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The Dead Zone: Article of Faith

Dana: "So. The psychic and the reporter. Kind of makes you feel nostalgic, doesn't it?"

When is a hate crime not a hate crime? When it's a contrived murder mystery that is messy, confusing, and improbable.

Yes, it was well-intentioned, but it just didn't have the bite or the pathos of a really good exploration of the psychology behind hate crimes. And Darryl Cotton was completely unsympathetic. Yes, it's hard to escape such horribly negative influences when you're just a child, but Darryl still committed murder because of hate. Murder is murder, after all.

And Josh of the student newspaper was so obviously guilty. They gave it away when they casually inserted his character into the opening scenes. He practically had a sign on him that said, "Me me me!" It was an interesting twist, that he had killed his lover and disguised it as a hate crime, but difficult to believe. I wish they had done it in a way that would have made it more plausible.

I've missed Dana Bright, and I would have preferred an episode that was more about her, since she was an interesting character with a lot of depth. Or she used to be, because we didn't see any of the old Dana here. Less provocative clothing, hair not quite as red – this was Dana with the volume turned down. (Not as Bright, perhaps.) I don't think I like successful, post-psychotherapy Dana. She was a lot more interesting before. And she and Johnny used to make such an interesting couple.

It's too bad, too. Because I suspect this is all the Dana Bright we're going to get.

Bits and pieces:

— Dana was working for WPKV.

— Still no Sarah, even though Nicole deBoer is still in the cast. What's up?

— With all the people of color and mentions of racism in this episode, I kept thinking, blond Johnny looks so white. :)

Two stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. I think this is another episode that actually has more weight now than in its first run. Though it could have been done a little bit better. Not that that sort of thing can really be understood.

    Josh from the student paper was pretty obvious, though I thought maybe he was going to turn out to be a white supremacist, so the closeted gay lover was a bit of a twist. That part didn't age as well as the white supremacy though. Rev. Purdy seems to be less homophobic than I thought he would be, so there's that. Overall I liked it well enough. Definitely feels relevant, if a little dated in its execution.

    It was nice to see Dana again. I wouldn't mind seeing more of her. I never liked her and Johnny as romantic partners, but a slightly toned down yet still brutally honest Dana could be a good friend to Johnny. Bruce was really good in this episode; I feel like there could have been even more Bruce. Dana's perceptive of his "job" taking care of Johnny; a call back to the Bruce-centric episode with the funeral. It'll be nice if we ever get to see Sarah again. ~K


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