Remember that super freaky moment when the little girl says that in Poltergeist? That's how I felt at the end of Proof Season 1 Episode 8 after Patricia Wolcott became the second person to tell Cat "they told me not to talk to you."
Don't you get the impression after that conversation that "they" are all around us, watching and listening to everything that is going on? The whole thing was downright unsettling. It was certainly not what I expected after the long hunt for the woman in the long, green scarf!
The entire hour was highly entertaining. I should probably go ahead and admit right up front that I can get lost watching DVR'd episodes of Ghost Inside My Child on Lifetime. I've even secretly wished I had children just on the off-chance one of them may have been reincarnated, because ohmygosh those stories are always so utterly fascinating!
It was surprising to me that Cat would be so quick to give up the ghost (ha) after walking right into a case that revealed so much evidence for life after death. Granted, reincarnation isn't exactly life after death in the traditional sense, but it is a way that the soul lives on after we're gone, so it seems like a pretty big checkmark in the win column.
Charles going nuts on Cat about the Deborah and Ava situation didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I have to wonder if he would feel the same if he knew his Ivan Turing money was attached in some way to Deborah's "psychotic breakdown."
From what I recall, nobody but Len has any understanding of what Cat's doing with Ivan, so why did Charles automatically assume she was indulging Deborah when it was Kyle's mother who met and made arrangements with Deborah completely on her own?
I suppose it comes down to the conversation Cat had with Peter Van Owen. She doesn't feel comfortable with what she's doing at all, and even someone who is at the forefront of her hidden field feels pressure to perform at levels beyond his own capacity – a bit like a circus animal – to appease fans and believers.
Peter: I use techniques to read people. When the power isn't in me, I tell people what they want to hear.
Cat: Are you saying you that fake it?
Peter: I'm saying that I've gotten so good, I'm not certain what is real and what isn't anymore.
Cat: Aren't I the last person you should be confessing that to?
Peter: You are a highly respected doctor, moonlighting as an investigator into the afterlife. You, of all people, should appreciate a secret that can ruin a career.
She doesn't even need to admit what she's doing to others, because she has a deep enough doubt of investigating it herself. It's a shame, really. Something tells me that Zed wouldn't be laughed out of the surgical theater if he expressed an interest in examining life after death, but Cat would. Is it because she's at the pinnacle of her profession and a woman?
We also had yet another instance of Len calling the research "crap." I really have a hard time with his repeated beating of that drum, even while he fully supports Cat in other areas. It's just so out of character that I'm starting to wonder if he won't suffer some terrible fate (or near fate) in the final two episodes of the season so he can better understand.
All of this brings us up to Patricia Wolcott and the conversation that dragged Cat back from her decision to quit the ghost busting business. She was fully prepared to turn her back on everything she was coming to believe (at least she thought she was).
Patricia: I know you've been looking into the afterlife. I know what you've experienced and what you hope to find. But you need to stop. There are things that are not meant to be known.
Cat: What are you talking about?
Patricia: Nothing good can come from continuting your investigation. Leave it alone. For your own good and those you care about.
That part of the conversation would be enough to make me continue my research. I'd be thinking, "Hello! My kid is in the afterlife. I've seen him! What is so terrible that nothing good can come from knowing about it? I'm going to find out!" It's utterly frightening to imagine that we would be barred from knowing what is there unless...what? Why would some special people get to die and see some of it?
After all, Cat herself died and was given a glimpse into the world beyond this one. It wasn't so terrible. Would spirits come calling on the living to keep their mouths shut if they found out about the other side? If that's the case, why allow anyone to remember anything?
Cat: I don't understand. Who are you? And why did I see you with my son?
Patricia: That's all I can tell you now. I shouldn't have even said this much. They told me not to talk to you.
Cat: What did you say?!
Then the "they" came up again, as if a very specific group of people are keeping tabs on Cat and her family. I really have no theories here, folks. I'm fresh out of ideas.
What do you think? Who are "they" and why do they allow people to talk to Peter Van Owen, for example, but not Dr. Carolyn Tyler? Is it because she remains skeptical and unsure of her faith? I'm dying to find out and Proof Season 1 Episode 9 cannot get here fast enough. That there are only 10 installments seems tragic all of a sudden.
Where do you stand. Do you have answers to these questions? Drop me a comment! Don't forget, you can watch Proof online if you've missed any of this fantastic series so far.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.