Last week, Melinda told Sam to take all the time he needs. This week we see her explaining to Sam, in greater detail, about what she does and how she does it. Sam sees her talking to thin air, and you can tell he still has doubts about this whole talking to spirits thing. But he’s trying to accept what Melinda does, even as she tells him that it’s more than just what she does, it’s who she is, and that it’s her job to help them.
Sam invites Melinda to come with him while he’s running some errands (Sam Sighting in the rear view mirror – drink!). They stop at a school building where Sam is doing some renovation, and on the playground Melinda sees three ghosts among the children. She asks Sam about the history of the building, and Sam says it used to be some sort of clinic. The ghosts are acting strangely, not that I know what normal ghost behavior looks like. But there’s definitely something “off” with these three.
Melinda and Sam go to the antiques shop, where Delia and Ned join them in looking for information about the school building. Turns out it used to be a mental hospital, which isn’t much of a surprise. While researching, Sam talks to Delia about learning of Melinda’s gift and how Delia came to believe in it. Melinda says she needs to go talk to the ghosts at the school, because she’s afraid they might hurt the children. At the school, Mel sees a group of children with one of the ghosts, and the children are singing “Alouette”. Mel wonders if the ghost might have taught the song to the kids.
Melinda and Sam pay a visit to Eli, thinking that as a psychiatrist he may be able to offer them some insight about dealing with the ghosts of mental patients. As convenience (and plot device) would have it, the mental hospital just happened to donate all their files to the college where Eli teaches. In the files, they find a therapy journal belonging to Greer, who is the ghost seen with the singing children. Greer’s file indicates that she had postpartum psychosis and tried to kill her baby. Before she was, you know, a ghost.
Back at the school, there’s a classroom full of children. A boy is writing on a dry erase board “I’ll be quiet when I’m dead”. His teacher freaks out and goes to get the school administrator, who says she didn’t even know the boy could write. Yeah, it does seem weird (and wtf), which was sort of the whole point. When they return to the classroom, all the kids are gone and the room is empty. And we start to wonder if maybe there was something to Melinda’s fear that the ghosts might hurt the children, since one of them seemed to have it in for her own baby.
Melinda and Sam go to the school, where a cop friend of Melinda’s tells her that an entire kindergarten class is missing – I swear, people in this town will tell anybody anything. Melinda overhears a radio call that the kids have been found at the park, but nobody has any idea how they got there. When Mel arrives at the park, Greer is there with the kids. Melinda tries to ask her what happened, but Greer will only say that they need to be quiet, and that they mustn’t come back to the school.
Melinda and Sam go back to Eli’s (and we get Sam Sighting number two, bonus drink!) to try to figure out what happened. Eli wonders if the boy writing on the board may have been channeling a spirit rather than a ghost doing the writing – Melinda informs us that this is called automatic writing. Sam thinks it sounds like a bunch of crap. I’m kind of going with Sam on this one. Melinda wonders if the kids used the tunnels when they left the school, and Sam wonders what the hell she is talking about, so Mel and Eli have to explain to Sam about the tunnels under Grandview and how nobody but Mel has ever been down there. Eli says he is not going down there now, no way, no how, so Sam ends up going with Melinda.
And back we go to the school, where Melinda and Sam look for an entrance to the tunnels. They find a door hidden behind a wall panel in an old closet, and go down into a basement. The door promptly slams shut behind them, which freaks Sam right out. They wander through the basement and come to a locked door. When Melinda touches it, she gets a vision of patients being tormented with electroshock therapy. There’s a man standing beside Greer, who is strapped to a table, and we find out he’s Dr. Byrd. Something tells me he’s more Dr. Crazypants than Dr. Feelgood. Melinda sees Greer softly singing “Alouette” to calm herself. Just before they turn on the juice, she looks at Dr. Byrd and mumbles “I can see you”. (Um, OK. And?) He’s standing by declaring she needs more. Apparently not, because bzzzzzt and then no more Greer (well, alive, anyway). And then Melinda passes out, and Sam freaks out. Again.
Later, Melinda is at home on the couch, complete with fuzzy slippers, when Sam calls and asks if he can see her. Guess he thinks Mel doesn’t appreciate his freak-out. What about the rest of us, Sam? Geesh. Anyway, it turns out he’s calling from the porch, and Mel invites him in while hastily kicking off her slippers. Heh. Sam asks about the visions she gets, and she tells him not to worry about her. She invites him to stay and help her do research, and he does. They discover that Greer’s husband died a few years before, but that her son, Douglas, is still alive. Mel is all wait, what? So she had more than one son? But no, just the one, it turns out. The same baby she was committed to the institution for trying to kill. Bzuh?
Eli goes to see Douglas to ask him some questions. For being just a baby when his mother was committed, he seems to have a lot of information. Just go with it, or the exposition fairy will come bonk us over the head even harder. Anyway, Douglas says that Greer didn’t belong in the institution, but she had asked to be taken away from home because she had thoughts of hurting the baby. Eli asks if Douglas ever heard of Dr. Byrd, because there’s no mention of him in Greer’s file or the hospital records from that time period. Douglas says he never heard of Dr. Byrd, and finds that odd because his father ranted about everybody else in the place. Eli mentions that shock therapy suppresses rational thought (DUN!).
Eli and Delia are going through hospital records, trying to find any mention of Dr. Byrd at all, and coming up empty. Finally, they dig a little more and find that Dr. Byrd was on staff at the hospital in 1922. They tell Melinda, and between the three of them they have enough brain power to figure out that Dr. Byrd was not a delusion, but a ghost, and that Greer could see him because of the shock treatments.
Melinda and Sam go back to the school to find Greer. Greer appears and tells Melinda that they have to be quiet so Dr. Byrd doesn’t find them. That’s why she taught the children the song, to warn her when he was near. Dr. Byrd convinced Greer that she hurt her son, and Melinda has to convince her that she didn’t and that Douglas is alive. Mel asks if Greer is ready to cross over, but Greer says she can’t leave the children and her “friends”, who are the other ghosts Melinda saw on the playground. Mel asks Greer to take her to them, and Greer leads them to the old treatment room in the basement. Sam wants no part of this. He reeeeally wants not to go down there. Melinda tells him he has to keep trying to remember. He doesn’t get it, and it does seem really out of the blue. So he asks Mel what she’s talking about, and she finally breaks down and tells him he’s Jim. She says all his memories and connections have to mean something, but he refuses to believe it. In fact he thinks Mel is the one who is delusional (in an old mental hospital, hee, subtle). He won’t listen to any more and leaves. So much for that idea – and for helping the ghosts, huh, Mel?
Melinda tells Eli about what she told Sam, and she asks for his help. They go to the basement of her shop, where there’s a boarded-up entrance to the tunnels. Melinda goes all badass and freaks Eli out a little when she’s tearing the boards down, it’s actually pretty funny. Eli still doesn’t want to go down there, but in the end they do. And then we get some more funny with Eli hearing ghosts he can’t see and doing some flashlight-fu jazz hands. He’s still no Payne, but I like it when they give him a little humor rather than playing the straight man all the time. Anyway, after wandering through the tunnels for a bit, Greer finally appears and helps guide them to the entrance to the basement under the old hospital. They find the treatment room and the other two ghosts are there. Melinda asks for Greer’s help to talk to them, because apparently it’s hard to have a rational conversation with the ghosts of crazy people. Melinda is trying to tell them about the light and why they don’t have to be afraid of it when Byrd appears. Melinda tells him he needs to help her but he’s not interested, he’d rather hold on to the spirits for his own amusement. See? He is Crazypants. He tells the other ghosts that the light will hurt them. Melinda tries to convince them that he’s lying and that they will find peace and forgiveness, but they’re still not buying it until Greer chimes in to tell them it’s all right and that the light won’t judge them. They cross over, but Greer isn’t quite ready to go. There’s something she needs to do first. And Dr. Crazypants says he isn’t going anywhere and disappears. Uh-oh, this can’t be good.
In the park, Melinda is with Douglas and Greer. Greer says she feels good knowing that Douglas is OK. Douglas says he never blamed her for what happened (they never do, you notice that?). She tells him to take care of his children and crosses over.
Melinda goes home, and Sam is there. Awk-ward. He still doesn’t believe Melinda, and thinks she was manipulating his memories when he was unconscious, the same way Byrd tried to do with the mental patients. Ouch! He thinks she couldn’t stand losing Jim and would do anything, and that she needs to get help. Ouch again. She tells him that he’s the one who needs help, and that she really tried but just can’t do this any more. And the last straw, she tells him to get his things and leave. We can see him hesitate, but Melinda walks away from him and goes into the house. After she closes the door, she collapses against the wall sobbing.
Next week: guess who’s hanging out across the street, watching Sam load his things in his truck? We haven’t seen the end of Dr. Crazypants, obviously.