Rick tries to convince Melinda to hire Kiley, the daughter of his late mentor, to do her bookkeeping… and perhaps help her with the ghost that’s haunting her. When she meets Kiley, Melinda sees a dark man in an overcoat and hat following her, and agrees to take her on as an accountant, and to help her with the ghost.
Kiley shows up for work at the store only to be attacked by a swarm of flies, and she falls through the store’s glass front door. While rushing to help her, Melinda sees an antique doll nearby swivel its head, and whisper "finish it." When Jim comes to help, and get Kiley to talk about the weirdnesses that keep happening to her, she bolts, before Melinda can explain how she could help.
Earlier than most episodes, Melinda meets up with Kiley to explain that she can see ghosts, and that she’d like to be able to help her, if she could figure out what any of it meant. Kiley freaks out on her, and leaves. That night, as Melinda gets into bed, an expected visitor shows up with her in bed a la "The Grudge." She realizes that all the strange moments Kiley’s been experiencing are scenes from classic horror films.
Payne tries to talk some reason into Kiley, and find out if anyone close to her has died recently. She seems to accept that Melinda could help, but says no one has died. Payne finds a flier for "Scared Sane," touting itself as a new kind of horror film. With nothing else to go on, Melinda follows the flier’s directions to the film’s production studio, and finds herself trapped in a very spooky warehouse with the dark ghost man. He leads her on a chase through the warehouse, eventually winding up at an editing table, with various monitors all showing Melinda. At the table is a life-sized mannequin wearing the same hat and overcoat of the ghost.
Melinda takes the computer and the mannequin to Payne, and they find the obituary of the filmmaker, Toby Bates. They also find some audition scenes on the computer, one of which stars one of Kiley’s friends, Bruce. Payne talks with him, and finds out Bruce did take part in the films. Toby put people into the scariest scenes of the movies that disturbed them most, over and over, and filmed their terrifying experiences. Payne also finds out that Bruce brought Kiley along to the audition.
In the meantime, Melinda starts looking at Toby’s movies. The date stamps on the files are recent, as in a day before – Toby is still making the movies, from beyond the grave. That’s devotion to one’s craft. That evening, Melinda gets a personal appearance from Toby, after he scares her with a couple of horror movie moments. He tells Melinda that Kiley "knows" what she has to finish, and after that he will stop.
Payne and Melinda realize that Toby died while re-filming his version of The Exorcist, and in the audio during the scene, they hear Kiley’s voice. She’d been working with Toby. Kiley, meanwhile, is being tortured by Toby in her dorm room, reliving his death scene. Melinda shows up, and demands to know what really happened. Kiley apologizes for lying, and says she killed Toby. They’d worked on the films together, and had a close friendship. She was supposed to help him film the scene that night, but she’d lost her scholarship that day, and bailed on him, stating that she had to focus on her studies, and not film-making. He, in turn, filmed the priest scene from The Exorcist without her, tripped, and fell out the window to his death.
Melinda doesn’t think that Toby is haunting her because she killed him, but instead, to make her face her fears. Kiley tells her The Exorcist scares her because of her father’s death. Toby shows up to say that if Kiley has faced her fears, then he wants her to "finish it." He also psychoanalyzes Melinda’s fear of slasher films, saying that she has abandonment issues.
Kiley decides to go back to warehouse, and with the video camera, tapes herself living parts of The Exorcist. Payne and Melinda find her at the editing table, trying desperately to finish her own movie. They bring up the heavy breathing that follows her. They find out that Kiley wanted to tell her father of her desire to make movies instead of being a finance major, but that he died before she could. Payne assures her that her father would want her to do what made her happy, not follow in his economic footsteps. In turn, Kiley "finishes it" and Toby crosses over. In the end, Melinda has a startling memory come back to haunt her… maybe we’ll find out more about that later.
- I don’t care if it was Kiley or Kylie, or Kyleigh. It was nice hearing Rick Payne say my name over and over.
- I have to admit, I was waiting for Melinda to get the "Bates" reference and "The Exorcist" reference. She is an exorcist, truly, right? And Bates is the grandfather of all horror film names.
- Ok, I don’t like horror movies. I don’t watch them, and through the beauty of the DVR, I don’t even have to see their commercials. So while this episode was good and creepy, it wasn’t the kind of creepy I like from this show. Eeek. Can we get back to the Lurking Underneath storyline and not have anymore Grudge freak outs, please?
- Best Payne Line: "Sex, drugs, Guitar Hero." Do you think the best Rick lines are Jay Mohr improv? I do. They’re just too perfect.
What about you? Are you tired, as one reader commented last week, of the ghost-of-the-week storylines? Don’t mind them? Happy about another Payne-filled episode next week?