Welcome to a curiously pointless episode of Dead Zone. Ostensibly, Johnny is trying to stop an explosion from happening at what must be the World’s Most Luxurious Bus Station — I’m guessing they don’t get Greyhound buses pulling up, they get Borzoi or Norwegian Elkhounds. In reality, he spends time and his psychic powers making sure twu wuv has a chance to blossom among the sad-sack denizens of the place. From last hope to prevent the apocalypse to glorified matchmaker: Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
I see spoilers in your future.
Johnny is heading out to the bus station to pick up Elaine, an old friend of his and Sarah’s. Elaine, we will discover, is kooky! And quirky! She constructs crossword puzzles for a living, and has brown hair and glasses, so obviously she’s single and desperate! Sigh. At the station — which seriously looks nicer than a lot of high-class train stations I’ve been in, and I’m guessing no one on the production staff has ever had to take the bus between cities — Johnny gets cornered by a suspiciously chatty and interested guy in a suit. Weird. Johnny then gets a vision of an explosion devastating the place. He tells Elaine to beat feet while he tries to figure everything out. Elaine ignores him — she wants to see this vision stuff for herself.
Suspect one: Dave, a sweaty man-child who is late picking up his family. Johnny sees him holding something that could be a detonator (but looks to me more like a remote-control rig or maybe a Bass-o-Matic Pocket Fisherman) in his vision, and Dave does seem to be in distress. His ex-wife tells him no way, he can’t take the kid for the summer, since he’s an irresponsible pig who can’t take care of himself, and god, what did I ever see in you! Johnny gets a hit off the wife that she’s dying of something unspecified and cinematic, so Johnny distracts Dave by telling him about the doctors, while Elaine checks the bag. Remote control car, dude — Dave’s not the bomber.
Next suspect: Daisy, a bitter Iraq-war vet in a wheelchair. She’s running away from home because she thinks she’s a burden on her husband. She thinks this because her hubby wrote on his blog that everything is really hard, and it’s difficult to try to keep things together for her. Oy. Perhaps not something you should have blogged, buddy — you had to know your wife would find it, and she’s all proud and prickly and all the other things wounded, bitter vets are on TV, so you had to know it wouldn’t sit well with her. Save it for your caregivers’ group, ok? Anyway, Johnny calls hubby, hubby calls Daisy, they realize they love each other, and Daisy suddenly has something to live for again. She’s not the bomber.
Suspect three: Lewis, the maintenance guy. He’s in the right place for the explosion… Johnny follows him back into a secure area, where he hears Lewis getting canned. Somehow, for reasons unknown, management is around and firing people at nearly 11 p.m. OK, we’ll go with it. But Lewis, he’s a sensitive artist! He’s painting portraits of the buttoned-up management chick and making her look like an 80’s rock video extra! That, of course, makes him dangerous. Could he be the one?
Johnny and Elaine once again get buttonholed by chatty guy, who turns out to be Homeland Security. In a bus station? In Maine? Good lord, who did this guy piss off at work? He confronts Lewis at Johnny’s behest, and gets Lewis to empty a suspicious cylinder on his maintenance cart — it’s the portrait! Management chick sees it, does not get squicked out about some noncommunicative dude doing unauthorized portraits, and decides this means it’s love. Um, ok, a bold choice, not one I would make, but what do I know?
So those are all the suspects, and none of them are to blame. So who causes the explosion? With nothing to go on, Elaine is convinced that oh my god, they’re all going to die! And no, you could leave the building and be safe, Elaine, so don’t go yapping away about how Sarah has always loved Johnny, blah blah blah. Now you’re just pissing me off.
But Johnny gets a final flash, and figures out who causes the explosion — and that would be Johnny himself. It’s some sort of accident caused when Chatty Homeland Security dude manhandles Johnny and drops his gun, which goes off, and the bullet pierces a tank of flammable something under Daisy’s wheelchair.
And that right there is where the episode completely devolved into a puddle of pointlessness for me. Here are the top three problems I had with the scenario:
- Johnny is working to prevent something he causes, which is a pretty stupid use of visions — if he hadn’t had the visions, he wouldn’t have stuck around to potentially cause the accident. Yeah, yeah, his meddling helped three (potentially four) couples find twu wuv, but that’s hardly reason enough to break out the explosion effects.
- I’m confused about the Amazing Exploding Wheelchair — what, Daisy purchased one of the discredited Hindenburg models? She was going to get a job inflating balloons with hydrogen? She didn’t realize she had a jet pack under her seat?
- Chatty Homeland Security guy is an idiot. Apparently, his approach to investigating is striking up awkward conversations with strangers … because he thinks making assumptions about girlfriends will lead him to mad bombers? Because he thinks 8 down will be "Death to America"? Plus, he not only doesn’t have the safety on his gun, he also can’t be bothered to secure his gun in his holster properly. Perhaps it’s not a bad thing he’s stuck patrolling bus stations (albeit surprisingly swanky bus stations) in Podunk, Maine at odd hours.
So, the upshot of Johnny’s vision is he’s there to catch Homeland Security’s plummeting gun before it can hit the ground, and therefore avoid the whole Rube Goldberg-type accident. Plus, everyone is all lovey dovey, and he even engineers it so Elaine gets a date with Homeland Security, which would seem like a mean thing to do to Elaine if she hadn’t been a pointless mass of annoying quirks. In the end, Elaine pushes Johnny in the direction of Sarah, but Johnny declines to wake Sarah up in the middle of the night or attempt to get a reading off of her bedroom door. He should have taken the chance, because it looks like next week, everything falls apart. Doh!