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The Dead Zone: Ascent

Johnny: "Maybe I'm just a psychic bucket of ice where Walt's concerned."

A wonderful part two, following an equally wonderful part one.

Of course, I knew Johnny would take the honorable path and try his best to save Walt, even at the possible cost of his own life. And of course, Walt was being equally heroic: letting go of life on purpose in order to set Sarah free ("It's what John Wayne would do.") Johnny and Walt have even more in common than their love for Sarah.

One of the things I liked most about this episode was the dramatic device of having Johnny experiencing the important moments in Walt and Sarah's relationship... as Walt. Those scenes were even more poignant later in the episode when we saw Johnny watching Walt experiencing them.

I also really liked Death Guy, Walt's father who wasn't really Walt's father – especially when he showed his dark side and started going after Johnny, too. The effects were fabulous. I loved the way the "white light," which is usually seen as a positive in movies and books, began to appear as frightening, ominous, and evil as it started bleeding through the walls. I saw skulls in it in one scene. In another, I thought I saw white letters, but I couldn't tell what they said. Interesting that, according to Death Guy, Johnny wasn't supposed to recover from his coma. Again with the "did God send Johnny back" theme.

So what finally brought Walt out of his coma? Johnny telling Walt about the night Sarah returned his dimestore ring. Did conscious Walt remember that? I don't think so; it's too big a plot conflict to settle so quickly.

That last scene where Johnny had to look away when Walt and Sarah were having their little reunion was just touching enough without being too much.

Bits and pieces:

— Anthony Michael Hall did a very good impression of Chris Bruno when Johnny was Walt.

— Johnny compared himself to Edgar Cayce. How about that.

— Some of the mine plot stuff never did get addressed. What happened with the Stengel guy and Johnny making restitution for what his grandfather did?

— They shouldn't have been shocking Johnny when Walt's heart was beating and the two of them were still holding hands.

— Here's a question. If Sarah was truly committed to Walt, again, why don't Walt and Sarah have any children of their own?


Sarah: "Sometimes a coma patient will wake up if you chuck a bucket of ice on his chest. It's supposed to stimulate the brain."
Johnny: "You didn't."
Sarah: "The hell I didn't. Once a week for a month."

Johnny: "We put a man on the moon but we still haven't come up with a hospital gown that doesn't completely humiliate you."

Death Guy: "Sometimes the right thing is just to let them go. Find peace."
Johnny: "Yeah, but I know Walt. Trust me. He wouldn't like peace."

Really good. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. Yeah, I thought this was a very strong episode as well. I'm sort of hoping that nearly losing Walt will convince Sarah to hold on to him. Death Guy had a very cynical view of Sarah's motives and I'm not sure he's entirely wrong.

    Billie, I've also wondered about the lack of additional children, though of course Walt could be sterile.

  2. this episode starts off from the first one where walt injures himself and goes in a coma while johnny is going into his mind and johnny's visions of him as walt. walt has a jealous streak from seeing johnny and sarah together and dislikes him for it. the part where sarah is giving birth to jj while walt is by her side while it's actually johnny as walt. i'm hoping that sarah is convinced to stay with walt and johnny should go his own way. johnny tells walt he slept with his wife and that leads to a huge fight while the white light disappears.


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