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The Dead Zone: The Cold Hard Truth

Johnny: "Think of your fans. If you do this, they won't have anyone to hate."

Shock jock Jack Jericho, a man with a serious death wish, was so disliked... how disliked was he? So disliked that, as he was standing on the roof threatening suicide, people were calling in telling him to jump ("I hope he lands on his head!" "My whole frat took a vote and we say he takes a dive!") Of course, at the beginning of the episode, I too was wondering why Johnny was even bothering with the guy. But in the end, Jericho's pain moved me, and I didn't want him to die. I even thought at first that he really had jumped, because it seemed so certain that he would.

While the Jericho stuff was going on, I was waiting for the J.J. stuff. Jericho will never get another chance with his son, but at least Johnny has a chance now to build a relationship with his own. J.J., who has had near zero character development, finally got an episode that was almost about him. It took possible divorce, plummeting grades, and getting into fights to do it; truthfully, they should have told J.J. about Johnny at least a year ago. That final scene with the four of them was very good, though. And it was wonderful that Johnny was finally able to hold his own child in his arms.

Anthony Michael Hall directed this episode, and he did fine. Although where on earth does he get the stamina to star, co-produce, and direct?

Bits and pieces:

— Next week, will they change the saga sell in the beginning to, "My son didn't know who I was, but he does now..."?

— Whenever I see Johnny and J.J. in a scene together, I am impressed with how well they cast a little boy who looks so much like Anthony Michael Hall. And so little like Chris Bruno. J.J. looks like Johnny's son, which makes it more believable.

— The radio station was WPOV. Point of View?

— Loved the bikers going to the love rally subplot. "Don't descend to his level!"

— No Rebecca Caldwell in this episode. No room for Rebecca Caldwell in this episode.

— Great continuing joke, with Johnny constantly explaining that the despicable Jericho, who was constantly frying him on the air, wasn't a friend. "It's a long story."

— Jack Jericho... J.J. On purpose?

— In this week's hair report, I must again report that John L. Adams was wearing strange objects on his head. So who thinks Bruce should get his own radio show? I sure do.


Jericho: "Sheriff Bannerman can't seem to solve a case without calling in his human Ouija board, Johnny Smith."

Walt: "Did you have a vision, or are you just passing by?"

Jericho: "Do I stay or do I go? Suicide jump or suicide chump?"

Not my favorite this season, but it had its moments. Two out of four stars,

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


  1. I can't believe they made me care about that terrible excuse for a human being, but when I thought he'd really jumped I did care, and I was glad to see his recovery, even if his new radio performance is a bit cheesy. I watched it a second time and noticed that when he helps search JJ's room, he goes straight to the window and says something like "you shouldn't leave windows open, it isn't safe". Nice little clue there.

    The fatherhood reveal I'd already seen in a YouTube clip, but it still gets me. The acting from all 4 of them is just top notch, and the emotional payoff is huge. Even Walt gets choked up when Johnny cries embracing his son.

    Touch is such an important thing in this show. Last week, with Johnny and Rebecca holding hands and embracing. This week, both Walt and Sarah touch Johnny's arm when he feels rejected by JJ's reaction, and of course the big embrace. As a very tactile person myself I really appreciate that.

    I wonder if having a friend with a highly rated radio show will ever come up again. I have a feeling it was a one-off, but it could be useful in the future.

  2. michael did a incredible job directing this episode. jj finding out that johnny is his father. i don't think sarah is going to divorce walt. jj's nosebleed at the beginning as he got into a fight with another kid. johnny taking home jack jericho when he was beaten by a gang of bikers. the ending was a tearjerker when jj asked johnny what he should call him as he's his biological father.

  3. jack jericho really gets under johnny's skin when he finally throws a insult about walt's wife sarah when johnny goes to confront him at his station. jack's drunken fight at the chinese restaurant is what johnny saw with bruce as he took him home and asked him what his problem was. jack lost a wife and a son from a divorce and a accident while johnny said he had a son too. sarah told jj that johnny was his biological father was so touching that even walt cried as he was hugging his son. michael did a incredible job directing this episode as he starred produced and directed all at once.

  4. jack jericho is a radio host who really annoys johnny when he comments on sarah after he asks about johnny and sarah's relationship so johnny goes down to his station to confront him and says he should leave his friends alone. jj is at school in the principal's office after getting into a fight when johnny says don't block a punch with your face while sarah and walt talk about what's wrong with their marriage and jj is worried that his parents are going to get divorced. johnny sits with bruce at a chinese restaurant when he sees jack jericho drunk and takes him home. jack gets beaten by a group of tough bikers when johnny takes him to a doctor with a head injury. sarah calls johnny saying he ran away from home when jack sees him out on the roof and johnny and jj have heart to heart talk on the roof. johnny has a vision of jack jericho committing suicide by jumping of the roof as his son fell out of a window years before. johnny tells jack he has a son and he knows exactly how he feels and talk him out of jumping off. walt sarah and johnny are at her house when sarah tells jj that johnny is his biological dad and jj asks johnny what she should call him when johnny said he can call him johnny.


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