if it gets picked up. After all, that poor professor is still being held hostage by the Shadows, and I’m sure that they’re not gone for good. The question is whether, if another series finale came around, whether it would wrap things up as well as this one did.

Ghost Whisperer: Melinda’s choice

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.21 “Dead Ringer”

Well, looks like Melinda just might be finding her way into the light. CBS has canceled Ghost Whisperer. Now, I’ll say this: If these websites are correct (check them out here and here), there’s still a chance ABC might pick up the show. After all, while ABC has shared its fall schedule, I don’t think we’ve seen it’s midseason lineup yet. So I guess we’ll have to see, but right now, I know some fans are mourning.

But before you get too upset, remember, there was a new episode on Friday to talk about–and a finale on Friday. Buck up!

So what’d we think of “Dead Ringer”? Would you stay with someone that you discovered has been keeping his dead brother’s ghost a secret for so long? Hmmm.

Ok, so I must say, I doubted how forgiving and understanding Seth’s girlfriend was in the end, and I also felt that perhaps the ghost did a 180 a little too quickly, but other than that, not too bad of an episode, I suppose.

I have to say, I appreciated the broader story arc more than the main plot. Not to say it was bad. It was interesting to try to figure out who exactly this mystery ghost was and why he looked like the living. Plus, who knew that a ghost could grow, so to speak. I mean, sure, in the end he was an 8-year-old, the same 8-year-old that died, but the fact that he could alter his appearance and mimic his brother was kinda interesting.

So was the fact that someone really had the choice to see a ghost or stop believing. I mean, Seth could have easily denied that ghosts were real and moved on without his brother. But he kept him with him.

Now, why would the Shadows not have minded that this one guy could still see a ghost? Is it because he was only seeing one and not them all?

I like the new realization that perhaps Aiden is in danger because he could see ghosts. Of course, this might go hand-in-hand with the fact that I would love for Aiden to have a smaller role in this show since he kinda annoys me (then again, since the show has been canceled, I might not need to worry about that anymore), but it is a difficult choice. Honestly, I do feel bad for Jim, since he’s only looking out for his kid, but Melinda does have a point: She’d have to lie to her son for the rest of his life.

Personally, I’d choose safety over lying to the kid, but I guess we’ve got one more episode to find out what will be Melinda’s choice. And I guess we’ll have to see if the Shadows ever really get defeated.

Now, one last thing, and this was bothering me all season: Jim. At the hospital, is Jim Jim, or is Jim Sam? They’ve really avoided saying his name, but Melinda called his cell phone in this episode, and his voicemail clearly said that you’ve reached Jim. Did we forget that Jim still looks like Sam? That he’s still ultimately Sam, just with Jim’s mind?

I guess we did.

Ghost Whisperer: One I was happy to predict

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.20 “Blood Money”

I didn’t really know where this episode would be taking us on Friday (do we ever?), but I must say, overall, I was pleased.

I can’t say it was one of the best episodes ever (I still liked Amy Acker’s guest appearance with the city underground), but it was decent. We actually had a decent plot. Sure, there was the red herring of the kids in the barn, but beyond that, we had a pretty straightforward show. A kid was killed after he was kidnapped. Ransom was paid, but the kid was never released. Then we find out that he helped in the kidnapping, so what really happened?

I will say that I called the fact that the detective was part of the kidnapping. I believe it was right around the time that Melinda was meeting with him, right after discovering that the kid was part of his own kidnapping. When you don’t see the kidnapper’s face, even when he’s a friend, get suspicious that it’s someone you know. Get more suspicious when they mention for the third time that the detective is not surprised by what Melinda is telling him.

I believe my thought process was, “This guy looks pretty young. How old would he have been 11 years ago? I think this guy did it…”

While I predicted it, I certainly didn’t mind it. It’s still a rather tragic story. Clearly, these guys were friends, and this guy killed the other and stuck him a ditch. Well, he’s in jail now, and the money? Well, it’s probably in an evidence bag until this guy goes to trial.

I have to say, though, the overarching message of “Money corrupts” did get a little over the top. I mean, at the end, I felt a bit like a horse that had been beaten long after my heart had stopped beating. We get it, greed can be bad.

Perhaps we needed that, though. Without realizing that greed is bad, the very strange message about the Shadows couldn’t be processed. Alright, if you couldn’t hear the sarcasm in that line, I guess that’s why voices are better than blogs sometimes. Of course we’d be able to see the danger of the Shadows if they’re greedy. Personally, I’m more just sighing that the Shadows are back (I was quite enjoying Melinda’s ignoring them), but we’ve got to wrap that up by the end of the season, right?

Meanwhile, don’t forget, money corrupts. After all, that’s why Aiden won’t get a raise in his allowance. That’s clearly the most heartbreaking part of all, isn’t it?

Just kidding. What five-year-old gets an allowance?!

Ghost Whisperer: Making the simple complicated, 42.879 minutes at a time

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.19 “Lethal Combination”

Ok, so I don’t really know if the episode was 42.879 minutes or not, but I imagine that’s a fair estimate once you take out commercials. Anyway…

It’s Tuesday, and I’m finally getting to writing about Ghost Whisperer. It’s not that it was a bad episode. It wasn’t a great episode. It was just kinda ho-hum, which made it very difficult to focus my thoughts on it.

Here’s the thing: The writers just made this plot way too complicated for its own worth. I mean, how many times have you read books or seen movies where the wife is jealous of the live-in nanny? It seems rather normal. It’s just how the world works sometimes.

So why did they have to bring in this polygamy angle? Ok, I guess some people could argue that if they didn’t bring in some sort of angle like that, the writers wouldn’t be very original and they’re overusing a dead plotline. But it’s a realistic plotline! And this, well, it was a stretch.

Honestly, I just felt it would have worked better if the wife just thought the nanny was horning in on her marriage territory. And just ignore the tattoos.

And let me ask another thing: Did they ever establish why the ghost went after only the girl, not both the nanny and the husband? Is it just because she thought the nanny killed her? Well, that doesn’t quite work either, because there was no evidence to the ghost that anyone tried. She just passed out while she was cleaning (and do people still clean houses, especially ones with small children, with such harsh and dangerous chemicals?). I mean, sure, the nanny shut the door, but the ghost was out by then and didn’t even know she came in there at all.

Also, another slight nitpick. I’m pretty sure that after getting this poor girls’ references and calling every one, Melinda would easily have figured out where she lived so she was aware when she was in danger. Just sayin’. Melinda was almost the FBI in this episode.

So the major plot here was a bit of a clunker. But here’s something that I think could have major ramifications in the future: Jim.

Jim almost got caught looking in old files at the hospital. I was always wondering how he was just able to go through all of these files without any sort of danger or consequences. Well, it looks like he could get in major trouble…and I wonder if we might just see that later in the season. Now that is something that could be interesting.

Sorry I don’t have more to say. It was a fine enough episode. I mean, standard for this season. I don’t really look for much more; I guess I’m just waiting for the series to surprise me. Keep your fingers cross that it might be soon.

Ghost Whisperer: Creepy clown protection agency

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.18 “Dead Eye”

Friday night had a decent episode of Ghost Whisperer. Do you know the problem with an episode you define as “decent”? It turns out not to be all that memorable.

I will say this, though. Give it up for GW for giving us creepy clowns. I bet for five seasons there was one writer hoping for an opportunity to introduce a ghost clown, just because it’s so darn creepy. Well, it worked.

So did the fishbowl vision, which I hope we really discover the root of. It looks like that might tie into the story arc somehow…if the story arc is still definable at this point.

I mean, we have seemed to gone away from the shinies and shadows, but we did reintroduce Bedford, so now Melinda does know that he didn’t go to the light and is being held against his will. But what does that have to do with the fishbowl?

We don’t get to find out in this episode, but we did get a decent plot. I did enjoy seeing the twists and turns of trying to find out whether Sherry was a good or bad person. Little did we know that it was her fiance that was the real jerk of the situation. Sherry didn’t need money–even when she had it, she gave it all to those in need. But her fiance, well, he just was planning on using her.

My one objection with the episode was the hard time that Todd got. I mean, Sherry’s fiance even said, “Who’s the homeless guy?” and he didn’t even look all that bad. In fact, when they said that he was tracking them through the woods, I was shocked because of how clean he was. It seemed a bit over the top to make him out to such a loser, when he seemed perfectly fine to me.

But even the ghost had that opinion. I mean, he was even protecting Sherry from Todd. Apparently, Sherry is just that lovable since we got the impression that Charlie had feelings for her and never got to say them before he went into the light. At least that was my impression. Was it yours?

Overall, it was a sweet happy ending, and you can’t complain about that. But who’s watching them?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

Afterthought: How does someone choke on a balloon? I might not want to know the answer to that, but it seemed odd that Charlie did, and that it was a “rookie mistake” as, I think, Eli said (heartlessly). Do many amateur clown choke on balloons? Because that’s, well, horrifying.

When Mr. Isaac meets ‘Ghost Whisperer’

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.17 “On Thin Ice”

This was a bit of an oddball episode. It was a little too convoluted in the plot itself, and the graphic novel aspect? Well…

I should say that at least we didn’t put Melinda in some superhero costume, like they did in the videogame episode. Clearly, this “effect” was just for effect, but it was, well… Did anyone else feel like they just watched the Sims on television? It was…odd.

And the strangest part about it was that it wasn’t original. Each time the ghost took possession of another person’s body, I was expecting their eyes to turn white like they do in Heroes, back in the day of Mr. Isaac (as Hiro called him) and Peter Petrelli. Even the style of art was the same. I mean, I have much respect for graphic novels (after all, I read the continuations of Buffy and Angel), but this was just too close to Heroes.

And the plot was just so complicated. I like plots where I can kind-of guess along, and then I’m surprised to discover that I was right or wrong. There was no guessing with this plot. I mean, saying, “He took my life,” was just an attempt to throw you off the scent, and it was a stretch to think that the ghost meant the life in the comic that was a reflection of him. That was solely there to throw off the viewers.

And I hate that! I want to feel like I can follow along. Sigh.

I did appreciate the step-brother, though, and I think that he was a great person to cast. I do feel bad that Melinda really told him very little about what the ghost was telling him, but I suppose they’ll just catch up off-camera.

Meanwhile, Eli needs to go. Does Jamie Kennedy understand how to act at all? Everything he says is so bumbling and confused. I mean, he has no reaction to anything, except a poorly stated joke, and it’s just annoying. We need Jay Mohr back.

But I do like the addition of Margaret Cho. Perhaps she could replace Eli? She’s just fun, and I like her. That’s about it. (But Drop Dead Diva is coming back, so I wonder how much of her time must then be devoted to that.)

Overall, the episode didn’t really thrill me, but it seems on par for the season. Something needs to change, and I certainly hope it’s not the addition of a brother, as Aiden seemed to foreshadow in the end. I actually think we would have had a significantly better season if we hadn’t jumped, and we were just witnessing Melinda juggle whispering with new motherhood and Jim’s med school schedule. That would have been much more entertaining.

Ghost Whisperer: Bringing back the creepiness

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.16 “Old Sins Cast Long Shadows”

I still contend that this show is at its best when it embraces how creepy ghosts can be.

What I enjoyed about this episode was that it was about the shadows without the rather lame CGI of having actual gray blobs moving around the floor and walls. We did have to live with one reference to the Shinies, but other than that, we had a pretty good episode that went along with the story arc.

And it left us with a bit of a cold feeling in the end, but we’ll get to that.

I must say, they hired a pretty good actress to play Madame Greta. Certainly, she was creepy enough to make us intimidated. And just the thought of that woman keeping children hostage in the afterlife…wow. And what a twist to the afterlife, too. The fact that this woman was trading in the souls (of sorts) of these children so that she didn’t get swallowed by the shadows…that’s just saddening.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen her really surrounded by the people she’s taken. We only really saw three ghosts: one child and two prisoners. But they kept referencing the many others. I wish I could have seen them. Can you imagine what that would have been? How haunting?

And while the woman is now gone, you really have to wonder what’s next. The shadows are still there (and clearly powerful), and they still have an interest in children. Plus, all those children that were lured in–like the little boy we saw in the end–are still heading there, right into the mouth of the shadows.

That was such a sad shot, just seeing him alone, wandering into that house, especially since we know there’s no one left to protect him. Even in Melinda and crew’s success, there was a sense of failure and unfinished business.

And what about Melinda and crew? Kudos to Delia. I’m glad we finally saw someone get upset about this and that in the aftermath of the explosion, there was real, raw emotion. People didn’t just move on like it was an everyday occurrence (like Ned’s so good at doing).

It’s actually the success of the non-whisperers that helped the episode. After all, if we had to deal only with Melinda and Eli in this episode…that would be horrible. They really need to find something to do with Eli (or get rid of him, as I’ve suggested before). Ned seems to have taken over the book, his comedy doesn’t work, and he’s not helpful in actually listening to ghosts either. What’s his purpose?

Sigh. I guess that could be an entire post in itself (feel free to vent in the comments). But overall, I liked the episode. I’m telling you, the more the show banks on creepy, the better it will be. And here, they combined two things that automatically grabs an audience: our sense of protection for children, and our automatic shiver response to creepy, stern old ladies. Good job.

Ghost Whisperer: Coming alive

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.14 “Dead to Me”

Hold your breath, people. I’m about to say something shocking.

I actually enjoyed this Friday’s episode of Ghost Whisperer.

Don’t hate me because I’m fickle. Last week, I was basically ready to write the show off and having nothing more original to say. Plus, it just didn’t make much sense anymore. It was convoluted and exhausting to watch, and I was just growing tired of it.

But this week, we got something new. Instead of knowing the end and backtracking, we actually didn’t know what was going on. And it was great! The entire episode, instead of guessing who the killer might be or what the ghost might want, we were actually forced to watch and find out. There was really nothing to guess.

Ok, well, in the diner it was pretty easy to guess that they were in each other’s accidents (very Desperate Housewives, I must add), but we still didn’t know who the ghost was or why the ghost wanted them to meet. And since there was no hints as to why, we basically were forced to stop our guessing and watch.

Brilliant.

It led to an episode that wasn’t convoluted. It wasn’t overdramatic (well, until the car accident at the end). And honestly, I didn’t miss the guessing games!

Plus, we heard that the shadows are not quite out of Melinda’s world yet. Ned is working on getting access to a secured library to find out more about them, so clearly all the time we wasted in the first half of the season won’t be…well…wasted. Now, hopefully this will all link back to the strange ghost in the hospital, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

As for the “cliffhanger,” well, at first I was nervous. I mean, at the end of the episode, they said someone is going to die! Oh no!

But you know, thinking about it more, I think it’s something that will probably be very preventable. Or at least I’d hope so. If someone did die, I’d wish it were Eli. It won’t be. If I had my guesses, I’d think maybe Delia because she hasn’t been in it as much, but maybe it would be Ned because he seems to be in it more.

Ultimately, we’ve got a small cast here, and I’d be surprised if anyone does kick it, but we’ll have to wait and see. Clearly, we can’t kill Sam Jim Jim Sam again. That’d be just mean.

I did enjoy all the talk about why Melinda dislikes spirit boards. It goes into the whole lore of her gift, which I enjoy, but I’m a nerd like that. Ultimately, I just liked this episode. Plus, add in Margaret Cho, and who can complain? I’ve liked her long before she ever set food on this show, let alone Drop Dead Diva. And I hear she might be recurring on this show? That’d be, well, great!

Ghost Whisperer: Hold the insomniac all night

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.13 “Living Nightmare”

Sorry, any time I think of the word “insomniac,” I just get the Billy Pilgrim song in my head.

You know all those procedurals? The ones that start with a body, go through the suspects, and then find the killer? Sure, there’s nothing truly original there, but it works for the kind of show it is.

Did Ghost Whisperer ever have such a formula? Because I feel like we’ve somehow fallen off the formula truck. It’s like the writers are spending so much time trying to find hidden twists and side plots so you can’t figure out the right answer to Melinda’s mystery.

This episode…well, it just had too much going on. Sure, the ghosts were creepy, with the shadowy eyes and the demony ghosts with the yellow eyes (By the way, did anyone tell the writers what the eyes were going to look like? Because she kep describing them as “hollow”–not scary and yellow.). Clearly the costume team knows the way to a viewer’s attention, though the writers do not.

Honestly, I didn’t follow the episode. Ok, sure. I was cooking a fantastic dinner at the time, but there was a lot going on. We had the demony side of the bloody, hospitalized man. We had his father, the ghost. And his…sister? Oh, and then also his father accidentally killed his wife, aka, the mother.

Which takes us all the way back to the hospitalized patient in question, who blacks out. The final discovery is that he’s got insomnia, so it’s not things he’s doing things in his sleep. He’s blacking out because he can’t sleep.

Now, of course, he doesn’t know all this until the last five minutes. Until then, he breaks the heart of his girlfriend and tries to kill himself. Which was very tense-filled for a minute, but once we spend five minutes discussing the patient between Melinda and Jim, we lost all the anxiety of the moment. I mean, how long was he really standing there with his toes hanging off the edge of the building?

It just took a lot of effort to follow. It’s not that it was hard; it just had a lot of side roads that I didn’t want to take.

Oh, and the whole multiple Melindas part? That was way too The Grudge in my opinion. Sigh.

Now with Dollhouse gone, this IS my Friday night. Anyone have any other suggestions?

Perhaps I’m just being too harsh on this episode. I welcome your opinions. Prove me wrong! Oh, and what do you think of Ned being part of the team pretty much full-time now? I was surprised to see how involved he’s been, since before, college took him out of a lot of episodes beyond a phone call or haunted girlfriend.

Ghost Whisperer: Let me tell you ’bout a boy named Ned…

GHOST WHISPERER: 5.11 “Dead Air”
GHOST WHISPERER: 5.12 “Blessings in Disguise”

You might have noticed that I didn’t write anything about last week’s episode. Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. The episode seemed a bit roundabout and nonsensical. I didn’t really like it.

Plus, they made Ned into a really big douche.

And what about Ned? We have two very Ned-centric episodes here. Is he really that big of a character? Do fans really miss him that much?

If I may say my two sense, methinks the masterminds behind Ghost Whisperer are trying to draw in a younger viewership. Why else the time investment in Ned, who always has been more of  a side character anyway? Less focus on Melinda and Eli (thank god), and more on the youth. Even bring in some pretty young faces that the viewers can identify with.

But I’m sure many of you would argue that two episodes really isn’t enough to claim a shift in ideal viewers, but what about the music? Last week’s episode certainly was a focus on Coldplay (good choice). But as far as haunting songs go that someone could drown to, I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen it. There are much more haunting songs that were done around the ’40s and ’50s that could have had a much harder effect.

And this week? Well, Missy Higgins sure made a grand appearance–well, at least her voice did. She was the musician behind Katie’s ballet dances, and honestly, she’s a voice that younger audiences want to hear! To give a better inclination, I first heard Missy Higgins–that particular song, actually–on One Tree Hill. Could Ghost Whisperer be upping its music budget to open itself up for a wider viewership?

Quite possibly. But at least in this episode, it worked. I actually liked watching the budding relationship between Ned and Katie (ok, so her name is Rachel, but she went by Katie the majority of the episode, so we’ll just stick with that). I’m surprised I was so invested. I actually really want to see Katie back for another episode.

As for the ghost? Well, I’m not sure what to think about that one. I did appreciate the reveal, that the ghost was dead upon impact, which is why Dave left him there. It was a rather straight-forward question of why the ghost was  haunting, but it was ok.

The brother’s story, though. What was that about? Just to be a foil against Ned’s relationship? It makes no sense as to why Melinda would be having these unrelated visions. It seemed unnecessary. I was invested without it. In fact, it seemed to be there more to throw us off the case of the real ghost, which seemed annoying to me. For a while there, I thought the girlfriend was dead. Is it wrong to be disappointed that she wasn’t? At least then it would have a point.

Anyway, intrigued to see what happens in weeks to come. If we’ll fall back into the habitual Melinda and Eli-focused episodes, or whether Ned will be in more central roles. If anything, let’s just hope he stays away from the ballet.

That was weird.