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The Dead Zone: Broken Circle

Daddy Stillson: "She's a loose end, Greg. You can't have loose ends."

Sympathy for the devil? I never thought I could feel sympathy for Greg Stillson, but I sure did here. He appeared to be a pawn in the Armageddon game. Who knew?

I was fairly certain that Daddy Stillson killed Rachel Caldwell, so that revelation wasn't a surprise. Greg losing it and committing patricide was a shock, though. All the flashbacks were sympathetic toward Greg; the initial ones portrayed him as an abused child, and the "Long Branch, New Jersey, 1989" flashback hinted that Daddy had committed similar murders in the past, cleaning up Greg's "loose ends" in the form of pregnant girlfriends. Poor Greg (listen to me! Poor Greg!) may never have had the chance to turn into a decent human being, and that was rather sad.

We finally learned how Stillson, Purdy, and the Armageddon connect: with Malcolm Janus, a new player, who was wearing an Illuminati pyramid type ring. Janus, who immediately stepped into Daddy Stillson's shoes and began knocking Greg around, mentioned that the group of citizens he represented had "access to several broadcast satellites." Didn't we see a satellite in Johnny's last Armageddon vision, the one where we saw the hand on the bed?

I found it intriguing that Johnny chose to defy his future self, throw away his cane, and operate in the dark. Let's face it, Johnny clearly didn't need that cane any more, anyway, and it was causing the Wey/Future Johnny visions that were supposedly killing him. But I did find it disconcerting to see him running around all over this place in this episode, jumping off bridges and stealing cabs. I wonder if the whole operation thing is off the plot table.

This felt like a season finale, not a premiere. Maybe because it was supposed to be. We should have seen this episode last summer, dammit. I felt cheated.

Bits and pieces:

— The credits were the same, but the theme music changed. I hate it. Maybe I should give it some time. Wait, no, I hate it.

— With the exception of the intriguing future J.J., I'm not going to miss Christopher Wey or Future Johnny. It always felt a little "off" to me, like bad sci-fi.

— Wasn't that pyramid also the trademark of the Argon Corporation? I'd better get out my season three DVDs.

— Sarah was back to baking cookies, but maybe not for long. There were several pointed references to Johnny's past relationship with Sarah in this episode, and of course, Rebecca is now out of the picture.

— Right after Greg killed his father, I thought, "You're a congressman, and you've just killed your father. There's a corpse on the floor. What do you do? What do you do?"

— In the 1989 flashback, was Greg driving a Ford Pinto?

— "Janus" is the name of the two-faced god. A little obvious symbolism here. And Janus' buddy from the U.S. Attorneys Office was named Pendragon. Some name, huh?

— More biblical malarky, too. Purdy again compared Johnny to the apostle Paul, with the blindness and the epiphany and the light brighter than heaven, a reference to the approaching apocalypse.

— The USA promo right before the episode was a hoot: "Psychic Johnny Smith is back with a vision of his current girlfriend's future. As a murderer. No wonder he's still single."

— Sean Patrick Flanery's hair was a little too long for a congressman.


Bruce: "Watergate burglars. Anyone home?"

Walt: "Are you going to criticize my investigative methods, or are you going to touch my hand?"

Elliman: "That's assault." Walt hits him. "No, that's assault." People keep punching out Sonny Elliman, have you noticed? It lessens his oomph as a bad guy.

Bruce: "We still got time."
Future Johnny: "There's still time."
Gee, you think there's still time?

Three out of four stars,

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


  1. I also found myself feeling sympathy for the odious Greg Stillson. Though the slap on the ass would've been enough for me to shoot him dead right then. No witnesses; rip her clothes and Rebecca might have gotten away with self defense. Still, I find myself hoping, probably without reason, that Johnny can change Stillson rather than kill him.

    Janus, two faced god of endings and beginnings with a Masonic ring. An evil dude who knew just how to get to Rev. Purdy. That ego and desire for power. The need for forgiveness. And Janus steps right into Senior Stillsons place, slapping Greg around. The talk of Stillson having an important part to play? In bringing about the apocalypse?

    I don't think Sr had the 1989 girl killed - he gave her money and an address - to get an abortion. And presumably never show her face again. And I think Purdy was comparing himself to Paul, not Johnny this time. Paul is forgiven by God (for persecuting the early Christians) and chosen by God to spread his message, just like Purdy will do with his new satellite connections. (Rather Bruce has it right, Johnny is John the Baptist, the voice crying out in the wilderness).

    And Walt was so awesome here. He's still my favorite. And Bruce was quite the hero too, that car crash gimmick could have gone very wrong.

    So future Johnny was unable to change the present this time. And now he's ex communicado. Which is good. He was muddling things up.

  2. i did not feel sorry for stillson as he killed his father. rebecca leaving johnny and rebecca kissing stillson and almost getting away with murder. future johnny was unable to change the future and things really could've gotten messed up.

  3. this was one episode that i could not quite figure out. johnny's girlfriend rebecca saying she needed more time to focus on herself at the end. she could'nt shoot down stillson. she had the gun in her purse in the hotel room why didn't she just go through with it. johnny can't understand his visions with future johnny telling him he can kill everyone including bruce. the homeless scene was funny after johnny jumped into the river.walt had quite the gash from punching sonny elliman. bruce and johnny sneaking into and going through rebecca's apartment the picture of her and johnny when johnny got a vision off it and seeing that she's going to kill stillson.

  4. johnny and rebecca's relationship was sweet and they were a loving couple as they kissed and rebecca said she loved him. greg stillson had no right to take her up to his suite and hit on her taking advantage of rebecca. johnny ran in time to save her. walt knocked out sonny elliman in rebecca's apartment. johnny seeing rebecca take a gun from her drawer as he realized her phones were bugged while elliman was listening to everything johnny and bruce were saying.broken circle is a episode where johnny had to stop rebecca from killing stillson while she had to do the right thing and decide for herself.


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