Firestarter is the first episode of the fourth season, and the sixty-third overall episode, of the CBS series, Ghost Whisperer, originally premiering on October 3, 2008 as the season four premiere. The episode was written by P.K. Simonds and directed by Eric Laneuville, and recieved a total of 9.45 million viewers.

After being rescued by Jim from a fire at the Rockland University, Eli has a near death experience. Melinda becomes friends with Eli and soon discovers that they both have the same abilities- while she can see the dead, Eli can hear them.

Guest StarringEdit

  • Jay Mohr as Rick Payne
  • Alona Tal as Fiona Raine
  • Kurt Carceres as Det. Carl Neely
  • Amy Hill as Adrienne
  • Russell Sams as Christian
  • Fay Wolf as Marlee
  • April Grace as The Watcher
  • Bob Rusch as Bartender
  • Jay Brian Winnick as Droning Bar Patron

Plot SynopsisEdit


Jim is concerned about Melinda

The new season starts at Melinda’s house, the camera moves from their wedding picture to Melinda’s younger pictures when finally we see Melinda sitting up from under the blanket. Right after Jim gets up to, looking at her seriously. We figure it out from Melinda that they are trying to have a baby, and Jim promises that they’ll never stop trying, even after Melinda got pregnant. Jim reveals that they are ’only’ trying for 4 months, but Melinda feels everytime a let down when it doesn’t happen. Suddenly the phone rings, a call for Jim, multiple fire at Rockland University’s office building. Melinda is worried about Professor Rick Payne’s life after the shadow thing they saw. They both get dressed and head to the scene. Next we can see the office building’s huge fire, a lot of firefighter and paramedics along with police officers are at the scene when Jim and Melinda arrive. The camera shows as the paramedic is trying to bring back Fiona Raine, who will be introduced later in the episode. Melinda starts to ask around if anyone saw Rick Payne, when the professor shows up behind Melinda. They’re talking for a while when Melinda notices as Jim’s trying to bring back a guy into life. She sees his spirit but then Jim brings him back and his spirit goes back to his body. Suddenly Melinda sees another spirit, a black woman standing front of a firetruck. Before Melinda could do or say anything she vanishes. Melinda stares back at Jim, and then we can see as the other paramedics cover Fiona’s dead body.

In the next scene Jim is at the hospital staring into the guy’s room he saved before. Melinda comes in and sees the other woman’s spirit again, standing at the guy’s room’s door. Then it vanishes again. Melinda steps next to Jim, he reveals that the guy inside the room is Eli James, who is a psychology professor at Rockalnd University. As the camera shows his room we can see Fiona’s, the dead girl’s spirit as Eli is talking to her with something on his eyes which protects them. Melinda goes into Eli’s room, introduces herself, and then Eli introduces Fiona Raine for the first time to both Melinda and the audience. Melinda thinks that Eli already knows that he can talk to the dead, but she is wrong, and later we will find out how he got his abilty. Melinda realises that Eli doesn’t know about his ability and tells him that Fiona died in the fire at the university, just as he did, but he was brought back. Eli takes down the protectors from his eyes to see that only Melinda is who he can see. As he asks where is Fiona, and Melinda tells him that he was talking to her ghost we can see on Eli’s face that he is confused and terrified at the same time.


Eli and a ghost girl

The following day, Melinda is at her shop with Ned and Delia. Melinda answers Ned question "There’s something different about him (Eli). I don’t think he’s here for the same reasons I am." So we can see that Melinda is trying to figure out with the help of Ned what is Eli doing here among teaching. And as Melinda sees Delia’s reaction she immediatly says "And I’m guessing that you’re wishing I wouldn’t have brought Ned into this." That explains Delia as a non-believer for the new audience who’ve just joined watching the series. But Delia answers really politely "No, I, I wish I knew how to participate, but it’s like you’re speaking some strange foreign language. I understand the words, but it all adds up to gibberish." We can see that she wants to believe but as she mentioned before there is a switch inside her head that keeps switching back to impossible. Melinda reveals that Fiona was one of Eli’s patients, they were caught in the fire together and Eli was revived.Later that day Melinda goes to visit Eli James in the hopsital. When she gets there he is about to leave. Melinda tries to be nice with asking how is he but he strikes back, so as Melinda with "You’re the one with the ghost problem." Then we can see that Eli doesn’t believe in this at all, because he says "No, I’m the one with post traumatic stress. I lost a patient and in case you forgot I kinda died. It takes a lot less to make someone think you heard voices." Actually for the first time Eli doesn’t believe this all as he says to Melinda "I don’t do well with your type of nut job. Bizarre beliefs, superstitious behavior. People use that to hide from their real problems." Melinda mentions to Eli, that he didn’t see any ghosts since than, and just when he says no, a ghosts girl says "That’s a lie!" Eli thinks that Melinda was the one who said it. And then suddenly Melinda realizes that Eli can’t see them. He can only hear ghosts. As the Ghost Whisperer audience calls him, Ghost Listener, while Melinda is the Ghost Whisperer. The ghost girl can’t understand why Eli doesn’t listen to her, but Melinda answers her question with a simply reason "Because he doesn’t want to believe it. Because if it’s true and he hears you, then he might be a nut job." Eli leaves the hospital quite angrily ignoring Melinda’s helping offer. Then Melinda goes to Professor Rick Payne to discuss what happened, kinda like a brainstorming. Payne gives Melinda a bunch of books that are about paranormal phenomena, myths and theories about the beyond. While they’re talking Melinda reveals that the professor is leaving forsabbatical in a few day for some new, important find in the Himalayas. Then they change the subjects back to Eli again, Melinda thinks that his power might have to do something about him dying and then coming back. "It has everything to do with that. N.D.E. literature is chock full of stories like his." says Payne, and with that we get to know that Eli had a Near Death Experience back at the universtiy the previous day. Then the professor explains to Melinda how it’s all work: "Here’s how it usually works. You die, you come back to life, and in some very rare cases, there’s a thread, that connects you to where you were. A tether, if you will." he says as he shows a book called Near Death Phenomena: Accounts of the Ultimate Expirence to Melinda. Melinda still can’t understand how Eli only can hear them. We get another explanation from the professor: "Some N.D.E.s can see the ghosts, some can hear them, some can even smell them... Sometimes your senses got strong as your brain processess the new input, other time the thread snaps." We are starting to know more about Eli, as Payne reveals that Eli is not a favourite at the school, and a lot of people doesn’t like him.


Melinda talks with Rick about Eli

With the new informations we’re jumping to a new scene. To McShay’s, a bar in Grandview. We can see Eli, he is being frustrated by a bunch of ghosts. The problem is that the ghosts know that he can hear them, but Eli is trying to shut them up with trying not to listen to them. The bar tender after he can’t take more of Eli’s acting calls Melinda, who helps to Eli, with fraying the ghosts. They sit down to talk. Eli reveals that he doesn’t feel his ability as a gift like Melinda does. Later Fiona comes to the bar and Melinda gets some new information as Eli and her chat with Fiona. Melinda gets to know, that Fiona doesn’t blame Eli, we still don’t what is she not blaming him for. But before Melinda could get ask further question, a detective steps into the bar, standing front of them. He introduces himself as Detective Neely. He will have more importance a few episodes later on the show. He tell that the police wants Eli in for a questioning in connection to the death of Fiona Raine.


Melinda and Eli are talking with Adrienne

The following day Melinda and Jim is at the police station watching Eli as he is being questioned by Det. Neely. Eli comes out and Melinda follows him outside. They are walking down on the street, Melinda tries to convince Eli, that Fiona needs something from him, not to mention what he needs from her. Melinda reveals that Fiona can be the only one who can prove that not Eli started the fire. They sit in for a coffee and they start talking about Fiona, Eli tries to tell everything Melinda needs to know. It’s get revealed that Eli was treating Fiona for general attachment issues. He was helping her dump an on again-off again boyfriend named Ken who’d been messing with her head since high school. Then Melinda asks the big question if Eli got involved with his patient or not. The answer of course no, but it’s more interesting what he says after that: "But she was coming down with a classis case of transference." Melinda immediatly understands it. Fiona was falling in love with Eli. Eli continues to tell the whole story what happened 2 days ago at the night of the fire: "The nigth of the fire, I just told Fiona I couldn’t treat her anymore. She freaked. That’s why we were at my office so late. She called and said she had to see me. I told I would refer her to one of my colleagues, she said she only wanted to see me. I kept telling her that couldn’t happen." As the story continues we can figure it out how all started. Fiona kept yelling at Eli, then smoke started coming under the door, and it was so thick that Eli felt like his lungs were on fire. Still that day, but at night Eli goes home, we can see his home with full of papers and photos of his patients. A board full of Fiona’s pictures and notes Eli took through the treatments. Eli takes a glass of beer out from the fridge and starts to pack everything about Fiona into a box. While Eli is at home Melinda goes to visit the two roommates of Fiona Raine, Christian and Marlee. It’s revealed that they are not big fans of Eli. While Melinda talks with them we see Eli again as he is still packing Fiona’s stuff. Melinda gets to know that Eli’d come by at all different times to Fiona, day and night, he took her to restaurants and bars. As Christian said "It was obvious something was going on.". Fiona liked the attention, the drinks were free. Fiona had lots of pictures from her and her roommates, but none with her family. As Melinda continues her ’investigation’ we see Eli sitting out to the fire escape, drinking the same beer he took out from the fridge before. As he hears Fiona’s voice he clims back through the window to his apartment, moving around the flat searching for Fiona. As he says her name the electricity goes out. The top of the box which held all the content about Fiona flyes away. Eli takes some steps closer to look into it but Fiona lits the box on fire, and then Eli pours the rest of the beer on the papers. When the fire is out, Eli hears Fiona’s voice: "Please, please, make it stop! Make her leave us alone, or I’ll make her, like I made you."


Fiona's roommates

The following day Eli as at Payne’s office with Melinda. Payne is looking at the burned notes and papers, while he is telling, that ghosts have the ability to manipulate energy, especially angry ghosts. And Fiona seems to have done it a lot like sunshine through a magnifying glass. Eli reveals that Fiona burned down the house that she was living in when she was 12. Fiona was so young that there was never any charges. There was never any criminal record. But she was a ward of state and it went into family service’s files, as her therapist Eli had acces to those files. We get to know that that’s why she didn’t have any family pictures, because she didn’t have a family. Fiona’s parents died when she was three. The house that she burned down was her foster father’s. He was out of the house when she burned it down, but Fiona made her point, she got placed with another family. Eli still thinks that Fiona lit the fire and because of him at the university. Later that day Eli and Melinda are meeting with a worker from the foster care. Adrienne reveals that the foster father died 6 years ago in a heart attack. We get to know also that Fiona had no more problems with the other foster families she was with after the fire, as Adrienne says "she was a good girl... ". Melinda asks what Adrienne thinks about the thoughts that Fiona started the fire at Rockland U. We can see from the face of Adrienne that she doesn’t want to talk about her, she doesn’t want to violate patient confidentiality. But all of a sudden she says "Screw confidentiality." and tells everything to Melinda and Eli. We get to know that two other kids were living with Fiona, and they were older than her, old enough to be tried as adults. Adrienne couldn’t tell the other kids’ names but she could tell one more thing. After the fire when she asked Fiona what happened, she zipped those lips tight. But the second the cops started questioning her older siblings she came right out and practically shouted "I did it!".


Melinda at the archives

After their talk with Adrienne, Eli and Melinda goes back to Fiona’s home to meet with Christian and Marlee. Marlee is not really believe what Melinda and Eli tells them, but Christian immediately believe everything. As he says "Every since Fi died, we’ve both had this feeling, I don’t know how to decsribe it, but somehow we felt her." Christian allows Melinda and Eli to go and talk to Fiona in her bedroom, but he asks for one favor. Fiona had a CD, and he wanted to know if he can keep it, before they releease the rest of her stuff. Melinda goes into Fiona’s bedroom with Eli behind her. Fiona appears to them but they didn’t talk for very long and the girl seems to be kinda angry. Fiona disappears with a big smoke left after her. Melinda figures out that Fiona is covering for someone, but she think that it has to do something with the first fire and they’re trying to find out who else lived in the house. Later that day Melinda goes to the City Hall Archives to find the records about the house Fiona lived in before as a foster kid. She finds a box full of papers and finds the report of the fire. "Structure emptyat time of fire. Occupants later accounted for, owner Tom Moody. Minors female, 12 years, female 16 years, male 18 years." Melinda puts back everything to the box and when she is about to leave Fiona is standing right front of her. Fiona says "Maybe some things are better off left alone, you ever think about that?" and then looks away. Melinda follows her look and sees smoke rising up at the door. Fiona says that Melinda brought that on herself and now she has to pay the price, and then she vanishes. Melinda is left alone in the archives with the fire. Or she just thinks she is alone, because she is not.


Eli and Rick "brainstorming"

While Melinda is struggling with the fire, we can see Eli and Rick at Eli’s apartment, through a burned note. They are discussing Fiona’s arsonist past. Rick tells Eli that he thinks that Melinda is the most amazing person he has ever met. Eli tells Rick what Christian said about Fiona’s stuff and they find odd that Christian use the word ’release’ on her stuff. Then Eli mentions that Christian kept an African Folk Music CD from Fiona’s personal belongings, and that he put her stuff into some kine of metal tub instead of boxes. Rick reveals something "It was an African custom, part of the Yoruba tradition, where possessions of someone who’s passed prematurely are set fire to that way it’ll release their spirit." We get to know that Fiona maybe didn’t even have a boyfriend, she just had someone who she wanted to get away from, but she didn’t know how to. Who she felt she needed to protect at the same time. They reveal that the foster brother was Christian.


Melinda tries to help Christian

As Melinda tries to get out from the fire she finds Christian on the floor of the archives, coughing from the smoke. Melinda sees some stuff next to him, and she realizes that he lit the fire. He says that the whole idea is that if he dies they’ll find him, then they’ll know the truth. We get to know that Christian lit the fire at the university and at the foster house too. Melinda tries to convince him to come with her to get out, but he didn’t want to go. Fiona appears and tells Christian to listen to Melinda, but Christian fells to the floor unconsciously because of the smoke. Melinda tells Fiona to find Eli and tell him where they are. Rick and Eli are just coming out of the house when Finoa tells Eli where they can find Melinda and Christian. Back at the archives, Melinda remembers the door leading to the underground. She tries to get the shelf away, so she throws away all of the boxes but it won’t move. She sats down next to Christian, waiting for the help. We can see Jim coming out from the coffee shop Eli and Melinda was sitting in previously, he is talking with Eli on the phone who tells him that there’s fire in the archives and Melinda is there too. He sits in the ambulance car and goes with his colleague right to the City Hall. We can see Melinda and Christian again, still struggling with the fire. Then the Watcher woman appears again, helping Melinda with moving the shelf. Melinda stands up quickly, opens the tunnel door and brings in Christian, then closes the door, which protects them from the fire. Melinda sats down next to Christian, breathing hardly still coughing from the smoke outside in the archives.

The Watcher woman is there again, with 3 other spirits behind her. She tells to Melinda that they are Watchers and they are everywhere, watching the ones like Melinda and Eli. She tells to that Melinda doesn’t know the price. Melinda moves between the world of life and death, like her friend Eli, sometimes she comes back from one with a touch of the other. A touch of death might brush off on what Melinda touches. Then the Watchers disapper and the next we can see is outside on the street, Melinda is sitting at the back of the ambulance car with Jim next to her. Jim goes for somewater to Melinda, and as she turns around she can see Fiona standing right next to Christian who is breathing from an oxygen mask. And right after that he is arrested and led away by two police officer.


Fiona before crossing-over

Later Melinda goes into the police station to talk with Christian. Jim is outside with Detective Neely, talking. Eli and Melinda is inside with the foster brother. Neely says "I still don’t get, a guy tries to kill her and all she wants to do is get him help." Jim is just standing right next to him, watching through the door of the office. Melinda says everything Fiona is saying to Christian, so Fiona can find peace and Chrisitan too. They are saying goodbye. Christian hugs Melinda, and then the camera moves to Jim as he says to Neely "What can I tell you? That’s my wife." with a light smile on his face. After leaving the police station Melinda and Eli are walking on the street, talking with Fiona. Fiona tells everything what happened to her, we figure it out that Eli had feelings for Fiona and lied to her before the fire when he said no. After they all said goodbye, Fiona crosses-over into the Light. We can see Eli drop a few tears, and then he says "Man, is it always like that?" Then Melinda answers gently "No. Sometimes it’s better."


Rick says goodbye and leaves to the Himalayas

Later that night, Jim, Melinda and Delia goes to a restaruant where Ned works. We get to know that Melinda asked for chopsticks and Jim asked for low sodiumsoy sauce but they didn’t get that. Ned apologizes and goes back to bring some. While Ned is gone, Delia says "You know, parenting is a lot harder then it looks like." Melinda just smiles at Jim, as they are trying to have a kid which Delia doesn’t know about, then Delia continues "And when you two decide to have kids, you will know what I’m talking about." Before Melinda could drink from her drink she sees Rick’s car parking before the restaurant. She apologizes and goes out to talk to him. After saying goodbye, Rick promises that he will come back to Grandview and then leaves for his sabbatical in the Himalayas, and Melinda goes back to Delia and Jim.


  • Fiona Rain
  • The Watcher Woman
  • Girl in Eli's hospital room
  • 6 people in the bar
  • 3 other Watchers

Altogether: 12 spirits


  • This episode gathered a total of 9.45 million viewers.
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Rick Payne, although he states that he will return to Grandview.
  • This episode also marks the first appearance of Eli James.
  • Christoph Sanders joins the regular cast from this episode onwards, being credited as a Main character.
  • Although the opening presentation is the same, they changed the Jennifer Love Hewitt's shots for more updated ones. This one is used until the series finale
  • jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pale of water


The ghost girl in Elis room is a cat