Cat's Claw is the eleventh episode of the second season, and the thirty-third overall episode, of the CBS series, Ghost Whisperer, originally premiering on December 15, 2006. The episode was written by Jim Kouf and directed by Victoria Hochberg.
While Melinda is at the university’s botany lab, she deals with some telekinetic events while dealing with a plant from Peru that is bleeding. Melinda finds that she must help a professor save herself. Melinda tries to rescue a woman driven by guilt, and Professor Payne presses her for answers.
- Jay Mohr as Rick Payne
- Reed Diamond as Dr. Martin Schaer
- Julie Ann Emery as Dr Penn Gorgan
- Daniel J. Johnson as Student
- Rachel Shelley as Kate Payne
Melinda and Jim arrive home from Christmas shopping and decide to have a drink. While in the kitchen preparing a drink, Melinda notices an eerie feeling and notices the condensation on the kitchen windows. She watches as ice melts quickly before her eyes and then precedes to be bitten by a strange mosquito. Upstairs in her bedroom, she has a flash vision and is transported to a rainy jungle where she finds a man in a mask lying on the ground seemingly unconscious. He comes to and gets up only to have the mask change into a human face that begins to spit up blood.
Melinda explains her vision to Jim and ponders what her vision means. The next day at the shop Delia brings in a bunch of old items from an old house to sell at the shop. One of the items includes a black wide brimmed hat that reminds Melinda of Romano when Delia puts it on, which she takes to Professor Payne for more information. While there, she notices a totem pole that she saw in her flash vision out in the jungle. Payne explains he picked it up in Peru and explains it's healing and destructive qualities based on the lore of the tribe he acquired it from. Once he is gone, Melinda runs into the ghost of the man she saw in the vision who transports her back to the vision where she is in the rainy jungle. While there, she comes across a bright flower which she tries to touch but attacks her and leaves her hand bleeding. She trips on some vines which begin to wrap themselves around her and she falls to the ground where she seems a much bigger and taller totem which procedes to fall down her until she wakes up back in the real world on the floor of the university surrounded by students who are asking if she is okay.
Melinda once again tells Jim about the vision over dinner as they try and decipher why a ghost from the jungle is appearing to Melinda in Grandview. They can only find a connection to Payne from his travels to Peru where he picked up the totem, until Melinda finds the name of the plant she saw in her vision, the Cat's Claw, and discovers that a professor from the university Payne is working at has recently brought back specimens to the States from an expedition and is providing a lecture about them, which she attends. While there, Melinda watches as the ghost of one of the scientists that traveled to Peru, the same man she has been seeing in her visions, projects himself from one of the pictures on the slides, and begins to create chaos with the slide projector and microphone, and cause an extremely unsettling feeling on the female speaker whom he obviously knows. Melinda watches the ghost and says nothing. Melinda tries to speak to the unknown female (Dr. Grogan), only to watch as Payne and her have a moment outside where he calms her down.
Martin Share is the name of the man who died on their expedition to Peru, and Payne tells Melinda all about him, having been friends with him himself. Payne tells her about Share being a mentor and lover to Grogan who dies before the expedition is over and why some feel Grogan is enjoying the awards and accolades that truly belong to Share. While alone, Payne watches as his book change locations instantly everytime he turns around and discovers the totem pole lying down on his desk, impending death.
Payne continues to notice objects continuing to show up in questionable places. He gets drunk and shows up at Melinda's house demanding to know what is her story and why the creepy things have started happening after she started showing up with questions about the paranormal. As Melinda walks Payne out, the ghost of Share appears and uses the body of Payne to tell them to get to Grogans immediately. They head there as fast as possible only to find Grogan attempting suicide, feeling guilty for Share's death. They find her in time, and she is taken to the hospital. Payne begs Melinda for answers on how she knew about the suicide attempt. She confesses she can see and speak to the dead, and that is why she knows and can do the things she does.
Melinda drives home and has another vision, where she discovers that Share was forced to drink a concoction from the tribal people in exchange for directions to the flower, and he tells Grogan in their tent that he would do anything for a chance to see the flower. He starts to sweat and look ill.
Melinda tells Jim that night she confided her secret in Payne. The next day Melinda is visited by Grogan who thanks her for saving her life. She questions how she knew about her suicide attempt and how she knows Martin Share. Grogan recounts the night Share died mysteriously. Melinda tells Grogan that she has seen and spoken to Share's spirit, and that the truth is that Share was sick already three days before that night, having contracted dengue fever from mosquitos and finally died of the disease to it that night. Finally finding peace with having Grogan know the truth, Share crosses over into the light, leaving behind the message to Grogan to keep on working but also living her life, because one is no good without the other. Before leaving, he also jokes to Melinda that it's going to be tough for Payne to stay cynical to the thought of the paranormal and the afterlife now that he knows of Melinda's gift.
- It is finally revealed to Rick Payne that Melinda has the gift to see and speak to the dead.