The Dead Zone’s OTP and BLT

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Johnny and Sarah, sittin’ in a tree…

This post will contain spoilers for the latest season of The Dead Zone. OTP = one true pairing and BLT = bizarre love triangle.

I don’t read behind the scenes stuff for USA’s The Dead Zone, so I have no way of knowing if what’s happening on screen will be changed or made better somehow by future events. A quick set up for those who don’t watch: Sarah used to date Johnny Smith, until he was in an accident and subsequent coma for years and years. She had his baby. While he was sleeping, she met Walt Bannerman, fell and love and married him. Then, lo!, Johnny woke up and she had to contend with her feelings for both guys. My favorite, a love triangle.

TPTB toyed with that angle quite heavily for the first season or two, but honestly it tapered off to the point I forgot we were supposed to be sitting on the edge of our seats about it. Sarah chose Walt, and they had typical marital issues but were happy. Johnny pretty much stayed out of it and had his own love-interests-of-the-week (a whole ‘nother story).

This year they killed off Walt, while Sarah was 7-8 months pregnant. Suddenly Johnny was always around again. To help her cope, naturally, he stuck to her like glue. She actually called him on it, said he was being overbearing and pretty obnoxious. Johnny left in a huff. I mean, there he was – the hero! and he was being rejected. He came back later to sulkily return the house key he had for her place…and she apologized and explained she was out of sorts because she hated the new house she and her son lived in and she just missed Walt; the house was never theirs, really. Yadda.

So Johnny invited her to come live in his big mansion – separate wing, just like her own house! She looked doubtful, thought for about 30 seconds and said yes. So in moved a very pregnant former lover and a twelve year old. Not at all strange, eh?

Johnny gets to play house now. Lucky guy. Turned out all he needed to do to get the girl was wait until the other bloke in the triangle kicked it, and then it was easy money.

Oh, but it’s not over. Sarah, now tucked safely in Johnny’s house, has attracted the attention of former (still) bad guy VP Greg Stillson, who in the latest episode also put the moves on this grieving, pregnant widow. It seems poor Sarah Bannerman will never be much more than a conquest for the men on the show.

The bizarre love triangle is dead. Long live the bizarre love triangle.

Comments

  1. Sylvie says

    I don’t watch this show much because it’s kind of boring, and because I resent the fact that they made Johnny rich. The fact that the Smiths were an ordinary family and John’s medical bills devastated them was an important theme of the novel. I felt it was a good way to ground the extraordinary aspects of the story, and make it real.

    I imagine if they’re writing Stillson to be interested in Sarah, it’s just another excuse to keep her in the loop for more damsel in distress action, kidnappings, bondage and whatnot. They can introduce as many damsels of the week as they like, but “femjep” scenes are more effective if the audience knows the character, and has a stake in her.

    Uh … Doesn’t Stillson have a wife? That was coerced into marrying him out of concern for what would happen to John if she didn’t?

  2. sbg says

    Uh … Doesn’t Stillson have a wife? That was coerced into marrying him out of concern for what would happen to John if she didn’t?

    Oh, no. They killed her off. On the wedding day.

  3. Gategrrl says

    Oh, THAT love triangle interest was killed off soon after that episode, in the first ep of the next season, if I remember correctly.

  4. SunlessNick says

    I imagine if they’re writing Stillson to be interested in Sarah, it’s just another excuse to keep her in the loop for more damsel in distress action, kidnappings, bondage and whatnot. - Sylvie

    I’ve seen the first four seasons of this show, and that’s not a common theme of Sarah’s role. I would think its about upping the presentation of Stillson as Johnny’s opposite (though using Sarah for that has its own issues).

  5. sbg says

    I’ve seen the first four seasons of this show, and that’s not a common theme of Sarah’s role. I would think its about upping the presentation of Stillson as Johnny’s opposite (though using Sarah for that has its own issues).

    I concur. For as Love Interest as Sarah tends to be, she’s not really the sole damsel. I mean, that’s what Bruce is for. ;)

  6. Gategrrl says

    WAS for. Isn’t he gone now, too? Along with Walt?

    Here’s another gender thing going on in Dead Zone, that I’m not happy about. The new sheriff is a young hottie who completely does NOT fit the role of a sheriff. Why? She’s TOO YOUNG. An actress I’d rather see in that role would be…the woman who played the mechanic with superhearing on Heroes. She was on for only ONE episode (the villian killed her off), but she made a big mark amongst women viewers. No one wanted to see her character dead.

    The current Hotty has very little weight to her (not in the weight way, btw). I’m talking presence. Gravitas. Authority. I can’t take her seriously. Neither could my husband, who is, presumably, amongst the desired types wanted by the network.

  7. Jennifer Kesler says

    *cringe*

    I hate it when they cast young actresses in roles that demand life experience they can’t project. They don’t put looks before substance so much with male hotties.

  8. Patrick says

    I hate it when they cast young actresses in roles that demand life experience they can’t project.

    This was my main complaint with Kate Bosworth in Superman Returns. Oddly enough, my first pick for Lois, Cobie Smulders, is actually younger than Bosworth, but projects experience much better.

  9. MaggieCat says

    I hate it when they cast young actresses in roles that demand life experience they can’t project.

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but this was something they did well on Smallville. The last sheriff was female, and she was in her mid 30s at least and definitely projected the image of someone who had worked her way up the chain of command in the boys’ club that law enforcement can be. I remember being so pleasantly surprised the first time she showed up, since the WB didn’t have a great track record for casting actors based on skill rather than looks (although Camille Mitchell is lovely) since they aimed everything at teenagers.

  10. sbg says

    WAS for. Isn’t he gone now, too? Along with Walt?

    Oh, crud, that’s right. He got shipped off somewhere. Now the whole cast is white bread with mayo! And I do not like the new J.J. ;)

    I wonder why it is I am still watching this show, even if I do tend to fall asleep after twenty minutes or so.

    She’s TOO YOUNG. An actress I’d rather see in that role would be…the woman who played the mechanic with superhearing on Heroes. She was on for only ONE episode (the villian killed her off), but she made a big mark amongst women viewers. No one wanted to see her character dead.

    I swear if they attempt UST between her and Johnny…oh, wait. I think I fairly well decided to stop watching already. I agree – she lacks the chutzpah to pull the role of sheriff off convincingly. Heck, she doesn’t even pull off the “digging into and sullying Walt’s good name” thing very well. (Seriously, they couldn’t have just killed him, they had to implicate him in Bad Stuff?!)

  11. SunlessNick says

    Oh, crud, that’s right. He got shipped off somewhere. Now the whole cast is white bread with mayo! And I do not like the new J.J.

    Wait, Walt gone and Bruce gone (both of whom I liked)? And they ditched Rebecca early in s4 (who I liked). This … doesn’t bode well. No, indeed not, there is much boding, and it is very bad.

  12. sbg says

    I made the mistake of watching again on Sunday, and I have to say Johnny becoming Insta-Daddy is creepy, as is Sarah’s pretty easy acceptance of him as a co-parent.

    Yeah, I know the kid’s biologically his, but the whole thing is whigging me out. It’s like between seasons TPTB got attacked by zombies and had their brains eaten. And so, therefore, did all the characters.

  13. Gategrrl says

    I still posit that the best seasons of The Dead Zone, like on Stargate and many other shows, were in the first three years of production (The Next Generation bucks that rule, however). Of course, those were the years that Michael Pillar, also a former producer/writer on Next Gen and DS9, was in charge of the series along with his son.

    After that the show degenerated into insta-solving of crimes with Johnny’s insta-touch. Unfortunately, that still seems exist. The insta-touch, I mean. Johnny gets the information he needs and wants just when he wants it. There’s little mystery involved. And there’s been indication that Johnny’s been trying to learn how to control (if he can) his psychic power/s or not, or if he’s used to it as an everyday thing or what.

    Um…feminism. It’s interesting how with the most recent episode that the producer/writers of DZ are trying to drum up a “Medium” style family unit (albeit a broken family unit) with Johnny’s son developing similiar powers, although only “feelings” at this point. Can a series that focuses on father-son be as powerful as a mother-daughter bond? or is that a completely ridiculous comparison? (yeah, I tend to think it is)

  14. sbg says

    Um…feminism. It’s interesting how with the most recent episode that the producer/writers of DZ are trying to drum up a “Medium” style family unit (albeit a broken family unit) with Johnny’s son developing similiar powers, although only “feelings” at this point. Can a series that focuses on father-son be as powerful as a mother-daughter bond? or is that a completely ridiculous comparison? (yeah, I tend to think it is)

    Even if they were comparable in general, in this case it makes no sense. Johnny has never been the father figure for JJ. A 12 year old loses his father and is just supposed to accept that this guy he’s never taken real direction from is now his daddy? They’re bonding because JJ is also “special?”

    It kind of appalls me that Sarah jumped so quickly into the whole thing.

    Er. Feminism, where art thou? ;)

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