Since it happened last week, I’m not counting this as a spoiler: yes, Jim is indeed dead. He is no more! He has ceased to be! He’s expired… but not quite gone to meet his maker. Ah, yes, therein lies our episode of Ghost Whisperer tonight. For years, we’ve watched Melinda work to cross ghosts over. It’s her way in the world – find a ghost, cross it over. But what if the ghost is her soulmate, and he has no intention of going anywhere?
Jim is indeed dead. We open on him in the afterlife, greeting his big brother Dan, who tells him he’s been waiting for hours – or years, who knows – at the families’ favorite fishing hole. Dan wants to cross over with him to meet their father together, but Jim doesn’t want to follow him into the light. He only wants to see Melinda again, and he refuses to leave her. Behind the fishing dock is their living room…
Jim returns to their house, haunted by visions of he and Melinda at their wedding, his own death, and then ending with Melinda in their kitchen with Delia. Melinda says she hasn’t seen Jim for two days, even though Jim is right there. Another spirit appears, a young woman in a bathrobe, and Melinda isn’t able to see her either. The spirit throws an apple and disappears.
The next morning, Jim’s mom arrives at the house. Jim touches her face, and she breaks down in tears. The fishing hole appears again, out of nowhere, nice ghostly moving between time and space, very Beetlejuice, and Dan tells him again that it’s time for Jim to pass on. He also tells Jim that Melinda’s grief is so strong, it’s blocking her gift; the veil between her and the dead is strengthened by her personal emotion. Dan tells him that if he doesn’t cross over soon, there won’t be a choice, and that Dan won’t be able to wait much longer.
Back to Melinda, who is speaking out loud to Jim. Jim tries to answer, and give her a sign, but he’s unable to do anything. However, the other spirit is able. She begins to destroy all of the crystal in the china cabinet while Jim looks on. The spirit throws a fork, yelling "I would if I could," narrowly missing Melinda’s head. She mistakenly thinks it’s Jim, who desperately tries to get her to hear him.
The next day, at the funeral home, Jim watches his friends gather (and remarks "nice turnout".) Tim, Jim’s old friend, gets up to deliver the eulogy, and starts out by saying he was going to talk about the loss of Jim, but instead, all he can think of is what they all gained by having Jim in their lives. He then puts on "Good Lovin’" by The Young Rascals. No, seriously. And everyone gets up and dances. While it could have been a touching moment, they could have chosen a true "rockin’ song," a song from after Jim was born, but whatever. It’s touching. Yadda yadda.
During the ensuing dance party, Melinda finds a moment of joy, and then can see Jim.
That night, Melinda tells him that he has to cross over. Jim says that he doesn’t want to, and that he thinks it may be better if he stays. Melinda tells him that it’s part of her gift, to help him cross over, no matter what. He also tells her that she has another ghost haunting her. Later, Jim’s mom heads home, and she tells Melinda that she feels lighter, and happier, no matter how she should feel. Jim tells Melinda to say that he wants everyone to be happy, and with that, and a hug, she leaves. Jim then sees angry bathrobe spirit again, and jumping through space and time (cool spirit trick, that) follows her back to a room where she is yelling at an unknown man. He returns home to Melinda.
Melinda tells Jim again that he needs to cross over, that it’s not right. Jim tells her that being together in this new way has to be better than never seeing each other again – and Melinda says that while she’d like nothing more than to stay in the house with him forever, it’s not meant to be. It’s their "fork in the road" until they meet again. Jim refuses, saying that his road is with her, and he can’t let it go just because he’s dead. Melinda tells him she doesn’t want him coming around anymore, and that if he really does love her, he’d cross over, and save her the constant pain.
After leaving Jim, Melinda then sees the other spirit, who insists that she has to help "him" and then rips out a chunk of her own hair. Off duty from spirit-helping or not, that’ll get you noticed.
Jim then heads to Eli’s and has a little ghostly fun waking him up. Jim tells Eli that Melinda has all but thrown him out in order to get him to cross over, but he’s worried for her safety with the other ghost hanging around. He says that until she’s out of the picture, he isn’t crossing over. And all Eli needs to do is help Melinda out.
Eli tries to convince Melinda to understand Jim’s point of view, and he says he just wants to help her, and help the ghost too. Melinda then says that she can’t do it – she wants nothing to do with ghosts, period.
Meanwhile, back at the fishing hole, Dan tries yet again to get Jim to understand what’s happening, and he says he’s crossing over without him. Jim again refuses, even after seeing his father in the light. Dan, however, crosses over, leaving Jim in the lonely dark.
The bathrobe spirit isn’t leaving Melinda alone, and she’s becoming more insistent. Melinda, even through her own grief, asks her what has happened, and the spirit says that she hurt her stepdad, and that she, in some way, is the reason for Jim’s death. Melinda heads to Eli for help, and he breaks down the ghost’s appearance pointing to anorexia. While Eli tries to get information at the hospital, Jim appears and helps Eli with the spying. Handy ghosting again. When the nurse looks up recent deaths from anorexia, Jim reads the names, finding a Caitlin Mahoney. While he’s there, Jim watches a man die, and head into the light. He then touches the body briefly, and trembles when the hand briefly reanimates. Creepy.
At the same time, Eli and Melinda head to one of the addresses Jim got off the computer, and Melinda sees a man. Without us seeing him, Melinda approaches him and says "remember me?" That night, Melinda asks Jim to come back, and Melinda tells him all about Caitlin, and who her stepdad is. He’s one of Jim’s policeman friends, Carl Neely, the detective who shot Jim. He returned to work after Caitlin’s death to work through his own grief. In truth, he shouldn’t have been back on the job yet.
Melinda tells Carl that she doesn’t blame him for Jim’s death, and that Caitlin is watching him, and wants him to be ok. When Melinda tries to explain Caitlin’s point of view to Carl, she ends up telling Jim how their love was real, and that their kind of love never goes away, but just becomes stronger. Jim tells Carl that he doesn’t blame him either. Caitlin heads into the light, and before she goes, she tries to get Jim to go too. He tells her "not quite yet."
After Melinda leaves, Jim appears to her in her car as she’s stuck in traffic at the scene of an accident. She tells him he needs to do the right thing, and he replies, "I know." He looks out onto the accident and disappears. Melinda chases him into the people surrounding the accident, and after a spirit leaves one of the victims, Jim jumps into the body. Melinda yells "Jim, you’re back!" only to have The Body/Jim reply "do I know you?" Well, that’ll make things more difficult from this point on for the soulmates.
Thoughts and musings:
Well, I don’t really have any specific glib thoughts. I’m weirded out by this whole thing. The writers and producers swear up and down that David Conrad isn’t going anywhere, but this is what we get? The teaser implied that Melinda gets a second chance with The Body/Jim from this point on, but I can’t see that working out. Doesn’t that too go against Melinda’s nature? Is this how she’s going to have a baby, and if so, eww? I agree that this twist will indeed make for some meatier plot lines for David Conrad and Jennifer Love Hewitt, but I can’t help but think the shark is circling the waters for Ghost Whisperer. Le sigh.
Seriously. "Good Lovin’"?