The Dead Zone: Forbidden Fruit

Miranda: "What is this? A wedding or a political fundraiser?"
Ellis: "Both, if we do it right."

I always like Stillson episodes, and this was a good one. Most of the early scenes still had that "Johnny Smith, psychic detective" feel, but I think they really pulled out the stops with several exceptional scenes at the end.

Greg Stillson actually came across as sympathetic, until he reverted fully to type by letting Janus murder Miranda with snake venom. Of course, we could see Miranda's death coming; they seeded it early on by saying she had a weak heart. When it became apparent that they were setting Miranda up as a love interest for Johnny, though, I started to think maybe they weren't going to kill her after all. Maybe that's why they did it.

I haven't been on board so far with cold-blooded string-puller Malcolm Janus, but he finally got to me this time when he was telling Miranda about tribes and blood on the marriage bed and stoning impure women. And the always wonderful David Ogden Stiers hit it out of the park with that chilling scene about Purdy discovering Miranda's eulogy in that sealed envelope. Excellent.

And now, Stillson is the tragic figure who lost his fiancee on their wedding day. The public will love it. There's no stopping him now.

Bits and pieces:

-- Same cast, same credits. Except we didn't see Sarah or Walt in this episode.

-- Jeremy the ethical reporter felt like a red shirt character at first. I really didn't expect him to do what he did. The scene with his pregnant wife and the snake was also unexpectedly chilling. Good writing there, guys.

-- Purdy's ministry has increased three-fold since he went satellite. Yes, he was horribly upset by the eulogy in the envelope. But is he ready to give up that kind of power? Not that Janus will let him.

-- Johnny said at one point that he couldn't go to the police with just visions. But hey, he does it all the time.

-- There were several references to the current political situation in the United States. And that's good. If they had ignored it, it would have seemed detached from reality, and a lot more fictional.

-- Loved Johnny's vision of all the well-paid people in Janus' office wasting time, painting toenails and making photocopies of themselves.

-- In this season's hair report, Anthony Michael Hall kept last year's very nice do, and Bruce stayed minimalist. They both looked great.

-- This episode was dedicated to the late Michael Piller, may he rest in peace. "For Michael. 1948-2005."

At least three stars and possibly four,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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