Free Fall is the twenty-first episode of the first season of the CBS series, Ghost Whisperer, originally premiering on April 28, 2006 as part one of a two-part season finale. The episode was written and directed by John Gray, and recieved a total of 10.00 million viewers.
Melinda experiences a sense of dread when she realizes that a plane is going to crash when the spirits of the pilot and flight attendant contact her. Melinda tells Andrea about her premonitions and Andrea is worried for her brother who was meant to be flying out from Johannesburg that very day. Andrea and Melinda attempt to warn people about the impending crash, but when Melinda informs Andrea that the plane was from Johannesburg, Andrea decides to head over to her brother's apartment in an attempt to contact him. Shortly after Andrea has left, the plane crashes over the town. Melinda is surprised when Andrea returns saying that she was driving near the crash site when the crash occurred. To her horror, Melinda realizes something that Andrea hasn't realized yet. Just then, the spirits of the dead passengers from the doomed flight arrive. The flight attendant whom Melinda was contacted by earlier informs Melinda that she knows that Melinda can see them.
- Jon Seda as John Gregory
- Tim Guinee as Charlie Filbert
- Chris Ellis as Ghost Pilot
- Eric Lange as Driver
- Rachel Cannon as Amy Fields
- Julie Michaels as Barrista
- Randall Peede as Bill
- Douglas Bierman as Laughing Man
- Juan Jose Dubon as Plane Crash Victim / Ghost
- Maria Zambrana as Plane Crash Victim / Ghost
The episode starts with overhead shots of the town of Grandview, birds-eye views (or views from a plane) until it comes to Melinda and Jim's house. Melinda is lying in bed asleep, until a white dove smacks into the bedroom window, which wakes her. Melinda goes downstairs and onto the front lawn to find the dead dove lying down. Melinda picks it up as Jim pulls up in his car. He exits and Melinda tells him what happened to the dove, in which Melinda feels really guilty about. Jim tells her they will give the dove a proper burial, and Melinda lies the dove down on the porch then Jim puts a red cloth over it. They both enter the house, and Melinda opens the fridge to find everything has frozen. Jim then turns the fridge off and then goes back to bed. While still in the Kitchen, Melinda realizes the kitchen windows are also frozen, and then hears banging. She then hears a female voice saying "something's wrong, it's too cold, please". She then opens the front door, but no one is there. Melinda looks around a bit, and realizes the dove she lay on the porch is gone, as is the red cloth. She hears a flutter above her, and she looks up, where the red cloth is seen moving at a fast pace.
Later in the day, Melinda pulls up over the other side of the road to Same As It Never Was Antiques to find Andrea standing looking at the store. Melinda leaves her car and walks to her, thinking that a ghost must be in the store, but Andrea tells her that Tiffany Cogan is going to retire and close the bakery right next door to the store, and even though Andrea seems happy, Melinda wonders if no more Apple Cobblers is a good thing, but Andrea sees it as an opportunity to expand. Melinda notices the shop's windows freezing, and Andrea can see it also, thinking there is something really wrong with the AC and already called the repair man. Andrea wants to show Melinda some sketches, but Melinda doesn't feel like going into work yet. Andrea asks if she is okay, and Melinda assures her she is, and asks Andrea if she wants to go with her to get some coffee, though Andrea doesn't need to be anymore awake than she already is, and goes into the store. Melinda walks along the Square and stops by the pavement as a bus passes by, and carries what looks like to Melinda a bus full of ghosts screaming, though they are just normal people really.
At Village Java, Melinda is waiting to be served, and she looks to the notice board and notices three separate pieces of paper spelling "You're the One". The shop assistant then gets Melinda's attention and Melinda asks for a Latte. She then looks back at the notice board and finds the pieces of paper gone. Then Melinda begins to hear a loud noise that sounds like a plane landing. Melinda covers her ears, but then realizes she is the only one who can hear it. Back at Same As It Never Was Antiques, Melinda and Andrea discuss the repair man before Andrea begins showing Melinda some sketches of the expansion they can do to the store. Melinda tells Andrea she is amazing, that her brother must have rubbed off on her. Andrea smiles and tells Melinda it's his birthday the next day, and she shows Melinda what she got him. It's a golden pocketwatch since Mitch loves watches, and Andrea tells Melinda she will give him it Saturday, and Melinda asks why she can't give him it tomorrow on his birthday. Andrea tells her he is on a business trip overseas and Melinda wishes she had a brother or sister, though Andrea and Mitch didn't get along when they were kids, and they even went two years without speaking, but he was always there for her, and now he's her best friend. Melinda looks at the watch again and notices an engraving saying: To Mitch, who showed me Love Never Dies. Melinda tells her she might want to set it at the right time, and Andrea is confused as she thought she did and asks Melinda what the clock says on the Square. Melinda goes to look, then stops as she sees a dove sitting on the clock. Andrea notices her stopping and Melinda then tells her it's 25 minutes after 2. Andrea walks up to Melinda and asks if they want to talk about architects.
That night at the Firehouse, Jim and another man are talking. The man seems to be new, and Jim asks him questions, and he wants to do good and save lives. Melinda then walks over to them and kisses Jim, and Jim introduces her to John, who seemed to have taking a liking to Melinda before he knew she was Jim's wife. Melinda hands Jim some Soup, and Jim tells John he is going for his break. Melinda and Jim walk through the streets of Grandview, Jim asking Melinda how her day was, and Melinda tells him it's been wierd, then telling him about the voice she heard while Jim was sleeping. Melinda tells him she can't help but shake the feeling of dread, that something terrible is going to happen. Jim asks if she has had this before, but Melinda tells him she hasn't, but there is a feeling of heaviness in the air. Melinda doesn't want to go home without Jim, but he tells her his shift is almost over and he will be home about 10. Jim then goes back to work as Melinda goes home. At her house, Melinda opens the door and walks in, immediately feeling cold and checking the AC. Then everything begins to shake as if it was an earthquake, and Melinda runs to the living room window, which is frozen, and looks outside to see the Wide Brim Hat Man appear on her lawn. He then disappears, and the shaking stops.
Jim and Melinda are in the Kitchen at home, where Jim is sitting on the floor seeing if they can save any of the frozen food in the fridge. Jim wants to keep a piece of pizza that was frozen, and Melinda wants him to throw it out. Jim asks what the ghosts want, and Melinda jokes on telling him they want him to throw out the pizza, then tells him she doesn't know if they know what they want. Melinda then tells him it's quiet out there, she doesn't know where they've all gone, like there was a huge vaccuum. Jim says he wishes he could help her more, and Melinda tells him he helps enough by listening, though Melinda doesn't know what she is scared of yet. Later at night, Melinda and Jim are asleep in bed where Melinda is having a dream. She is in a town where everything is moving faster than she is, and she pays notice to a man in the middle of the road who lets the cars go in all directions. Suddenly he makes everything stop but himself, then points at something higher up. Melinda looks at a window where the outline of the Wide Brim Hat Man is where he tells Melinda "You're the One", then smashing the window and waking Melinda up. She looks at the bedroom windows to see they're frozen, and then she gets up and walks downstairs without waking Jim up. She sees a ghost standing in the shadows, who appears to be freezing and his face hidden. He tells Melinda they're so cold, and Melinda asks who, to which he holds out a frozen hand and then disappears.
The next morning, Melinda and Andrea are unloading things from the boot of her car while Andrea tells Melinda about her expansion plans, telling her she has found an architect who will be coming over to look at the store later in the day. Andrea realizes Melinda isn't paying attention, then says something outrageous which does get Melinda's attention. Melinda tells Andrea she is busy thinking about the ghostly visit she had last night, that usually she can solve the ghost problems but she is more confused than ever. Melinda then begins to hear the loud plane noise again, and asks Andrea if she can hear it, but she doesn't. Melinda then sees the ghost pilot on top of the Little Broadway Theatre, who then falls backwards and lands out of sight. Andrea asks what is it, and Melinda replies that she doesn't know. Melinda tells Andrea she will be right back, and Melinda walks to the Little Broadway Theatre. The red cloth Jim put on the dove in the beginning flutters on the floor in front of Melinda, and Melinda picks it up, then walks back to the store. Inside the store, Andrea introduces Melinda to Charlie, the architect she was telling her about, and he asks if they want to expand, and Melinda and Andrea answer at the same time but with different things, Melinda says "maybe" while Andrea says "yes". While Charlie looks around the place, Melinda hears banging again from the previous day. Melinda asks how long it would take and if they would have to close, though he tells her they may only need to close for a week or so, and then they all begin to feel cold. Andrea tells them the repair men should have been here by now, then looking at the watch she bought Mitch and telling Melinda it's stopped again but went ahead this time at 10:30am. Andrea goes to talk to Charlie as Melinda hears banging behind the wall and puts her ear against it, talking to the ghost who tells her it's cold. Melinda turns to see Andrea and Charlie look at her, and she makes an excuse that she was listening for termites.
Melinda drives home and gives Jim a pie from the Bakery next door to her store, and tells Jim that he was asleep when she left in the morning and she didn't want him to eat alone. Melinda tells him she needs to go back soon, and Jim tells Melinda he can tell something is wrong. Melinda doesn't only feel dread anymore, but she feels like she has to rush, that there isn't enough time to live. Jim gets worried, though Melinda tells him not to be. Melinda feels like they aren't spending enough time in the room she is in, which is beautiful to her. Melinda thinks they're working too hard, rushing their lives instead of living it. Melinda tells Jim she has to go back to work and leaves. At Same As It Never Was, Andrea asks Melinda where her sense of adventure is, and Melinda tells her it's under her sense of biting off more than they can chew. Melinda is concerned how they will stay in business with them knocking down the wall in the store, and Andrea tells her they have to spend money to make money. Melinda is worried if they are tempting fate and thinks it may backfire, and Andrea tells her that Charlie is coming back around and will show Melinda the plans and if it is still too scary for Melinda then they will wait. Melinda tells her she isn't scared, just cautious. Melinda walks into the back and sees someone breathing through the doors at the other end. She walks to it to find the ghost from before breathing out cold fog from his mouth. Melinda asks what he wants, and he tells her the captain goes down with his ship. Melinda asks who is with him, and he tells her no one yet, that they're all still sleeping. Melinda asks where they are, and he tells her they're close before disappearing.
At a Cafe, Melinda and Andrea are sitting at some tables discussing Melinda's ghostly visit. Melinda tells Andrea she thinks he was a Pilot, which would make sense because of all the noises she had been hearing. Andrea tells her if there was a plane crash wouldn't they have heard about it, though Melinda suggests it could have happened a long time ago, and Andrea suggests that it happened a little while ago and isn't on the news yet. Melinda tells Andrea that he told her they were close, and Andrea asks about the banging and the other ghost, Melinda thinks she was someone else on the flight. Andrea looks at her watch, telling Melinda her brother was supposed to be flying that day. He was coming from South Africa, though when she spoke to him last he was going to Johannesburg for a couple of days, and Melinda reassures her of the chances of Mitch being on the same plane. Andrea then gets frustrated by the watch she bought Mitch as it's stopped for the third time, going ahead to 10:30, when Melinda wonders what happened at that time and where.
Melinda and Andrea walk away from the Cafe where Andrea departs telling Melinda she is going to the Jewellers to get the watch fixed. Melinda tells her to take her time and walks in a different direction. She then stops and notices the Laughing Man, standing watching her and laughing, holding the watch Andrea bought for her brother. He soon disappears. At the scene of a car crash, Jim and John pull up with the Ambulance and rush to tend to the victims. Jim goes to a man in one of the cars, who tells him that his hand is gone. Jim then asks John to look for it, and he does and looks under the cars. He soon finds it, though he seems quite distraught and sickened by it, though he reluctantly picks it up and then collapses. Jim rushes to get to John, and helps him wake back up. At the store, Melinda is on her laptop looking for any news on plane crashes before seeing "You're the One" on the screen. The store door opens, getting Melinda's attention, then when she looks back, the writing is gone. Melinda goes to the front to find Charlie, who was told to convince Melinda about the expansion by Andrea. Still cold, Melinda offers him some hot tea and he agrees, so Melinda goes to the back where she runs into the ghost pilot, his name badge saying "Captain Ken Nilson". He disappears and Melinda gives Charlie his drink, discussing children. The subject changes to planes as Charlie's wife and daugher are travelling, though they are driving, and Charlie tells Melinda it's dangerous enough without being off the ground.
At the Hospital, Jim talks to Melinda on the phone. Jim has rookie problems, though he tells Melinda he will tell her about it later. Melinda asks if there have been any recent plane crashes, but Jim suggests they may have crashes in a remote isolated place, which makes Melinda wonder how they would know to come to her. Melinda looks out the front door to Same As It Never Was and sees the Ghost Pilot on top of a building, seemingly looking for something. Melinda tells Jim she will call him back and then tells Andrea she is going across the street, leaving Andrea in the store with Charlie. Melinda arrives at the place the Ghost Pilot is and asks him what he is looking for, and he tells her he thought she knew. Melinda asks if it was an airplane that crashed, and he tells her he doesn't know yet. He tells her the last thing he saw was the sky, and Melinda asks if there is anything he remembers anything about where he went down. He tells her there has been no crash, and Melinda tells him she doesn't understand. He tells her they're still flying, and the captain goes down with his ship. Melinda then understands that the plane has yet to crash, and the ghost disappears, Melinda then runs from the place she is at.
Melinda runs through Grandview Square, accidentally knocking into people and dodging cars that are close to hitting her, the man inside asking if she is crazy and she apologizes. Melinda enters the store and rushes Charlie out, apologizing for seeming rude. When Charlie leaves, Melinda tells Andrea that the plane is still in the air and the pilot is dead and maybe the crew. Andrea asks how she knows this and Melinda tells her the Pilot just told her. Andrea asks what flight it was, but Melinda tells her he disappeared before she could ask. Andrea asks what they should do and Melinda suggests calling the FA or the Airports, and Andrea wonders how they can explain themselves without sounding like lunatics, but Melinda tells her to just keep trying until someone listens. Andrea picks up her mobile phone as Melinda calls through the store's phone. While Melinda tells the FA of the plane flying in the air with no pilot, Andrea calls her brother Mitch, who was supposed to be on a plane that day. Andrea is worried about him and is put through voicemail, and asks him to call her as soon as he lands. Melinda then gets hanged up on by the person on the other side, and Andrea calls other organizations to tell them about the plane. Melinda hears banging again and goes to the back to find out what the banging is. She opens a door in the back to find a female air hostess, frozen and confused. Melinda asks if she was on a plane, and she tells her she was. Melinda asks what airline she was on, but the air hostess tells Melinda they lost pressure, and a flashback ensues. It's of the hostess on the plane, telling Melinda they were an hour behind, and suddenly it felt like the air was sucked out of the plane. She then goes to the cabin door and bangs on it, telling the pilot to open up. The door opens, but Melinda stands there in her store. Back from the flashback, Melinda asks what the airline number was, and she tells her it's "Trans Eastern Air 395" and they took off from Johannesburg. The hostess then walks away, telling Melinda the captain needs her.
Melinda walks to the front of the store where Andrea is still trying to contact someone about the plane. Getting hung up on, Andrea puts her mobile down and walks to Melinda and tells her she was hung up on 3 times and one of them asked her if her mommy or daddy could come to the phone. Andrea realizes something is wrong, and Melinda tells her the plane took off in Johannesburg. Andrea stands in disbelief, telling her it's too wierd. Andrea grabs her keys and tells Melinda she is going to Mitch's apartment to check on his computer about his flights. Melinda tells her they need to stay talking on the phones, but Andrea leaves telling her she will be back. Melinda stays in the store, almost crying. In an ambulance, Jim is driving as he asks John what happened to him before when he collapsed. John reveals that things like severed hands get to him, so Jim asks how he got through medical school. Jim realizes he didn't, and John tells him he kept passing out whenever he saw blood. They soon hear on the radio about a jetliner heading in from the Atlantic from the East Coast with a 95% chance it will come down at Driscoll County. Jim calls Melinda and tells her it's all over the news that it's coming down on them, and Jim tells Melinda to warn people outside to go indoors. Melinda then puts the phone down and sees the AC Repair men pulling up outside. Melinda runs out telling them to get inside, the sound of the plane getting louder and louder. Wind sweeps up as the shadow of a plane above them overbears the Square. Melinda looks up as the plane passes right over Same As It Never Was, and Melinda falls to the ground. The plane then goes further away and Melinda stands up as other residents of Grandview look onward at the plane. Melinda stands up and looks off-camera. Suddenly, a huge crash causes the windows of the stores around the Square to smash, and Melinda covers her ears and screams. People run away as Melinda calms down, looking onwards where behind some building, smoke can be seen raising up into the air.
In Grandview Square, Jim and John pull up and get out of the Ambulance where Jim runs up to Melinda and hugs her, asking if she is alright. Melinda tells Jim the flight came in from Johannesburg and Andrea's brother might be on it. Jim asks where Andrea is now and Melinda tells him she went to Mitch's apartment, so Jim tells her Andrea will be back soon as they are going to close all tunnels and bridges in the next few minutes. Jim gets Melinda inside her store and then calls someone on a radio inside his ambulance, telling them he has a visual of an aircraft down about a mile off from the Main Street. Jim then runs up to John and gets him to come with him. They both get in the ambulance and drive off as Melinda is in the store, trying to phone someone but the phones aren't working. Melinda then looks at the watch Andrea bought for Mitch, looking at the time it has on it, 10:30. Melinda then looks at her own watch, which says 10:35. The plane crashed at 10:30. Melinda then looks up, her eyes filled with tears and sadness. Andrea is there and walks towards her, telling her that she saw the plane crash, that it went right over her and she saw the cars go everywhere. Melinda walks from behind the counter and says Andrea's name in a remorseful tone. Andrea tells her if Mitch was on that plane there is no way he would have survived. She says they should call someone, but Melinda tells her the phones are out. Andrea then tells her she will use her cellphone, then going into the back and leaving Melinda in the front of the store. Melinda then sees something outside and walks to the door and out onto the street. All of the victims from the plane crash, frozen and confused, walk towards the store, led by the air hostess. They stop, and the air hostess tells Melinda she knows she can see them, leaving the episode on a cliffhanger, "To Be Continued".
- The Wide Brim Hat Man (Romano)
- Captain Ken Nilson (Pilot of the Plane)
- The Laughing Man
- Amy Fields
- Andrea Marino
- Victims of the Plane Crash (226)
Altogether: 231 spirits
There were several omens of the plane crash and Andrea's death before the events happened.
- A dove flying into the window meant death of a loved one.
- The fridge and Kitchen windows of Melinda's house were frozen, which was how the passengers of the plane died. Same As It Never Was's doors and windows also froze.
- Melinda hears banging in her house and a female voice. This was a reanactment of when the air hostess, Amy Fields, banged on the pilot's door telling him it's too cold and something is wrong.
- When crossing the Square, Melinda notices a bus full of people, but while they are normal to everyone else, to her she sees them as frozen screaming ghosts. This would be how the passengers of the plane would be.
- In Village Java, Melinda is the only one who can hear a loud noise of a plane landing.
- Melinda tells Jim she has a horrible feeling of dread, that something terrible is going to happen. She also feels a "heaviness in the air".
- When Melinda goes home after seeing Jim in the Firehouse, she realizes the temperature is cold. Then the whole house begins to shake as if it was an earthquake. Romano appears outside the living room window, which is also frozen.
- Melinda has a dream of everything going faster than she is, and a man points to a window with an outline of the Wide Brim Hat Man, who then smashes the window similar to how the windows in Grandview Square's stores smash when the plane crashes later in the episode.
- The watch Andrea bought for her brother keeps stopping. The second time it stops the time is revealed to be 10:30am. This turns out to be the time the plane crashes on Grandview, and also Andrea's time of death. It stops for a third time when Melinda and Andrea are at a cafe talking about the Ghost Pilot.
- When Melinda is visited by the Ghost Pilot for the second time, he tells her that the captain goes down with his ship, and that the others are still sleeping. Present tense. He tells her that they are close.
- Melinda sees the Laughing Man in the middle of Grandview Square holding the watch Andrea bought for her brother, Mitch.
- The Ghost Pilot stands on top of a building and tells Melinda the plane is still flying and has yet to crash.
- After the Plane Crash, Andrea comes into the store, and Melinda looks at her and looks like she is about to start crying. This is because Melinda can tell when someone is a ghost as she learned from her Grandmother long ago, that she feels what the spirit is feeling- grief, confusion, terror. Melinda realizes Andrea is dead, though this isn't revealed to be so until the following episode.
- In Miss Fortune, the psychic told Andrea there would be tears from her brother. Mitch cries over Andrea when he finds out she is dead.
- This episode gathered a total of 10.00 million viewers.
- Frosty Ice keeps showing on windows and in Melinda's car. Later, the captain of the plane comes to Melinda looking frozen.
- When Melinda saw him in the square just before the plane crashed, 'The Laughing Man' was holding the watch Andrea had purchased for her brother.
- Three times, we see or hear, "you're the one" during this episode. The first time Melinda saw it on the corkboard in the coffee shop. The second time the Wide Brimmed Hat Man said it too her. Lastly, Melinda read it on the FAA website.
- Inscription in the pocket watch Andrea got her brother for his birthday: To Mitch who showed me Love Never Dies.
- Andrea's time of death is 10:30am on May 11, 2006.
MELINDA: I can't shake this feeling of dread that something terrible is going to happen.
(House shakes & Melinda sees the Wide Brimmed Hat Man)
ROMANO: You're the one.
MELINDA: Note to self. Be grateful that I don't have angry brothers and sisters.
(all the food in the fridge is frozen)