The Dead Zone: Cabin Pressure

"This whole flight is becoming absolutely surreal."

Was this an outstanding episode, or was I just thrilled to see Peter Wingfield from Highlander again? (In case you don't know him, Wingfield played the caustic pilot with the British accent.)

This episode was a fairly typical Dead Zone detective story plot; Johnny had a vision that something terrible is going to happen (in this case, a plane crash); he kept touching people and things, and trying to change the outcome throughout; and in the end, he finally did. It was the way that the story progressed that made this episode such a good one – starting with Johnny suspecting that he was getting freaked because the previous passenger in his seat was afraid of flying, but then touching a flight attendant and experiencing visions of the plane going down.

The visions themselves were exceptionally cool. I particularly liked Johnny walking through the cabin of frenzied freeze-framed people looking for a watch; the flight attendant's hand on Johnny's chest and then the same hand burned on the ground; and Johnny actually standing on the freeze-framed wing of the plane. (This could not have been an easy episode to film.)

The scene where he was picking up on Kelly the air marshal's past while she was patting him down, and then when he held her St. Christopher's medal and told her why she was wearing it – very touching. One would really have to be convincing these days on an American plane, with an air marshal no less, and he was. Although it took Purdy phoning the CEO of the airline and an awful lot of convincing to get Captain Klein, the pilot, to believe Johnny.

I do adore Peter Wingfield. His sarcastic comments, obvious disbelief, and understandable anger along with his professionalism were just right; I particularly liked it when he told Johnny that the airline would give him an extra mileage upgrade as recompense for the discomfort of the handcuffs. You could see the exact moment when he began to believe Johnny, too, near the end of the episode.

Johnny looked a little impatient when Purdy was going on and on about God's will, and I liked that. (Although it was true that the plane would have crashed if Johnny hadn't been on it.) I also liked the fact that Purdy managed to save the life of that flight attendant. He really is a good guy.

Bits and pieces:

— I loved that bit about John shaking Alan Greenspan's hand and finding out what the Fed would do.

— There were post-9/11 changes: Johnny glancing at a passenger who could be an Arab male, the increased security, the locked cabin, the air marshal.

— The dialogue from the scene where Johnny was getting a vision from the air marshal's St. Christopher medal was right out of the King book. Except it wasn't an air marshal, it was a reporter.

— First class gets chocolate chip cookies?

— No Walt, Sarah, or Bruce in this one.

— "Tell him about the tabloids while we're at it. The Elvis cover should convince him to land the plane, huh?"

This was a very well-written and well-acted episode. I liked it even better the second time I saw it. Four out of a possible four stars,

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

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