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The Dead Zone: Destiny

Johnny: "I always thought destiny was just a rosier word for fate."

Enter Greg Stillson... with a naked female campaign volunteer on his lap. We saw him as a child, selling Bibles with his father; as a salesman, seducing a farmer's daughter just like the cliche; and as the powerful, violent, and crooked politician he is becoming. Sean Patrick Flanery was absolutely perfect for this part; he managed to be handsome, charming, slippery, and frightening, all at the same time. And Purdy was supporting Stillson, whom he said was the "candidate most dedicated to God's agenda."

Johnny tutoring Chuck, the lack of a lightning rod, and the fire at Cathy's Steakhouse was right out of the original book, including the fact that Chuck's father did the right thing even though he didn't believe Johnny at all. And Johnny was furious at himself because he couldn't save everybody. What could Johnny have done differently? Storm the restaurant and take hostages?

I was very surprised that Johnny and Sarah succumbed to temptation. Sarah knew she was losing Johnny, and she wasn't able to handle it. Would it have happened if Dana hadn't been around? It'll be interesting to see how this plays out next season, or if once is all there will ever be, as in the book.

The vision of Johnny touching the blackened Washington Monument was just stunning; much more frightening than the way they portrayed Armageddon in the original movie. And all the more effective, since we've seen this entire season that Johnny is never wrong. What an impressive cliffhanger.

Bits and pieces:

— Johnny and Greg Stillson's lives have always intertwined. They met as children and Johnny had a vision then, too. And Greg saw Johnny's car after the accident, which was on June 6, 1995. Johnny woke up on September 1, 2001, when Greg Stillson was taking the oath of office as, what? mayor?

— Stillson was running for Maine's second district congressional seat.

— In the flashback, when the farmer was aiming his shotgun at Stillson, Stillson pulled the farmer's daughter in front of him as a shield. This was exactly what Stillson did with the baby in the book.

— Reverend Purdy compared Johnny to Abraham, Daniel, and Christ. Is God really guiding Johnny's actions? Was Johnny's accident God's way of stopping Stillson?

— Reverend Purdy: "Tell me, Johnny. Have you ever had a boring vision?"

— The Johnny media frenzy has officially begun. "Barbara Walters will call. NBC will call."

Four out of four stars,

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


  1. I am about four-fifths of the way through the book and I was beginning to wonder if Stillson was ever going to show up in this series. Silly me. I agree that Flanery is an inspired choice. He manages to make what is a menacing character in the book into something truly terrifying.

    I'm also really pleased that Chuck and his dad turned up. That section of the book was my favorite so far. I only wish they could have done a whole hour around that story as I saw Chuck's breakthrough, in the book, to be an inspiring moment for both him and Johnny. Would love to have seen that on film.

    I'm sorry that Johnny and Sarah slept together. I never think that adultery is a good idea. This seemed especially bad to me as Walt had just finished stoutly defending Johnny and his visions. Sleeping with his wife seems like a pretty douchy way for Johnny to re-pay Walt's faith and loyalty.

    The shot of Washington burning was an amazing way to close out the season. I am enjoying the show very much, certainly more than the book which, frankly, I am struggling through. Looking forward to the next season.

  2. It took me a while, but I have finally finished the book. While I thought it was a tad wordy and could have used a good editor, the story was fantastic and the last third was excellent.

    I am looking forward to seeing how the writers incorporate the end of the book into the series, or if they do so at all.

    Speaking of King novels, a friend of mine just finished his new one and says it's the best one yet. Tempting...

  3. ChrisB, I wondered if Greg Stillson would be part of this story, too. And I am also not keen on Johnny and Sarah sleeping together. I'm really starting to dislike Sarah. It was bad enough when she was putting down Dana but choosing to sleep with him now (after seeing him kissing Dana) seems like a transparent move to keep her hold on him. She needs to let Johnny go. Maybe Dana isn't right for him, but it's his decision to make and she certainly can't tell Johnny anything about Dana that he can't find out for himself.

  4. the fire at the dance was started by lightning while everyone was scared screaming running out before johnny seen it for himself in the car with bruce. he was trying to warn everyone but no one listened a lightning strike that was so unexpected that people never saw coming. sarah has to decide to move on from johnny until she sleeps with him is a really foolish idea by cheating on walt a decision that she deeply regrets as she makes herself sick to her stomach.

  5. dana and johnny were walking outside of his house when sarah was driving up after they kissed and sarah was really jealous of dana that she had johnny but she sees him at his house later that night to give johnny's ring back and ends up sleeping together with him which was not very smart of sarah because she has a family and is married to walt. a storm at cathy's where lightning struck and a huge fire started that johnny got a vision of while no one was hurt but it depressed johnny really bad while he was sitting at home with bruce when sarah calls him saying he stopped taking calls and avoided everyone. johnny sees stillson in a vision with the washington monument destroyed and everything going up in fire.


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