The Dead Zone

Season 4 Episode 9

Babble On

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Aug 14, 2005 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
111 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Johnny has been getting visions of his dead father, who is apparently trying to warn him of some coming disaster.

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  • Johnny has visions of his father, and some repressed memories return to him about a secret the two of them shared together.

    This was an awesome episode to say the least. I'm proud of the writers on this one. It left me speechless at the end, I was blown away. I love it when "we" the audience get to receive little snippets here and there about the characters, and this was a great and quite revealing snippet if I may say so. I believe this takes us into a deeper character development for johnny, as well as a show development plot wise. I believe this tells us that johnny was like he was long before the coma ever happened, and that his powers only magnified after words. It also give us viewers a good insight to Johnny's father Herb. If you haven't seen this one, do!moreless
  • The way this show should be.

    This episode shows the true potential of The Dead Zone. Finally we are getting too the good stuff. The Dead Zone had too many fillers but when an episode like this comes along it great. This episode basically confirms that Johnny's dad was like him. Gifted to see the future. So how intresting. Will JJ inherit this? Who knows but i do know one thing this was the best episode so far this season. I have really enjoyed season 4 and i can't wait for the last fews episodes of the series. When this show is on form no one can beat it.moreless
  • Are we absolutely sure that this episode confirms that Johnny\'s father was psychic like his son? I\'m not sure, although the episode kept me guessing. I believe there\'s a scorpion\'s sting here that makes this tale all the more compelling...moreless

    Are we absolutely sure that this episode confirms that Johnny\'s father was psychic like his son? I\'m not sure, although the episode kept me guessing. I believe there\'s a scorpion\'s sting here that makes this tale all the more compelling.

    Consider, Johnny\'s father spent much of the episode trying to convince people he had real visions of this building that was going to collapse -- an event that would eventually take place several years in the future. But we never see the father actually have those visions. Then, in the last scene, it\'s revealed that the father got the information from one of *Johnny\'s* visions.

    This turns the story more on a character point: Johnny\'s been psychic all his life. His father believed him. And allowed himself to be committed to an insane asylum rather than have the same fate befall his son. Johnny is left with the realization that he accidentally got his father committed.moreless
  • Johnny learns his father had the gift also and that he must redeem his father's attempt to save a little girl.

    As many of you have pointed out on the forum, this season has been less than stellar. This episode is up to the standards its fans are more accustomed to.

    A fine acting job more than did justice to the well written script. Guest star Michael Cudlitz known for his fine performance in Band of Brothers, portrayed a tortured soul that due to his gift. We gain a little more insight into Johnny’s personality with the glimpse into his formative years spent with a father physically present but absent nonetheless. Maybe his love of teaching and this connection with children stemmed from the lack of attention and eventual loss of his father.

  • Challenging assumptions and striking gold at the core

    This has been something of a rocky fourth season for “Dead Zone”, but I think that the past few episodes have put things back on track. I went into this episode cold, and since I had no conception of where the story was going, I found it rather revealing. I couldn’t remember, as the story unfolding, whether or not this idea of a genetic component to Johnny’s ability had ever been explored.

    Some might not take to the concept very well, but I think it makes perfect sense. People have brain injuries all the time, and yet in the vast majority of cases (as seen on the series), those who have recovered haven’t been cursed with the same abilities. If I recall correctly, in the very first episode, there’s evidence to suggest that Johnny always had the potential for these visions; the accident and coma simply altered his brain structure and chemistry to the point where that ability became far more prominent.

    The logical extension of that would be the revelation that someone in Johnny’s family had also experienced visions. Of course, that would have major implications, especially since his ability was always treated as something unexpected and unique. Well, what a shock…Rvd. Purdy knew all about his father’s visions, and helped put the man in an institution. So all that shock and awe about the visions in the first season makes a lot more sense, given how corrupt Purdy is.

    This adds a bit to the story of how Purdy managed to get involved with Johnny’s mother. Purdy has always seemed like a greedy bastard, and his manipulation of Johnny’s estate and trust fund was just plain criminal. All that said, Purdy also seems to have other designs (several, in fact), and placing Johnny’s visions in the context of “God’s work”, as opposed to madness, is clearly related to Purdy’s overall agenda.

    That explosion was easily one of the biggest effects on the series this season, and it was rather impressive. Skipping over how Johnny survived was not. OK, it wasn’t all that important to the story, but I found it rather hard to believe that two people trapped in the middle of a gas explosion big enough to drop a building would get away with relatively minor injuries!

    I thought that the format of the episode, the peeling back of several layers of the mystery in an overlapping fashion, worked very well, and demonstrated a lot of the originality and complexity that brought such quality to earlier seasons. A lot of that complexity was missing from a few of the episodes this season. This is the difference in my mind: as predictable as this story was, it didn’t unfold in a predictable manner. That’s what I felt was missing from episodes like “Still Life”.

    Something else surprised me this week: the music wasn’t quite so intrusive. It was still rather bombastic and quite present in every scene, but it meshed with the material far better than in episodes earlier in the season. And that main theme is growing on me more and more. In this case, the music really set the stage for a tale that had far-reaching implications for Johnny.

    Seeing how badly “Young Johnny” was portrayed (the kid couldn’t act), it made me think of a side to this episode that didn’t hit me immediately. If Johnny inherited the potential for visions from his father, then what is the implication for JJ? Will he also begin showing signs of seeing visions as he gets older? I’m flashing back to some of those disturbing “Millennium” episodes, where Jordan would begin seeing flashes of insight like her father, and it was never a good thing. How would Walt react to having a psychic kid in the family, especially given the plans Sarah talked about?

    All in all, one of the best of the fourth season, with a concept that really made me look back at the earlier seasons with a renewed sense of clarity. This is the kind of direction that the writers should be going in, rather than the less satisfying “Johnny Smith, Psychic Detective” material.

Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz

Herb Smith

Guest Star

Suzie Payne

Suzie Payne

Mildred the Receptionist

Guest Star

Alexus Dumont

Alexus Dumont

Ally Little Girl

Guest Star

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Rev. Gene Purdy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 10:00 pm