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Monday, June 21, 2004

The Dead Zone--Collision
I wish that USA's promo department hadn't included that Johnny's visions this week would be about the night of his accident. Knowing that going into the episode kind of ruined some of the dramatic tension in the first fifteen or so minutes of the story. "Collision" was interesting because we got some exploration of the Superman-complex Johnny has given himself in relation to his powers. If he has a vision, he feels compelled to do whatever it takes to make it right--even to the detriment of his own health. Any one else notice that in the teaser he speaks to Rebecca about going for dinner, but drops that immediately to help Walt with the case about the missing girl? Yes, I know it's a subplot to show that Johnny is asking Rebecca to dinner and she's accepting, thus setting up the kiss later, but it also speaks volumes over the course of the episode as Johnny keeps pushing the envelope to help the little girl in time. There was a lot about this episode that could have been a negative, but they made a positive. I have to admit I was worried that when we saw Johnny talking to himself in the car that they'd come up with some way to violate the rules of Johnny's visions that have been previously established--that he can't interact with them in terms of touching anything. Also, seeing Johnny pull himself from the car so that he could later save the little girl would have been too much. The little girl who kept walking through Johnny's vision of the night of his wreck was haunting and overall, this episode hit all the right notes. Seeing Rebecca in her element, helping Johnny work through the visions to get to what his Dead Zone was trying really trying to tell him was nicely done. Overall, a nicely done, creepy when it needed to be episode that continues to build on the success of this show. I just wonder if this season might not become about the limitations of Johnny's powers. I'd love to see an episode where he wants desparately to get visions but can't and his questioning of the nature of his powers then.

Dark Tower VI: The Song of Susannah by Stephen King
Before you read any further, I will post this warning. I'm going to give away huge SPOILERS for the latest Dark Tower book, The Song of Susannah. If you're a DT fan and don't want me to give away any of the developments in this book, then please, please turn back now.

The penultimate volume in King's Dark Tower saga, The Song of Susannah is a fast-paced, entertaining read. The pages literally flew by on this one for me. Like King, I felt immersed in the world he's created here and eagerly turned each page, seeing where things would take our heroes next. That's not to say a lot of huge developments happened in this novel. In a lot of ways, The Song of Susannah seems to be more about advancing the plot just enough to put the characters in place for the final volume of the series in September. Looking back, there isn't a lot of things that happen, per se, so much as we begin to understand how and why things are happening. King seems to be picking up the threads of his Dark Tower universe and weaving them together for the final novel. That's not to say there aren't so major surprises--another Beam falls, leaving only two left before the Fall of the Tower. We learn who the father of Susannah's child is and what role the child is expected to play. (The baby is intended to be Mordred to Roland's Arthur).

The novel starts with Roland, Eddie, Callahan, Jake and Oi trying to find a way to go after Susannah, who is in labor and posssessed by Mia. She took the Black 13 with them and escaped through the door in a cave into New York City in 1995. The men of Calla help to reopen the door, but Roand and Eddie are sucked into 1977 and run across Calvin Tower, who sells them the lot with the Rose from the pervious novel. They also seek out Stephen King, who works himself into the storyline of the Dark Tower. Meanwile, Jake, Callahan and Oi are swept to New York City in 1999 to pursue Mia/Susannah, who is in labor and headed for the Dixie Pig, a vampire hangout and the Crison King's home, to give birth to her child. A child who turns out to be Rolands and will be Roland's destruction. A lot of the book, as I've said, it about setting up things for the final run. Jake and Callahan arrive in at the outside of the Dixie Pig to rescue or kill Susannah, but don't go in. Susannah gives birth as the book ends and Eddie and Roland meet with King in 1977 and then vanish, heading for their date with ka. It's intersting to see King work himself into the novel as a character and the ending..well, let's just say it's one hell of a cliffhanger. If you've read King's On Writing and know much about the author's life the past few years, you will get some weird echoes. King even goes as far as killing himself off on the last page of the novel, hit by a van on a Maine road before he can complete his Dark Tower books in the fictional world. It's one heck of a cliffhanger and it left me intrigued to see where the next story would go. Certainly it's not quite as edge of your seat as the ending of book three, but it certainly does work. Overall, this is yet another great addition to the Dark Tower universe and it will leave you glad that you only have to wait a few more months to see how it all comes out, as opposed to the huge wait we had after the cliffhanger that ended The Wastelands.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 6/21/2004 01:37:00 PM | |
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