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The Dead Zone: Scars

Johnny: "If you had the chance to go back in time and kill Hitler, would you do it?"

The Stillson story was back, with a vengeance. Wow, what a terrific episode.

Johnny tried his best to find a legitimate way to stop Stillson. And Stillson knew it – he even went to the extreme of manipulating Johnny. Those scenes with the two of them in the restaurant booth were simply electric.

Greg Stillson is a well-realized character, not just a stereotypical bad guy. When he's in the public eye, he hides the fact that he's "crude, aggressive, bull-headed," but those characteristics popped out regularly when he interacted with Johnny. Sean Patrick Flanery was very good. Stillson was believably super scary, and you really do believe that he's capable of destroying the world.

Sarah was fooled by Stillson's charm, and was even working for his campaign. Stillson's letch for Sarah is a fascinating complication (that comment Stillson made about her "spreading" for Johnny actually shocked me). Having Stillson after Sarah made Johnny's obsession more personal than just Armageddon. Very good writing there.

Last, but not least, Gerald MacRaney was outstanding as Harrison Fisher, Stillson's opponent. The scene at the end where he withdrew from the election was so powerful that it brought tears to my eyes.

Bits and pieces:

— Stillson referred to hating a movie with a retarded chick in it. Which one did he mean?

— Johnny's Armageddon vision included two new pictures: a bloody hand, possibly of a dead woman? and a satellite aimed at Earth.

— Anthony Michael Hall did a great Stillson impression in the debate vision. He's a natural mimic, which goes hand in hand with being an excellent actor.

— Johnny said that the visions "lead me to where I'm needed." This had a somewhat religious feel, a sort of predestination. Sort of like Quantum Leap. Let's hope it doesn't end up like Touched by an Angel.

— In the studmuffin department, Walt looked gorgeous in a tux, while Sean Patrick Flanery looked extremely good stripped to the waist.

— Just a thought, but maybe Johnny shouldn't shake hands with politicians any more?

Four out of four stars, no question.

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

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