The Dead Zone

Season 5 Episode 5

The Inside Man

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM Jul 16, 2006 on USA

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

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out of 10
78 votes
  • A fantastic addition to the "Dead Zone" and one of the best of the season! Instantly one of my favorites.

    This episode was extremely riveting. Karl Schaefer did it again with an extremely well writen episode. There were one or two worries about the episode being a recycling of "The Seige" from Season 1, but those doubts were laid to rest once the episode was underway.

    One of the beautiful things about this episode is the character development and revealing the extent of Reverend Purdy's faith. After a disappointing lack of screen time in Season 4, it is great to see the writers explore one of the show's more complex characters. Purdy is a character that needs character development and that is one of the reasons I'm loving Season 5 up to this point. The story in itself was great. The visions in this episode felt more meaningful than in some previous episodes and some of them, like the glass shattering, made it feel like older visions. A great part on the visual effects team. And the episode also had a great message on faith. The music was also worthy of note. Very effective in the episode when used. And on a more personal note, if I were Johnny, I would have been dying to touch that bone!

    All in all, what a great "Purdy" episode and I'm hoping we have more episodes like them. Karl Schaefer has alot to offer to the series as a writer and I hope that he writes more episodes for "The Dead Zone"!
  • So Gene is loosing his faith....

    Wow i was shocked to learn that Gene is beginning to losoe his faith. I think it was the right decision not to touch the bone because it is not Johnny's place to know. This episode was about a group of robbers breaking in to the Faith heritage building to try and steel an artifact. But they run in to some problems when Johnny goes undercover as one of the robbers. This episode was well written and it was mostly good. I thought Walt was a little useless in this episode but still it was good to see him. On to the next episode.
  • Not arc Related but a classic nonetheless

    I loved this episode. How Johnny Smith
    Kept having to change plans in midstream,
    It was almost like watching an episode in real time
    And Johnny Smith had to keep ahead of the bad guys.

    I also Loved that the main bad guy wasn\'t your
    average bad guy, Yes He would kill if he had to
    but he was on a crusade for himself and his church,
    while the other two were in it for the money.
    That laid out a very interesting conflict,
    exspecialy whith the demasking. And Johnny
    Smith kept it so Walt didn\'t figure out who
    the Inside man was.

    The more and more I see him, I feel sorry for
    Reverand Purdy. He is a tragic character.
    He made his bed with people he is now realizing
    too late are bad bad people and all he wants
    is to reclaim his faith by witnessing John The Baptist.

    This episode made me cry. I just hope this
    isn\'t the last season
  • An improvement over the rest of the season to date

    With the first half of the season rapidly coming to a close, I’ve been worried that the entire season would be buried under storytelling problems. I’ve almost gotten used to the feeling of disappointment that tends to come before the end of the first act. So when I found myself engrossed in the story, and ultimately quite pleased when the credits began to roll, it was a wonderful change of pace.

    As the writers themselves put it on the official website, bottle shows can be a great opportunity to focus on story. Drama needs to be generated through character interaction, usually prompted by some extreme circumstance. In this case, Johnny finds himself in a situation where he must do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing. As it turns out, he’s not the only one.

    That was something I really liked about the episode. I could tell, in general terms, that there was more to the story with the head thief, even before the flashbacks began. But his actions spoke of desperation, and I was intrigued by the possibility of how that desperation was born. Tying it to Purdy was a nice touch, and one that forced a bit of a confession out of Gene. Much like Johnny, it was a matter of doing terrible things for some perceived greater good. Unlike Johnny, he was willing to kill to restore the object of his faith. (Thus, to a certain extent, lending question to the veracity of his faith.)

    I’ve always liked Purdy as a character, just in terms of the complexity of the man. He is the leader of a vast religious movement, but a man fundamentally at odds with his faith. He may have been sincere in his desire to know Christ more personally through Johnny, and it might have given him a restored sense of faith, but how long would it have taken for Purdy to use that vision to further his financial goals?

    The fact is, just the act of buying the supposed object of his faith rendered it powerless as a path to restoration. It was immediately tainted by the manner of its acquisition. Purdy was trying to purchase faith, which is an impossibility. And so the result would have ended poorly, had Johnny seen the face of Christ or walked in John the Baptist’s shoes. Purdy would have laid claim to the vision as a means to an end, objectifying Johnny as much as he objectified the relic.

    I love episodes that expose, through something other than exposition, the underlying psychology of the characters. Lately, the series has been a little preachy, which has stolen away some of the power of the narrative. In this case, the writers managed to dial it back a bit, even in the final scenes, which could have been a lot worse than they were.

    All that said, there were still some nagging problems. I found myself wondering why Purdy didn’t recognize Johnny’s voice, considering how often they have been around each other. Also, the kid who plays JJ is a horrible actor; he pulls you out of every scene he’s in, because it never rings true. Oddly, Chris Bruno seemed to be stumbling over his performance this week. That’s one of the overall issues I’ve had with recent seasons: the cast chemistry has really degraded, and it seems like conversations are a bit too stilted and unnatural. I still haven’t seen one hit it out of the park this season, but this was the one I’ve enjoyed the most.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a podcast associated with my various reviews called “Dispatches from Tuzenor”. Recent episodes have highlighted “The Dead Zone”, so it might be something of interest . Go to if you want to listen!)
  • Its all with the bone.

    I really enjoyyed this episode. I thougt ot was great. I loved at the beginning how Purdy was tempting Johnny to touch the bone. I know i wanted him to touch it at that point. I enjoyed Johnny acting as the theif and trying to act alond. I enjoyed how it took the theives awhile to break the bone out. Ofcourse its typical to have JJ run around and get himself into trouble too. Atleast we are finally seeing more of trhe kid. I thought it was neat when hte girl put her arm in the case. Overall it was a great episode.