I was a little nervous coming into this episode of The Dead Zone. No Walt (Chris Bruno). No Bruce (John L. Adams). No Purdy (David Ogden Stiers). No Armageddon. Some might say it’s like a whole new show, but I was afraid it would turn out like a much loved old show that had been gutted and re-stuffed with characters and themes that failed to live up to the original. Could this be it? Could “Heritage” have marked the point that The Dead Zone jumped the shark?
Thankfully, no. The second episode of The Dead Zone’s sixth season was, instead, a much-needed reboot that introduced some compelling new characters, kicked off a new over-arching mystery, and made much needed clever use of the weaknesses of Johnny’s (Anthony Michael Hall) power.
The show’s action begins when Johnny meets the new sheriff in town, Anna Turner. Anna is from New York and brings a tough, no-nonsense approach to her work. And yes, she considers Johnny’s ‘gift’ nonsense. Once you get the idea of a sheriff being ‘hired’ (they are elected officials, here in Maine at least), she brings a nice new dynamic to the show. Her skepticism comes unscathed through any demonstration of Johnny’s power. Give her time though, she’ll be a believer.
When Johnny first meets her he gets a vision of her shooting a woman. Later he meets the woman and she turns out to be a psychiatrist. Johnny tries to convince her that he is there to help her, but the good doc is more interested in helping out Johnny. Before long, he winds up on her couch and gets various visions of three different, highly dangerous clients of the shrink. She refuses to discuss them and ushers Johnny out the door.
Johnny’s relationship with Jr. and Sarah (Nicole de Boer) is becoming strained, mostly Sarah is just determined to find her independence. The idea of her just falling back in love with Johnny this quickly would be a little tacky so it is good to see this push. One can’t help but wonder, thought, if this is an indication that Nicole DeBoer is leaving soon as well.
Sarah also meets up with the new sheriff, who stops in to mysteriously repossess Walt’s laptop. At first it seems innocent enough, until the sheriff refuses to allow Sarah enough time with the computer to remove family pictures.
Later, Johnny has contact with the sheriff again and this time has a vision of her finding a mysterious bank account on Walt’s computer with a million dollar plus balance. Turns out she is investigating Walt. The new story arc arrives.
The twist in Johnny’s power is that the three people were actually one man’s multiple personality disorders, or so it seemed. The guy truly is dangerous, but he winds up not being the one that sparked the incident. One of the personalities, nicknamed lurky, winds up being the shrink’s ex-husband who shows up to menace her. Johnny steps between the sheriff and the shrink when she shows up to take care of the bad guy, but the sheriff shoots the husband anyways. Of course, if Johnny had not been there, it could have gone much differently, but the sheriff is not buying in.
Good chemistry, nice twists, and the new characters are fitting in just fine. The Dead Zone is most certainly safe.
– Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image from USA Network)
Senior Writer, BuddyTV