The Dead Zone

Season 6 Episode 11

Exile

0
Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Aug 26, 2007 on USA
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

8.6
out of 10
Average
63 votes
  • The return of another great supporting character

    7.0
    With only a few episodes left for the season, the various plot threads seem to be churning away, driving towards yet another confrontation between Johnny and Greg Stillson. Rather than leaving it abstract, as visions of Armageddon tend to be, the writers have added a more personal component. In short, Sarah is getting closer to Stillson every day, and by helping her uncover the truth about Walt's secrets, he could quickly slip past her defenses.

    Johnny, meanwhile, is on a personal journey of self-discovery, trying to find his footing after so many changes. Walt is dead, Sarah has declared their relationship well and truly over, and Bruce has found a place for himself. This episode sees that process continue. One might think of Alex Sinclair as the perfect woman for Johnny (especially after one look at the gorgeous Jennifer Finnigan), but the writers make it very clear that any such relationship has long been off the table.

    In fact, the tone of the episode is very similar to the previous installment. This is less about bringing Alex back into the fold than giving her a positive sendoff. While it gives the audience a chance to enjoy their interaction for what may be the final time, it feels like another example of Johnny losing touch with someone in his world. Or, better put, making one last positive contribution to his friends' lives before everything goes to hell.

    As mentioned previously, the current plot threads seem designed to isolate Johnny and strip away some of the moderating influences in his life. Without that support system, how will Johnny react? Will he continue to be the altruistic troubleshooter that has been his role for six years, or will he slide towards the bitter man familiar from the original novel? It would be intriguing for Johnny to take a darker direction, especially this late in the game.

    All that said, this is another episode where the larger implications are more interesting and memorable than the actual story. Were it not for the twists and turns inherent to any Alex Sinclair installment, this would have been utterly conventional. The final twist involving Alex is well done, but really only matters to fans of her character. Yet that is what makes a season arc important in the long run; the deeper connections and layers can give meaning to what would be a disappointing stand-alone.
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