Bring in the skeptics.
TLC’s Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo was doing a live, in-person interview for a local radio show, when she was greeted with an awkward surprise in Sunday’s episode “Uneasy.” Steve and Leeana from Long Island’s KJOY 98.3 Morning Show welcomed in to the studio a group of eight skeptics who lined up like a firing squad eager to call out Caputo as a fake.
“No matter what, there’s always going to be someone who tries to prove it’s not real,” Caputo says.
But Caputo was armed and dangerous as spirits were in the KJOY house.
“Did somebody lose a sister?” she asks. A younger woman acknowledges but says nothing further. But she doesn’t have to, Caputo’s got this. She starts rattling off a series of connections from how the skeptic’s sister died, to a special book, a watch, her clothing she kept from her sister and the recent birth of her son. It took just minutes for Caputo to get that skeptic second guess. In the end, the young girl said the entire experience was “unbelievably gratifying.” And out the skeptics went, and on went Caputo.
Another stop in the episode included a visit to the local Optix eye care store to get Caputo’s daughter, Victoria, new glasses. Family typically takes the backseat when spirits come to play and this venture proved no different. Caputo was at the store for just minutes when she started getting hot — a good sign a spirit is coming, as her nerves escalate. She moves into medium mode and approaches someone in the store [who we learn is Judy] and asks: “Did someone lose their father because he’s here.” Giddily, Judy goes to get her mother and the two of them listen to Caputo talk about the significance of their departed husband/father’s wedding ring and a connection she makes with the ring being given to Judy’s brother. Caputo sees mansions and the ocean — apparently a good enough description for the two of them to conclude it’s the location of where her brother was married and he used her father’s wedding ring then. Well, apparently dad was in attendance too — and the mother and daughter were delighted for this unsolicited impromptu reading.
Each episode typically involves a private reading, as well. This episode was with Emma, a middle-aged woman from Hunting Station, N.Y., who was hoping to connect with her ex-husband Jason who is the father to her daughter. Caputo starts by asking her, “Who lives down South?” It’s her ex’s family, which, I guess, means Jason’s there. Caputo confirms saying he is calling her “Em” and then asks if they had children together and specifies a daughter. She tells Emma that Jason is thanking his daughter for the beautiful and amazing tribute she gave at his funeral when she sang the song they had recorded together. “Your husband takes responsibility for his passing.” We learn Jason had committed suicide. Caputo tells Emma that Jason is giving his permission to allow her daughter’s current stepfather [Emma’s husband] to “be her dad.” A timely message as we learn that the stepfather was trying to legally adopt her. In the end, Emma gets what Theresa calls a “a beautiful way to validate” he is with them, and Emma says she is finally “at peace” with his passing.
In episode 14, the final episode of season 2 — “Spirit and the City” — Caputo’s husband Larry is going through what she says is another midlife crisis wanting to add another tattoo to his heavily inked arm. Looking for morale support he asks Caputo to join him at Lone Wolf Tattoo in Bellmore, N.Y, where Edwin (see his work here) is inking a Koi fish on his arm. [Larry says Koi fish stand for perseverance and courage] Caputo is only at the parlor for seconds when she starts to feel uncomfortable. Walking around she discovers a Ouija board mounted to the wall, which she says explains her “off kilter” feelings, as the board is something she considers “an unprotected channel” for spirits. She immediately sages the place to rid it of bad spirit. [check out some freaky Oija board stories here]
Then she connects a young female in the parlor with her deceased father. “Did you just have a dream about your dad last night or the night before? It was your dad,” she tells her, explaining that he used the dream to validate that he was still with her. Trying to process the fast-talking Caputo and the entire concept of spiritual life, the bewildered teen was relieved and grateful for the message. [The night the girl’s father passed she had an argument with him and they both went to bed angry, only the father had a massive heart attack and died. Lesson learned - don't go to bed angry.] Caputo said her father wants her to forget about that fight.
Next up, Caputo and family head to New York City for a group reading. While there Larry, Victoria and Caputo stop at Katz’s Deli for one of her favorites — a pastrami sandwich — that she describe as “un-frickin’-believable.” Lunch wouldn’t be complete without a spiritual intervention, so no surprise when Caputo approaches a women in her early fifties and connects her with her recently departed mother.
Later in the day Larry Jr. agrees to meet up with the family, and to make dinner arrangements for the four of them. Jr. picks Lucky Chengs: The Drag Capitol of the World! where he enjoys some good laughs watching his parents’ reactions.
They end the night at a group reading at a hotel, where Caputo makes an unusual connection between a grandmother and her grandchild (an infant that died in her mother’s womb). Caputo tells the grandmother about how she held the stillborn baby in her arms and had the baby’s tiny finger wrapped around hers and that her son has the baby’s footprints tattooed on him. The group was silenced by the level of detail. Caputo goes on to connect another spirit with a loved one, and then the Caputo clan departs, satisfied they have helped many.
But that’s really the secret to the success of this show, whether you believe it or not, it’s the power of the people believing — so desperately trying to make any connection — and ultimately their moving confessionals of finding peace.
Season 3 of Long Island Medium returns to TLC in September 2012.