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Friday, July 15, 2005
TV Round-Up
The Dead Zone: Still Life
Is it just me or does the show just seem to work better when Bruce is in the mix? In a lot of ways, Bruce is the Watson to Johnny's Holmes.

The Dead Zone continues to get better as the fourth season progresses with a strong, entertaining episode. Johnny is sent a painting by reclusive artist Andrew Lyne. Lyne was an established artist who went into retreat when his daughter and muse was killed. Now, it appears he's reemerging, having found a long-lost daughter and a new muse. Problem is, she's disappeared and Johnny is having visions of her demise. Now, I won't say that this one had any huge, shocking plot twists--I mean, Lyne's actual daughter being his assistant wasn't that huge a stretch and it did seem they worked awfully hard to have her lurking in the background in two early scenes in Lyne's studio. And while there wasn't the sense of mirth that we had in "Double Vision" we instead got a slow burn of tension right up to the final few scenes in which we find out the assistant is really Lyne's daughter and pretty annoyed she can't be his muse. Also, there was an interesting thread of Johnny's visions carrying over and giving him some of the artistic ability of Lyne and the obsession with Chloe. Though I did find myself wondering how much of that was Johnny's own obessive personality being brought out by the same traits in Lyne. I wonder if the visions are starting to have some residual affects on Johnny that he may not be aware of, but will become clearer as the season progresses....

Monk: Mr. Monk and the Other Detective
I guess Jason Alexander has a lot more time on his hands these days, now that his show Listen Up has been cancelled. Sad part is--Alexander's performace here as the other detective is 100 times better than the entire season he did of Listen Up (the few time I tuned it, I was totally underwhelmed...)

Alexander's Marty Eales is the polar opposite of everything Monk is..whereas Monk is a neat freak and has phobias of everything, Eales is a slob and apparently afraid of very little--except disappointing his mother. Interesting that Eales' mother helps him to "solve" the case by giving him the solution to things in advance. Eales then goes out and tries to build his reputation by out Monking Monk. I loved Monk's constant whines of "He's cheating" that all fell upon deaf ears, except Natalie. Now, I have to admit I did find Stottlemeyer's quick abandoning of Monk, given Monk's track record and their friendship a bit odd. I also found it a bit strange and forced that the community college that was willing to take Monk as a teacher would suddenly take Eales when Monk refused. After all, Monk has the track record and Eales doesn't. But hey, it made for a fun little coda and I am sure some of you will tell me that I'm thinking too much about these things.

The 4400
: As Fate Would Have It
Most weeks, I'd lead with my wrap-up of The 4400, but since this episode is a bit more pivotal than most, I left it for last. Let me warn you now--if you've not yet seen this episode and want to go in aware of what happens in it, then I strongly suggest you stop reading now. I am going to give away the entire ending of the story...

OK, still here?

After a couple of weeks of set-up, we finally get some movement on the major plotlines unfolding this year on The 4400. Interesting that there's no "4400 of the week" storyline this week, unless you really count the focus on Jordan. But then again, there is a lot happening here. Maia has a vision of Jordan being killed which she tells Diana about. She and Tom approach Jordan about the vision, suggesting he might want to step up security around him and be less visible. This is not an option for Jordan as he's arranged a meet-up for the 4400 at the center and wants to be out front and center during the big weekend. So, Tom and Diana offer extra security and Jordan runs to consult with Isabelle who shows him a happy future in which he lives and collects some kind of award. There is an attempt on Jordan's life early on and we're left to assume this is what Maia saw and that her horrible vision has been averted. Not so fast, my friends.

Meanwhile, Liv shows up at the center asking for Sean to heal her friends. Sean refuses and Liv leaves in a huff, only to show up later in a drug-induced state. She sleeps on Sean's couch and he adds her to the center's program to try and help her escape her life on the streets. And Heidi connects with Lilli and meets Isabelle, who is not happy to see her half-sister and it's implied Isabelle causes Heidi's spleen to rupture. And then there's Kyle who is blanking out again...why we're not quite sure.

All of these plotlines intersect on the day of the big gathering when an assassin takes our Jordan, killing him. Sean tries to heal him but can't and Jordan apparently dies. But not before saying that Isabelle lied to him. Sean takes over running the center and has no time to acknowledge a cleaned up Liv as he's surrounded by advisors. And we find out that Kyle might have been the assassin during one of the times of his blanking out.

So, now the questions begin....are there two sides fighting in the future to re-write the present? And what role to the 4400 play in that? Which side is Isabelle on? Why is Kyle blanking out? Is he being Quantum Lept into and not remembering because of that? And is this slowly becoming little more than a rehash of the temporal cold war plotline from Enterprise? (And we all know how lackluster that turned out to be!) There appear to be sides to this conflict and it will be interesting to see how they develop. Also, Jordan's body disappears, thus making us wonder--is he really dead or did he fake it all to thrust the leadership role upon Sean? Did Jordan really take Tom and Diana's advice and go underground big time? And how long until Maia get her own psychic friend hotline number?

Also, Sean's supposedly moving speech about Jordan at the end just wasn't very well acted. Patrick Fluger seemed to be channeling the worst soap opera acting ever into those moments and it really ruined what could have been a better moment on the show.

posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/15/2005 08:38:00 AM | |
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