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The Dead Zone: Dinner With Dana

Bruce: "It's a turnoff. One way ticket to goodnightsville, handshake instead of tongue."

This episode explained a lot about Dana. The opinions were flying thick and fast: ("She's a slut." "She's a carnivore." "She's one fine looking white girl.") The truth is, she's beautiful, intelligent, talented... insecure, frightened, and unhappy.

In many ways, like most emotionally arrested people, Dana is still a little girl because she didn't get what she needed as a child to develop into a healthy adult. What exactly happened to her back then? Dana's father may not have sexually abused her, but something certainly happened to her. And it was more than just being locked in her room once or twice.

What an interesting and varied taste in men she has. Psychic Johnny, psychotic Max, the powerful and religious Gene Purdy... Purdy said to her, "You make a habit of picking the wrong men to keep you isolated, and truth be told, you prefer isolation to intimacy." He could be right.

The bedroom scene was outright hilarious. It reminded me of that saying about when you have sex with someone, you also have sex with all of their previous partners. For Johnny, that was more than just a homily. Johnny was actually enjoying the cascading visions when it was just Sarah; but when everyone else joined in, I thought he would chicken out. Even though he knew for a fact that those people weren't really there, how could Johnny make love to Dana in front of his mother?

This was a wonderful character piece for both Johnny and Dana. They have something in common: they both desperately need love. But they each have so much baggage that I doubt they could make a relationship together work.

Bits and pieces:

— The scene where Johnny saw Dana dancing with all those other guys was done with Dana look-alikes, according to the DVD commentary.

— Dana said she had never been in love.

— Johnny will never be able to have a normal date. Not that this was a normal date.

— Max: "You know what happens when you play a country song backwards? You get back your farm, your pickup, and your girl."

Outstanding episode. It deserves four out of four stars, if only for that bedroom scene,

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


  1. Very, very interesting episode of television. I like Dana and Johnny together -- I agree that they probably couldn't make a relationship work in the long run, but what fun in the short.

    I would love to have been on the set for that bedroom scene. How they all managed to (a) get on the bed and (b) keep a straight face is beyond me. The result is simply hilarious. And, I loved how the "others" all represented who they are; especially, Sarah doing everything she can to stop it and Bruce cheering him on.

    One of the best so far. I loved it.

  2. a really steamy episode. johnny and dana going at it on the bed and everyone was watching. sarah bruce and walt in the kitchen with dana afterwards.max isn't a ladies man and the domestic violence scene got me.

  3. johnny wants to have dana over at his place for a date that she calls a date while everyone else is there too with sarah bruce walt dr. tran his mother and purdy. dana's former boyfriend max shows up and ruins everything for the two who are trying to get together for the night while max abuses his date at the bar and almost runs dana over in the street until walt stops and arrests him. bruce is sitting there saying that johnny should sleep with her while sarah and walt say she's no good for him. johnny kisses dana while the others are watching every move.

  4. dana is in her apartment getting ready for her date with johnny putting on makeup and a dress when she hears a noise she walks out to see what it was when her ex-boyfriend max flashes a camera at her and she asks him to leave while she struggles with him before pulling a knife when he walks out. johnny is at his house cooking a dinner for him and dana while sarah walt and bruce tell him dana is a maneater and that she slept with everyone when dana knocks on the door and johnny grabs a bottle of wine which he has a vision of him and dana making love in bed and johnny says it's the french bottle turners and it's hard on the wrist. johnny is in the kitchen with dana making a duck and wine while sarah says she doesn't like her and bruce said he should go for it before johnny has a vision of her and purdy in a relationship when he says to her she picks the men she gets hurt from. johnny sits down for dinner and he has a vision of him and sarah in the car at the carnival when dana says sarah really loved him from looking at his high school yearbook. sarah really did love johnny a long time ago before she married walt and she can't let go of those feelings. dana asks johnny for a dance and as he does he sees all of dana's ex boyfriends around him when he sees max hitting her and knocking her to the floor while dana says he has a terrible temper and she has been abused by him long before. johnny picks her up off the floor and he has visions of her in bed with him kissing and making love when johnny takes her upstairs with him making their way to his bedroom. johnny asks dana to say the words off the record and they kiss and lay on the bed when sarah bruce purdy his mother dr tran and walt are in the room with them that makes johnny a little uncomfortable before bruce tells him mind over matter. max is at the bar with a pretty drunk girl who he takes out to his truck when he punches her in the face after she gets taken by ambulance to a hospital. max stalks dana when johnny has a vision of max running over dana with his car. johnny calls walt to arrest max when dana and johnny go to her apartment.


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