Recap: We begin the Season 1 finale in a spooky graveyard, where it looks as though some kind of ghostly spirit has just departed the grave of one Elizabeth Putnam Cory - eeeeek! - and is heading toward the main cemetery gate. The door of the gate opens, then promptly shuts...which I found funny 'cause I figured a non-mortal entity would be able to float through the bars or flit over them. The ghost continues its way over a large bridge, then barrels toward the front door of a mansion. When it lets itself in, it goes all poltergeist - rattling the furniture around and causing anything that's not nailed down to violently shake and then crash to the floor. Upstairs, a young girl - hey, it's fourteen year old Kristy McNichol! - sits up in bed and shrieks, "Mother!" ... and a few seconds later, her father rushes into the room, hugs her, and assures her that everything is going to be A-OK by the time the end credits roll. Sort of.
Over at the Austin ranch, Jaime is packing her clothes in a small red suitcase while Oscar gives her the low-down on her next mission: look into the mysterious force/presence/disturbance that's been terrorizing the town of Essexville, which is located between Boston and Salem. Oscar explains that the only reason he gives a rat's ass about any of this is 'cause it's affecting the work of OSI researcher Alan Cory, who seems to have a direct connection to the mysterious force/presence/disturbance, but refuses to talk about it. Jaime glances at his photograph and remarks on how good looking he is, then asks about his marital status. [Is Steve Austin just a faint memory to you now, Jaime?] Oscar tells her that Alan's wife died a year ago...and that ever since her death, he insists on working out of his home-based lab. And OSI puts up with it 'cause he's a genius and is currently developing two components of the Alpha Sensor Project. Sounds super intense. Unfortunately, the mysterious force/presence/disturbance remains a problem 'cause it's wigging out the Essexville townsfolk, and Jaime's mission is to get to the bottom of it...'cause apparently she's a bionic ghost hunter now. He's assigned her to be Kristy McNichol's governess, a position that was vacated by the previous governess who fled in horror after the most recent spiritual visitation. He then puts on his most solemn Oscar face and warns Jaime that the disturbance is "very real and very dangerous". Eeeeek!
Jaime arrives at Cory manor, the stately old mansion that has been the epicenter of all the supernatural activity. She carries her small red suitcase with her to the front door...and as the camera pans behind her, we see that a creepy looking bearded man is watching her from behind the gates. Kristy McNichol answers the door, greets her new governess, and tells her that her father is hard at work in his lab. Jaime sees a giant bookcase overturned in the middle of the living room floor with books strewn about and asks whassup with that, and Kristy breezily says it just fell over. LOL. After she scampers off to get her father, Jaime bionically lifts the bookcase, maneuvers it so it's upright against the wall, then picks up and re-shelves all the books. I wonder why Oscar has never come right out and instructed her to keep her bionicness on the down-low with whoever she happens to be interacting with during her missions, since I'm pretty sure it's supposed to remain top secret. She activates her bionic ear and hears Alan express annoyance at being interrupted by the arrival of the new governess, then grumpishly agrees to get the introductions out of the way. When he and Kristy enter the room, they're surprised to see the bookcase back in its default position and stare at Jaime in puzzlement as she nonsensically explains, "I was just cleaning things up." Alan brusquely asks to see her OSI identification badge - which she promptly shows to him - then spots a misshelved book with Putnam written across the cover. He picks it up, mutters, "This doesn't belong here", and tells Kristy to take care of it. He then tells Jaime he's far too busy with the Alpha Sensor Project to spend another minute on polite niceties (!), promises to go over her assigned duties in the morning, then rushes back to his lab. Kristy places the large Putnam book on a special stand as Jaime stares at a painting of Kristy's mother - Elizabeth Putnam Cory - and remarks on how beautiful she was. Kristy tells her that the Putnam book has been in her family for a long time, then cackles, "It's a witch book!" and explains that one of her ancestors, Rebecca Putnam, was put on trial for witchcraft, then thrown into a Salem jail where she later died. Jaime calls that intriguing and says she'd be interested in taking a closer look at the Putnam book.
Later, Jaime is relaxing in her very large governess quarters, which features a cozy fireplace and a huge painting of Rebecca Putnam's witch trial. Yeesh, I wonder why that grisly thing isn't hanging in a local museum or something. Jaime reads the Putnam book while we get a disturbing audio re-enactment of Rebecca's Salem Witch Trial as the camera remains fixed on the painting.
Jaime hears noises coming from outside, so she wanders over to the window to investigate. She sees what looks like a ghostly spirit departing the house, then blowing through leaves and knocking over lawn furniture. Jaime bionically leaps out of the window and jogs after it, using her bionic ear to guide her since the thing she's chasing after isn't actually visible. The ghostly spirit leads her to the cemetery...and as she ambles around the gravestones, the creepy bearded man comes up right behind her, which freaks her the hell out when she senses his presence and whirls around. She shrieks, "Who are you?!" so he introduces himself as Emil Laslo and tells her that he likes to spend his time studying the supernatural. He's currently in Essexville to investigate the ghostly presence that's been wigging everyone out, then warns Jaime that while the ghost might be a harmless nuisance to some, it could be very dangerous to her. Jaime stares back at him, her face scrunched worriedly.
Jaime calls Oscar to report that, yep, there's definitely a ghostly spirit wreaking havoc in Essexville. She also tells him about her encounter with Emil Laslo and suggests that he look into that weirdo's background.
Alan is cleaning up all the broken glass from the spiritual visitation the night before when Jaime drops by the lab. He remarks on her Grade 6 security clearance, then says he knows that the OSI sent her to keep an eye on more than just his daughter - and Jaime's like, "Well duh" and points out that OSI has a lot of money invested in his Alpha Sensor Project. He assures her that he packed up the alpha sensor component very carefully, and it didn't sustain any damage during the chaos. He says that the ghost seems to center most of its rage in the lab...but that he can't bring himself to look into it 'cause he's pretty sure it's the ghost of his late wife, Elizabeth. He says she was "special", meaning telekinetic, and that some of her ancestors also had unusual abilities. I guess that would explain the witchcraft accusations that got lobbed against Rebecca Putnam during the Salem Witch Trials fiasco.
Alan steers Jaime over to a giant contraption equipped with large buttons and polygraph-like needles and explains that it's an instrument to register energy waves...and that his angry wife's ghost has been causing the needles to go wild. Jaime's like, "Uh, isn't your wife dead?" so Alan tells her that when Elizabeth learned she was dying, she promised to contact him from beyond the grave, if and whenever possible. Jaime asks him why Elizabeth's ghost would want to sabotage his work now that she's in the afterlife, and he's like, "I dunno" then says that all of these disturbances have been tough on Kristy, who he's been pretty much neglecting in favor of his OSI work. He gets a faraway look in his eyes and reminisces about how different their lives were when Elizabeth was alive...and says it's been a long time since he's been around a beautiful, stimulating woman.
And speaking of being around a beautiful, stimulating woman...
Alan looks as though he's just noticed Jaime's good looks and sparkling personality for the first time, brazenly ogles her, and tells her she's way cuter than Kristy's past governesses. He impulsively decides, "Why not take the day off?" and invites Jaime to come along on a picnic at the lake with him and Kristy. Jaime perks up at that and says it sounds like a wonderful idea...and as the two happily skip out of the lab, we see that Kristy has been standing in the shadows, eavesdropping and looking all Omen-like as she stares unhappily into space.
Picnic time! After a lovely picnic lunch, Alan urges Kristy to lie down and have a snooze so he can take Jaime on a romantic canoe ride. In the next scene, Jaime and Alan are happily paddling along when - eeeeek! - they stumble into the crosshairs of a nearby log that abruptly becomes possessed. It launches itself at Jaime and Alan, then slams into the side of the canoe. Jaime looks unsettled by the strange attack - 'cause who the hell expects an inanimate object like a log to hurl itself at your canoe? - and even more unsettled when the demonic log propels itself at the canoe a second and third time and smashes a giant hole into the side of it.
Emil Laslo is standing on the shore, watching the bemusing attack through a pair of binoculars. As the canoe rapidly sinks, Jaime and Alan are thrown into the water. Jaime swims over to Alan, who's floating face down in the water, turns him upright and hopes to hell he's still breathing, and bionically swims with him to shore...with the maniacal log in hot pursuit like Jaws. When the two reach the shore, the log torpedoes itself straight at Jaime - but she sees it coming and bionically leaps into the air to avoid being impaled by the evil thing. She activates her bionic ear and hears Kristy shriek, "Mother?!" and when she and Alan rush over to where the demon spawn is napping, she wails that mother was just here, and that she was trying to hurt Jaime. Jaime stares back at her looking frightened and discombobulated.
Oscar calls Jaime to give her some background info on Emil Laslo. Apparently, he's a well known investigator of the supernatural and makes his money on exposing hoaxes and explaining how illusions are created. Jaime tells him about the demon log that tried to sink the canoe that she and Alan were paddling...and that she's still pretty freaked out about the whole thing.
Alan packs up his phase one sensor in a metal suitcase 'cause he's transporting it to MIT, where he'll then train people on how to use it. He hugs Kristy goodbye and promises to make some time for her when he returns...though probably not 'cause he's going to have to start work on the phase 2 sensor, like pronto. He then turns to Jaime, gives her a sultry cheek kiss, and says he's also looking forward to spending more time with her. Mmm hmm.. As he drives off in his wood panelled station wagon, a vexed looking Kristy tells Jaime how upset her mother always got whenever her father spent time away from them...and Jaime ignores that giant red flag as she stares into space, smiling vacantly.
Jaime and Kristy head over to the lab to straighten things up when the ghostly spirit makes an unexpected appearance. When the shelving starts to shake, a bottle of sulfuric acid falls off the shelf and crashes near Jaime's cyborg foot. Kristy shrieks in horror, then looks puzzled when Jaime's shoe is the only thing that gets burned beyond recognition. The needle sensors of the large ghost-o-meter contraption start moving rapidly...and Kristy says she's pretty sure it's her mother's spirit, pissed off that her father is spending so much time away from home. Jaime rolls her eyes derisively says she doesn't believe in ghosts and that there has to be another explanation...like, for example, the %$@! call is coming from inside the house!!
Emil Laslo drops by Cory manor to speak with Alan - but Kristy tells him he's not around, but that her governess is. Jaime bounds into the room wearing a fresh new pair of shoes...and when Kristy asks her whose shoes those are, she says she found them in the lab. Kristy glares at her feet and accusingly says they're her mother's shoes - but Jaime just kind of shrugs disinterestedly and ushers Laslo into the living room. Laslo stares in fascination at Elizabeth's painting and remarks on how she's a direct descendant of Rebecca Putnam. He tells Jaime he saw what happened at the lake and thinks he can offer an explanation...and as they're talking, the furniture in the room starts vibrating. Kristy looks alarmed and says it's her mother's angry ghost again, and that she's having a fit 'cause Jaime is wearing her shoes. Laslo pulls Jaime aside and tells her he's seen this phenomenon only once before - but before he can elaborate, the ghost knocks over the giant bookcase, which lands atop Laslo. Ouch. After Jaime bionically lifts the bookcase off of him, he warns her to beware the poltergeist 'cause it's after her - eeeeek! - then falls silent as his head flops to the side. I assumed that that meant he was a goner, but Jaime must have sensed a pulse 'cause she tells Kristy she's going to take him to the hospital. Kristy declines to go 'cause she's still traumatized about her mom dying in a Salem hospital.
After getting looked over in the ER, a nurse tells Jaime that Laslo is going to be fine...and we see that Jaime has been sitting in the waiting room reading Laslo's book about the supernatural, in particular the chapter on poltergeists. She suddenly looks alarmed as scary music starts up in the background, and rushes over to the nurse's station to place an emergency call to Alan.
Jaime tells Alan she's pretty sure that Kristy is behind the ghostly disturbances 'cause of her telekinetic abilities. A puzzled Alan says he had her tested for telekinesis and the results came back negative, so Jaime suggests that it's her subconscious that is telekinetic...and that it's lashing out 'cause he's not spending enough time with her. When Jaime reminds him that Kristy was asleep while they were being terrorized by the maniacal log...and that she's been asleep during all the other spiritual visitations (except during the sulfuric acid incident, and when Laslo got crushed by the giant bookcase just now...not that I want to split hairs now that I'm finally in the home stretch of this tedious episode). Alan mulls over Jaime's theory and decides that, yep, it's definitely possible. He suddenly goes, "Ack!" and says he's now worried that his demon spawn may unwittingly do something to damage the phase 2 component of his Alpha Sensor Project. He asks Jaime to get back to the house asap and get Kristy to understand that her subconscious is what's been scaring the bejeezus out of everyone in Essexville...and destroying every damn breakable in his house.
Kristy is fast asleep...and the sensors on the ghost-o-meter are going wild. Eeeeek! She dreams about her father telling her that he's going to have to work on the phase 2 component when he gets back from MIT, and when he turned to Jaime and smooched her cheek...and the dream continues in a loop of those two flashbacks.
Jaime nearly loses control of her car and screeches to a stop just as she's about to cross the large bridge...which starts self-destructing. She gets out of the car and bionically jogs across the collapsing bridge as it tries to pelt her with beams and metal parts. When she safely arrives at the house, the front door opens for her - which was pretty creepy - and after a few seconds of quiet eeriness, the furniture starts shaking and objects begin flying in her direction. She rushes upstairs, dodging flying debris, then forces her way into Kristy's room and shrieks at her to wake up. As the ghostly wind howls menacingly around her, she urgently tries to explain to Kristy that the violent disturbance has been her bratty subconscious mind doing its best to get her father's attention...and as she's doing that she's getting pelted by drawers, lamps, and an alarm clock. LOL. As the bed starts shaking violently, Jaime urgently tells Kristy to give her father another chance...and chides her naughty subconscious from nearly killing him in the lake the other day. A horrified Kristy cries, "Noooooo!!" and tearfully clings to Jaime...and Jaime assures her that she's not here to take her father away, 'cause who the hell wants to date a guy whose daughter's subconscious is harboring an out-of-control poltergeist? As Kristy absorbs this information, the ghostly wind dies down and everything stops vibrating. Phew!
Oscar is at Cory manor with Jaime, wrapping up this bizarre mission. Oscar tells Alan that the sensor components are a great success...and Alan seems pleased, but says he's going to have to take a break from work for awhile to spend some quality time with Poltergeist and look into controlling her subconscious telekinetic impulses. Jaime kisses them both goodbye while Oscar impatiently urges her to step on it, otherwise they won't stand "a ghost of a chance" being on time for their plane. Kristy gives him a cheesy thumbs up and retorts, "That's the spirit, Mr. Goldman!" and everyone chuckles light-heartedly as Oscar and Jaime climb into his car and get the hell out of Ghost Town forever.