Ghost Whisperer Episode Recap: “Ball & Chain”

Ratings: 10. 3 Million, #1 in time slot

Ghost Whisperer: Melinda thwarts a kidnapping psychopath

Jenniferlovehewitt_ghostwhisperer_2 Previously on Ghost Whisperer, Jim jumped into the body of an accident victim named Sam and doesn’t remember who Melinda is. The newest kink in the works it that Sam bought an engagement ring for someone before he was in the accident.

We open with Jim leaving the house and not telling Melinda where he’s going. At the Farmer’s Market, Melinda freaks out to Delia about Jim’s dodgy activity. Rena Sofer suddenly shows up, a ghost who doesn’t seem to know she’s dead. I’ve enjoyed Rena Sofer since Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style. Rena is Tammy Gardner and when Melinda goes to the Gardners’ house, Tammy’s ex-husband Roger is remarried and says he hasn’t heard from Tammy for two years. He happens to be played by George Newbern, who I’ve crushed on since Adventures in Babysitting. I love guest stars like this!

That night, Roger comes to see Melinda and says that his wife disappearing was a pattern throughout their relationship. If she started feeling confined, she’d run away and then come back, looking disheveled. He’s pretty sure she was bipolar. Melinda hasn’t told him that Tammy is dead yet.

Melinda and Eli posit that her bipolar disorder is keeping her from realizing that she’s dead. Meanwhile, Tammy gets ignored at the dry cleaner’s and starts spinning the machines out of control. Melinda tells her to stop taking care of her husband and Tammy insists that Roger needs her. Melinda finally has to tell her that she died and Tammy starts to remember the park where she disappeared. Eli investigates the park and finds Tammy’s car there, with a hose running from the exhaust pipe into the car. Tammy’s skeleton is still inside. Gruesome.

Eli and Melinda posit that maybe she was drawn to that park because of an affair she was having. Melinda calls Roger to see if they can meet up. Tammy is at Melinda’s, worrying about how wrong Roger’s new wife is. She was just trying to make Roger happy and worried about her kids. Melinda tells her maybe she just needs to say goodbye to her children. Tammy then insists she must get home and disappears. Out the window, Melinda spies Jim packing a bag in his apartment.

Melinda geeks out on him about leaving for a trip, but he says he’s just doing laundry. She tells him to use her washer and dryer. The next day, she heads to Roger’s house, while telling Delia on the phone that she was a total lunatic the night before.

Melinda asks some neighborhood girls about the Gardners’ kids and the kids say there have never been any kids at that house. Melinda calls Eli and they wonder if Tammy had another family. Eli is at the police station and is all nervous about being questioned regarding the car with the skeleton in it. Jamie Kennedy does nervous very cutely.

The detective isn’t arresting him, just wants to talk. They think it’s suicide and the dental records confirm it’s Tammy Gardner. There are no records of kids, but Sarah Evers had two children and the dental records matched her too. The first husband reported Sarah missing six years ago. Eli gets the Evers’ address.

Melinda speaks with Mr. Evers and he confesses he thought she was having an affair. He hasn’t had the heart to tell his kids that their mother abandoned them. Tammy appears and has a flashback to leaving her family with Roger Gardner.

Delia comes to see Jim, who is busy working in his building. He finds it so weird that he found the engagement ring and that he doesn’t want to find her because it would be so awful for her that he doesn’t remember. He also figures that if this woman was the love of his life, why didn’t she find him after the accident?

Melinda finds Roger cleaning out the garage and tells him about Tammy’s ghost. Roger tells Melinda that Thomas Evers was pretty awful, according to Tammy, but that he doesn’t know anymore because Tammy subsequently left him too. Tammy appears and Melinda notices ligature marks on her wrists. Tammy can’t remember what they are from. Melinda wonders if Elizabeth, the new wife, would have any information.

Melinda approaches Elizabeth at the market and fills Elizabeth in on Tammy’s death. Elizabeth reacts suspiciously and it’s hard to tell if Elizabeth is being abused by Roger like Tammy was or if Elizabeth killed Tammy because she wanted Roger for herself. Maybe I watch too many cop procedurals because it’s probably the “abused wife” thing and not the “murderous mistress” thing. Hahaha. Elizabeth runs off for home.

Tammy starts to remember being kept in a trunk with her wrists bound and there’s a creepy-ass shot of Roger opening the trunk to check on her. Tammy says that’s where Roger kept her after he kidnapped her. She barely knew Roger, he was the electrician on their house. He tried to make the neighbors suspect something so that his tracks would be covered when he took her. She lost track of the days when she was in the trunk, until one day he finally let her out and was kind and caring. Very Stockholm Syndrome of him, which Melinda calls it about 30 seconds after I typed that.

Melinda offers that her only escape was to kill herself, but she says no. She came home late from the market and Roger tells her not to lie to him. He fixes dinner and then she falls asleep. Roger obviously drugged her food. He puts her in the car and drives to the park. Tammy tells Melinda that Roger always said, “I decide when you leave.” Ohh, creepy.

Melinda calls Eli and he says it’s exactly Stockholm Syndrome. Mel tells Eli to get the detective to investigate missing women matching Elizabeth’s description and Melinda heads for the Gardners’ house. Melinda and Tammy find Elizabeth locked in the same trunk and Melinda busts her out. Roger sneaks up on Melinda with the fireplace poker and smacks her with it.

A chase ensues and Elizabeth bug bombs Roger and then whacks him a few times with a fireplace poker. She wants to kill him and Melinda convinces her not to because the police are on their way. That night, Elizabeth is reunited with her husband and baby girl. Tammy doesn’t want to say goodbye to her original family because she knows they think she abandoned them, but Melinda shows her that she still kept her son’s soccer clippings in her wallet, even after she was kidnapped. That’s the reason she was late the day she was killed because she stared at the newspaper picture for hours at the market.

Melinda tells Thomas Evers how much Sarah wanted to do with him and mentions the houseboat on the lake they were going to name “Two Old Coots” and he finally starts to believe that Melinda can see Sarah. Sarah wants Thomas to move on and be free like she is now.  She just wants Thomas to tell her kids what Roger did to her so they don’t think she abandoned them. Sarah goes into the light.

The next day, Melinda and Jim hang out in the front yard. He gazes at the ring and says he can’t keep carrying it around. She wonders what happens if he finds his woudl-be fiance and he responds, “I don’t know.”

Such tension. They really found an interesting way to revamp the Melinda/Jim relationship.

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