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The Dead Zone: Total Awareness

"Just when you think you're too paranoid, you realize you're not paranoid enough."

Fascinating premise; cluttered execution. Perhaps there was just too much going on here, what with the giant digital burrito, the psychics from "The Hunt," dead senators, 1984, and laser tag.

Very timely, though. We're living in a science fiction world, and "Big Brother" is now an issue. Cameras are everywhere, and we can already be tracked by our cell phones and passports. I can easily imagine Ashcroft loving a program like Eyetrap; it evoked that same creepy feeling I got from the fixed electronic voting machines. As Coulter (a little dig at Ann Coulter?) said in this episode, "Surely it's worth sacrificing a little privacy to feel safe." Which brought to mind the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

I really liked the off the grid freedom fighters in Keyhole (as in looking through the?). "Live Free or Die" indeed. But I wish we'd gotten more of Sylvia, who was my favorite of the three psychics from the remote viewing program; I didn't even recognize her in the opening shots. I liked the episode better on second viewing when I knew what Gibson was up to, which made me think that perhaps they should have made it clear from the beginning that Gibson was one of the good guys.

In the "I'm a fun dad" birthday B plot, I got a charge out of the laser tag scene, and the birthday present visions were a hoot. J.J. is now nine years old; we were even reminded of his date of conception. Even though Johnny is not exactly a stranger to him, J.J. seems to be adjusting too easily. Perhaps having a second dad out of the blue distracted J.J. from his parents' possible split.

So Argon and Scanlon were busted by Gibson and Pynchon... but a senator from Maine is still dead. What do you want to bet that Greg Stillson tries for that seat, even though he's only been in Congress for, like, ten minutes?

Bits and pieces:

— The saga sell changed from "My son doesn't know who I am," to "And they're raising my son." What are they going to do if Walt and Sarah split up? Will it change again?

— "Gibson" was also the name of Johnny's doctor. Oops.

— Gibson gave some of Johnny's address: 6200 block, Cecil Green Park Drive.

— The two dates Gibson saw when she read Johnny were June 6, 1995, the date of his accident, and New Year's Eve, no year given. Armageddon? Or something else?

— The dart vision was just fabulous. One of my favorites.

— Johnny gets a job offer in nearly every episode these days. If his trust is indeed kaput as the credit card scene suggests, he might need to take one of those offers. I vote for the radio show.

— Walt and Sarah forgot to bring a camera to J.J.'s birthday party. I think that was supposed to be ironic or something.


Walt: (suiting Johnny up for laser tag) "Welcome to fatherhood."
Bruce: "Fun dad!"

Gibson: "Like candy from a crazed, fanatic baby."

Walt: "As we say in Maine, let's go for a ride."

Bruce: "You know what I got for my ninth birthday? A Bible."
Johnny: "Oh, yeah? Apparently you're still bitter about it."
Another little glimpse into Bruce's uber-religious childhood.

Coulter: "It's weird. For a second there, I thought he could see us."
Great scene, but it meant that Johnny got a hit from a satellite transmission. Doesn't Johnny actually have to touch something? I'm technologically challenged, though; he probably was actually touching something.

Two stars? Three?

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

1 comment:

  1. I don't really think JJ is adjusting too fast. After all, Johnny has been around for like 3 years at this point. JJ was likely concerned his relationship with his father would be negatively effected originally, but he obviously saw Walt was still his father and Johnny was now known to be his father. JJ clearly would have noticed how much Johnny has been involved in his life for years; camping trip, doctor visits, school projects etc. We also don't know how much time has passed between being told and this episode, sometimes episodes are set a couple months apart.


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