The 'Ghost Whisperer' falls to pieces
The courtship of Melinda and Sam/Jim continues this week on Ghost Whisperer, but it's not the focal point of the episode. The writers are on to you, you know. You didn't think you were going to get resolution on this new plot line so quickly, did you?
So, Sam/Jim is Melinda's garage roommate, and they're crushing hard on each other, literally running away and to each other at the same time. Sam/Jim has gotten a job doing some demolition, and brings in a box of antiques, including some tiles, into the store. When Melinda picks one up, she cuts herself, and has a vision of a young girl drowning.
Melinda convinces Sam/Jim to take her to the demo site, where she finds a wishing well, where the tiles originally came from. When she looks into the well, she has the same vision of the girl. The vision is disrupted by Sam/Jim throwing a coin in, and the dead girl appears to say "be careful what you wish for."
Back at the store, Melinda recaps the moment to Delia, and they discuss what the warning could have meant. Delia thinks perhaps Sam/Jim wished for getting his memory back. Melinda can't find anything online specifically about the girl and the house, but she says she's willing to wait to find out if her warning was a threat or a promise.
Sam/Jim is hard at work at the site. A car backfires, and he's thrown into a strange flashback moment where he remembers a bit about being shot, and he gets a sharp pain in his shoulder. Memory flashes!
That night, Melinda comes home and runs some groceries over to Sam/Jim's garage. She walks in on him, naked. No worries, for those of you who didn't see the episode. We didn't get to see any of David Conrad's naughty bits. Melinda is embarrassed, but not overly so. He gets the pain in his shoulder again, and he explains the strangeness of the car backfire, and how the pain only started after he heard the "shot". Melinda asks if he was near the well when he had the moment, or if he knows anything about the owner of the house. Sam/Jim doesn't, and while Melinda tries to explain her interest, we see the drowned girl again.
Melinda heads outside to talk to the ghost, and asks her to leave Sam/Jim alone. Before saying anything, the girl disappears. Later, Melinda tells Delia on the phone how much she misses Jim (not Sam/Jim) and that she thinks his flashback episode is the ghost's fault, if indeed he wished to remember his past. She's worried about what he might have to go through to come back to her, and what if he doesn't want to keep going. Delia reassures her that he will, and he's already gone through the hard part.
In the middle of the night, Melinda has a vision that all of her limbs have been severed, and are laying on the bed next to her. The ghost appears and tells her that terrible things will happen if she doesn't stay away from the well. Melinda asks if someone did the limb-severing to her, but she disappears before answering.
But this is Melinda, of course. She heads to the house, in the middle of the night, with her Partner-in-Ghost-Whispering, Eli. They let themselves in, and find a bunch of dolls with their arms and legs ripped off. They also find a box full of wishes written on scraps of paper. Most are by children, but one is written by an adult that reads "I wish he could know that she was here."
The next morning, at daybreak, after a hard night of Scoobying, Eli drives Melinda home and runs into Sam/Jim. There's a moment of strangeness when they realize what the situation looks like, but Sam/Jim changes the subject by telling Melinda that he'd asked around about the well and found out that the former owner of the house's son is staying nearby. Melinda then asks him what he wished for when he threw the coin into the well, and Sam/Jim refuses to tell her because then it may not come true.
Eli tracks down the son, Travis, and asks him about the doll parts and wishes. He says that when he was 15, he'd found a pile of doll parts at the well along with a note. He decided to replace the parts with a new doll - granting a wish. He didn't know who the girl was who brought the parts. Travis said though, that he learned to keep his distance from the well, because when he was 18, a horrible wish he once made on it came true - he'd wished that his pregnant girlfriend would lose the baby, and she did. Eli tells him about the ghost in the well, and he decides to drain the water out of it.
Melinda isn't sure about Travis, or what caused the girl's death. She makes the connection that the girl who was on the receiving end of Travis' wish when he was 15 is the same drowned girl. After a quick online search, she and Eli find that a Gretchen Dennis has been missing since 1996. At the house, they find Gretchen's remains in the well. Travis is very upset, and asks about the spirit, and hopes she's at peace. Well, maybe, but there's more mayhem. Melinda has another vision, of blood all over the well, and of another child, missing his arm. She says she doesn't think Gretchen is the only one there.
Melinda and Eli head to Gretchen's family's house, where a group has gathered for an impromptu memorial. Gretchen herself appears, screaming "Look at me Clay, look at what you did to me!" She tells Melinda that Clay is her brother. The next morning, Eli and Melinda discuss the situation, and Eli finds out from his friend at the morgue (my, Grandview is a small town) that the skeleton wasn't cut up, and that no other bones were found in the well. Eli also points out that the armless boy was part of Gretchen's past, and may not be a ghost. Eli thinks that the armless boy was Clay's first victim, and Gretchen got knocked off to keep quiet about his wrongdoings.
Eli, shifting into experienced grief counselor mode, heads to see Gretchen's parents, and asks about her relationship with Clay. They say Clay was a wonder boy before Gretchen went missing, but then shut down after she disappeared. They say they fought, but nothing out of the ordinary but they do remember a time when Clay cut up her dolls. They hem and haw, and ask Eli if that kind of thing was normal. Uh. No not really. We flash to Clay, who is a delivery boy of some sort. He's making a delivery to a butcher, and gets stuck in a freight elevator, with his arm hanging outside of the door. Mangled limbs... hmmm.
The next morning, Eli calls Melinda to tell her that he's still trying to get in touch with Clay. While on the phone, Sam/Jim comes over with breakfast for Melinda. Freshly made waffles. And there's orange rinds in the waffles; something Jim used to do. Melinda apologizes for always bringing him up, and Sam/Jim says that she can talk to him anytime, especially now that his job is halted. He asks what the deal was her asking so much about the well, and that she seemed to sort of sense that something was wrong. He asks if she's psychic, which she denies. The phone rings, and Eli tells her about Clay's accident.
Melinda and Eli get together to ponder who the one-armed kid was. They look Clay up online, and find out that the one-armed kid and Clay are one in the same. Melinda heads over to talk to Clay, and tells him that she's seen Gretchen, and that she doesn't usually admit her gift to strangers unless their life is in danger. Clay tries to brush her off, but she explains about her missing arm vision. He tells Melinda about the dolls, and how mean he'd been to her. He'd cut all her dolls up, and then snooped through her room and found a note she'd written about how she wished the same thing would happen to him. He then staged an incident to make it look like his arm had gotten cut off, and Gretchen ran out before he could stop her. She never came back.
Gretchen finds Melinda, and tells her that there are no take-backs when it comes to the well, and that she should ask her friend Sam. At that instant, we see Sam/Jim in the garage, right when a safe-deposit box key falls out of his old jacket.
Instead of heading to see Sam/Jim, Melinda is determined to give Gretchen closure. At the house, with Clay and Travis, she speaks to Gretchen. She says she'd fallen in the well when trying to take back the wish she'd stuck in a stone inside. Clay and Gretchen find peace together, and she tells Travis that his girlfriend had visited before, with the baby she didn't lose after all - his daughter - "I wish he knew that she was here." Gretchen also tells her that she helped Sam remember a piece of his life. With that, Gretchen heads into the light, leaving Melinda to wonder what piece.
We end with Sam/Jim going through the box, and telling Melinda about it. In the box was an engagement ring, purchased less than a month ago. But he doesn't remember who he bought it for. Future love triangle!
Thoughts and musings:
- Eli's superhero power line was funny, but how come he didn't get to hear Gretchen at all? It seems his ability is only used sporatically on this show. If he's got the gift, give it to him for real.
- Did JLH get a new stylist or something? New designer? The look and feel of the whole episode was different. Very earth-mothery with warm lighting. The shop looked different too.
- I'm still not sure about how long this Sam/Jim thing can go on. Morally, Melinda has to be feeling something is wrong about this. The writers aren't doing her justice there. I'm not sold, even though the concept is good, because eventually, this is going to have to end, either with Jim going into the light where he's supposed to go, or Sam leaving her. Either way, she's going to get left.
- I am glad Delia is on her side, but being the pessimist that I am, that only marks her for something bad to happen.
- WHERE ARE THE WATCHER WOMEN? AND THE SUB-GRANDVIEW GHOSTIES?
What about you? Still digging the new concept? Not sure?