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The Dead Zone: Collision

"This psychic stuff's a bitch, huh?"

This was another fast-moving and strongly dramatic piece, although the hospital emergency rooms, ambulances and paramedics made it feel like an episode of ER, except with visions.

According to this episode and "Shaman," the rule is, apparently, if Johnny changes something in the past, we see the present as Johnny changed it and only Johnny can see what could have happened through his inaction via his visions. Which means that Johnny was always going to go back and save himself. Which is utterly illogical, because how could Johnny go back to save himself if he didn't survive in the first place? Even if it was consistent with the series structure and with "Shaman," it was still pair of ducks headache pretzel logic.

Speaking of headaches, Johnny was missing appointments with Dr. Gibson because he had to try to save everyone, and he probably didn't want to hear that his visions were killing him. (Nooooo!!!) In this episode, he also had a dilated pupil and bled from one ear, all very bad signs. Maybe Rebecca will make him take care of himself, since she seems to have fixated on him.

Rebecca (whom I keep wanting to call "Sarah," much as I keep wanting to call Bruce "John,") was tremendously supportive of Johnny. (Was I right about a shrink being a good friend for Johnny, or what?) Instead of being overwhelmed by grief for her sister, Rebecca was helping others, or more specifically, helping Johnny help others. More power to her. Like Bruce in "Zion," Rebecca's entrance into Johnny's life must have been fated since she helped him escape a fiery death in 1995.

There were some powerful scenes in this episode. I particularly liked Johnny reconnecting with Sarah as they relived his accident together. Anthony Michael Hall, always good, was just chilling in the scenes where he was burned or covered with blood. The scene that affected me the most was in the ambulance when accident-Johnny said, "The man saved many lives. There's still time. There's so much to do. Sarah! I'm just a school teacher!" Johnny knew exactly who had saved him, at least until the coma wiped it out. In a sense, Johnny spent this episode in a metaphysical search for himself.

Bits and pieces:

— I was surprised that Johnny was conscious after the accident. It's never been mentioned, but I bet most of us assumed that he wasn't. Probably because in the opening saga sell, Johnny says, "When I woke up..."

— No news on the Walt/Sarah breakup, although Walt showed a complete lack of jealousy and tremendous support for Johnny, even to the point of hugging him. Again, what a sweetie.

— No more future Wey visions, although Johnny used his cane throughout the episode.

— The stuff with Rick the paramedic was fine, although didn't the guy have to work? And aren't there rules against giving civilians a ride?

— Johnny's accident was nine years ago, in 1995. Rick said he'd driven his "sled" for eight years. And Walt mentioned checking active warrants from 1996 until now, which sounded odd. Were the writers and fact-checkers taking an uncharacteristic snooze?

— When the doctor in 1995 gave Johnny's family the bad news, we finally got some details on his injuries, including why he limps. In the book, Johnny's physical problems were a result of the tendons shortening during his coma.

— Katy's mother at one point said that Katy was "gifted." I'm sure she meant writing or art, but was Katy mildly psychic, perhaps? Was that, along with the similarity of her being trapped in a car about to burn, what set Johnny off with mess-o-visions?

— Johnny: "She met Walt at the hospital when she was visiting me. I guess in some weird way, I introduced them."

— Bruce (John L. Adams) was not in this episode.

Excellent. Was this another four out of four stars?

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


  1. I think part of the reason for the connection is that when he was in the accident and the future him was saving him, future him told him he would save a girl named Katy. But either the trauma blocked or the coma took, that memory until he was called upon to save a girl named Katy. Then it all came back, but jumbled, along with the "what would have been" visions.

    Walt's the best.

    The timeline business really bothered me. Was it 9 years or almost 8 years, '95 or '96? The fair was in June? And now it's what, a few weeks after Election Day, so late November... Anyway, the acting was great and I'm looking forward to upcoming episodes. So glad the show is back on Prime!

  2. Anonymous, thanks for your comment. I didn't know The Dead Zone was on Prime.

  3. johnny can't change the future and what his visions could do but i think that his car accident was in 1995 and a very traumatic night and that's what fate had for him. sarah was at the hospital along with his parents and purdy because his mother was so shaken up that her son was going to die that night when a girl named katy saw him in his vision.johnny seeing himself under the car screaming for sarah was heartbreaking and scary at the same time while johnny told him to get out because the car was going to explode right above a power line. johnny reliving the night of his car accident and his visions of it while saving a little girl and another person's life.


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