Ghost Whisperer kicks off tonight as Matt, a firefighter friend of Jim’s, returns from two tours in Iraq as a war hero — but he also brings home ghosts from the war. Literally. But interestingly enough, he, too, can hear and feel their presence. Melinda, however, can’t make them realize that she’s there. Very weird for Melinda, who is usually beating the ghosts off with a stick.
Even though Matt is constantly haunted by the death of his men, he can’t remember the details of what actually happened during the firefight. The vision of the event haunts him as an "imprint haunting" — ghosts that do the same thing over and over, with no clarity or ability to stop, and he, and Melinda, are only able to watch the scene as if it were a movie in 3-D, playing out around them. Melinda believes that he’s so bonded to his men that every time he tries to remember the situation, they appear. But Dr. Payne says that if they were angry at Matt, perhaps they are haunting him for that specific reason.
Richard, the father of one of Matt’s men, Hector, shows Melinda a video on the Internet of Matt driving away from the firefight, supposedly leaving his men behind to die, and is determined to let the public know the truth about Matt.
Unable to accept that Matt would abandon his men, Melinda shows him the video to jog his memory. As it grows stronger, Melinda is able to talk with the ghosts at last. Hector is able to remember, even as an imprint ghost, that something Matt gave him needs to be found. Until it is, Matt’s pain will only continue, and probably drive him crazy.
Hector leads Melinda and Richard to his personal items, and Melinda finds the item in question — a small braid of reeds that would have been a make-shift engagement ring for his girlfriend, for Hector to give to her when he returned — but he didn’t. Matt believed that he was going to be a decoy, drawing the attention away from his men. Instead, he escaped, and his men died. After making peace with his men, and what really happened during that firefight, they’re able to cross over.
In truth, this episode wasn’t political. It was about war, and no matter what your politics, war is a separate issue. All of our veterans will bring back their own ghosts, and like every war’s aftermath, we will deal as a society with the repercussions of their experiences. No one comes back from war unchanged. No matter how you feel about the war, this episode deals with some heavy issues.
It’s an interesting thought that post traumatic stress disorder could be hauntings. But unlike the show, there aren’t Melindas running around to check.
– Anyone recognize Michael DeLorenzo from Fame? He was also in the video for "Beat It." And he was playing the dad. That moment is not lost on me.
– The show continues to use the Internet as a source, a tool to move the storyline, and it was convenient for this episode. I hope it doesn’t continue to be used so conveniently to fill plotlines.
– OK, we’ve now had two episodes not dealing specifically with the major plotlines, and this episode didn’t even cameo creepy archive ghost. Next week didn’t look like it will either. Are the writers just needing a break? Please don’t leave us hanging!