Dead Zone

Episode Report Card
Kim: C- | Grade It Now!

The Bannerman family rolls up to the Cleaves Mills Elementary School, where a banner announces that today is the Summer Science Fair. Well, I'm glad that line in last week's episode wasn't just a throwaway. Walt finds a parking spot, and Sarah turns to the back seat and asks the "guys" if they are ready to "unveil [their] masterpiece." We see Johnny and J.J. sitting in the backseat together, looking a little freaked out. I have to say that I am always intrigued by storylines featuring science fairs, because my school never had any such thing. I thought they were something that books and TV shows made up, like spelling bees. Oh, those are real too? Man, my elementary school sucked.

The Bannermans plus Johnny walk into the school gym, where the science fair is being set up. J.J. plops his project down on a table and pulls off the cover. Without a wide shot, it's difficult to tell exactly what it is, but we're helped out when Sarah says that it's the solar system and J.J. says that it's a solar eclipse. I guess that light bulb is supposed to be the sun. Sarah is impressed, and Johnny says that it was all J.J.'s idea. They are distracted by a bunch of kids laughing, and they see a little girl blowing bubbles, surrounded by her classmates. Are these kids really young enough to still be captivated by bubbles? I guess so. J.J. is worried that Bubble Girl will win, and Johnny tries to convince him that the teachers/judges know enough to look past the style and see the substance. Except Bubble Girl's mom is the teacher. That hardly seems fair. Walt says J.J.'s project is the coolest, and J.J. is pleased.

Johnny is clearly feeling a little left out of the whole father/son thing, and walks off. Sarah follows him and tries to make small talk, but Johnny, frustrated, complains about how he and J.J. are so distant. One of the Bubble Girl's bubbles pops on Johnny's arm, and this sends Johnny into a vision of various kids from the science fair falling ill and ending up in the hospital. Johnny sees some of the kids catching the bubbles in their mouths, which would taste really bad. Johnny rushes over to Bubble Girl and gets hit with a stream of bubbles, each triggering a different vision of hospitals, people in masks, lab equipment, and sick and dying children. One vision includes a guy in a hazmat suit saying he doesn't know what the virus is, but they are working on it. Johnny snaps out of it and turns to look at Walt and J.J. Suddenly, J.J. looks at him and appears to be in the throes of the virus: blue lips, sweaty, pale. Sarah looks confused, and then has the realization that Johnny had a vision about J.J., and judging by Johnny's reaction, it wasn't that he's going to be elected Prom King in ten years.

Johnny walks out into the hall. Sarah follows, realizing that Johnny had just had a vision, and Walt is right behind her. Did Walt's uniform get tighter since last season, or is that just me? Johnny says that he saw a virus, and that it's highly infectious and possibly fatal, and that it's already started to spread. Sarah immediately says that she's going to take J.J. home. Johnny tells her she can't, because J.J. has already been exposed and taking him home could infect the whole town. Walt agrees, and says he will call the State Health Inspector. But until the Health Inspector can arrive, they will need to keep everyone there inside, and everyone else out. Walt decides to call in some deputies and call it a lockdown drill until they can sort everything out. Sarah is dubious, but Walt says they need to keep everyone calm, which means lying. Walt pulls out his cell phone and says he hopes that Johnny is wrong for once.

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Dead Zone




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