Melinda Gordon -
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jim Clancy -
OTHER GHOST WHISPERER SEASONS
THEY ALSO SEE DEAD PEOPLE
Melinda has a talent. She sees dead people. They come to her and she tries to help them. Newly married, she is visited by a dead soldier from the Vietnam war. He wants to find his pregnant wife, but it is, in fact, the wife of his son that is pregnant. Everyone has a hard time coming to terms with the truth.
OK, so THE SIXTH SENSE is ripped off right royally here, but hey it's already been done so many times that it hardly seems worth mentioning it. Jennifer Love Hewitt makes for an appealing enough heroine and the support players don't get enough time to make an impression. It's the first episode, though, and so too early to judge. This might be a bit too soft centred and if every episode is going to have everyone crying over lost loves then it will get tiresome quickly. Let's just wait and see what the future brings.Top
Kenny is a little boy who hangs around the railroad crossing where he was killed in an accident. Melinda has to juggle keeping her talent hidden from her mother in law and finding Kenny's parents and getting them to say goodbye to him so that he can cross over. Then Kenny's father decides to do something with a gun that he's going to regret.
It's difficult to see where THE GHOST WHISPERER is going to go. This week's episode is interchangeable with last weeks except that it's a child instead of a vietnam veteran. The investigation brings up nothing new, people look at her strangely when she tells them what she knows, but eventually come around and share a tearful reunion with their ghost. There will need to be a bit of variation otherwise this series is going to sink like a stone.Top
Melinda is visited by the twin of a girl held in an asylum. Her belief that her sister is still with her has led to her being committed, but Melinda now has a chance to prove that she is not insane, and to allow the sisters and their father to come to terms with their fractured family relationship.
It seems that this show is going to get pretty dull very quickly. The story is pretty much the same as the previous one. OK, it's twins instead of a child, but someone is going to do something foolish and only Melinda's intervention can stop it. Not only that, she has to hide the fact that she is talking to herself from someone (a fireman she's trying to set up her friend with). It's still early days, but this needs to try a little harder.
Oh, and flashbacks to her grandmother and a time when she had braces on her teeth don't help much either.Top
A neighbour tries to kill herself and her dead fiancé refuses to leave until he knows she’s not going to do it again and, bizarrely, who has the heart that he donated when he died. Melinda tries to set up the recipient with the fiancée.
OK, so same format with very little variation once again. This works better as an examination of the trauma of being an organ recipient than it does a story about a ghost and his girlfriend. That’s not to say it works well. The story is even less believable than usual and old cliché of organs carrying with them something of the donor could use a serious rest. One the upside, it’s nice to see Dr Simon from Firefly and Serenity again.
At least the last scene has hinted that the next episode is going to have a bit more bite about it than so far and perhaps a few tonnes less sugar.Top
Melinda discovers three boys living in a crumbling old hotel that was once an orphanage. They died in the fire that destroyed the orphanage, but the leader is determined that they should not cross over. Can she persuade them before the building's new ownere bulldozes it into the ground.
My dentist loves this show. In this episode, I could feel the cavities opening up as I watched. If you haven't guessed the whole plot and exactly how it's going to play out in the first ten minutes then shame on you. Also, are the american viewers so dense that they really need each and every point rammed home into their minds with a sledgehammer? The title's Lost Boys, they like Peter Pan and one of them even wears a racoon hat for heaven's sake. We get it already!!
And where was the cackling man from the end of last week's show? That's breach of promise that is.Top
A young man, dead for a year, emerges from his furniture to ask for Melinda's help in tracking down his birth mother when all he has is a picture of a baby in arms. This, of course, proves to be no problem.
It's troubled teen week and what starts off with the promise of being a bit scarier thanks to the boy's exploding teenage anger soon descends into another bout of saccharin wallowing. There are more repeats of the 'what, you see dead people? Go away' scene and even a goth half-sister who instantly believes doesn't give for any variation.
It's only because the recurring characters are so likeable that we can bear to watch this, that and to see what fashion disaster Jennifer Love Hewitt will be sporting this week.Top
HOPE AND MERCY
When her husband is injured in an accident, Melinda races to his bedside and falls foul of a pushy female ghost who wants her help with her own husband. She died in surgery and he is blaming himself. She wants Melinda to stop him from that. It's going to take the truth about her death to free them both.
Utterly inconsequential is how this series is starting to shape up. True, there are some interesting shadows starting to appear such as the huge number of ghosts that hang around the hospital, but there is nothing else in this show to make it worthwhile at all.Top
ON THE WINGS OF A DOVE
As the 5th anniversary of his father's death approaches, Jim is haunted by a dangerous and malignant spirit, causing him to doubt his own sanity. Melinda has to help for the sake of her husband.
Gag alert, and that's just the title. This series is getting tedious in its repetitiveness and overly sugary nature. We are fast coming to dislike every single character in it. Too much wholesomeness leads to bowel problems (or is that wheatgerm)?Top
This week's ghost can only communicate through electrical appliances, thus making the job of figuring out that she's a woman who wants to reconcile her son and his father before she moves on all that more difficult.
OK, white noise, static, voices on the radio. That's an interesting departure. Only it's not, of course. This show is sorely in need of the kiss of life (or even undeath).Top
A woman who died on her wedding day sets about making life hell for the new bride to be.
And this week's ghost is wearing a wedding dress, but otherwise it's business as usual - except all the more sugary because it's about weddings. The only interest was a remark Melinda made about the ghosts getting stronger, that something's going on out there. Well it sure as hell isn't going on in here.Top
A mother asks Melinda to help her reconcile her husband and boxer son.
We are just wondering whether there is an identikit template for the scripts for this show that the writers just plug in new names and occupations and hey presto! - this week's episode. This week it's boxing. Enough said.Top
The town's comedy club is closing down. One of the late performers takes perverse pleasure in playing practical jokes on Melinda. Can she find out his secret before he drives her crazy?
GHOST WHISPERER finally shows some sparks of livening up. Not this episode, you understand. The opening bit is creepy enough with an almost-scary spirit, but then it settles down into the same old sentimental mush. At the very end, though, Melinda is visited by a giggling ghost accompanied by a faceless something that says it has business with her. This might be interesting.Top
FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD GHOST
Melinda and Jim get new neighbours, one a young man with clearly something to hide and the other a ghost that is trying to haunt him to death (literally). The ghost says that the young man killed his grand-daughter, but there's more to it than that.
The title of the episode is ironic as the ghost is anything but friendly to begin with. He is, in fact, the most vicious and the first to show real intent to kill someone. Of course, he's just misunderstood as is the young man he is trying to kill and luckily Melinda is on hand to make sure that everything works out OK.
At least the usual gooiness has a little more of an edge to it and the shadow of the mysterious hatted one biding its time to deal with Melinda at least gives us a little darkness to hope for.Top
Following a visit to an art exhibition, Melinda is visited by visions of the artist who was hanged for murder. He is condemned to live out that last day for eternity unless Melinda can help his daughter, a struggling artist, reclaim what is rightfully hers.
Now this episode shows more promise than pretty much all the rest put together. True, it ends up with the same tedious mush, but the early stages where Melinda suffers the visions of not only the man hanging, but actually relives the hanging itself are pretty strong stuff and don't stop when the trapdoor opens. That hardness lasts for almost two-thirds of the show before the sentimentality floods in. At least it keeps its nerve when it comes down to the identity of the killer.
Better than usual.Top
MELINDA'S FIRST GHOST
As Melinda's birthday approaches, she is visited by visions of a child she knew at school, a girl who died and who was the first spirit that she made contact with. As memories of the past assail her, Melinda has to search for the child's estranged parents to bring them back together.
We've been very hard on GHOST WHISPERER here at THE SCI FI FREAK SITE and for good reason. The usual weekly blend of schmaltz and sentimentality usually brings nausea flooding with it. This week is different, though it's hard to see why. The plot set up is the same, many of the scenes are the same as Melinda tells people what she can do, but the sugary sentimentality has somehow been transfigured into real sentiment that is actually quite touching.
The fighting between Melinda and her mother (Anne Archer guesting) is pretty trite and uninspiring, though, until the last few minutes when the truth is revealed. Oh and the faceless man makes a brilliantly low key appearance that is really all the creepier for having no explanation at all.
We're not afraid to say it, we've liked the last two episodes.Top
DEAD'S MAN RIDGE
It's Andrea's turn to be haunted, but by a ghost whose manifestations are violent and desperate. It turns out to be a man she knew briefly He's in hospital, fighting, not for his life, but to die. His brother and father are lost on the mountain where he fell and the only way he can tell Melinda where they are is by dying.
This episode starts off better with a harsh haunting, a ghost being dragged away and some real interest in discovering what is going on. Soon enough, though, it descends into the usual mushy stuff that not even a cheeky dead doctor can help lighten up.Top
A driven career woman and her nanny are being haunted by the spirit of her dead son, a child who seems to have a more than passing interest in the new baby in the household.
This episode starts off promisingly enough with a nasty child spirit threatening a helpless baby, but it soon descends into the usual mush with everyone sorry and everyone crying and the audience being quietly ill. The conversations between Melinda and Jim about their own plans to be parents only add to the gag factor.Top
The carnival's in town and Melinda finds that the fortune teller has a similar talent, but is also being haunted by the spirit of an escapologist who believes that she and his brother sabotaged his act.
Carnivals are creepy places (see CARNIVALE or SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES), but it's another episode built exactly to the template of the show and so utterly without interest. It's not helped when Melinda walks into a tent in one scene in broad daylight and walks out again into darkness. Time certainly doesn't pass that quickly when you're watching this.Top
In the wake of a ceremony to honour the town's judge, the place is buffeted by tempestuous weather. It's all because of a ghost, of course, the spirit of a black man wronged by the judge many years before when he was killed in a racist murder and the judge, then a prosecutor, decided not to take it to court for lack of evidence. Both the spirit and his son are filled with righteous anger. Melinda has to calm them down and sort it all out before someone gets killed.
Join the dots racism. That's the theme of this week's simplistic morality tale. Racism is bad children, but if you stand up and apologise then all will be right with the world. There are times when this show can actually be insulting and this is one of them.
On the plus side, the undercurrents of a darker theme still continue to be more interesting than the main plot of the week. This time the spirit tells Melinda that there are others where he is that are interested in her and not all of them are happy about what they do. The faceless man also turns up and shows that he has power too. The laughing man also makes an appearance. This keeps up our hopes that this show is still going to do something good.Top
Following an accident, Melinda wakes from a coma to find that she can no longer see any ghosts. A young girl who has lost her first love and is suffering as a result needs help, but Melinda cannot contact the boy. Then she learns that her mother can't see the spirits anymore either. It's not that she has lost her gift, but rather that they ghosts aren't there anymore. They're being stolen away, but how and by whom?
Moving away from the usual format a bit by taking away Melinda's powers makes for a better episode. This is interesting and when it becomes clear what is happening to the spirits then interest really starts to take off, just in time to be deluged in the usual avalanche of sugar. Still, we're approaching the end of the first season. Perhaps the portents are gathering for a better ending.Top
Melinda is having strange visions, mainly involving cold and ice, but it's not like usual. There is no ghost initially, just bizarre images and a sense of foreboding, not to mention that the watch Andrea bought for her brother who's flying in from South Africa keeps stopping. Eventually a pilot appears with the news that whilst he and the flight crew are dead the plane is still flying and it's likely to be coming down very close. The race is on to stop the disaster.
Now this is what the show can actually be. The plot rips along on a real sense of danger and fear, the images and visions making little sense at first, but building up into a nightmare scenario that comes to pass in the final seconds. The closing image of a whole planeload of ghosts coming to Melinda for help is eerie and powerful and definitely guarantees that we'll be watching that last episode in a way that no other episode of this show has managed to date. Why is it that the series really comes good in the penultimate episode?Top
In the aftermath of the plane crash, Melinda is overwhelmed by the number of spirits looking for her help. The spirit in the hat, though, is working flat out to convince the passengers that they do not need to cross over, but can remain, though to what purpose he chooses not to reveal. As Melinda struggles for a way to get as many of the souls to cross over as she can, she finds one harder than most, one that is closer to home and harder to let go.
Well, the series comes to an end and manages to go out on a high, although the episode reverts back to the original format, but on a larger scale. The man in the hat finally shows his face and turns out to be as scary as the average favourite uncle and the much awaited showdown turns out to be a couple of less than inspiring speeches on whether crossing over is a good thing. All of these faults can be forgiven, however, by the twist ending that anyone who's seen THE SIXTH SENSE will have see coming for the whole hour, but which still has power to it.Top
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