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The Dead Zone: Enigma

Abby: "Anything in there about not coveting thy neighbor's wife?"

I tend not to like episodes about the romances of older people, because they often treat the elderly as juvenile. This episode was an exception. The end was so romantic that it actually made me cry.

The main plot was Johnny trying to find the elderly Arthur's girlfriend Abby from 1945, while reliving the past of a man named Tommy Peterson with whom Abby was having an affair. Johnny was working through the Arthur/Tommy/Abby love triangle while dealing with his own; he and Sarah were attempting to develop a platonic version of their former relationship, with Walt literally eavesdropping on the sidelines.

Sarah was clearly having a hard time letting Johnny go; that cell phone was like an umbilical cord. What was she thinking? Walt seemed very understanding, considering the circumstances. Of course, Sarah wasn't keeping anything about her relationship with Johnny a secret. Yet.

Anthony Michael Hall spent most of this episode aptly playing another character, Tommy Peterson. I particularly liked that scene at the end, when we finally saw the real Tommy. What Tommy lost didn't even have to be stated; it was understood.

Bits and pieces:

— Johnny's fame was spreading. The people at the restaurant knew him, there was an opportunist buying him drinks, and Arthur had read about Johnny in the paper.

— The scene at the beginning was fun. Johnny's gifts allowed him to skip an entire relationship and move straight past the inevitable breakup. We should all be so lucky.

— Chris Bruno looked darned good without a shirt. Yum.

— Was the cell phone blue? If so, blue is Johnny's favorite color. Unless he was joking.

— "Enigma" was the type of puzzle Artie kept doing instead of paying attention to what was happening between Abby and Tommy. It was also a famous code or code machine during World War II; I forget the details. And of course, the word "enigma" has another meaning as well.

— It was a shame Johnny couldn't get Tommy and Rosie together at the end, too.

— Inconsistency: Now, come on. That couldn't have been the same bed and the same Bible from 1945! I know they didn't claim that they were, but wouldn't they need to be for Johnny's gift to work?


Sarah: "I thought you didn't do ghosts."
Johnny: "She's not a ghost. And I'm not doing her."

Johnny: "Sarah, this was the first woman I've been with since... you and I."
Sarah: "She wasn't real."
Johnny: "I was speaking psychologically."
Vision sex must be very real to Johnny.

Well written, well acted, and very sweet. Three out of four stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. The end was so romantic that it actually made me cry.

    Me too! And "I'll Be Seeing You" is my favorite WWII song simply because it always makes me cry. The combination of that song and the joy on Artie's face when he saw Abby was too much for me. Grab for the tissues...

    Another really good episode. I hate to admit this, and it doesn't happen often, but I am enjoying the series more than the book. I like the changes the writers have made not only to the various characters but to the plot lines as well. Much more engaging.

    The story of the Bletchley Park and the Enigma machine is fascinating. Don't watch the movies as they are garbage and mostly fiction. Any biography of Alan Turing (who is worth reading about due to both his professional and personal life) will give you a good account of what happened.


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