Ghost Whisperer 4.14 “Slow Burn” Recap

Ghost Whisperer 4.14 “Slow Burn” Recap

jim-and-melinda2Hello all, I’m Beansidhe, and I’ll be your recapper for Ghost Whisperer. It’s a little awkward to jump into a show over halfway through its fourth season, but I’ll give it my best. For those of you not familiar with the show, the premise is this: Melinda Gordon (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt) is a clairvoyant. More specifically, she Sees Dead People. And not just any old dead people, either. They usually want something from her, or need her help with something or someone so they can let go, and Cross Over. This week’s ghost is no exception, but we’ll get to that.

First, though, a little background. In addition to Melinda, who runs an antique store in Grandview when she’s not helping ghosts, there’s Delia Banks (Camryn Manheim) who is Melinda’s best friend and works at the antique store (when she’s not selling real estate as a handy-dandy plot device) and Delia’s rapidly-aged teenage soon Ned (Christoph Sanders). Melinda often seeks out the help of Dr. Eli James (Jamie Kennedy), a psychologist who can hear the dead but can’t see them the way Melinda does (also handy!). It was more fun in previous seasons when Mel often sought out the help of Professor Rick Payne (Jay Mohr) who was a total nutcase but in a completely awesome way. Come back, Payne! Melinda’s husband Jim Clancy (no, I never got why she didn’t take his name either), played by the very hot David Conrad, is very hot. And very dead. Which doesn’t seem to mean a lot on this show. Rather than crossing over, Jim has conveniently occupied the body of Sam Lucas (Kenneth Mitchell, last seen on Jericho) who was seriously injured in an accident. In order to jump in, Jim had to wait until Sam’s spirit was on its way out. Which means that Sam wakes up with no memory, but the vague sense of knowing Melinda. Yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either; if Sam’s spirit left his body, how is any trace of his personality left over, and why didn’t Jim know Melinda when he woke up? Just go with it, it’s easier that way. It’s also important to note that Sam looks like Jim to Melinda (and us), and Sam to everyone else – show tells us this with the occasional flash of Sam looking into a reflective surface. Kripke Owns Me says it should be a drinking game – Spot The Sam! I think she’s right. Also, I get all teary at the end nearly every week. Maybe drinking will help with that. Riiiight.

Ok then, there’s that out of the way. We open this week with the cutest little he said/she said! Really. It’s almost nauseatingly cute. Melinda is telling Delia all about the “moment” she had with Sam, just after Sam’s ex-girlfriend (who he totally can’t remember because he has amnesia) gave up and headed out of town. At the same time, Sam is relating the very same story to Eli. It’s important, because they nearly kissed! But not quite! Again. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Delia has roped Melinda into helping chaperone a dance at Ned’s school. Melinda then ropes Sam into going with her – some first date, you guys.

They’re playing Katy Perry at the high school dance. I must be getting old because my first thought was “well, that’s an interesting choice!”. Delia is being the Chaperone Nazi, which is embarrassing Ned to death. And Melinda and Sam are basically ignoring the kids and swooning all over each other, which is actually kind of adorable. Well, or it was until they started to dance and Melinda did The Robot. Nobody needed to see that. She does rock that cute little flapper dress though. Ooo, slow song! Melinda and Sam start to dance (all together now, awwww) and it’s a typical high school dance scene. There’s a slightly wasted boy who has clearly spiked the punch and he’s grabbing all over the butt of a high school girl. Well, it was typical until we see a woman with a big old gash in her forehead glaring at the teen couple. Just then Melinda notices her, and Mel and Sam’s moment is ruined when the woman gives a sternly worded warning and Mel realizes this is a ghost, and also the mother of the getting-groped-girl.

A slightly older boy arrives to rescue the teen girl from being pawed to death (because, you know, who actually chaperones a high school dance to keep these kinds of things from happening, Melinda) and there’s a small scene with shoving on the dance floor. Wonder what’s next – snap fight? The older boy escorts the girl out and they’re trying to get into his car (which looks like a 70’s model Impala and is a serious beater, yo. Metallicar must be mortified). Melinda follows them out in time to see the woman standing there glaring and yelling at the boy to stay away and causing the car door handles to get really hot. Which doesn’t seem to do a whole lot as they leave anyway. Way to use those otherworldly powers there, ghosty!

At this point we figure the dance is over, because Melinda and Sam are standing at Melinda’s front door flirting awkwardly. She invites him in for a drink (they really like their wine on this show) and are juuuust about to kiss when hey! Guess who appears? Yeah, in addition to having some unimpressive otherworldly powers, this ghost has some lousy timing. Melinda makes a really lame excuse to Sam and goes inside, where the ghost appears again. She warns Melinda about the boy who left with her daughter but doesn’t tell Mel anything useful.

Next morning, and Melinda is at the shop where she’s using her laptop to search online for information about the ghost. She discovers that the ghost was a well-regarded attorney, Deborah Marks, and her husband was just appointed to the bench. She can’t find anything about the young Knight in Beat-Up Car, though. So Melinda decides to pay a visit to the ghost’s husband to see what she can find out. There are a lot of fishing expeditions on this show, and they seldom involve water. Or, you know, actual fish. Anyway. Mel shows up at the house under the guise of being sent from the high school about the teen daughter drinking at the dance, and the dad, Douglas Marks, totally buys it. Also, wardrobe is doing a really nice job dressing J. Love this season, and I totally covet her boots. Anyway. Melinda finds out the boy’s name is Tim, and that he’d been in trouble and and Deborah was helping him out. You know, before she was a ghost and was actually an attorney. Melinda asks Douglas more questions about how Deborah died and is told it was a freak accident. Melinda isn’t sure and wonders if Tim may have been involved. She touches the frame of a family portrait on the wall and has a vision of a safe behind the picture, opened with its contents strewn all over the floor. Douglas asks what’s going on, and she covers. She asks about Tim again, and he gets upset and says that Tim is Very Bad News. Deborah appears and says she knows that now. Melinda is confused and she’s not the only one!

Melinda goes to talk to Ned about the girl and he offers to talk to her at school. We find out her name is Kristy, and she’s awfully chatty for someone whose mother just died. She tells Ned about Tim, and that she’d had a crush on him. Kristy thinks her mother didn’t approve because mom had the hots for Tim herself. Why else was she paying for his tuition and taking him on business trips? Hmmm.

Back at the shop, Sam comes to see Melinda and tells her he thinks he knows what’s wrong. He thinks Melinda is having second thoughts and that she’s not ready to date yet. Melinda assures him there are no second thoughts, and Sam asks her to the movies the next night. Melinda enthuses that she would love to, and then thinks maybe that was a little over the top (no, really?) but Sam was hoping for just that reaction.

I guess it’s now the next afternoon, because Melinda is all dressed up for her date but is walking down the street with Eli talking about the ghost. She decides she needs to go talk to Tim. She does, and at first he refers to Mrs. Marks very fondly, but after a few questions he becomes defensive and leaves. Melinda talks to a guy who turns out to be Tim’s roommate, who says that Tim referred to Mrs. Marks as his mentor but that her husband also suspected they were having an affair. When Melinda arrives at home, she sees falling embers outside her car. Deborah appears and tells Melinda she doesn’t want her help and to stay away. Like that ever put Melinda off before. Mel and Eli pay another visit to Mr. Marks to try and find out enough to know why the ghost is hanging around. Melinda fills him in on her “gift” and Mr. Marks, predictably, thinks Melinda is nuts even though she tells him things she would have no other way to know. He asks them to leave, but before she does Melinda has another vision, this time of a note burning in the fireplace.

Kristy arrives at Melinda’s shop and tells Mel that Tim has been arrested and is being questioned by the police in connection with her mother’s death. Kristy insists Tim is innocent and couldn’t possibly have been involved, but she won’t tell Melinda why she’s so sure. Eli goes to the police station but is unable to find anything out. Melinda decides she needs to see Tim’s mother to get more information. Tim’s mother tells Melinda that Tim was innocent of the robbery he was in trouble over before, that he had taken the blame for someone else. Melinda asks if she can see Tim’s room – it always amazes me that people just let her into their houses and tell her their life stories so willingly. Must be something in the water. Anyway, Melinda comes across a copy of the book “The Little Prince” and there’s a page missing from the front of the book. Tim’s mother says the book came home from the hospital with Tim. When he was six months old. Because he was adopted. Dun-dun-DUN!

After Melinda leaves, Deborah appears again. Melinda tells her that she knows Tim was her son. Deborah tells Mel that she gave him up for adoption when he was six months old, because she was 18 and didn’t think she could care for him and give him what he needed. Deborah hired a private detective and tracked Tim down, but never told her family who he was because her husband was being appointed to the bench and she had broken a number of rules of a closed adoption by looking for Tim and contacting him. Deborah (who is looking much better at this point, funny how that always happens on this show) tells Melinda that she had gone to the house to retrieve her forgotten phone. When she arrived, the safe was open and a note that turns out to be the missing page from “The Little Prince” was burning in the fireplace. Deborah panics and puts everything back in the safe, but as she turns to leave she trips and hits her head on the fireplace. Must have been quite a fall.

With this new information, Melinda confronts Kristy about what really happened. Kristy confesses that she and Tim were in the house the night her mother died, and that Kristy had turned off the alarm and opened the safe. Kristy finds the page from the book and thinks the note was a love note, but Tim recognizes it from his book and realizes that Deborah was his birth mother, though he doesn’t share this with Kristy. He throws the note in the fireplace. They hear Deborah come home and leave together – Kristy knows Tim didn’t hurt her mother because he was with her the whole evening. Melinda tells Kristy that her mother’s spirit is there and shares the information about Tim being her son. Kristy is a little gobsmacked to realize that the guy she’d been crushing on all this time is her brother. Yeah, that’s a little ew. Kristy’s father arrives and Melinda tells him about Tim. I’m amused that after four seasons of this, somehow everybody always believes Mel after only repeating a few words from the ghost. I’d be calling the men in the white coats, personally.

Anyway. Scene: night in park. Melinda sitting on a bench talking to Tim. Melinda asks him about the note he burned, and Deborah appears. Melinda tells Tim that Deborah is there and she wants to explain why she gave him up. He says he understands and that he had a good family and he was happy, and that all he wants is to make Deborah proud. She, of course, already is. Tim tells Melinda he knew what the note was, and that he’s sorry he burned it because he can’t remember what it said. Melinda repeats Deborah’s words for Tim, without paraphrasing, amazingly enough. That always drives my husband nuts when he watches with me. Deborah, assured that everyone will be all right, makes her peace and crosses over. And I sniffle and pretend this stuff doesn’t make me weepy.

Melinda arrives at home, and we see her calling Sam for what must be the umpteenth time to apologize for missing their date and asking if she can have a rain check. She sees the light on in the garage (Sam lives in the garage. Really). She goes to the door and asks him if he got her messages. He didn’t because he was ignoring them. Hee. He thinks her problem is that she’s not ready to date. She has mild panic over this and assures him that she is, but he is not shutting up about it. Finally, she grabs him and just kisses him – about time and a very good way to shut him up, I might add. They decide to go ahead with their date right now. Awwwww.

Next week: Sam is getting a little tired of all the excuses and wants to know what’s really up with Melinda. Will she tell him about her gift? Guess we have to watch to find out.

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