The 4400

Season 3 Episode 9

The Ballad of Kevin and Tess

Aired Unknown Jul 30, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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  • The Ballad of Kevin and Tess

    The Ballad of Kevin and Tess was a perfect episode of The 4400 and one of my favorites. I enjoyed watching this episode because we get to see more of Tess and her amazing ability. Her relationship with Kevin is beautifully show cased and both characters had a lot of development. I thought it was crazy what Kevin did to Diana. This added a new twist to his research. Richard tries to master his new ability with the help of Ms. Tobey, and by the end of the episode it appears he has got a grip on it. I thought Shawns minor story line was interesting and fun to watch. Overall this episode had a little of every thing that makes the show fun and exciting to watch. The writers, directors, and actors are all to be commended for making the show realistic and up to par on continuity. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Dr Burkhoff and Tess kidnap Diana.

    Cleverly plotted and above avergae episode.

    I liked how they reunited Tess and Kevin for this episode and it will be interesting to see what abilities or ability Kevin develops. So far, he's shown the capacity for self-healing but I'm not sure the writers will leave it at that. I'm sure they manage to come up with something else.

    I thought it was very good how they progressed the storyline involving Richard and his abilities. Getting help from a nice, female teacher is the normal thing to do, so it made perfect sense. The last scene also made clear why he wants to control his ability.

    While it was interesting to see Shawn in some leisure clothing, he was never going to leave the center, so I'm unsure of why this particular storyline was included.
  • Better

    Diana: Kevin, you're brilliant, but you're wrong.

    Much better than the below average Blink, but still not that great. Shawn trying to kill Isobelle last time is just ignored, and everyone except Richard seems fine about it. However, Richard has a nice sub-plot, and Tessa and Kevin make a good couple. Needs to get better if this show is to continue to succeed.
  • Oh brother. What a choice! Shawn gets to choose between going on the road with the drugged out idiot and his entourage of drugged out idiots, or marry the spoiled brat from hell who is going to destroy the world. Did he make the right choice?

    I wish I had missed this episode altogether. I was so excited about this season, and I am so disappointed by the direction it is going now. All we need is a non-4400 with powers, or a gazillion tubes of that 4400 juice in the hands of corporate and government slimeballs so they can buy and sell 4400 powers.

    Tom should have killed Isabelle while he had the chance, at least she would not have hooked up with Ryland and generated a room full of tubes of that stuff. And what was up with Kevin in the gas station bathroom? Did he shed his skin, or wipe it off, or what?

    Maybe in the next episode, someone is going to wake up and it will have all been a dream...wish I had that luxury.
  • Another great episode in the best season of the series

    If the previous episode felt a bit more “stand-alone”, then this is a massive return to the strong continuity that has been the hallmark of this season. There are three major plot threads in this episode, and all of them promise to result in future plot twists. And then there’s the ending, which points to a finale with implications that far exceed those of the second season finale. Any worry I might have had about the pacing of the season has been addressed.

    The main plot thread for the episode, of course, is the alliance between Dr. Burkhoff and Tess, the schizophrenic patient played by Summer Glau in the second season premiere. With her inclusion in the story, Dr. Burkhoff’s arc becomes a lot more substantial. Now the circumstances of his reawakening links into the current events, adding seemingly stand-alone elements into the big picture. I’m very happy to see that Burkhoff’s experiments are connected to his role as the “father of the 4400”, and I’m even more convinced that it ties into the catastrophe at the core of the mythology.

    The question remains: will Burkhoff’s experiments, definitely known by Ryland’s allies within the government, lead into the “military applications” that Burkhoff mentioned in an episode earlier this season? It’s only speculation, but I would guess that Ryland’s interest in Isabel and her ability to produce promycin, key to her ability to save the 4400 at the end of the second season, is designed to level the playing field. Burkhoff would be the perfect case study to determine how best to use the promycin to create an “anti-4400” force. (And my guess is that the ensuing conflict will lead to the catastrophe, thus creating that time paradox loop that I’ve speculated upon before.)

    Diana’s forced evolution further complicates her relationship to the 4400. The injections might have been stopped in time, but it’s also possible that permanent changes have been made to her physiology. If so, how would that compromise her position within NTAC? This could go in a lot of directions, because it’s quite possible that she could end up a renegade, with Tom forced to choose between allegiance to his partner and the 4400 and the demands of his superiors.

    Back at the 4400 Center, Shawn is getting a chance to rebel, but that opportunity is also reminding him that his ability puts him in a bad position. He could easily compromise his morality and run off with the band, leaving the Center to Richard and damning the consequences. He’d have a lot of fun with the groupies, and since his new friends have a deathwish, who cares if Isabelle finds him and takes a few of them out as an example? Shawn, of course, is trying to deal with the fact that he’s trapped, and it’s taking him into a bad place.

    Richard, meanwhile, is finally getting an interesting arc of his own. Along with some alone time with the gorgeous Heather, he’s also learning how to control his emerging telekinesis. He obviously intends to use that power to stop his daughter, and there’s an interesting possibility with that. Tom has a syringe with the means to eliminate Isabelle. Isabelle knows that Tom will eventually come for her, and she could probably deal with Tom. But would she expect her father to use his ability to drive the syringe into her with an ability he wasn’t supposed to be able to control?

    Like many “4400” episodes this season, there’s almost too much to talk about and speculate. It’s easily the most consistent series of the summer, and it’s driving towards one hell of a finale. With only four episodes left for the season, there’s a lot to cover. But something tells me that the writers are more than capable of the challenge.

    (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!)

  • How can Kevin be the father of the 4400 ? Simple : by not dying :-)

    Dr Berkov has always been vital to the storyline, and it was about time he got his own eps !
    He's shot dead by Reiland's men, but unfortunately for them he cannot die due to his own ability he created. It doesn't make him good though and at the very end there's a relief he can finally shed his ugly skin.
    And he goes on the road with Tess like Bonny and Clide, which is really cool to see. Don't know why he is attracted to Tess but that's not my business to ask (always wondered if it's real love or due to Tess her ability).
    Anyho', Diana get's a leak of the doctors recipee and who knows if that may be of importance later.
    Speaking of leaks, Isabelle is providing loads of promicen to Reilland (can't figure out why, enlighten me please), can't be a good sign. But it can't be long before some mighty revelations happen. Countdown started :)
  • Writers are out of ideas

    O boy, yet another ridiculous episode from over-exhausted writers. It seems they are running out of ideas. The story in this particular episode is practically non-existent and exponentially going down with each episode. It was chaotic absurd, boring, and yes the acting was horrible as well. I guess because the actors are sick of the entire thing too. I agree with one of the reviewes here that this was a filler episode. But I fear the problem with this show is the writers. They have no idea what to do, oh lets bring a new character, a troubled rock star who is always high or drunk, let Shawn cure him, and lecture the disturbed rocker on the righteous paths, yes very very original idea.
    Overall, below average episode.
  • Very good installment again!

    Kevin doesn't want what he is working on to become
    Well known as Tom and the other DHS agents try
    To investigate him. Meanwhile, being the rock star that he is or wannabe, Shawn meets his idol and discovers that he is one of the 4400 too.
    Very great show once again and even though it can be strange at times, still very good acting indeed!
  • Shawn makes friends with a rockstar while Kevin's tests seemingly spiral out of control.

    Now I am unabashadly favor Shawn and all Shawn related storylines, so let's start there. There's no particularly exciting development of Shawn in this episode. More than anything it serves to remind the veiwer that Shawn is still 19 (or 20, or something like that). That he's still very much the same lost little boy who wandered into the 4400 center looking for a sanctuary. The same kid who messed up his homelife and went to Jordan for help. He might be one of the leaders of the center now, but inside he's still the same old Shawn (hence the clothes remarks). Of course he's changed because of what's happened, matured and all that (he's really stepped up in a lot of ways-- being taken changed him for the better), but he's still young. And pretty naive really, and somewhat easily led (evidenced by falling in with first Jordan, then Isabel and now the rocker). They've refreshed this point a lot in the series (all of his mistakes, sharing power with Richard,etc), so I gather they are going somewhere with it. So overall Shawn is sweet and too trusting for his own good, he's a kid trying to deal with all this power and making a lot of mistakes. Yay for my repetitive nature.

    Anyway Isabel has much the same dilemma. She's got even more power and even less of her own personality. She once mentioned that she and Shawn are the most powerful people on the planet, and I guess she would know. Shawn has power over life and death, and Isabel.... well who even knows? The point is she didn't have this thrown at her, she's always had it-- so her way of dealing with the power is doing what she thinks is best. Selfish just like a little child. But worse, because she's got an agenda beyond just being selfish. Shawn on the other hand is learning to put others first, (cheating with Nikki vs sending her away for her own good, putting his all into the center, etc). Well I've ranted about that for long enough.

    Now, onto other plot-lines. Richard and Heather develop his telekinesis-- fun! Isabel gives her dad some assigned reading, due the next day-- not so fun. Richard throwing knives with his mind while looking at pictures of Isabel-- I haven't decided yet (tentative fun?). Tom and Diane try to stop Kevin and his experiments. Tess is back in the plot, which I like (her and Kevin are too sweet-- speaking of sweetness, poor Marco! At least he seems to be around for more than Diana now). We find that Kevin is using DIana as a second test subject, which was really creepy. Luckily they stop him before he can finish Diana's treatment. Then we find out that maybe that's not as good a thing as it seemed. How kool would a Diana with 4400 abilities have been? Still an intriguing twist... the serum works and Ryland has a stockpile of it thanks to Isabel. I can't wait to see where that goes...
  • Filler, Interesting, Serenity

    Okay ... I pretty much think this is another filler episode, mainly because nothing really major was revealed, with the exception of the fact that Dr. Burkoff is in fact the father of the 4400 abilities. YAY GO DOC!!!

    I really thought the whole Promicin story line was really inventive, I was surprised at the end when he shed his 'outer layer' and was basically reborn back into the original Doc. I absolutly love Summer Glau ... ever since I saw her in Firefly and Serenity. She was also in a SciFi movie that I can't remember the name of, but she was amazing in that as well. I look forward to seeing her in some future episodes.

    I'm glad this storyline took some of the focus off of Psycho Baby (Isabel). I was getting a little tired of her bullying ways.

    I really enjoy the fact that Isabel's dad is starting to embrace his own 4400 ability. I think at some point we'll see a showdown between Isa and her daddy-o!!

    All in all it was a good episode, it lacked some of the excitement and suspense of other eppies, but that's pretty much par for the course and is necessary to set up characters for future storylines. I'm looking forward to next week which is supposed to answer quite a few questions for us.
  • As always some stuff was half answered which leads to more questions.

    This episode was great and I was wondering when Dr. Berkof was going to be brought back for a moment there it seemed as though he was forgotten about. I am also curious about why at the end he looked normal again if it was because time lapsed and he had not been injecting himself due to NTAC taking his supplies when they found Diana or maybe the bad effects are temporary?
    The way that Tess was introduced again was good.At first I was thinking that maybe she was doing good, and maybe what she did was part of her schizophrenea at the mental hospital and she really didn't have much memory of it.Her character still seems to have some good in it because at times it seemed as though she simpathized with Diana but the good doctor just has a little more power over her.
    One more thing that I wanted to comment on was that I am happy with Shawn deciding that his power was a little more important than just being there to bring an overdosing rock star back from the dead even though it was his idol.
  • All and all, it was a descent episode.

    After last weeks episode I was looking for something better and I guess I got it. However, this episode was just average, I enjoyed seeing Kevin and learning more about him. The storyline was definently better this week, more interesting and more engaging. I liked Shawn's interaction with the rockstar and I like seeing Richard develop as a character. I felt like they may try and make the counselor lady a future love interest for him, which is good he deserves a good woman after his wife died and his daughter turned out to be something that even he can't control. Lastly, I said it once and I'll say it again, I'm sick of Isabelle her forcing people to do what she wants them to is really making me sick, I want her to either mature or ... die. But overall, I'm satisfied with last nights episode, can't wait for next week!
  • things looking better now

    Over all not to bad. While I won't jump in tot he Shawn nonsense because that's what it was nonsense I will jump in to the rest. the Burkhoff story ended well while opening up a new one. While bring in tess kind of came out of left field it didn't take away from it. What I didn't like was the sudden Diana thing. being that she won't get anymore injections what's going to happen. How could her daughter not know she was leaving in the middle of the night. I just think it could of been thought out a little better. Now how Isabella is being is just crazy. Why she decides to do it is beyond me but we all know her father can't and won't kill her........or will he.
  • It was good but didn't reveal enough.

    This was a great episode. It finally showed Burkoff again, and what condition he was in. I really wish, however, that they had given more information. The season is getting long without alot happening. It was interesting at the end when Dr. Burkoff seemed fine, when just minutes before he looked like a zombie, but that just made more questions instead of answering them. Now I'm wondering what is going to happen to Diana now that she has been injected, and it makes me wonder how long she has been being injected. Even though I wish they had answered more, it was still an excelent episode, and very exciting.
  • A long running plot pays off and the greater story arc makes some very interesting strides.

    Let's get it out of the way that Shawn's plot was really dumb and frankly unnecssary except as filler. Richard, however, was much better handled with his new abilities and the chilling way he tests them at the end.

    It's about time, they picked up on Burkhoff and his attempts to create that special drug. That he uses it on Diane was a good touch given how she was the one person who treated him well. His partnership with Tess was a surprise but it worked out rather well. The tension of Tess controlling Diana like that was very well done and the payoff of Tess getting the injection was an excellent twist. Just as excellent was the ending of Burkhoff back to normal physically as he and Tess ride off together. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them soon and not in a good way.

    And then the major twist at the end as we find out just what Isabelle is being used for. Instantly, the question comes up if this is what the future people wanted to prevent, that this could lead to the disaster. The question of course is just what the government wants with a stockpile of the drug and the reaction when it gets out they have it. Either way, it points out that this season has an even bigger and far-reaching story arc than the last one and that promises a lot of fun down the road. Which is always good for the show.
  • Patrick Flueger meets Lacey Mosley, Tasha-Ray Evin, Marti Dodson and Amy Lee? Well, I don't think so...

    It's nice to see that Shawn was helping a music legend, but as I was watching the rocker and his girls, I suddenly kept thinking about Flyleaf lead vocalist Lacey Mosley (the guitar used wasn't as loud as theirs!). In fact, the rocker gave Shawn a guitar of his own.

    History Lesson: Patrick was the lead vocalist of a band called Sleeper 7.

    Now, Lacey Mosley (Flyleaf), Tasha-Ray Evin (Lillix), Marti Dodson (Saving Jane) and Amy Lee (Evanescence) may not have anything to do with this episode, but it was nice to see some hottie girls (sorry, I have a dirty mind) BESIDES Isabelle talking to Shawn, and for Firefly fans, there's River Tam's actor, Summer Glau! You have to love what she does at the end of her last scene.

    As I am a fan of Firefly/Serenity, it sure is nice to see Summer Glau return to the small screen.

    Thumbs-up about "The Ballad of Kevin & Tess":
    You get to hear Shawn playing a guitar (as Patrick Flueger is also a musician)!
    Summer Glau!!
    Isabelle doesn't talk about marriage

    Thumbs-down about this episode:
    No Lacey Mosley, Tasha-Ray Evin, Marti Dodson, OR Amy Lee
    Could be longer
    Nothing else bad, really

    With the fact that Shawn was given a guitar, that really is a sight to see. And seeing him playing attracts hot chicks (sorry, what is wrong with me?), I mean, young women who are attracted to that kind of music.

    MY SCORE: 10.5 (+5: Patrick playing guitar)

    (The Jun Kazama-less review streak continues! ;-)

    (I sure wish Jewel Staite could play a 4400)

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