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The Dead Zone: The Storm

Dana: "How do we throw a surprise party for a psychic?"

Ally Sheedy's death in "Playing God" has had repercussions; John took his Sophie's Choice very hard, and has been a hermit for months. Fortunately, his friends were there in a clinch, in Moosehead (place of Moosehead beer?), all ready to throw him an intervention party on Fourth of July weekend.

John couldn't handle it anymore. He was tired of watching people die inside of his head; I think he wanted someone to take this cup away from him. Apparently the Powers That Be weren't ready to allow it, though; we got a weather anomaly that hadn't happened since June 6, 1995 – the night of John's accident. Falling fish? Falling cars? The return of the Wheel of Fortune, which was destroyed in this episode?

Did the storm really follow Johnny? Did he really make a bargain with God? Or was it all coincidence? It almost didn't matter. Johnny left the house against his will, and saved several lives in one day. How can he turn his back on his gift if it saves lives? The answer is, he can't. The major metaphor here is that his gift is a force of nature, like the storm. Nothing you can do about a storm.

There was a lot of other stuff going on. Two glasses of cooking sherry, and Dana lost the leash on her tongue. (Not that she's all that discreet when she's sober.) Walt wanted Sarah to have a baby, and she didn't answer him, did she? Sarah was still emotionally on the fence. She needs to make a decision. As Dana pointed out, it's not fair to Walt to stay married to him if she isn't fully committed. Walt deserves better than that.

I thought for several moments that Dana was going to die at the end of this episode, probably because she was so delightful throughout. Dana's primary role in the series is to be in love with John, while Walt's is to be in love with Sarah. Maybe Dana and Walt should get together, and let Johnny and Sarah get it over with.

There was also the marvelous couple Mitch and Flo from Independence, Missouri. This was the first time we had a couple of John's fans who ended up being pretty cool people, who helped him instead of causing more trouble. Flo told Johnny that what he has is a gift from God. Toni the weather woman intimated the same thing when she talked about her first tornado being a genuine act of God.

Bits and pieces:

— The scene at the beginning with Johnny tutoring the kids must have been a deliberate reminder of Weird Science.

— After his own vision quest episode ("Zion"), Bruce appeared to be more aggressive about protecting John, and about making people listen to him. Johnny trying to blackmail Bruce with a broken leg was cute. I'm sure John was kidding, though.

— I really liked the meteorologist and her Bobby Tucci story. And the couple in the RV, as I mentioned before, were terrific. It was great seeing Robert Picardo again; he played my favorite character, the Holodoc, on Star Trek: Voyager.

— Mitch said that Flo was a firestarter. A reference to another Stephen King book.

— Dana's father left her alone in the house when she was five. Dana has had a hard life.

— How about that bikini Dana was wearing? Wow.

— Bruce's hair was still very short. I like it. Johnny's was shorter, too; he looked thinner, and tired. Very much as if he just spent months in the house brooding.

— Okay, who was the guy in the cloak? Am I spacing on a character introduced earlier, or was he Death?


Walt: "You want to go for a swim? Now?"
Dana: "It's a lake, Walt."
Sarah: "You brought a bathing suit to an intervention?"
Dana: "Who said anything about a suit?"

Excellent episode. Is this a four out of four stars?

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


  1. the storm is a good episode but i could'nt figure out why bruce wanted to take johnny on a intervention i guess he wants him to get better. johnny had to get over kate's death because he thought it was fault that he caused her accident. dana sarah purdy walt waiting at the cabin for bruce and johnny while their in the middle of a bad storm. jane lynch did a great job playing the lady with the guy in the trailer camper.johnny saw christopher wey from a distance in the woods.bruce had to get johnny into his car was funny at the beginning.

  2. dana talking to sarah about her and johnny's relationship really made me hate her character until sarah told her off it serves her right. johnny's accident was june 6 1995 the night that changed everything. johnny was along with bruce on a trip to the cabin when they run into a severe storm bringing along a meteorologist with him. johnny speaking to the tornado and telling it he had to save all the lives of his friends and people in the town. at the end everyone came out alive when johnny said it was a crazy notion to let him stop the tornado was not smart you could've been killed johnny.

  3. I find a lot of these episodes a bit repetitious. Johnny warns the experts something terrible is about to happen, they scoff at him, Purdy gets a higher power (not the divine sort) to intervene and makes them listen to Johnny, and he's eventually proven right. Even when the execution is solid, it feels a bit formulaic.

    I really wonder if they were actually considering killing off Dana here, since they seem to have virtually written her out of the show after this point. It's too bad, because I always found her an intriguing character.

  4. magritte, to be honest, the rest of the series keeps going back to the formula of Johnny Smith, Psychic Detective too often for me. I kept reviewing it mostly because The Dead Zone was running while the other shows I reviewed were on hiatus.


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