|Ghost Whisperer character|
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda Gordon
|Last appearance||"The Children's Parade"|
|Created by||John Gray|
|Portrayed by||Jennifer Love Hewitt|
|Occupation||Owner of Same as It Never Was Antiques|
Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. She moved to Grandview after she married (Sam) Jim Clancy, a paramedic who knows of her ability. Jim and Melinda have a son Aiden [first appearance season 5]. Melinda had always been able to speak with the dead, or "earthbound spirits" as her grandmother (with whom she shared this ability) called them.
Apart from her husband, Jim Clancy, Melinda shared her secret with quirky Professor Rick Payne, an expert in occult beliefs and history who thrives on helping her gain insights into the more baffling paranormal phenomena she encounters. Other individuals who are aware of her gift include Andrea Marino (her best friend and business partner; killed in the first season's finale), Delia Banks (Melinda's best friend) and her son, Ned Banks, RU Psychology Professor, Eli James, and her son Aiden Lucas, as well as all the relatives or friends of ghosts she has helped.
Melinda is at least a sixth-generation medium (as her great-great-great-grandmother, Tessa, and her grandmother are also ghost whisperers. Initially the show seems to suggest the ability skipped her mother, which it didn't, she just chose to ignore everything she saw, and may have skipped others). It also stated later that her biological father had the same ability, although it is unknown how common it was in his family and the ability was only mentioned once. She is able to communicate with the spirits of those who are dead. She can see and speak with the earthbound spirits that reach out to her for help. She then helps them to cross over, either by speaking to loved ones or by doing things for them which they died before they could do/finish.
As a result of her abilities, Melinda often receives visions of things concerning the ghost(s) she is trying to help. For example, in the first season finale, Melinda kept receiving messages from ghosts on a plane that hasn't crashed yet. In another episode, her powers transported her from Grandview to a rain forest. In the second season finale, she sees people staring at her, looks out her window and sees that her house is under a large body of water and that a boat is sinking, is transported to a tunnel, and sees a large bridge in the sky with cars falling everywhere around her.
At the end of Season 4, the Book of Changes and the Watchers both revealed that Melinda's son can do much more. In Season 5, Melinda has to deal with both parenting and crossing ghosts into the light. It is also revealed in the season premiere that Melinda is connected to her son, Aiden Lucas, who the Watchers revealed is an Empath. With this, Melinda is able to receive visions from him.
Melinda and Jim moved to the small town of Grandview where Melinda opened a small antique shop, named "The Same As It Never Was ANTIQUES". She met and became friends with Andrea Marino, who came to share management responsibilities of the store with Melinda. Eventually, Melinda gained enough trust in Andrea to tell her about her ability.
In the later part of the season, Melinda began encountering a malevolent spirit (Romano) that wore a black hat while trying to "cross over" earthbound spirits. In the season finale, a plane crashes in Grandview. Romano used the massive death count to his advantage, "keeping" the souls that Melinda was unable to cross over- one of which was Andrea who died when the plane crashed.
After losing her friend and business partner to the plane crash, Melinda succeeds against the dark spirit in helping Andrea and many of the other ghosts from the plane crash cross over.
Melinda ends up meeting several new people in season two: an occult professor, Rick Payne, who often helps Melinda with a troublesome ghost without realizing it, until she tells him about her gift. She also meets widow Delia Banks and her son Ned. After a few episodes, Melinda invites Delia to take the place of Andrea as her business partner, and confides in Ned about her gift. While trying to crossover Delia's husband, in the episode Delia's First Ghost, Melinda reveals to Delia her gift. Delia, a skeptic in anything beyond the norm, slowly begins to believe Melinda.
Throughout the season, events occur showing that the "veil" between the living and the dead is thinning. With the introduction of a second ghost whisperer, Gabriel Lawrence, it is learned through the earthbound spirit of Payne's wife that dark forces "are trying to make the dead stronger than the living." In the season finale, dark spirits try to kill four special children (each child was the sole survivor of a terrible disaster or accident). Melinda attempts to save them and succeeds, but loses her own life in the process, culminating in the fulfillment of a prophecy that would lead to the "death of a loved one" – Melinda. Only then did Melinda realize that it was her that the dark side wanted to kill, and not the children. In the limbo between life and death, Melinda sees a shadow of her father who says she has a brother. Meanwhile, the four special children help revive her (as noted under "Abilities"). She is stunned when she returns to consciousness, stating "I think I have a brother". She looks around and, from a distance, Gabriel is looking at her very crossly.
Melinda searches continually for her father, strongly believing him to have died, and for her brother, whom by now Melinda suspects is Gabriel. She speaks with her mother who does not give her much information other than that she never had another child apart from Melinda and that Melinda and Jim have to leave Grandview because of all the evil spirits. If not something very bad can happen. Melinda also learns that Beth had once lived in Grandview. In the fifth episode "Weight of What Was" Gabriel arrives at her home saying that he is her half-brother and that he is also looking for their father. He was staying in a hotel under the name Gabriel Gordon. He hands Melinda a package that leads her to an underground church that had been buried, as well as to her ancestor, Tessa, who was also a ghost whisperer.
Tom Gordon appears before Melinda and reveals to her a little bit about her past. Melinda and Jim later on have a discussion about having children and Melinda agrees on having one. From some point in the show Melinda is haunted by a ghost who is known as the (Masked Man) at first. Towards the end of the season, Tom Gordon shows up in Grandview, alive and well.
When things begin to get more dangerous and suspicious, Melinda asks her mother to be absolutely honest with her and tell her everything. Her mother reveals the fact that her birth father is really a man named Paul Eastman, who is the very same "Masked Man" who has been haunting Melinda. Tom later shows up and takes Melinda to their old home where Melinda once lived as a child and tries to jog back her memory, to see what she remembers of the night Paul Eastman came to her house. Only then does Melinda realize that Paul Eastman was murdered by Tom. Once Tom realizes that Melinda remembers that, he tries to choke her to death but Paul arrives just in time and takes control of Tom's body, causing Tom to topple over the stairs and fall on to the floor below, causing immediate death. Tom's spirit later appears and vanishes in front of Melinda.
Melinda, Beth and Paul all reconcile and Paul goes into the Light. After all these years of thinking that the man who she thought was her father (Tom) had abandoned her, Melinda was now glad to know that her real father (Paul) would never have abandoned her and had he not been dead, he would have been there by her side.
At the very end of the season, what seems to be a happy moment is spoiled when Payne makes a shocking observation. He turns to Melinda and points out the fact that there are six people lined up (Delia, Beth Gordon, Ned, Jim, Melinda, and Payne himself), yet there are only five visible shadows.
In this season, Melinda and Jim talk about having children. In the beginning of the season, Melinda meets a man named Eli who had a ghost haunting him – one of his patients. Eli suffered a near-death experience, and when he was revived he discover that he can hear the dead. Eli is extremely confused and refuses to listen to Melinda, but in the end they develop a good partnership.
Professor Payne went on a trip for a long time. In "Big Chills", Melinda helps a ghost that has to have the truth come out about an accidental death on a boat. In the next episode, Melinda finds a man that is dead and trapped in an online chat game. She soon realizes that the man is actually the teenager's father, who is trying to protect his daughter from an online predator. Melinda and Jim went on a trip to find another ghost (or many on the boat), but the main reason is to talk to the boat owner's son, who is planning to tear down the boat and rebuild it. Many spirits were worried that their home would be ruined, so they were bothering Melinda to help them. But one girl needed help to talk to the owner of the boat about the accidental death, when she waited for him in the same room she met him many years before.
Then Melinda meets a teenage ghost who dies on the tennis court from a blood clot in her lung and Melinda watches the dead teenager follow her friend's family home (both families used to be friends, but one moved away and they stopped talking, and the families are no longer friends). The two families soon find out that the hospital made a mistake and they switched the girls at birth. In the end Melinda and Jim think she is pregnant, but are disappointed when they get they discover that Melinda had a miscarriage.
In this episode Melinda and Jim go to the woods and they stay in a cabin for Jim's friend's wedding. The spirit wants the bride to play a game which will let her know the truth about her fiance. She discovers that the ghost (Owen) used to know the bride when they were young. When she finds out the truth, she calls off the wedding. Later Jim goes back to clean up and finds the groom still in the cabin, with a gun. Melinda finds out and calls a detective. When Melinda and the detective get there they see two shadows through the door windows and they see one man with the gun and one man without. Then the detective pulls out the gun and shoots. Jim falls in front of the window after being the one who was shot. He is rushed to the hospital and Melinda is sitting in his room, waiting for him to wake up from his surgery. When she does, she sees Jim kneeling in front of her. Happy to see that he's awake, she tells him she loves him. Jim goes on to tell her that he had an embolism. He says not to worry about it and to remember him the way she sees now. Melinda then realizes that she's seeing Jim's ghost as nurses rush in to try to save him. Melinda starts to cry and begs to Jim that it's not him. Jim tell her that he loves her and vanishes. This episode is the one of which the tagline is: The episode that will change everything.
In the next episode Jim keeps saying throughout that he will not cross over, no matter how hard Melinda tries. There is a teenage ghost who keeps saying she's sorry and that it's all her fault that Jim is dead. It turns out that the teenager was anorexic and that made her heart stop. Her stepfather was very depressed, and he went back to work before he was ready to. Later it is found out that the girl's stepfather is the detective who shot Jim. Melinda says to Jim "You have to do the right thing." He replies "I know." and possesses the body of a dead man, Sam, to live again in episode 4.07 "Threshold". Melinda happily says to Jim "You're back" to which Jim/Sam replies "Do I know you?"
Melinda begins dating Jim/Sam when Sam's ex-girlfriend Nikki leaves Grandview. Melinda revealed her gift to Jim/Sam and his response was unexpected. Melinda told Jim/Sam he is really Jim and Jim/Sam tells Melinda that he thinks she needs help. Melinda finally gives up and painfully tells him to leave, thinking that no matter how hard she tries, Jim will never be back.
But later, Melinda gets trapped in an underground chamber that was rapidly filling up with water and Jim/Sam comes to her rescue. When he was swimming towards her, he suddenly gets flashes of his life as Jim, memories of his life and of the times with Melinda. Melinda saves Jim/Sam from drowning and is surprised when he asks her why she is calling him Sam and that she should just call him Jim. Melinda realizes that Jim is definitely back and reconciles with him. Soon after, she learns she is eight weeks pregnant with Jim's baby.
Melinda began to have nightmares and visions that her baby is in danger. She was sure by the things she was being told the baby was a girl after Melinda runs into the faceless child again, who puts her hand on Melinda's tummy and says, "You can't save her. You can't." and Carl telling Melinda that her future is in Melinda's hands.
Jim reveals to Melinda that he had seen her chart accidentally and knew it was a boy. He knew they agreed not to find out, but he told her to ease her mind, so she’d see her visions and dreams were wrong and her was actually about Zoe, who was Eli's ex-girlfriend and killed accidentally when she fell down the steps, startled by a thief (who is actually being controlled by the Watcher Carl) in her house. They were trying to hide an ancient tome written in multiple languages called The Book of Changes, in Zoe's house (Zoe was unknowingly the destined caretaker). Eli then became the caretaker of the book, and was warned by one of the Watchers (Carl) that people were after the book, he must safeguard it and was also warned he must not show it to Melinda.
Melinda, however, couldn’t get the idea something was wrong out of her mind and convinced Eli to show her the book. The book had their names in it, followed by odd dates. The dates were revered; Melinda realized they were dates of death. Andrea was there, as was Jim, Sam, Zoe and even Eli from his near death experience. She was also listed as September 25 meaning Melinda will give birth to her son on that day. Later Melinda confronts Carl in the tunnels and wants to know if her son is in danger. Carl tells Melinda that white light spirits are watching over her, but the balance can shift and her son is the key. Carl advises her to teach her son about the other side, not shield him from it, because her son will be able to do much, much more than she can. Jim and Melinda marry again at the same place they met – in front of witnesses, Eli James (best man) and Delia Banks (matron of honor), and a full gathering of spirits.
Melinda Gordon is often compared to Allison DuBois in the TV series Medium, but Gordon is not explicitly described as a medium. Karin Beeler calls her "younger, postfeminist heroine than the women in Medium and Afterlife, sporting low-cut outfits that have often been identified with the body-conscious television characters of the third wave or postfeminist generation (e.g. Buffy, the witch sisters in Charmed, Tru Davies in Tru Calling)."
- Moses, Kim and Sanders, Ian Ghost Whisperer: Spirit Guide, page 42, Titan Books, 2008.
- Cat's Claw episode, season 2, episode 11. Retrieved on 2009-06-08.
- Waters, Melanie (2011). "The Horrors of Home: Feminism and Femininity in the Suburban Gothic". Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Culture. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 68. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Hall, Melissa Mia (2007). "The Ghost". Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares, Volume 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 238. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Beeler, Karin (2008). Seers, Witches and Psychics on Screen: An Analysis of Women Visionary Characters in Recent Television and Film. McFarland & Company. p. 151. Retrieved 7 June 2016.