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 comment:

ChrisB said...

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.