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The Dead Zone: Quality of Life

Johnny: "I may just be your worst nightmare, people: a substitute teacher with extra sensory perception."

Johnny discovered in this episode that he can't go home again... or in this case, school. So much for his teaching career. Since no one believed his warnings about Todd's heart, and there was no physical evidence to back up his premonition, Johnny basically had to inconvenience everyone and piss everyone off, including the principal, the coach, various doctors, and Todd's parents, and even blow a critical hockey game, in order to save Todd's life. Unlike every other so-called psychic on earth, Johnny is batting a thousand.

Johnny's amazing nightmare at the beginning, with the mob of people smothering him with their needs, was just stunning. Was it also a vision? Was it something that will happen, a metaphor for Johnny's future fame? Or was it meant to be a metaphor for the reporters mobbing him at the end of the episode? The part where he walked down the courthouse steps, getting visions from everyone he inadvertently touched – excellent. Particularly interesting was seeing himself in bed with Dana.

Dana was making a big, hairy (but pretty) thing of herself with Johnny, and appeared determined to make Johnny famous. What is between Reverend Purdy and Dana? Were there sexual vibes going on there? Was Purdy really concerned about Johnny, or spying on him for more nefarious reasons?

Bits and pieces:

— The "I had a perfect life" intro was shown for the first time.

— Johnny got a very cool new cane, black with a silver head. I noticed that, in the nightmare, Johnny wasn't using it, and didn't walk with a limp.

— Anthony Michael Hall looked particularly good in that dark blue-grey jacket and sweater. It brought out those blue eyes. Plus, his hair was noticably longer. I approve.

— The scene at the beginning with Bruce and Johnny and the car was a lot of fun. Anthony Michael Hall and John L. Adams have wonderful acting chemistry.

— Johnny's mother Vera appeared as a homeless person who told him to "heed the still, small voice when it comes. When it does, do your duty." (This was a little touch of Johnny's loony mother from the book.) He saw her saying it three times in this episode.

— Sarah was oddly fluttery and uncomfortable around Johnny. She isn't dealing well with her inadvertent love triangle.

— Walt genuinely dislikes Dana. He described her as a carnivore.

— I liked Todd asking Johnny if they could mind meld. I also liked that Johnny told Todd the absolute truth about everything, and treated him like an adult.

— Did they deliberately pick a hockey-playing teenager (Todd) that looked a little like Johnny, to emphasize what Johnny's coma had taken from him?

Two out of four stars,

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


  1. Walt genuinely dislikes Dana. He described her as a carnivore.

    I'm not convinced. I think there's something about Dana that draws Walt towards her, but he is not at all comfortable with it. He's a good guy and wants to be a good husband, but there is something there. Methinks the man is protesting a bit too much. After all, he knew exactly who Sarah was talking about when she described the "big..."

    I am always pleased when the hero makes the tough call (pulling Todd from the game). I like to think that I would always stand up against pressure and do what's right, but alas, that has not always been the case. Just another reason to root for this guy.

    I loved the look the doctor gave Johnny at the end. Not an apology, but close enough.

  2. john is in bed asleep while having a nightmare of himself walking down the street before being pulled by people who they want him to save while his mother vera tells him to heed the still small voice when it comes his mother has been dead for years so she couldn't be alive now. john is a substitute teacher where he meets a student of his named todd paley who has a dangerous life threatening heart condition and the is the star student hockey player. the parents and people of cleaves mills want johnny out as he has to save todd's life.


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