After the disappointing start to the season, there was some hope that this episode would get the ball rolling with a bit more inspiration. Sadly, that was hardly the case. If anything, the editors chose to take two locations that could have easily stood on their own and compressed them into a single hour. The end result was an episode that did little to distinguish itself.
The team looked tired and more than a little bored in the season premiere, and the same applies here. Jason and Grant mentioned in earlier seasons, when the episode count was a lot lower, that they needed to take breaks to rest up and remain focused. Since then, the episode count has risen to more than 25 a season. Considering how many episodes show two investigations rather than one, that's nearly 50 investigations. Add to that the filming demands, the travel time, and the seemingly endless conference and convention appearances, and they barely have a moment's peace. Even GHI, with all that international travel, spreads out the filming schedule.
Now, that's not an excuse; it's what they signed up for, after all. But it does provide some perspective for their apparent lack of enthusiasm. They just don't look like they're enjoying it anymore. Of course, they're all a little bit older and the long nights might be wearing on them more than they used to, but they just seem to be going through the motions.
Case #1: Star Island, NH
On the one hand, I can understand why they gave this location only the requisite half-episode treatment. Despite the size of the location and the various buildings to explore, the most exciting piece of "evidence" was a door that seemed to close on its own. The EVP was once again buried in the background noise, and the "footsteps" could have easily been the result of the loose wooden construction shifting in the stiff winter wind. Despite what Jason and Grant had to say about the lack of open windows, I suspect the wind still had something to do with that door closing.
On the other hand, this was a location with several buildings with reported activity, and there was barely any attempt to show the depth of their investigation. There were various comment about equipment being left in specific locations for the duration of the investigation, but we didn't get to see them do very much.
Something tells me that the lasting debate from this episode will not be the "evidence", but rather, discussion on Steve's attitude about reading.
Case #2: Kimball Castle, NH
After trying to equate the American "castle" with the European castles, this certainly turned out to be a dud. The most exciting "evidence" from this investigation was the thermal cat (or rat, depending on scale interpretation). The editors certainly tried to play up whatever Steve and Tango thought they saw during the data review, but clearly, it was nothing special.
Which, sadly, is still my opinion of this young fifth season. So far, it's nothing special. It's more of the same. No innovation and no growth are worrisome sign. But we can be thankful that the K-II Meter was nowhere to be seen. That's some small progress, right?