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The Dead Zone: Instinct

"Okay, that's a bear."

Liked the B plot. Didn't like the A plot.

The animal thing seemed so dark and ominous and possibly cool at first, like a Stephen King novel about the animals going nuts as a precursor to Armageddon (which tied into the stuff about Revelations) – but then it just choked on the follow-through. It's very hard to suspend belief when the basic premise motivating the action is silly. Let's face it, most animals in distress will run away or hide, not break out of their stalls and attack soccer practice.

It probably didn't help that I watched this one with my semi-conscious, purring cat draped across my chest. I kept looking down at him and thinking, nah. Although the story might have worked better if it had been just pets – especially dogs. Imagine a whole town full of Cujos.

The Purdy B-plot and the bits about Revelations were all interesting, and I wish there had been more of it. Poor Gene was imploding, and David Ogden Stiers is so good that he made us feel for a character we should despise. Purdy has lost all the moola, and he's probably going to lose his ministry. He was stressed and overwhelmed, and having to shoot his dog probably didn't help much. At least he doesn't have zillions of deaths on his conscience. Yet.

I'm intrigued by the "two prophets" thing, and I'm interested in what's going to happen to the Johnny/Purdy relationship now that the trust fund has hit the fan.

Bits and pieces:

— The first thing I noticed about this episode was that the lake was also in "The Storm," the mountain was the one from "Shaman," and the trees were in several episodes, including "Enemy Mine" and "The Mountain."

— Dr. Pratt from the state health department was mentioned. He was in the season two episode, "Plague."

— David Ogden Stiers continued to do an outstanding job. His sermon at the beginning was fascinating. What a preacher Stiers would have made, if he had been inclined in that direction. (I understand from the DVD commentaries that he's not religious at all.)

— Bruce is driving a silver car now. Have we seen it before? Of course, his cruiser bit the dust, literally, in "The Storm," right after Chrysler stopped sponsoring the show.

— Is it me, or has Johnny been helping Walt with cases constantly this season? The Penobscot County Sheriff's Department ought to at least pay Johnny as a consultant.

The preview for next week grabbed me more than this episode did. One out of four stars,

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

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