Ghost Hunters International

Season 2 Episode 26

Soldiers Of Misfortune: Puerto Rico

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Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Feb 16, 2011 on Syfy
8.2
out of 10
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4 votes
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Episode Summary

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In the season finale, the GHI team returns to the New World to investigate several fortresses, both dating back to the 16th century, and Teatro Tapia, a 19th century theater.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The second season ends: is it on a high note?

    7.0
    So, here we are, finally at the end of the second season of "Ghost Hunters International". By my estimation, it's been more than 18 months since the season premiered. There have been plenty of changes, and in my opinion, they haven't been for the better.



    This latest run of episodes has been something of a test case for the revamped team, and it has been rough going. The team is still trying to find itself while dealing with increased demands from Pilgrim Films. The production intentions are clear from the editing: the team assignments are more static, the technology is plentiful but used less effectively (at least, as seen on screen), and some of the "evidence" has been rather questionable, especially the EVPs.



    I've been fairly vocal about my lack of faith in Susan and her "abilities", and I still don't think she and Paul make a good pair. She seems to bring out a side of his investigative technique that is less objective. Joe and Scott and fine together, but they both have the same problem; neither of them have anything distinct they bring to the team dynamic just yet. While this has long been my criticism of Joe, Scott is relatively new and things could change in the third season.



    Barry was great as the tech manager, and when he was working with Paul, they made a solid tech core for the team. As I've said before, it helped to moderate Barry's penchant for making assumptions about negative spirits and dependence on folklore. Just from what we've seen, I'm not sure the leadership role allows for the same balance. Kris would be the ideal person to provide some counter-weight in the "co-lead" role, but so far, she's been a bit more passive within the team.



    All in all, the changes haven't helped. From a team perspective, there have been too many changes and they just haven't found their footing yet. Regardless of why, the static team assignments haven't helped with the audience, even if in the short-term, they might have been good to build team dynamics. Perhaps the most telling barometer is the ratings: the retooling was designed to give the series a boost in the ratings, and instead, the ratings haven't changed at all.



    Which, in my mind, strongly suggests that Pilgrim Films and Syfy tried to fix something that wasn't broken. To be clear: for the most part, I have no issue with the investigators themselves. It's just that they're not bringing anything new to the table, and in some respects, they're lacking some of what the old team already had.



    Case #1: El Morro Fortress, Puerto Rico



    I'm not shocked that Barry says he saw a shadow figure almost immediately. Hasn't he seen shadows moving in nearly every location since taking over the team? It's happened quite often, at any rate.



    Paul hears footsteps in the tunnels, which may not be so surprising, given the acoustics. I've mentioned that sort of thing before, but just listening to the audio in the episode, it wouldn't take much for echoes of one's footsteps to start coming from odd directions. But more importantly to my opening thoughts, once again Susan "feels weird", making her "dizzy and sick". It's getting rather predictable at this point. (Also, I'm all for people learning foreign languages, but if Susan is fluent in Spanish, why is Paul the one speaking it all the time?)



    I was really disappointed when Joe mentioned the "orbs". It's clearly dust, and really didn't need debunking. I can't believe they spent any time on that during the investigation, let alone on screen, when they could have simply explained it to the client based on the photo in hand. (Never mind that a genuine "orb" is nothing more than a ball of energy, with no inherent connection to the paranormal. At least, without plenty of additional concurrent "evidence" to make such a claim.)



    The "damn" EVP is interesting because it clearly rises above the background noise and it's fairly recognizable. On the other hand, all things being equal, it sounds very much like Joe to me. The laugh EVP is also very recognizable on the waveform, but doesn't strike me as coming from the team. So that would have potentially been worth additional investigation.



    As far as the interpretation of the reported claim of an apparition walking through a wall, I would disagree. Just because there had been a lighthouse with an open archway in that specific spot does not in any way validate the claims of paranormal activity. Where is the evidence of an apparition? If all it took was a client's report of activity to be taken as proof, what's the point of the investigation? It felt like a huge stretch, and perhaps something added to the mix to make a relatively inactive location more intriguing.



    Case #2: Tapia Theater, Puerto Rico



    I just have to note that the MelMeter in this investigation is a perfect example of why I find them unreliable. Scott was noting an EMF field of 0.6 mG, and the light/sound indicator were going nuts. Just from the online information, a field of 0.6 mG should not have been causing that. If there's any obvious sign of lack of instrument calibration, that would be it. Such an instrument is effectively useless.



    This location had all the usual personal experiences: Barry seeing shadows, the team hearing footsteps and voices, and so forth. Other than Scott's experience, there wasn't much coverage of the investigation at all, at least in comparison to the first case.



    The "help" and "let me out" EVPs are both buried in the background noise and strike me as perfect examples of pattern recognition (and perhaps a liberal dose of wishful thinking). On the other hand, the footsteps and "dragging" sounds are fairly audible and appear to be above the noise, if only barely. And I like that they checked the roof so thoroughly.



    I'm a bit more intrigued by the video footage. This is one of those instances where the data demonstrates the value of having multiple monitoring devices covering the same location. Assuming that we can trust the timestamps (given Pilgrim Films' previous alterations of video footage, one can never be certain), the fact that the anomalies in both recordings (low-lux, FLIR) coincided with one another lends credence to something unusual actually happening.



    Is it paranormal? Impossible to say from the evidence in hand. But that would have been an instant basis for a follow-up investigation and some serious in-depth analysis of the footage to understand what had occurred, to see if it could be replicated and under what conditions. In that respect, I suppose the second season of GHI ended on a high note!moreless
Barry Fitzgerald (II)

Barry Fitzgerald (II)

Lead Investigator

Kris Williams

Kris Williams

Investigator

Paul Bradford

Paul Bradford

Tech Manager

Susan Slaughter

Susan Slaughter

Investigator-in-Training/Case Manager

Joe Chin

Joe Chin

Investigator

Scott Tepperman

Scott Tepperman

Investigator

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Scott is the only team member who doesn't perform an EVP session in a language other than English. Joe Chin speaks Chinese, and the others all speak Spanish with varying degrees of fluency.

    • Also Appearing:
      Investigation 1: El Morro and San Cristobal Fortresses - San Juan, Puerto Rico
      Debbie Molina Ramos - Historian
      Laura Pereira - Visitor
      Adriana Buitrago - Visitor
      Jennifer Medine - Visitor

      Investigation 2: Tapia Theater - San Juan, Puerto Rico
      Bruce Otero - Local Paranomal Investigator
      Lunna Garcia De La Noceda - Director of Arts and Culture
      Daniela Buscaglia - 3rd Floor Usher
      Franklin Castillo - Usher

      Special Thanks:
      San Juan National Historic Site
      National Park Service
      Teatro Tapia
      Bruce Ortega

    • The investigation of the two fortresses took place on December 8-9, 2010. The investigation of the Tapia Theater occurred on December 13-14, 2010.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • EVP: Let me go.

    • Paul: (doing an EVP session) Como te llamos? (to Susan) I have the worst Spanish accent, ever. Mi nombre es Paul.
      Susan: (correcting his Spanish) Pablo.
      Paul: Pablo. Mi amigo es Susan.
      Susan: Amiga.
      Paul: Amiga.

    • Barry: (as he crawls through a tunnel in shorts) I should have wore trousers.
      Kris: (wearing sandals) I should have wore sneakers!

    • Joe: (during an EVP session) Do you like to play practical jokes? You could scare one of us. If you scare me enough, I'll probably pee a little.
      Scott: He's gonna EV Pee in his pants!

  • NOTES (2)

    • El Morro Fortress and San Cristobal Fortress are about 2 km away by road, or about 1.5 km walking directly. In between the two fortresses is the very large Cemeterio Maria Magdalena which has been the final resting place of many of Puerto Rico's most prominent citizens since its construction in 1863.

    • At the end of the episode, Kris and Barry wonder where they will be going for their next investigation when season 3 starts, and Kris says they should go somewhere else with beaches and palm trees. She gets her wish- the first episode of season 3 is to be located at Trinidad and Tobago.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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