The Dead Zone: No Questions Asked

Walt: "I am sick and tired of you having power over me, my wife, and my son."

Illicit sex, stolen drug money, manslaughter... not what we would expect of the Walt Bannerman we know. (Okay, it was just adultery with his best friend's wife and covering up crimes committed by his childhood friends, but you know what I mean.)

It was certainly way past time Walt blew up at Johnny. It made perfect sense that he would be angry and resentful that Johnny woke from his coma and screwed up Walt's life with Sarah and J.J. The fact that Walt had an illicit affair with Alison ten years ago was probably why it took so long to confront Johnny about his hanky panky with Sarah.

Greg Grunberg (who plays Eric Weiss on Alias, my other favorite show) was marvelous as luckless Frankie; he made a one-shot character complex and sympathetic. But as terrific as he was, I think it was a mistake to cast three dark-haired males around the same age to play Walt, Frankie, and Jeremy, because it was difficult to tell which of the three boys was which in the flashbacks.

And I had other problems with this episode, too. Like... how could Sarah be so aware of Walt's daily moods if they're now living apart? And Frankie's actions, although understandable, were way over the top; he stole a sheriff's gun and was shooting up bars and threatening people. Suddenly, at the end, he was fine... and he wanted Walt to put in a good word for him so that he could get a job?

I was confused about what was going on with the money, too, so I watched carefully the second time. Jeremy Roberts and Frankie Cantrell were drug dealers who had just made a score. Frankie secretly stashed his half of the cash in his hidey hole before he got into an argument with Jeremy and shot him. Walt took the rest and hid it after the shooting, and he gave it to Alison Roberts to help her raise her two sons. And by the way, I also had trouble with the idea that Walt, a forthright upright sheriff, stayed friends with two drug dealers. And that a woman like Mrs. Cantrell with so little and with her son in prison gave all that money to upgrade a baseball park.

Moving right along... it looked like Sarah and Walt might be getting back together. But having Sarah go back to baking cookies isn't what I thought would happen next. What about Stillson's interest in her? I've been thinking that if Johnny can't find a way to stop Stillson, the only way to get to the guy might be through Sarah. Wouldn't a Mata Hari role for Sarah be interesting? There was a lot of talk about the future in this episode; but technically, with Armageddon approaching, what future do they have?

Bits and pieces:

— Clearly, 'no questions asked' doesn't work for Johnny. Johnny needs context in order to make sense of his visions. But we knew that.

— The face of Johnny's cell phone said: "01/29 (Thu) 6:15 p.m." Wouldn't it be getting dark at 6:15 p.m. in New England in January? Plus, this episode aired after J.J.'s birthday; he was conceived on June 6, 1995, and the math doesn't work. Either the date and time on Johnny's cell phone were completely wrong, or this episode was filmed in an alternate universe.

— We now know that Walt was in the first Gulf War, and that his friend Jeremy got him into law enforcement. That made sense. Although I always thought of Walt as one of those guys who wanted to be a cop when he was a kid. Which of course could still be true.

— Johnny was driving a Range Rover in this episode. Did he retire the jeep at some point? Did I miss it?

— No mention of Johnny's ailments, but his hands were still shaking.

— John L. Adams was not in this episode.

— The woman who played Alison (Kendall Cross) also played Dana Bright in the original unaired pilot.

Quotes:

Johnny: "So I'm drinking hand-me-down mocha?" (Didn't she offer him a latte?)

Johnny: "We're talking about Walt Bannerman, right? Upstanding, forthright, guy makes boy scouts look reckless?"

Whenever I'm confused about how to rate, I usually give two out of four stars. So – two out of four stars, and next week's looks fascinating,

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

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