The Dead Zone: Looking Glass

George: "What you see is warped by your own psyche. You have such a dark view of the world."

Very interesting episode; it had me going. I thought the murder vision at the beginning was an obvious set-up, although I later wondered if that was because I saw the previews. Later, I thought that both twins were in on it. I didn't realize it was just one of them until it became obvious. So good on them.

The idea of law students researching the legal ramifications of crimes prevented and/or exposed by Johnny's visions was fascinating; I almost wish there had been more about that, as long as it didn't get too technical. But the focus moved immediately to the twins, and that was fine, too. They kept reminding me of the bizarre real life twins Jeremy Irons played in Dead Ringers; we even had Fernanda in the Genevieve Bujold role.

The actors who played the twins were very good. With their clean-cut looks and horn-rimmed glasses, they seemed like warped dual Clark Kents. The fact that most of the time they were indistinguishable from each other made them even creepier. There were entire scenes when we only learned which twin was which at the end of the scene, if at all.

The symbolism was heavy-handed, but it worked. The twins became easily distinguishable from one another only after Johnny punched Lennie on the jaw, marking the guilty one both literally and symbolically. As George began to suspect Lennie, the split between the twins was illustrated not just with the dialogue, but graphically -- with George's faked, bloody death, and the scene with the two of them splitting apart in the one-way mirror. Good work on the director's part; very effective.

Johnny got good support from Bruce and Walt here (this was such a guy episode). I particularly liked the scene where they were getting ready to bust into the cellar and Walt broadly hinted to Bruce and Johnny that they heard a scream. The cute Johnny/Bruce opening scene with the clothes highlighted the changes we've been noticing lately in Johnny; the references to Johnny Cash, the man in black, were apt. Johnny may unconsciously be doing the same thing that Johnny Cash did (wear black until there is no more war) because of Stillson and the approaching Armageddon. Johnny has been deeper and darker this season, less like the Ronny Howard boy next door and more the brooding, mysterious psychic -- and it becomes him. He seems... dare I say it? Sexier.

Bits and pieces:

-- The college was the Whitley College. Has this school been mentioned before?

-- The visions were excellent, as always. I particularly loved Fernanda's photo on the file folder. The freeze frame vision in the store was terrific... although for the first time I actually saw someone move (the person with the silly string).

-- The shot where Johnny lifted the "dead" Fernanda's head and she looked up at him was effective. It probably would have been a shocker if they hadn't shown it in the previews.

-- The situation with the twins' mother giving all her moola to Reverend Purdy was interesting. It was particularly ironic that it was their motivation for revenge on Johnny, when Johnny was also Reverend Purdy's victim.

-- Just a little more about David Cronenberg's movie, Dead Ringers, which may be the creepiest twin movie ever made. I never forgot it, although I'm sure I never want to see it again. Jeremy Irons was simply brilliant as twins who were obsessed with each other; he did scenes with himself that you have to see to believe.

-- Nicole de Boer was not in this episode. They must be saving her for next week.

Quotes:

Johnny: "What's this? Bruce eye for the psychic guy?"

Bruce: "My guess, he's a fashion victim, and senses your expertise."

George: "You know what it's like, losing your mother to a phony man of God?"
Johnny: "Yeah, actually I do."

Three out of four stars for originality and clever casting,

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

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