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The Dead Zone: Finding Rachel, Part 2

"It's time for you to decide. Are you going to save your ass, or are you going to save your soul?"

At first I wanted to slap Rebecca for the way she was treating Johnny, but in the end, she won me over. I had a lump in my throat when she was crying over Rachel's body. It would be fine with me if she got involved with Johnny; she'd be great for him. He certainly has issues, and think of the money he could save on shrink fees. So Johnny and Rebecca, all well and good, except the plot thickened because Sarah and Walt were finally breaking up.

Powerful scene full of symbolism there, with Sarah all in black like a widow, Walt standing in front of the open door, and J.J., standing silently below them on the stairs – very good. I was thrilled that Nicole deBoer finally got to do more than bake cookies and pine for Johnny. Johnny and Sarah were cheated out of their marriage, after all; couldn't they have something? If Sarah doesn't become involved with Stillson for the cause, that is.

That scene in the file room gave me the shudders. What would have happened if Bruce hadn't shown up? At first, I was thinking attempted seduction... an aggressive pass... Rape? Murder? Stillson is the future destroyer of the world, after all, so we can assume he's capable of anything. But on second viewing, I listened more carefully to what Stillson was saying to himself at the end of the scene. He said that there was no telling how high he could go with a woman like Sarah to help him. Maybe Stillson has realized that an unmarried womanizer can't be elected president. And now I'm having some more shudders.

Rachel's murder is still unsolved. It was not Mike Kennedy, and I'm starting to think it wasn't Stillson, either. Mike Kennedy's death was murder, too, not suicide, and he conveniently took the fall for the embezzlement. It could be Reverend Purdy that did it, and we were being led that way. But I'm thinking of Purdy bringing Johnny his favorite sandwich, railing at the cops who were tearing through Johnny's books, and the way he asked Johnny about Armageddon. Would a man who cares that much be capable of killing Kennedy in cold blood and making it look like an accident, right in front of Faith Heritage?

I don't think so. Johnny had a vision we didn't see when he and Purdy were touching that photocopy, and a look passed between the two of them. Purdy deliberately touched it; he must have wanted Johnny to know something that couldn't be said out loud. We just don't know what that is, yet. Purdy would not have deliberately given Johnny information through a vision if he had killed Kennedy, now would he?

Johnny's arrest for Rachel's murder kept him from making last ditch efforts to stop Stillson. Stillson is now a congressman, and he knows for certain about Johnny's obsession with him. This is a whole new plateau.

Bits and pieces:

— Johnny had a polygraph, and chaos ensued. Even the non-key scenes in this show are good.

— It occurred to me that Sarah now looks the way she did in the alternate reality in "Zion," where Sarah and Walt broke up because of Johnny.

— Walt won his election. And despite leaving Sarah, he still did everything he could to help Johnny. What a sweetheart.

— Johnny's fingers were shaking hard when he was trying to force visions. He's definitely not well.

— The television reporter called Johnny "The Oracle of Cleaves Mills."

— Does Johnny get the $50,000 reward for finding Rachel? He could use it, now that Purdy has decimated his trust fund.

— Johnny didn't use his cane throughout this episode; Bruce brought it to him at the end. Bruce only got a couple of scenes, but go, Bruce. Knocking out Sonny Elliman and rescuing Sarah, very cool.

— Frank Whaley was given a screen credit, but I didn't see him in the episode.

— This week's political jab: "In Florida, we purged the voter rolls of felons." And Stillson said the "case against Smith is a slam dunk," which was what Tenet said to Bush about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

— Johnny: "This is different, Gene. I'm innocent." Lawyer: "Of course you are, Mr. Smith. I'm just trying to position your innocence in the best possible light for a jury."

There are still unanswered questions. When did Johnny get hit on the head? Where is Rachel's hard drive, and is it the key to sinking Stillson? What about the vision where Stillson attacked Rebecca?

Everyone was great in this episode, but David Ogden Stiers was simply terrific. Four out of four stars, if only for Stiers' performance,

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

1 comment:

  1. Such an intense episode, and so much still unresolved at the end of a two-parter! I think that Gene took advantage of the suicide/murder and forged the note to save Johnny and cover himself with the embezzling confession. After all, Kennedy is beyond being hurt by it, and might as well have some good come of his death, right? But he still brought Stillson the money... a deal with the devil for sure.

    I'm rooting for Sarah and Walt... It was so hard to see their marital problems. Walt's kind of my favorite character, and I love the difficult Walt-Johnny friendship.

    If you think the W connections are interesting, well... I know you're trying to avoid controversy. But ah, yeah. You should try rewatching the episode with the casino. -K


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