Recently back from the dead, we find Melinda Gordon in the premiere of the third season seeing the earth move, and doors appear in the middle of the street, all while trying to sort out who the mystery man was during her near-death experience. Believing it to be her father, Tom Gordon, who left when she was 11, Melinda begins to sort out her past, her memories of her father, and her difficult tension-filled relationship with her mother.

But Melinda’s got to make a living since the dead don’t pay well. A trunk of antiques is brought in by Jennifer, a young woman with little recollection of her parents, who both died when she was a child. While moving the trunk to the basement, Melinda has a vision of a door, with a grate of bars in it. She also keeps seeing the ground move in waves, or hands appear as though they’re pushing up from beneath.

But the mystery man continues to pop up – a man’s face appears on x-rays taken to double check Melinda’s injuries, and a blurry apparition appears in some of photos taken when she receives a plaque from Grandview, thanking her for saving lives during the memorial dedication. The photos were taken by a new character, Justin Yates, a blogger who writes "And Shame the Devil." Careful fans will know there’s more to that name than just the Shakespearian reference.

Melinda visits her mother, to try and get more information about her father, and his whereabouts. Dear ole Mom isn’t exactly helpful, or even motherly. Melinda, usually at her best when she is probing for information, doesn’t get the answers she needs.

After a terrifying encounter where she realizes that it’s a spirit moving the earth, and a brief discussion with Jennifer, the trunk’s owner, Melinda learns of a huge gas explosion that occurred in Grandview in 1982. This moment is the turning point of the episode, and one of the best parts of this show – the interweaving of smaller stories into larger, over-reaching plotlines, giving us glimpses of the bigger picture while Melinda deals with the day-to-day ghosts.

Melinda goes researching for information about the 1982 explosion, and is told by an ominous spirit that she is in "so over [her] head." Then in a vision where she speaks to her father, she gets one hint from him, "H-15." Returning to the library, she is accosted again by the spirits, but then discovers a newspaper about the gas explosion with her mother’s photo on it. With one part of the mystery, she confronts her mother, who tells her she used to live in Grandview as well and that the angry underground spirit is confusing Melinda with her. Not as careful or able to deal with the ability to see spirits, she was inadvertently the reason for his wife’s death.

Of course, Melinda helps the angry ghost connect with his daughter before he crosses over. (But there’s still the other earthbound spirit, and from the teaser, he’ll be back.)

We are left with Melinda’s mother telling her she has to leave Grandview, and when Melinda refuses, her mother turns her back on her. Yet another tortured soul Melinda will have to deal with.

The Best:

  • Fine, take Julian Sands! I’ll take Martin Donovan as Tom Gordon any day!  And I don’t think he’s dead… there’s something bigger there.

The Good:

  • I like that we’re left with very little new information about the mystery man… it’s a long season. The ominous spirit will have more information about that. And more than dealing with whether or not her father is dead, Melinda is going to have to come with some resolution with her mother. There’s a good back story there.
  • I’m really hoping that the writers are setting up some kind of moment with Rick. That would be fun. I like Jim, but yawn.
  • Since we saw Justin Yates AKA "And Shame the Devil," steal the images off of Professor Payne’s computer, he’ll be back. And he was interesting. I’ve got a hunch about who he might be…

The Bad:

  • Hey, where did Romano go?
  • And where did the kids go? Are they freed from their visions now? That could have been better resolved. Except for a brief mention of not being able to thank them enough, they’re written off.
Posted by:Kiley Thompson