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The Dead Zone: The Inside Man

Johnny: "Finger bone of a dead prophet: millions of dollars. Restored faith in God: priceless."

I've fantasized more than once about Johnny solving some of the great mysteries of the world. Did Lizzie Borden really kill her parents? Was there really a gunman on the grassy knoll?

So I was definitely on board with the fascinating idea of Johnny touching what might be a finger bone belonging to John the Baptist. In fact, when the possibility was mentioned in the teaser, I was sort of disappointed when the episode became all about a museum heist. And then I was pleased when it turned out that the whole thing really was all about Johnny touching the finger bone. Sure, they didn't follow through, and I wish they had; no matter how they interpreted it, it would have been intriguing. But how could they have created a Johnny vision about Jesus without offending somebody?

Anthony Michael Hall did his usual good job with all of Johnny's conflicting, cascading visions, and Johnny had a good reason for every choice he made. (Although one could argue that joining in the heist was improbable, could have been avoided, and might have gotten him arrested. And how likely was it that the robbers wouldn't know each other's faces?) There were even some lighter moments that were well done, like Walt and Purdy tied up together.

I like the character of Gene Purdy a lot, and the final denouement was all his. "I thought if you touched this, you could tell me what John the Baptist saw when he looked on the face of Christ, and my faith might be restored." David Ogden Stiers was so good that he got to me again; this scene brought me to tears. I wonder if Purdy's loss of faith will have something to do with the Apocalypse?

Bits and pieces:

— J.J. again showed a cool head in a scary situation, and didn't do the cliched kid in danger thing. He also saved Johnny's life again.

— Last week's episode was entitled, "Article of Faith." I kept thinking that it would have suited this episode better.

— The woman getting her arm caught in the display box was effective.

— Still no Sarah.

Outstanding ending, although I got mildly impatient with the middle of the story. Three stars,

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

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