Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) has a gift - she can communicate with earthbound spirits or ghosts who cling to the living because they have unfinished business in our world preventing them from "crossing over" or going into the light. Inspired in part by the work of famed medium James Van Praagh and of Mary Ann Winkowski, a real-life communicator with earth bound spirits, GHOST WHISPERER explores the spiritual side of life and death. Melinda navigates between the dead and the living with her sometimes chilling, sometimes heart-rending and sometimes amusing actions as an intermediary between the ghosts and those they haunt. Although she is very good at being an intermediary she never publicizes this gift instead is known around town as a newlywed and the owner of the successful antiques store, Same As it Never Was.
Firefighter Jim Clancy (David Conrad), Melinda's husband, knows that being an intermediary between the living and dead can take an emotional toll on his wife and worries that he might not be able to protect her as well as he would like. Melinda has also recently revealed her gift to new friend and employee, Delia Banks (Camryn Manheim), a single mom of teenager Ned Banks (Christoph Sanders). Melinda fears what the consequences might be of drawing Delia into this unconventional world, as Delia, unlike her son Ned, is a bit skeptical of Melinda's gift - although she loves Melinda unconditionally as a friend. Melinda has also shared her secret with Eli James (Jamie Kennedy), a psychology professor at Rockland University, who is a unique individual - he has the gift of hearing ghosts, but not seeing them. For her part, Melinda accepts her unique abilities as a blessing and sometime curse, but always helps her clients, alive or dead, find emotional closure. Currently in its fourth season, Ghost Whisperer plunges into new territory by literally rocking the foundations of the series with a new mythology - Love Transcends Death.
Ghost Whisperer: The Final Season--or, The Mystery of the Haunted Hospital! The fifth and final season of Jennifer Love Hewitt's cult show leaps five years into the future, where her son Aiden (Connor Gibbs) is already conversing with ghosts and her husband Jim (David Conrad) has become a doctor. This latter development gives Melinda plenty of reasons to hang out at Rockland Hospital, which oozes with ghosts and becomes the central battleground for a new layer of Ghost Whisperer's mythology: just as Melinda can see ghosts that most people can't, Aiden can see supernatural beings called "shinies" and "shadows" that even ghosts can't see. The malevolent desires of the shadows drive much of the action over the season's 22 episodes.
Plenty of episodes aren't centered on the hospital: a paranoid entrepreneur whose security system detects a ghost; marital strife between two real estate agents that continues after death; a clairvoyant comic-book artist; a ghost/clown/detective; and family secrets that threaten to ruin a romance between Melinda's friend Eli (Jamie Kennedy) and a childhood sweetheart. But the hospital proves an effective theater for creepy doings because, let's face it, hospitals--with their sterile environments and bloody surgeries, rife with life-and-death stakes and basic human vulnerability--are creepy. Though the conflict between shinies and shadows resolves fairly flimsily in the final episode, the show does an excellent job of building it up over the course of the season--as is so often the case, clues and hints are much more tantalizing than discovering what actually lies underneath it all. The extra features of Ghost Whisperer: The Final Season are middling--the featurettes and webisodes are a step up from the previous season, but the interactive games are still dopey. But the season itself is strong and sure to satisfy the series' fans. --Bret Fetzer