The Dead Zone: Grains of Sand

Johnny: "Let's go with the fuzzy duckies."

This one at least got points for originality and social conscience.

The opening scene was good, and I liked the basic premise – that Johnny knew he was the only hope for that baby's future, and that he took his promise to a dying mother and his responsibility to baby Miguel more seriously than the law. Johnny being cheated out of fatherhood hasn't been addressed as much as it could, either, and I thought the way they used the train set to give us glimpses of Johnny as Mikey's adoptive father worked. And I loved the cute way Sarah, Bruce, and Walt were all roped into babysitting, and "branded" with baby spit-up.

But this was another episode that just didn't feel right to me. It's like the basic premise of the series is being sacrificed to formula. (No pun intended.) What about Armageddon? We saw visions of Mikey going all the way up until he was a young adult, and I think that conflicted with our major arc storyline. Aren't millions going to die? With survivors living like savages?

One of the things I've always liked about The Dead Zone is that it can be about anything, and I think this story worked on a basic level. But this was one of those times when having Maine as the setting worked against the story. I'm sure there are illegal immigrants in Maine, but it didn't have the veracity or impact of, say, California or Texas. I was unclear about the motivations of the INS agent, too. Some of the things she did just didn't make sense. I could probably watch it again and figure it out, but if I didn't get it the first time, that's not so good.

And (again) where the heck is J.J.? We just got an episode about Johnny as a possible foster father, and there was still no J.J. Talk about not making sense.

Bits and pieces:

— We got a little more of Johnny as savior of humanity: "St. Michael, he stops bad things in the world, like you do."

— There was a reference to a "Pink Lobster" restaurant. :)

— In the trailer scene, Anthony Michael Hall's hair looked odd, like it was artfully streaked. I mean, I know it is, but it doesn't usually look like it is.

— Johnny: "Do you have any idea how rare this is?" Bruce: "Not as rare as a single, funny, beautiful, female African American lawyer. In Maine."

Charming, but forgettable. Two out of four stars,

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

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got a bit choked up at the end, though that may be as much because I just got home after a 5 day visit with the beloved nephews I only see a few times a year. Combined with the current events horrors this episode hits on, more relevant now than when it aired. So it got to me.

I didn't even notice the timeline discrepancy with Armageddon supposedly coming by the time JJ's a teenager but this boy making it into his teens. That's a good point. I shall pretend that Johnny has done something along the way to push back the timeline. Which will probably come back to bite me when we finally get back to that storyline.

I did notice that Miguel's prize was in science, Johnny's subject. Wouldn't it be nice if they could stay in touch and Johnny could help them along the way. Their struggle is far from over.

I liked that we had a good amount of Bruce and Sarah, and a reasonable conflict with Walt. The scenes with Sarah, Johnny, and the baby were a poignant nod to what could have been. Or maybe I'm just sappy tonight.

Anonymous said...

sarah and johnny in the living room with the baby while sarah was changing diapers feeding and holding mikey. bruce and johnny deciding what outfit to give him was too cute while johnny had to go out and find out what was going on with the immigrant families with eva. mexican immigrants are always trouble and i think everyone should know that they sneak through to the border and end up in gang wars.eva was a pretty ins agent who didn't believe johnny at all even if she danced with him at the bar. walt bruce and sarah all got spit up on except for johnny.

Anonymous said...

bruce is ready to take johnny to a party while he looks at trains that his father kept when bruce says it's time to go and tells him to get in the car and johnny and bruce are driving along the road in the rain when a man suddenly runs out in front of them and says his wife and baby are in the van that's in the river when johnny and bruce run down to try and get the woman and the baby out of there. johnny hands the baby to bruce when johnny tries to free the woman from the car but she dies. johnny carries the baby to the car while he calls walt for help. johnny is at home with the baby and bruce goes to his party when sarah comes in and sees johnny with the baby after she bottle feeds him and changes his diaper and johnny says if this is what it was like with jj and sarah says it was. johnny has sarah take care of the baby when he goes to find walt and says it was a car accident that he got the baby from. sarah is at his house babysitting after she gets spit up on when johnny comes home and tells her he has to take care of him. johnny has a vision of the mother and others running from the police as the border police come in. johnny walks downstairs with a sleeping baby when bruce comes in with diapers and sees which outfit they should dress him in and johnny says he feels like a father again.