The Dead Zone

Season 2 Episode 3

Ascent (2)

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jan 19, 2003 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
92 votes
  • As Walt lies in a coma, Johnny attempts to reach him through his visions only to find himself experiencing key moments of Walts life, including his first meeting with Sarah

    Although it sounds a good idea on paper - witnessing key moments in Walt's life as he lays in a coma - this opportunity to see a great Walt-centric episode mostly misses the mark. There are some good moments such as seeing Walt first meet Sarah and their first kiss together, and it feels like its going to a long way in developing Walt's character, unfortunately these moments are too few and far between. Instead, the majority of the episode is made up of Johnny trying to stop Walt from going into the light which is repetitive after a while, drags on for far too long, and is not as urgent as it should be considering this is ultimately a major character who is facing death. Another negative aspect is the fact that the flashbacks of Walt's life are played out twice, but we only see snippets of Walt actually living them out, mostly we see Johnny experiencing the events, which could serve to enlighten him about the way Walt feels about the love triangle situation, but instead little is made of it. Add to this the fact that for a "Walt episode" actor Chris Bruno barely features, which is a darn shame considering he is much more likeable as Walt, than when Anthony Michael Hall/Johnny plays him. The most disappointing aspect though is the revelation to Walt that Johnny slept with Sarah recently only leads to a scrap between the two, one that invokes no emotion, which is pretty strange considering for the past year we as the audience have seen this love triangle grow stronger and become more complicated, yet when it comes to a head here, one finds it hard to care about the outcome of the confrontation. Maybe if the prior development to Walt's character in this and the previous episode had been stronger (admittedly, the first part of the story did more for Walt's character than this episode) then maybe the fight might have delivered, but instead we get an ending, and indeed an entire episode, devoid of an emotional cord to plug into. On the plus side, Ron Hay's music, particularly his use of Walt and Sarah's love theme is very strong, a beautiful cue that adds some weight to the scenes, although not enough to save the episode.