The Dead Zone

Season 4 Episode 1

Broken Circle (2)

1
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jun 12, 2005 on USA
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
144 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Johnny is forced to try and save Greg Stillson...by stopping Rachel Caldwell from making a fatal mistake, even though it may cause nuclear armageddon.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Letdown to a great cliffhanger. Too much going on to give the most important characters enough screen time.

    7.3
    a bit of a let down after the exciting tipping point part one from season 3, but this at least gives closure to the rachael caldwell murder. The problem is that there are too many things going on in this episode. Johnny is on the run, Prudy is in jail, Stillson is trying to get close to Rebecca, Rebecca wants justice, Walt is chasing Johnny, etc. This could have been a better episode if it just focused on Rebecca, Johnny and Stillson. As it is the three most interesting characters get short-changed for an exchange between Walt and Stilson\'s henchman and the really uninteresting (fbi? secret service?) guy who doesn\'t know who is telling the truth.



    Because we don\'t get a lot of quality time with Johnny and Stillson especially, when Stillson explodes at his father for trying to control him, and when Johnny throws the cane in the river, it seems more sudden than it should be. I don\'t think we got a detailed enough sense of why Stilson hated his father so much or why Johnny thought throwing the cane into the river was his only choice. Plus, the Stilson flashbacks seemed stuck on to the plot in order to quickly develop a relationship between Stilson and his father that should have been more slowly developed/explored in previous seasons.moreless
  • Not exactly what I was expecting. (May contain spoilers)

    7.0
    What can I say? After waiting almost a year this was not really the episode I was waiting for. It's a good thing we finally know the true cause of Rachel's death and it certaintly was surprising, but it was a bit unfortunately that it was all discovered by sheer coincidence and that we hadn't seen almost anything of this person before.

    I'm glad that the Stillson storyline will continue so that we will still have a guiding line in the story, although I'm also looking forward to hopefully some great stand-alone episodes.

    Too bad future Johnny won't be seen anymore, although it may be for the best.moreless
  • A great episode.

    10
    This episode was nothing short of great. So many good stories were taking place and i never grew tired of any of the plots. So Greg didn't kill Rachel Greg's father did. But in rage Greg kills his father and Johnny luckily talks Rebecca out of killing Greg. This episode was really well written and is a great start to season 4. I really want to know where all these stories are going but one thing is for sure its getting beter and i can't wait for the next episode. Will Rebecca ever really come back? And why did Johnny throw away his cane?moreless
  • Stillson is still going to blow up the world

    6.0
    The further this show moves away from its source material (the Stephen King novel), the more it must attempt to answer its own questions, but Rebecca's plan to assassinate Stillson still feels like a rehash of "Zion" since it is, after all, just another reworked version of the novel's ending (of course, her motive is far more personal than Johnny's, but just as effective).



    I like the Greg Stillson that the show has given us; I like that it was James Stillson, and not Greg, who took Rachel Caldwell's life, and that Greg retaliated as he did. I can identify with this Greg Stillson far more deeply than I can with the ice-blooded single-minded embodiment of evil that the novel and film presented; the Greg Stillson of this show is, dare I say it...more human?



    Of course, in this attempt to humanize Greg Stillson and make him a more believable character, the show's writers have forced themselves to reintroduce the villainous menace that Martin Sheen so aptly portrayed in the film. Enter Malcolm Janus, the frontman for a black-bag Illuminati-like organization that plays chess with politicians and preachers alike; Stillson thus becomes a puppet to a global conspiracy, and the mythology goes on.



    Johnny throwing away his cane serves the writers more than it serves the story. Considering the magnitude of the future that Johnny is trying to overcome -- nuclear disaster and human apocalypse -- one should think he'd want access to every piece of information he could get; add to that the unique perspective of having a personal pipeline to the other side of said disaster, and Johnny now has the potential to attack the problem from both ends -- before AND after it happens.



    Clearly, Michaels Perry and Taylor wrote Johnny to throw away his cane in order to unsaddle the cumbersome plot that Future-Johnny was becoming. That Johnny's own future-self would manipulate him, and for what reasons, raises some interesting, and subsequent difficult, questions that the writing team might not have wanted to deal with. I tend to believe (based on the "Believe" graffiti that Johnny saw in his post-Armageddon visions in "Finding Rachel, Part 1") that Johnny has some kind of devoted cult following in the future (he did, after all, correctly predict Armageddon, did he not?) that has elevated him to the stature of prophet-deity, and he wants to hang on to that power.



    Fortunately for the story, Johnny threw his cane into a rive in Washington D.C., where Christopher Wey is said to have found it in 2015 in "Visions," so the Armageddon timeline remains intact.moreless
  • All in all, a good episode, but I felt it was kind of lacking

    8.0
    Dead Zone fans have been eagerly awaiting this day for nearly 10 months after this episode, the conclusion to a four-episode story arc where they decided to move this episode for the fourth season premiere instead of the season 3 finale. After leaving us with a HUGE cliffhanger, I was expecting this episode to be epic. Perhaps my expectations were set too high.



    This episode was a great one, no doubt. But for some reason, I was kind of dissapointed. The story felt rushed and some scenes were flawed. The action and suspense was there, however, which is always a good thing. There were a number of positives as well, including the introduction of Malcolm Janus, a character played by Martin Donovan, who seems to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Armageddon. Also, a new outlook on Greg Stillson's character. I pretty much felt sorry for him. It also looks more and more like Stillson is just a pawn in the Armageddon arc.



    All in all a good episode, that has it's moments, but fails to reach the hype that the season 3 clifhanger had built.moreless
Sonja Bennett

Sonja Bennett

Rachel Caldwell

Guest Star

Colin Cunningham

Colin Cunningham

Pendragon

Guest Star

Alexander Calvert

Alexander Calvert

Stillson (12 years)

Guest Star

Bill Mondy

Bill Mondy

Deputy Roscoe

Recurring Role

David Ogden Stiers

David Ogden Stiers

Rev. Gene Purdy

Recurring Role

Sarah Wynter

Sarah Wynter

Rebecca Caldwell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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