Two episodes for the price of one!Grains of Sand
When you get into season four of a show with a hook like The Dead Zone
, you've got to find ways to keep the hook fresh and entertaining to the audience. And I feel like at times this year, the series hasn't really been trying that hard to keep it fresh or interesting and instead, has relies a bit too much on Johnny has a vision and must then solve the mystery of the week to keep it from coming to pass.
So, give "Grains of Sand" an A for effort and at least trying to tweak the formula a bit.
But I will have to knock off a few points for not being a compelling enough tweak to keep me interested. There was some interesting potential here--esp. with Johnny and the baby that is put into his care. Seeing Johnny's desire to be a father in the day-in, day-out sense of the word had some good potential. And even though we all knew Johnny had to give up the baby at the end, there should have been a bit more of an emotional response or connection to his having to give up the baby, esp. in light of the visions of Johnny and the boy sharing the train set together.
Meanwhile, the rest of the story is about Mexican immigrants and it pretty much goes paint by numbers--even to the point that our trusted female agent who helps Johnny turns out to be not all she appears to be. Vanguard
I think I've made the comparisons between The X-Files
and The Dead Zone
before. Both are similiar shows--a situation/mystery of the week show peppered occasionally with a mythology storyline.
Vanguard is one of those mythology storylines and it was just the kind of episode The Dead Zone
needed to kick the season in the pants. After a couple of just ho-hum episodes, we get this one that really was interesting. Johnny reconnects with his life before the coma with the students from his science club. Johnny has a disturbing vision about one in particular, who could help bring about the armageddon that Johnny sees every time he touches Greg Stillson. Suddenly, Stillson is back as is Purdy and things are humming and clicking. The background stories are moving forward..maybe only an inch or two. But suddenly, the series has some momentum again.
I also liked seeing Johnny's attempts to change things not really make it that much better. In the end, he achieved little to make the future better. If anything, he may have created a worse scenario because his friend is not there to oversee the use of the invention that could lead to armageddon.
All that said, I did find this episode to be a bit on the FX side when it came to the cussin'. I counted at least three or four instances where the choice of colorful metaphors by characters took me out of the story a bit. Part of that is that we don't normally hear such colorful metaphors on the show and so it just doesn't feel like part of the show.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 8/11/2005 01:13:00 PM