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The Dead Zone: Big Top

"Whoever's doing this clearly hates mirrors."

Weird. Not necessarily in a bad way, though.

What I found most intriguing was the flashback to Johnny and Sarah at the carnival at the beginning of the series. That was the night of Johnny's first serious psychic flash at the wheel of fortune, J.J.'s conception, and Johnny's near-fatal car accident. I think they went back to the inception of Johnny's gift because they just revealed that J.J. is also psychic. Clearly not in Johnny's league yet, but who knows where it will go? When Johnny was small, he had flashes, too.

I'm not wild about circus stories. The innocent man framed for a crime he didn't commit, with many broken and bloody mirrors, managed to be strange and different as well as predictable. Johnny's old friend Lorenzo felt like the bad guy from the moment he was introduced, and Dan guessed early that Johnny's visions were of the past, not the future. But at least it wasn't boring. I didn't mind J.J.'s obsession with a fourteen-year-old acrobat, either.

This season has been good so far, but different. Where are they going with Sarah, with J.J., with Stillson? I'm not complaining (well, except that I want Bruce back) and I'm enjoying the Sarah-J.J.-baby stuff more than I thought I would, but I'm still curious about our ultimate season six destination. Are we going to get all stand-alone episodes? Are the long-standing story arcs, especially the Stillson arc, really over? Are Johnny and Sarah going to get married, after all?

Bits and pieces and shards of glass:

— All the Alice in Wonderland and through the looking glass stuff was transparent symbolism, pardon the pun. And the victim, Alice, really did go through the mirrors.

— Speaking of mirrors, one scene showed both Lorenzo and the Sheriff with their reflections distorted by broken glass. Lorenzo turned out to be the bad guy. What about the Sheriff?

— Sarah again told Johnny he wasn't J.J.'s father, but least she backtracked this time and said that Johnny wasn't Walt. Sarah and Walt kept J.J.'s paternity a secret for a long time, after all, and that wasn't Johnny's choice.

— Shawshank prison was mentioned. A fun Stephen King reference.


Sarah: "She doesn't have diaper rash."
Johnny: "Listen. I touched her butt earlier, okay? She's gonna."

Johnny: "There's a fine line between admirer and stalker."

Johnny: "Okay. Older woman, fourteen, acrobat..."
Sarah: "Oh, stop. I'm so not ready for this."
Johnny: "Sound familiar? A girl, a boy, a carnival..."
Sarah: "But better this time, right?"

I think this fell somewhere between two and three stars,

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


  1. I felt like there was a grievous-- if subtle --continuity error, here.

    This was meant to be the same carnival which Johnny and Sarah attended all those years ago, right? Just... revamped? Ten years ago?

    But didn't that selfsame carnival show up in that episode with the big storm, and pretty much get destroyed thereby?

    ...less than ten years ago?

    I dunno. Maybe it's just picking nits. But it bugged me when I watched it and it bugs me now still.

  2. Hi, Mattface: You're probably right. I reviewed The Dead Zone while it was running, not in a DVD marathon (which is usually a whole lot more fun than waiting for each episode).

    I'm enjoying your comments, BTW. Back when I was reviewing The Dead Zone, the reviews went up on the old site and there was no way to post a comment. The Dead Zone reviews are in dire need of good comments!

  3. Happy to be of service! (Well, happy that it is a service, I never could resist putting my two cents in.)

    I missed this show pretty much completely when it first aired. I saw the tail end of the episode where the mall blows up, that was it. My wife and I had been watching the series all the way through on Netflix's instant service-- I hadn't considered that keeping track of details across years of seasonal broadcasts would be easier than a few weeks of diligently clicking "next."

    I'm a big fan of what you've done with this series, and it's helped me get more than a few extra grins and chuckles out of something that's become very near and dear to my heart. Thank you.

    (I hope you don't mind, but I namedropped and linked you in a page on TVTropes.org referencing "The Dead Zone Mantra" as a "Catch Phrase." Seemed like the thing to do.)

  4. "you are not his father"
    I mean i just wanted to slap her face. If i was Johnny, that would hurt really really bad. He didnt want to stay in coma for 6 years. At least i am happy that, that bit** isnt his wife

  5. sarah is at home with the baby when she's crying as johnny comes home with baby diaper rash cream paper towels and everything except for diapers when jj's soccer coach calls johnny saying jj wasn't at school and at practice when johnny finds him at a circus following a girl that he likes. the alice in wonderland circus where murders were being committed and mirrors through another mirror when a girl went crashing through it which johnny seen in his vision even that looks like the same carnival that johnny and sarah went to years before his accident. johnny's friend named lorenzo when he went to the circus trying to solve the murder of a woman while jj kept sneaking out at night to see the girl acrobat monique. sheriff turner shows up and johnny says she's really starting to get under his skin while she tells him that while they don't get along she'll help him. jj is at the circus at night when monique get caught on the trapeze rope before she falls in jj. johnny tells jj that if he ever had a vision or feeling he can go to johnny as a little father son talk goes.

  6. sarah is at home cooking and trying to calm the baby when johnny comes in with a bag of paper towels baby powder baby wipes and diaper rash cream and sarah asks him if he bought diapers he said no but he had paper towels which sarah wasn't happy about. jj's soccer coach calls johnny and said that jj was not at soccer practice. johnny goes to find jj and sees him at a circus where he goes into a alice in wonderland themed tent because he likes a girl named monique the acrobat. when johnny catches him he asks jj why he lied to his parents and why he didn't go to soccer practice and he said it was because he hurt his ankle. johnny has vision of a girl being thrown through a mirror in a hall of mirrors. a high school friend of johnny's sees him and says you're late johnny as they have known each other for a long time when he said he now owns alice in wonderland. johnny asks him if he still has the wheel of fortune which johnny and sarah played years back before his accident. johnny asks lorenzo what happened and lorenzo says there was a break in the other night where they go to investigate and johnny said he had a vision of a blonde girl dead. jj gets closer to monique and walks up to talk to her while playing a game of wheel of fortune and johnny has a vision of himself and sarah at the carnival where they play the wheel and johnny said to jj she's pretty as he can see he really likes her. sarah is speaking with johnny outside and says he's not like walt and why doesn't johnny consult her when something happens as johnny shows jj two tickets to a show when he has a vision of lorenzo being attacked by a snake where he knocks over a box of snakes when the snake bites johnny and he gets in a vision of himself walking to the trailer. johnny walks over to the trailer in where duncan pushes johnny aside and runs off. later that night sarah tells jj why he lied to both her and johnny about soccer practice and jj said that no one asked him to move in johnny's house that she just went and did it.


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