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Throwback Thursday - Ghost Whisperer - Free Fall / The One - Review


Throwback Thursday, a weekly article in which we look back
at our favourite TV episodes from over the years.

Ghost Whisperer premiered on September 23, 2005 on CBS Fridays. Surprisingly, the show took Friday nights by storm, becoming a frequent achiever of high ratings, especially in the show's first four seasons. We'll skip the ugliness of its fall in its fifth and final season, but lesson here is, this show was a truly remarkable player. Not just that but it was an awesome, entertaining series. It followed CBS's usual formula of procedurals but added a supernatural twist.

Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as the sympathetic Melinda Gordon, the main character had a very unique ability - she could talk to the dead. Married to the incredible Jim Clancy, played by David Conrad, she went episode-by-episode meeting new and different ghosts, helping them with their unfinished business so they could move on into the light. But it wasn't that easy - there was always problems in doing so and the dead weren't so quick to move on.

Ghost Whisperer celebrates 10 years next month, and in celebration I thought I would start the celebrations early with this very unique Throwback Thursday. I'm also planning a 10-year anniversary article like I did for Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, so there's also that to look forward to. Back in its day, this was an amazing TV show and it is very much missed. I have chosen to focus on the 2-part season one finale - two of my favourite episodes of the show.


'FREE FALL' / 'THE ONE' REVIEW

"I can't shake this feeling of dread that something terrible is going to happen."

What I love about the season one finale of Ghost Whisperer is how the suspense is built throughout its 2-part episode. We have this build-up of tension throughout as we and Melinda realise that "something terrible is going to happen". We don't actually realise the epic scale of what is going to happen but it's fun figuring it out. There are omens and signs throughout the episode, such as the death of the dove at the beginning which symbolises the death of a loved one. It seems to be any normal day in Grandview but, as things turn out, it's far from normal. I have to mention how much I loved these characters - Melinda, Jim, Andrea - so the idea that any of them could die was very distressing to me. I was mortified by the end result, but fascinated and enthralled all the same.

So Melinda starts experiencing weird things - time freezing on Andrea's pocket watch, windows of the house freezing over, frozen ghosts on a bus - then she's visited by some spirits. An air hostess and a ghost pilot. They're dead... but the plane hasn't crashed yet. This impending calamity looms over Melinda's head and she doesn't know what to do. She has no way of stopping it - the plane is going to crash in Grandview. It's an exciting event and when the moment arrives - the plane zooming right over the town square where Melinda's shop is to crash very nearby - it's breathtaking. The ground shakes, windows smash, people scream... and we still have no idea of the real damage of this tragedy.

One of the best aspects of the show are the ghost stories. Meeting individuals that die in mysterious ways and have unfinished business is something still amiss in today's television. The story of a woman who died due to the plane crash - but was not on the plane - was a touching one. Her car was crushed under the plane as it touched down, but her daughter was still alive and in the wreckage of the car. We also have over 200 spirits vying for Melinda's attention. It's chaotic and a nightmare yet Melinda still manages to finally control the situation. She always delivers emotional performances and this was one of Jennifer Love Hewitt's best. Her speech to the grieving people of the dead had me in tears:

"I just wanted to tell you all how sorry I am. How sorry we all are here in Grandview. I also wanted to tell you, to make you understand if I can, that your loved ones, they feel you. They know that you're here. I've been to the crash site, and I felt their spirits there. And I can... I can feel them right now in this room. I feel their sadness. I feel their confusion. But the biggest thing that I feel is their love. For you. And if there is anything that they would want you to know, it's that they know how much you love them. That is so important for you to know. It's the only thing that matters."

Melinda still managed to get most of the ghosts to cross over into the light. One of the recurring villains of season one - the Wide Brim Hat Man - came to claim the souls of those that died, but Melinda fought tooth and nail to convince the spirits to cross over, not follow the Wide Brim Hat Man. Most listened, and watching them see the light and crossing over was fantastic. Melinda, Jim and some others could see the light too because so many wanted to cross at the same time, an experience that really touched on everyone. It would have been a great way to end the season - for Melinda to have succeeded in crossing most of the ghosts over, but the worst was yet to come.

In a very shocking twist, a twist that I think is unrivalled even today, it turned out that Melinda's best friend, Andrea Marino, had perished in the crash. She had been driving when the plane touched down and was crushed underneath it. I was devastated. I was shocked to my core due to this and I think this was the first television death revelation that actually shocked me. I mean, it was hard to notice she was dead when she appeared as normal, but then everything made sense - a man ignored her before because he couldn't see her, only Melinda could. She never touched anything, or made contact with anyone but Melinda. The Wide Brim Hat Man came at the end, just as we found out she was dead, to claim her.

"She's mine"



The cliffhanger was sensational and continued into the season two premiere to wrap up Andrea's storyline. I missed her so much for the rest of the show and I just couldn't get over it - I wish she had of returned for an episode or two, even in a flashback!

As far as season finales go, Ghost Whisperer knocked this one out of the park. It had such a high-stakes dilemma that soared the show to new heights, proving it could be exciting and emotional all at the same time. The actors delivered their best performances and the writing was just amazing. We have John Gray to thank for this wonderful show and for writing this wonderful episode.

I can't wait to talk more about the show in my 10-year anniversary article, coming next month on its anniversary date. This show meant a lot to me in its early days and I don't think a show has ever made me tear up so much during its entire run. Each ghostly case was emotional, making me feel for the people that died and Melinda who sympathised with every single one.

R.I.P. Ghost Whisperer. You are deeply missed. I hope you are not earthbound and that you have moved on into the light. It's weird to think five whole years have passed since this show ended.

What was your favourite episode of Ghost Whisperer? Let me know your thoughts on the show, and the featured episodes in the comments below!

CHECK OUT MY THROWBACK THURSDAYS

CHARMED - ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE

My first Throwback Thursday from October 2014. Check out the game-changing third season finale, All Hell Breaks Loose, that spelled the end of a Charmed One and seemingly destroyed the Charmed legacy forever. Rest in peace, Prue Halliwell. The power of three will set us free. Blessed be.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - THE BODY

Perhaps the most beautifully written episode of television ever, The Body is hailed as a classic and is among some of the cast and crew's favourite episodes of all-time. My second Throwback Thursday and it's an episode that requires us to get the tissues out.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES - DISASTER EPISODES

My third Throwback Thursday included all five disaster episodes on the show, including Bang, Something's Coming, City On Fire, Boom Crunch and Down the Block There's a Riot. Take a walk down Wisteria Lane as we reflect on those five infamous episodes.

THE SECRET CIRCLE - FAMILY

My fourth Throwback Thursday was of the much-missed show The Secret Circle. I covered the series finale of the show, 'Family', as well as taking a look back at the first season as a whole. This wasn't a perfect show in the least but it still holds a special place in the hearts of its many fans.

GHOST WHISPERER - FREE FALL / THE ONE

My fifth Throwback Thursday was of the CBS supernatural drama Ghost Whisperer, where Melinda Gordon can see and talk to ghosts. She helps them to cross over into the light, and in my featured episodes, she deals with the biggest calamity to happen in Grandview in the double-episode season one finale.

REVENGE - PILOT

My sixth Throwback Thursday was the ABC drama Revenge, where I take a look back at the episode that started it all - the Pilot. In it, we are welcomed to the Hamptons by the narrating Emily Thorne, who plots wicked schemes to bring down the sinners who wronged her father. The show premiered with this episode in 2011, and ended in 2015.

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, The Flash, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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