Hi there. I’m afraid Kiley is spending a few days exploring subterranean churches under the city and I, her evil half twin, will be taking over posting duties. I have to say, Kiley’s not missing much — no advancement of the major mysteries, precious little Jim and Delia, and no serious creep factor. However, Orlando Jones is charming, he and Jennifer Love Hewitt spar nicely, and in the end, everyone learns something. It’s like Ghost Whisperer: The After-School Special.

My spirit guides warn me of spoilers.

Orlando is Casey Edgars, a celebrity psychic who is in town to promote his latest tome and consult on a missing-girl case. Delia is initially impressed by his mad psychic skills, but Melinda introduces her to the concept of cold readings and bugging the audience to get details he can use in his performance. Melinda is a bit too distracted to be outraged by Casey’s duplicity — Casey may be a fake psychic, but he’s got a real ghost trailing him, and said ghost makes Melinda very woozy.

At Delia’s urging, Melinda visits the Drake family who have called Casey in to help them find  Sydney, a girl who’s been missing for weeks. Mom is convinced Sydney is alive, and won’t hear any different. Sister Nikki thinks she’s dead. She also thinks Mom always loved Sydney best, and mom wishes Nikki was dead instead. This family has some issues.

Melinda gets haunted by the woose-making ghost a few more times, and picks up some details — red sweatshirt, hiking boots — and finally gets a message: "Make him tell the truth!" So she confronts Casey, who is not at all pleased to see her, and condescends like his life depended on it. He still uses the description Melinda gave him at a séance to find Sydney. But the identity of the ghost is finally revealed — it’s Sydney, inexplicably wearing men’s clothing, handcuffs dangling from her wrist. She’s pissed off. Tell them I dead! Protect her!

Melinda needs to help the ghost cross over, but she’ll need help — and that help comes in the form of Casey. They both hate the idea. But Casey can read people — he’s a great profiler, and he’s got the trust of the family — while Melinda can actually see the ghost so it looks like together, they fight crime! She spills about the clothing, Sydney being drugged, and the handcuffs. From those details Casey assumes this was an amateur job — handcuffs are such overkill! Anything else. Yeah, I’m being menaced by frog sounds, Melinda confesses, and it’s not the melodious sound of "It’s Not Easy Being Green". Casey gets Melinda to remember the last time she heard frogs like that was when she went camping. They check out the area, and bingo, there’s Sydney’s body. (It’s in remarkably good shape, too, considering she’s been dead for a couple of weeks. I’ve been watching too many forensics shows — I was expecting bugs and other signs of predation.)

But the story’s not over! Melinda has a vision of herself handcuffed to a bed, menaced by a red-hooded figure — who turns out to be Jim. Aha! She drags Casey back to the mountains, find the cabin where Sydney was held (and the police missed it…how?) and gets another vision hit, identifying Brandon, who was with the family, as the killer. But he didn’t work alone.

Melinda confronts Nikki — she did it! She and Brandon killed Sydney! You know nothing, Nikki says, and storms off. After some back and forth, Melinda gets Nikki to tell what really happened — Sydney was addicted to pills. Nikki knew Brandon had broken a similar addiction by getting friends to take him to a secluded cabin, handcuff him to a bed and let him sweat it out, cold turkey. They decided to do the same with Sydney. What, they’ve never heard of the countless rehab clinics Lindsay, Britney et al have gone to? Although, considering the results, maybe the cabin thing isn’t such a bad idea.

It doesn’t work that well for Sydney, alas — she escapes and runs, falling in the woods and dying. Nikki is convinced her mom will hate her forever — has she mentioned Sydney was Mom’s favorite — so she didn’t say anything. But now, through the healing power of Melinda, she confesses. Sydney shares her words from the beyond — not your fault, Nikki; Mom, love Nikki now; Nikki, it sucked to be you, and sorry about that — and Casey wraps it up with a bunch of stirring platitudes that the family needs to hear.

In the end, the two adversaries realize they each have something to contribute; Casey admits he’s a fraud to Melinda, but it looks like he’ll go on bilking the public; and all is well in Grandview. Until next week, which looks like it involves axes and angry ghosts and Jay Mohr. Aieeeee!

Good stuff: 

  • When Melinda admits she has no idea what goes on in the afterlife, Casey advises her "tell people ghosts reside on nine planes of existence — it sounds smarter." Thanks.
  • Melinda and Casey did have a good adversarial relationship, snarking on each other, trying to cut each other down. I loved the tone in Melinda’s voice when she asked Casey if his "little spirit friends" revealed that she was happily married. Casey’s straight-faced response? " No, your wedding ring."
  • A sample quote: Casey: "You don’t like me, do you?" Melinda: "Not much." Casey: "Why not? I’m so likeable." Hee!
  • It must be noted that Melinda has some killer red patent leather high heels. Seriously — gorgeous.
  • The dueling accusations of scamming were pretty delicious. It was like a psychic update of "He who smelt it, dealt it.."

Not-so-good stuff:

  • We’re supposed to believe skeptic Delia didn’t know about cold readings?
  • The "mommy always loved you best!" plotline seemed a bit troweled on to me. Are things always this heavy-handed?
Posted by:Sarah Jersild