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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ghost Whisperer: The Third Season
Ghost Whisperer: The Third Season
Paramount // Unrated // September 2, 2008
List Price: $63.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted October 10, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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The Third Season

CBS's drama Ghost Whisperer, which first aired in 2005, stars Jennifer Love Hewitt in a television series inspired by real-life medium James Van Praagh and paranormal investigator Mary Ann Winkowski. The show is about a woman who has had a special gift since she was a young girl. Her gift is the ability to communicate with earthbound spirits, or ghosts, that for one reason or another have been unable to crossover into the afterlife. For more details about the series, refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one and season two.

After a pretty intense second season, Ghost Whisperer kicks it up a notch with some new and exciting developments. In season two, the series went beyond its first season to include a bigger focus on the darker aspects. This development included some interesting background information to Melinda's lineage. In season three, it goes even further. The feel-good approach from season one is (almost) completely replaced with more mysterious, gloomier stories.

The season begins with the episode "The Underneath", which provides details about Melinda's lineage and special gift. A ghost comes to Melinda and blames her for the death of his wife. Melinda has problems understanding the situation. As she tries to figure it out, she learns the truth about her mother's involvement. She also becomes determined to find out the truth about her father and Gabriel.

In "Weight Of What Was", Melinda and her past continue to be a pivotal development. Gabriel approaches her as a "friend" and reveals his close connection to her. Of course, Melinda and Jim are reluctant to believe him -- due to him being a bad guy and all. He gave her some files that led her to the ghost of Tessa. Tessa was killed over one hundred years ago. Melinda investigates her death and learns about the 'underworld'. Underneath the streets of Grandview lies a city that was covered up after the events leading to Tessa's death. Melinda also uncovers of a powerful, evil force that is keeping dead souls from crossing over. This development becomes a critical piece of interest for the remaining episodes.

As the season continues, Melinda meets new ghosts, many of whom are confused about the afterlife. She learns about a dark force that is manipulating the deceased and preventing them from crossing over. She works with Payne and others close to her to help the spirits cross over. One good episode is "All Ghosts Lead To Grandview". Melinda and Jim meet a young runaway named Becca. She has talents like Melinda, but does not understand them. Melinda helps her cross over the ghost of a very confused teenager, Daniel. Daniel's only guide in the afterlife has been a dark force. He is reluctant to go to the white light. This storyline is pretty interesting, as it helps show a world beyond Melinda's and offers clues into something even bigger.

Overall, The Ghost Whisperer's third season is exciting. Like the past seasons, it has engaging content with a lot of mystery. While the first season had a feel-good nature to it, the series has developed a darker, mysterious angle, which works very well. It has the ability to get horror-like, yet end with a positive note. This season, in particular, goes beyond season one and two by including a lot more complex and mysterious ghosts/cross overs. In addition, the developments relating to the big picture are pretty intense.

Episode Guide

1. The Underneath: A vision of her long-lost father gives Melinda a peek into Grandview's haunted underworld. Meanwhile, her mother's past actions may have provoked a ghost.
2. Don't Try This At Home: The legend of Bloody Mary surface sin Grandview when two college girls at Professor Payne's campus are found in a state of shock.
3. Haunted Hero: Jim's soldier buddy comes home after two tours in Iraq, but brings with him the ghosts of his men who were killed while under his command.
4. No Safe Place: Jim and Melinda meet a lawyer who claims he was stalked by an office intern. But when Melinda meets the intern's ghost, she discovers it was the other way around.
5. Weight Of What Was: Melinda is convinced that Gabriel is her half-brother, and meets a new ghost who could be his mother. Later, she learns more about the haunted underground city.
6. Double Exposure: Rick Payne's pretty associate at school is an expert on photography, but her image is disappearing from photos. Meanwhile, Jim considers medical school.
7. Unhappy Medium: There's another psychic in town, a well-known author full of parlor tricks. But when a young socialite goes missing, he teams up with Melinda to find her.
8. Bad Blood: Delia sells a house to a father and daughter who harbor a dark secret, and who are haunted by a pair of mischievous ghosts who won't cross over.
9. All Ghosts Lead To Grandview: While camping, Jim and Melinda encounter a young girl living in the woods. After they bring her home, Melinda discovers she can also see ghosts.
10. Holiday Spirit: A ghost who haunts a family thinks he is Santa Claus, and keeps Melinda from her family and friends during the Christmas holiday.
11. Slam: Delia brings Melinda to her son Ned's basketball game, where they witness a ghost haunting the school and learn of a website where kids post cruel messages.
12. First Do No Harm: At first, Melinda believes that Jim is being haunted by the victim of a gas explosion. But later she learns it is really a doctor the ghost is after.
13. Home But Not Alone: Delia becomes anxious when it looks like Ned has a girlfriend. And it doesn't help that the girl and her siblings are being haunted by their dead father.
14. The Gravesitter: After her shop is sprayed with graffiti, Melinda accuses the town blogger of trying to expose her. But then she realizes that he is the one keeping secrets.
15. Horror Show: Rick tries to help his mentor's daughter, who is being haunted by the ghost of a film director who scares her with scenes from classic horror films.
16. Deadbeat Dads: When it appears that Rick may have fathered a son with an old girlfriend, his ex-wife's ghost has a fit. Meanwhile, Jim pressures Melinda to have a baby.
17. Stranglehold: The search for her presumed-dead father leads Melinda to one of his old court cases. Later, her dad mysteriously shows up in Grandview, very much alive.
18. Pater Familias: Melinda finally learns the truth from her father about his disappearance. But then her mother reveals her side of the story, divulging a shocking secret.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in an anamorphic 1.85:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are moments when the picture suffers noticeable compression artifacts. Overall, the picture is relatively clean and should look good on big screen televisions.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround. There is also an English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo track. In general, the sound quality is very good and it provides an audible and clean track. The dialogue is usually a little flat while music and sound effects come off rich and vibrant. Additionally the 5.1 track is somewhat dynamic and occasionally uses the surround sound capability with music and ambient sound effects.

There are no subtitles included, but the release has support for closed captioning.

Extras:

  • Audio Commentaries: are included for episodes "The Underneath" with John Gray & James Chressanthis, "Weight of What Was" with PK Simonds,
  • Animated Short (2:05): is a short story about Melinda, Jim, and what happens between seasons 2 and 3.
  • Welcome to the Underground (12:42): is a behind the scenes featurette with Jennifer Love Hewitt, John Gray, Ian Sander, and others. The discussion is about season three plotlines, series mythology, the underworld, character developments, etc.
  • The Other Side II Webseries (21:40): is a series of eight webisodes (shorts that were available online) of "The Other Side".
  • Interactive Mash Up: create your very own cemetery scene.
  • Bringing the Spirits to Life (11:26): an in-depth look into what it takes to emulate an angry spirit.
  • Payne's World (7:02): Jay Mohr discusses his character and shares his experiences with ghosts, both on and off screen.
  • Evolution of Melinda (0:47): watch Melinda Gordon's fashion evolve over three seasons.
  • Melinda's Haunted Diary: interact with Melinda's haunted diary.
  • Interactive Haunted House: take a spooky interactive ride through a haunted house.

Final Thoughts:
Ghost Whisperer is an exhilarating television drama about a young woman with a special gift. Her gift is the ability to speak with the dead. Specifically, she speaks with earthbound spirits -- troubled souls who have unfinished business with the living. As mentioned in my second season review, there was a lot of potential for season three with the introduction of Gabriel. As it turned out, my expectations were met. The season moved into a darker, more mysterious tone. It included deeper, complex cross overs and an intricate season story arc about Melinda, her lineage, an underworld ghost town, and more. It is an engaging, exhilarating, and entertaining season. It is highly recommended.

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