Dead Zone
The Outsider

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The Outsider

Johnny giggles as he watches the end of an episode of Seinfeld on tape and then calls Bruce to say that it was "a great one." Bruce guesses that it was the Bizarro Jerry episode, and Johnny corrects him to say that it was the "yada yada" episode. Bruce is totally not listening because he's playing a videogame, and regardless, isn't all that interested in discussing old episodes of Seinfeld, especially since Johnny is watching Bruce's tape. Johnny seems disappointed, but does he really need tapes to see old episodes of Seinfeld when they are on in syndication about a million times a day? Johnny invites Bruce to come over, and Bruce totally disses him in order to continue playing his videogame, adding, "To me, it's nostalgia. To you, it's more like time travel." Johnny passive-aggressives that he can tell Bruce is "doing some thing real important," like, if you want him to come over, just say so! Bruce asks if Johnny needs to talk, but Johnny says he's about to fall asleep anyway and they hang up.

Johnny notices an infomercial on his television for an anti-aging product called Revivatin. He tries to turn the TV off, but his remote isn't working, so he walks over to shut it off manually. When he touches the television, he goes into a vision of a news report that features a woman crying as she says that she started using Revivatin in April 2005, and that she used it for four years until she found out she was pregnant. The newscaster voice-overs that the woman should be fine, but that her child's future is uncertain. Over a shot of a really wrinkly newborn, the newscaster says that 80% of infants born with the Revivatin birth defect will die within three months. Cut to a shot of a nurse wheeling an infant into place in a room filled with crying newborns. Johnny jumps back into the present and stares at his television like, "Wow, that was a really fucked-up episode of Seinfeld."

In Reverend Purdy's office, Johnny explains that a company called Culp & Belling puts out Revivatin, and that they claim it's FDA-approved. But Johnny found out that they only got Class B approval, which means that they tested it on animals and not humans, and that the chance of the product affecting human babies is "remote, but a possibility." Sounds like about 90% of other drugs on the market. I remember when I was a teenager and my doctor wanted to prescribe Accutane for my terrible skin, he also wanted me to go on The Pill because Accutane can cause birth defects. It seems like since the Thalidomide scandals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies are a lot more aware of these things. Anyway. I'm probably being naïve. Johnny says that Culp & Belling didn't test pregnant women, and that the product ships nationwide in nine days. Rev. Purdy doesn't seem as indignant as Johnny is, and Purdy explains that, so far, Johnny's visions have affected individuals or possibly hundreds of people, but he's never had a vision of this magnitude. Johnny says that one day his visions might affect the whole planet, and then realizes that he may have said too much about the whole Armageddon thing and shuts up. Purdy doesn't want Johnny to go public with his vision. Johnny just wants Purdy to get him a meeting with someone at Culp & Belling. Purdy says that recalling the product now is a major dollar decision, and Johnny points out that a class action lawsuit in six years will cost even more, so he's really doing the company a favor. Purdy doesn't think the company will see it that way. Johnny begs for a meeting, and Purdy denies that he has those kinds of connections in the corporate sector. Johnny won't take "no" for an answer.

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Dead Zone

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