The 4400

Season 3 Episode 8


Aired Unknown Jul 23, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

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out of 10
294 votes
  • Blink

    Blink was a superb episode of The 4400. I thought this was a fun and interesting episode because Isabelle manuevers Shawn into marrying her and gives him no choice. It is cool to see how Shawn and Richard come together to try and deal with Isabelle. I also enjoyed the main story of Blink, a substance created from a 4400 ability. Tom and Diana both deal with issues from their past, and move forward with their lives. The 4400 have such amazing abilities and I always like learning about new ones. I can only imagine how life would be different if these abilities existed in real life. There was a lot of character development in this episode. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!
  • Mmm, this has become such a finger-licking good show.

    The 4400 gained a really nice edge this third season, I think. As the characters' personal stories deepen the viewer's emotional ties to what is going on in the show grow stronger. And of course, the writers wouldn't decide against any option to tug on our heartstrings either. This episode was brilliant in many ways. While many would classify this as mere "filler" I thought Blink provided us with a necessary bit of background information on the two main characters, Diana and Tom. While many of their motives have always been very clear to us in the past (Diana's realtionship with Maia, Tom's love for Alana), I've always felt there was a bit of a gap in the explorations of their emotional lives. Explaining Diana's relationship troubles through the cheating of her first real love and Tom's sturdiness and emotional withdrawal through paternal problems was a nice move. Making the characters deal with their problems through talking with the people in question might not have been the most creative way but the drug plot certainly worked for me. I found the exploration of this 4400 ability intriguing and I wouldn't mind to see more of it in the future. Which probably won't happen, but anyway.

    All in all, not much plot development but certainly a bunch of character development. And that is something every quality show needs to stay human and interesting.
  • Tom and Diana are suffering from hallucinations

    A filler episode but a good one.

    Many reviewers here did not seem to like this episode, but I did. I always like background information on main characters and this did provide plenty of background information on Tom and Diana.

    Tom's storyline was better thought out and slightly more interesting that Diana's storyline but still, bot were information and well done. Looking into someone's past is fun and so is learning new things about them.

    I also liked that they were looking for a hardended drugs-related criminal and then a sweet little old lady shows up. They then decide her grandson must be the criminal, but as it turns out he had only good intentions, a nice twist...
  • Failure

    Isabelle: Shawn, you and I are the two most powerful people on the planet. We're supposed to be together. Who else is good enough for you?

    Together with ridiculous Shawn/Isobelle marriage story and the Blink story, this episode is both tedious and irritating. One pointless filler episode that does little except reveal a bit about the main characters. The opening sequence is very good though.
  • Boring storyline and I'm so tired of the Isabelle story, it's not even funny.

    I love this show, but this episode was boring for one and second I found it kind of aggrevating. I'm sick of the Isabelle and her whole story of "I can do what I want because no one can stop me". This whole relationship with Shawn is starting to bug me, I wish Shawn would have listened to Richard when he tried to warn him about dealing with Isabelle. But overall, the whole hallucination story line was boring it was very anti-climatic. I wish we could see more development with the main characters before we got these filler-type episodes. I was very disappointed by it... period.
  • With this episode we return to the '4400 of the week' format.......sigh!

    This season started out so strong, it's a shame to see it faltering like this. The worst part of season 2 for me was its episodic nature. The '4400 of the week' format quickly grew stale and this week they returned to that same format.

    I don't want to see any new 4400s and their stupid powers. Every time they introduce one it widens the greatest plothole the show has going. Namely, what the hell were the future people planning by giving 4400 people random powers and then sending them back in time to do absolutely nothing with them?

    Initially, the idea was that each 4400 would do something fantastic with their powers and cause a ripple effect that would have world-changing results. For example, remember the episode last season where the 4400 got super strong and caused the ripple effect of having the neighborhood park get cleaned up? What exactly was the point of that? That's what the future people gave him powers for? To clean up a park?

    Every time we see a new 4400 with pointless powers it just reminds me that this entire premise is flawed. I guess they somewhat addressed this problem th is season when Maya and the other kids were abducted and 'future-lady' told Tom that things did not work out as they had hoped. Well, DUH, future-lady! Kidnapping 4400 people and giving them super powers and then dumping them into their own future with no explanation tends to make for some fairly chaotic/unpredictable results.

    So, it seemed that they were kind of sweeping this wntire idea under the rug this season. They haven't mentioned ripple effects or any of that crap all season and have, instead, focused on the Nova Group and Isabelle (for the most part). Unfortunately, Isabelle's story is dragging painfully, sapping all enjoyment from it. I swear every time she appears on the screen I find myself groaning with dread about the annoying performance I am about to endure. The Nova Group story is pretty much wrapped up at this point (at least I hope they don't open it up again) so where do they go from here?

    Well, apparantly they go back to the '4400 of the week' format and remind me that there are thousands of these people causing assinine ripple effects that have nothing to do with saving the future (though doing so was the entire purpose of their abduction in the first place).

    Sigh...please, for the love of God, get back to the main story. Kill off Isabelle (put her and the rest of us out of our misery) and hook us with some fresh bait. If 4400 strictly returns to a 'doofus of the week' format, I'll be sorely disappointed.
  • not one you will remember for long

    Not much news in this one brothers ... yeah Tom and Diana come to terms with persons they haven't seen in ages, but that does not add anything new to the storyline. In fact if you leave that entirely out it won't change a thing.
    What's worse, in the end it's clear that it's not a bad guy bringing out the druggies but a good guy wanting to help people ... no I don't want a piece of that cake please.

    All you need to remember : Isabelle is forcing Shaun to marry him, he tries to kill her (obviously that doesn't work). I would have done the same sends Isa is frustrating me with her "I get what I want" attitude. Guess that's the price you pay for being perfect. The way she is behaving I don't think she'll live to tell the next season, and I, for one, won't mourn about it.

    for the next eps bring back the big guns please ;-)
  • An example of an episode saved by a subplot

    This is probably the first truly transitional episode of the season. Even so, there are some long-term effects. Three subplots dominate, but I would only call two of them successful. The most disturbing plot thread, of course, pertained to Isabelle. The other two were directly connected to the “4400 of the Week”, sending Tom and Diana on a personal journey towards resolution of lingering emotional issues.

    Isabelle has long since slipped over to the dark side. For a lot of people, it could be taken as overly repetitive, but I think this is all leading to one hell of a confrontation. In particular, this episode demonstrates how far Isabelle can take her particular point of view without meaningful interference. Isabelle definitely acts like a spoiled child in this episode, not unlike that omnipotent child from “The Twilight Zone”, and she deals with resistance in an almost playful manner. Shawn, perhaps the only 4400 with the power to deal with Isabelle, can’t stop her.

    I believe that my earlier prediction will be verified: Tom will turn out to be the only one with the power to kill her, but that moment might have passed. How could Tom get to her now? I suspect it could end in that most predictable of ways, taking another page from the “Dark Phoenix Saga”. Isabelle could realize how far she’s gone, and beg Tom to kill her before it’s too late.

    The “4400 of the Week” was a nice enough plot device, though there are certain elements that are best ignored, as they would not stand up to closer inspection. The point was to force Diana and Tom to face personal demons. And frankly, the writers didn’t really bother to hide it. It was a risky move, because it puts the burden on the power of each emotional journey. They both really needed to succeed for the plot device to be justified.

    Diana’s hallucinatory journey hit all the right notes. Past history was revealed, but in the process, a strong connection was made to troubles in her present day. I’ve noted the somewhat lacking nature of her relationship with Marco since the season premiere, and this was a logical (if unfortunate) direction for her character to take. Taken in context with Alana’s removal from the equation, it does bring up disturbing possibilities, but it makes sense.

    Tom’s side of the story, on the other hand, didn’t quite work for me. I struggled to determine what the present-day relevance of his hallucination might be. I suppose there is some degree of synergy with his loss of Alana (and previously, Kyle), but it’s not a perfect fit by any means. That left his plot thread wanting.

    As far as transitional episodes go, this took a rather obvious plot device and made it work on certain levels, if not as effectively as it could have. This is where the Isabelle subplot comes into play. While it could have been more of the same, it took that thread one step closer to a huge confrontation at the end of the season, and distracted from the less successful elements of the main plot. This is a good example of a subplot propping up an episode.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a podcast associated with my various reviews called “Dispatches from Tuzenor”. Recent episodes cover the “The 4400”, so it might be something of interest. Go to if you want to listen!)

  • This episode could\'ve been better but it did provide a little background info.

    This episode was ok but not that good. The whole hallucination thing was pretty dumb. It was good however to see a little background of the characters but still pretty bad at the same time. They could've chose something ese to reveal Tom and Diana's past instead of these hallucinations or they could've made the storyline a little better. I really am getting sick of Isabelle's attitude. I hate how she thinks she can get whatever she wants even if it means people have to die. I think Tom should've killed her in Graduation Day She's getting really annoying. I hate how she thinks she can control Shawn so much. He should team up with his uncle and kill her already :P
  • I have seen better

    Isabelle relationship with Shawn is become sicker and creepy. Shawn and Richard talk and understand how dangerous she is, and to take serious her treats. They don’t stand up to her because they are afraid that she going to hurt someone they love.
    Like no one can stop her and if she doesn’t have what she want someone could be hurt.

    The hallucinogenic drug, Blink, force Tom and Dianna to deal with unfinished issues from their past. Tom faces his anger on his dead father, and Dianna her trust problem from an old fiancé. They had to deal with these issues to achieve their interior peace and to the hallucinations go away.

    This episode wasn’t as attractive and interesting as others before were.
  • If you missed this episode, you did not miss much.

    This episode was very slow moving. I did not find myself glued to the television like I usually am during this show.
    Tom and Dianna both recieved a delivered batch of cookies laced with a drug called "Blink". My problem with this is that they both ate the cookies without a second thought. I mean they are both special agents. They are not dating, so don't you think that at least one of the two might find this an odd gesture? Anyway, they are left to hallucinate about ghosts from their past. Dianna had a failed relationship, and Tom had issues with his father. They both are forced to deal with these problems to make their hallucinations go away. I am just not sure that this episode carried anything that will be relevant in saving the future. There are not many episodes left for this season. I wish they would just get to the point, instead of writing more episodes like this one.
  • Stoners, falling women, a deranged Isabelle, what's next?

    This episode gave me the creeps from the preview. The scream of the terrified Erika rang a bell in my ears when I went to sleep on Saturday, and I decided to face my fear by watching this episode. I got the relief. I told myself, "That's NO 4400." and updated my Wikipedia userpage while watching. I don't really care who the actress was behind her. In fact, this was just your average episode. You, of all people, should be able to enjoy this one to the very end.

    Thumbs-up about "Blink":
    Shawn doing the right thing for once (trying to kill Isabelle, but fails)
    NTAC arresting NOVA members who had the drug
    Chrysler 300C for 300 fanatics

    Thumbs-down about "Blink":
    Erika Lundgren (played by Aili Storen) falling off a building and then crashing on a car (different from the Mad Money sound of a screaming man falling out of a window and then crashing on the ground)
    Shawn failing to kill Isabelle
    Nothing else, really

    But all in all (I finally got that scream out of my ears just by watching), it was another job well done by Shawn and Co. That's all. 'Nuff said.

    MY SCORE: 10 (and yet ANOTHER review where I don't use the words "Jun Kazama" in a sentence)
  • Nothing happened?! Learning the backstories of two major characters, discovering what makes them tick... that doesn't count for something? Frankly I find these episodes refreshing, and I'm happy to get at least one this season.

    Tom has anger issues. Diana has trust issues. This we know from watching 2 1/2 seasons of the show. We finally learn why they are the way they are. Sure, the plot was a little skimpy on action, but the character development more than makes up for it. I wish there was time to get more than just a sneak peek into these characters backstories, but with only 13 episodes a season I'm happy to just get one episode a year like this one.

    To all those who think nothing happened in the episode, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. But if you want plot without character, you should probably be watching Law & Order or CSI, not The 4400.

  • Of how baking superheroes are born. Put on your aprons and join in for the ride.

    I don\'t want to say it was terrible, after all, it did follow the same formula as many of the other episodes, minus the interest factor but with quite a bit of lovey-dovey care. We met a new 4400, Naomi Bondermann, whose ability has a more mental effect than some of the other retournees we\'ve seen thus far. She can\'t stop the hearts of people, nor make them schizophrenic, paranoic, or anything of that sort. Instead, the oil produced by her skin can, upon coming in contact with another person, create a therapeutic effect which allows individuals to face challenges from the past and resolve them. We can only assume that this skill is only limited to humans, as we\'ve yet to see plants and bacteria talking to themselves and attempting to resolve issues. I think they should try that in another episode.

    The main plot, meaning, the eventual aversion of the destruction of Earth and all its people via a disaster of one sort or another, didn\'t develop an awful lot. We\'ve once again been introduced to Isabelle\'s immortality, and learned that even a 4400\'s ability cannot kill her. We\'ve also learned that she can move time, somehow, apparently. This begs the question of why she wouldn\'t do just that to a point where her and Sean are already married to avoid the useless dialogue that ensues. We also have some major betrayals as a result of all of this:

    - Sean betraying Isabelle by trying to kill her (I\'d be upset if my better half tried that on me)
    - Richard betraying Isabelle by letting Sean kill his daughter, or at least try to. (again, I\'d be angry if my father \'signed off\' on my death)

    Tom and Diana face old demons, and surprisingly manage to solve them while at the same time catching the \'villain\' responsible for all of it. A villain that bakes cookies with psychodelic oil. Hey! at least we can\'t blame them for being unoriginal, maybe Marvel should pick up that character for an upcoming superhero comic. Call him PC for Psychodelic-Chef.

    Aside from being amusingly entertaining, the episode doesn\'t offer much in terms of anything. You may suddenly feel sympathy, which is a feeling I can\'t say I\'ve been exhibiting a lot of during other episodes, but not much else. I fully expected the producers of the show to end the episode with a group hug in place of the all-so-common credits, but alas.

    A solid 7, for cookies.
  • I went to sleep

    I tried to watch this thing twice last night. I went to sleep both times. It was hideous. What was the point? As I only made it through the first half of the show. Twice. And woke up just to see the very end of the show the first time. But the theme about my tought times with daddy did nothing to advance the story. Neither did the story about the make believe graduate assistant who ruined my life plot. As for Izzy, I've gotten to the point where I don't even care anymore. Get her out! She is dragging the storyline into week after week of monotony.
  • What is happening to this show?... Where did all the good ideas go?

    As I'm slowing losing my confidence in this show to be good, this episode continues to give me worries. Was everything actually thought out? It seems like the entire plot was just thrown together over dinner.

    Personally, I don't like it when shows use flashback (or in this case hallucinations) has "character development." For a third season episode, I would imagine that by now we know most of the ins/outs of our main characters. But for some reason, we now get some back story in both characters that seems completely out of character. Such stories should be seeded over the course of a couple episodes and not just shoved in a 42 minutes show window. I'm sure we'll never here about this characters (Tom's dad, Diana's ex) ever again.

    And I'm just waiting for the Isabelle thing to run it's course but it continues to drag on. I was hoping it would happen sometime mid-season, but it looks like her storyline is setting up for the big cliffhanger.

    The few good points
    - finally another 4400-of-the-week style episode, but stupid investigation techniques for "experts" and plot holes hurt its chances at being interesting.
    - Marko/Diana is over.. it was ridiculous to put them together.. and it never seemed to be working.
    - Shawn finally tries to kill Isabelle, even though the viewers knew it wouldn't work.

    At least next week looks better.. (which is not saying much)
  • Why the filler?

    While I can sit here and rant about how bad this episode is I wont. It was pointless. That's it. While the episode was not bad in terms of acting (there were a few "dumb" moments) It did nothing to move the story. If tom would of found out about the wedding (which he should have, how he didn't no one knows) The episode could have been about him revealing to Shawn what he went through and how he could kill her. But NNNOOOOO we have Shaw try to and we all knew it would not work so why even do it. At this point I just hope the writers are not stretching out this season to give us the season finally of Shaw killing Isabelle because if so they just should make it the series finally
  • This was a great episode - a mark of an excelent season! Very good episode, the Isabel plotline thickens.... and we learn alot about the main characters.

    well what can i say about this episode? first of all we learned lots about the personalities of Diana and Tom.
    We learned that Tom has deep issues with his long dead father. something like an edipalic complex. his and his dad has a Love/Hate relationship - that involves a sort of a son surpassing his father in the father's proffesion (law enforcement).
    Diana has a comlex of her own - after almost marying her college sweetheart - she cought him cheating on her - and was crushed. we learned that every relationship she had since was in this mythological relationship - including the Marco one.
    we also learn that isabel is almost undestuctable - and will get what she wants - if it's by blackmail (Shawn's mother, The world... etc.), By fear ("you can't kill me...) if not by love.
    The plot thickens - and like the first season - we can't know what will happan....
    This was a great episode - a mark of an excelent season!
  • A bit more character based but for what point, exactly?

    While this episode was enjoyable to watch, there were some pretty major flaws to it and it definitely wasn't anything spectacular. The writers are beginning to let things slide; especially on a show with shorter seasons I would expect things to be much tighter.

    The idea surrounding the main plot of this episode was very interesting, and the twist at the end that the "villain" was actually trying to help was very interesting and different. I liked that angle a lot. But as I was watching, I couldn't help but wonder why they wouldn't ask Shawn to heal them. Maybe I could understand Diana, what with the divide between NTAC and The 4400 Center, even though that really only existed while Jordan was running it. But Tom and Shawn are family and I didn't understand why it wouldn't even be mentioned as a possibility about Shawn healing them after they realized they'd been drugged. To me it felt like something the writers didn't want to deal with because it would have ruined the episode. And that to me means you have a very weak story.

    However, the solution to this was simple: even though we've seen Shawn heal a drug overdose, maybe Blink was designed so that Shawn's ability wouldn't cure it. It wasn't supposed to be lethal so they wouldn't have had a need for Shawn to be able to heal it. Or the characters could have brought it up and decided against it. Anyway, it bothered me throughout the episode.

    I'm trying very hard to withhold judgment on Isabelle to see where they take her character and everything; but as I said, it's hard. One character should not come into an ensemble cast and take over. Isabelle has become the prime focus of the show this season and that is a mistake to me. A very big one. I wasn't fond of the idea of aging her in the first place, and she's just a psycho. That could be fun but instead I find it just annoying. I'm interested in what that could mean for Shawn, and for Richard, but as for her actual character herself I'm not so sure I care.

    And why are the writers so fascinated with the idea of Tom and Diana both being alone? The hallucinations on Diana's part all came down to ending it with Marco, and that annoyed me. It didn\'t feel like closure, it felt like they used this plot to have a reason to break them up. Again: weak.

    So while we got to know more about both Tom and Diana, which is never really a bad thing, it didn't seem to serve much of a point in the episode. So they've both resolved some issues that we NEVER knew they had until now: okay. And? Why did Maia have one line in this episode? Why does everyone in the world EXCEPT for Tom know that Shawn's suddenly engaged to Isabelle, who by the way is the person Tom's supposed to kill? The writers need to tighten up their storylines.
  • This is The 4400's version of "Spock's Brain." You can make swiss cheese without holes. "Blink" proves you can make it without cheese.

    At one point, Diana says "I am going to check out the basement" and immediately goes UPstairs. Sadly, this is not an abberation. Nothing in the show makes sense. (The only reason for the rating of 1.3 rather than the 0.4 I was going to give was the presence of Brian Dennehy.)
    Tom is well-known as an NTAC agent involved with the 4400, but he collects his own mail entirely in the open. Tom and Diana both get a gift of cookies delivered and cheerfully eat them. "Blink," which has only one effect, to cause people to hallucinate people in their past they have issues with, is sold as a street drug. When it is obvious that the key event is a dinner party where the substance was discovered, they wait for the woman who gave the party to go home and THEN get a list of who was there. The messenger who delivers the cookies is asked who sent them and says 'that's confidential' -- as a one-time messenger I KNOW that's ridiculous, and you'd ask the dispatcher anyway, NOT the messenger. A hallucination explains he can't shake Tom's hand, but Diana's hallucination picks up a pillow from her couch.
    In other words, nothing in the entire show makes sense.
    First definition of 'idiot plot': A plot which only works because everyone involved acts like an idiot.
    Second definition: "Blink."
  • The most poorly written episode of the entire series finds massive plot holes and the characters either not thinking or just being plain stupid. I can't believe that Rene actually approved this script.

    Who thought that the 4400 characters were really this dumb? They didn't USED to be. Granted, they weren't the sharpest tools in the shed, but they were never quite THIS idiotic. How so?

    Okay, first of all, the characters KEPT splitting up (going home or to specific sites of their investigation, rather than being kept under supervision at ENTAC), even after they knew the effects of the drug could lead to suicide. Secondly, they didn't bother to stay WITH the cookies at the food fair, both chasing after the villian and allowing the cookies that had been left out to be picked up and eating by the masses. I could see the potential of the story, but the way it was realized was an absolute failure.

    This script made the characters into idiots and is by far the worst episode of a season that seems to be flayling and falling apart, with stories getting more and more grandiose at the expense of characterization. The plot line with a young Lilly just isn't interesting any more and is way too over the top. Kill her and have it done. Tom has the stuff and obviously people are willing to take that step. Please, just end it. This show, which held so much promise, has been losing me with each successive episode this season. I hope something changes. SOON! Instead of killing off family members or sending them away, bring back the ones that make the characters deeper and more realized. They are slowly becoming caricatures and any good writer knows that therein lies the jump of the shark.
  • A quiet but good character-centric ep.

    I liked that both the 4400 and the dealer never meant to hurt Tom or Diana and both felt they were doing a good thing. It's a good break from the usual mass conspiracy attacks they usually get into.

    As for their delusions, Brian Deheny was a good choice for Tom's father as you can see where Tom gets his single-mindedness and work ethic from. While the resolution was a bit cliched it was very well acted and just what Tom needs after Alana's leaving.

    More interesting was Diane and her delusion also answers questions about her. That fear of being alone explains her connection with Mia and her relationship with Marcos. It's a shame the latter seems ready to end so soon but it does make sense to the characters although it'll probably throw some tension in the workplace.

    And then we have Isabelle going another step towards the complete breaking line with her marriage to Shawn. It was fun to see Shawn and Richard on the same side knowing what a disaster it could be and it's truly scary that Isabelle is so certain this is the right thing to do. That scene of Shawn trying to kill her was chilling, as was her reaction. Just when you think it can't get worse for her, it does and does not bode well for this show.

    So a "filler" ep in some ways but well crafted and very good for devling in our main characters.
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