Crutching Teacher, Hidden Psychic
Johnny and Bannerman are in Dodd's bedroom which, not surprisingly, is pathologically childish with its cowboy wallpaper, comic book on the nightstand, and toys and puerile accoutrements everywhere. Bannerman finally figures out he's in the bathroom, busts in, and finds Dodd huddled in the bathtub, scissors stuck in his face, bleeding from the nose and mouth, eyes rolled up in his head, convulsing spastically, blood everywhere. Bannerman is stunned enough to throw himself back against the door; Johnny takes it in pretty calmly. That seems like a suspiciously quiet death, given the method he chose. But wait! Where's the psycho's mom? Uh oh. We see a shot of Dodd's holster draped over a wooden horse and a hand reaching for his weapon. It's Ma Dodd, of course. As Johnny goes down the stairway, he doesn't see her come barrelling out of another room; by the time he does, it's too late, she's shot him through the flank. Bannerman comes running, and she fires at him. He takes her out with one shot right to the inferior vena cava in the middle of her stomach. Or so I surmise. Where's Benton when you need him? ["Schaumburg." -- Wing Chun] Ma Dodd emits a howling groan and drops the gun, falling to the floor. Johnny is thoroughly shaken now, especially since her bloody hand is projecting through the stair posts, inches from his face.
We see Dr. Weizak driving up to yet another lovely old house with a great belvedere. (Three guesses as to what aspect of this film is interesting me the most.) It's still winter. Across the street, a billboard is being erected. It's Johnny's house; he answers the door wearing the ug-lay bathrobe, and with his hair looking worse than ever: it's poofy, but it's bed-head poofy. It really looks like a muskrat died on his scalp. Weizak doesn't seem to be expected, and Johnny doesn't seem thrilled to see him. He lets him in anyway. Johnny wonders how Weizak found him; through his father? Weizak says yes, he went to see Johnny's father, who told Weizak that Johnny moved to a new town. Weizak says that both he and Johnny's father are worried about him. Johnny says that there's nothing to worry about. Weizak asserts that he is still Johnny's doctor, and that they have to stay in touch. Johnny seems indifferent about this. Weizak asks about his injury at the hands of Ma Dodd; Johnny says the bullet went right through him. "It's nothing." Weizak says, "Good. Nice place you have here." Johnny's head seems to be hurting again. Weizak asks, "Those headaches are getting worse, aren't they?" Johnny, resting his head on his hand, admits, "Three, four times a day sometimes." Yow. That's gotta suck. Weizak reaches into his doctor's bag for some new meds, but Johnny wants no part of it: "No more pills." Weizak reminds Johnny that the healing process takes time. Johnny replies, "I'm not getting better, I'm getting worse. Isn't that right?" Weizak sighs and hesitates. He mentions that he's been doing research into psychic phenomena, and has discovered several cases like Johnny's. ["Cordelia among them, perhaps?" -- Wing Chun] He's found that, in every case, as the spells or visions grow stronger, the body weakens: "But I don't really need any research or documentation to see that this thing is sucking the life right of you. One look at you can tell me that." Johnny asks, with a wry smile, "You mean I'm going to die?" Weizak thinks they can arrest or even reverse the process, and asks Johnny to come back to the clinic with him. Johnny wants no part of that. Weizak insists, and says that it's not to study Johnny, but to protect him. He thinks Johnny needs to be in a controlled environment. Johnny wants to show Weizak something: he opens a closet full of unopened mail and packages. He explains that the people who wrote to him all want the same things, things he can't give them: help, love, reassurance. He says these expectations are why he can't go out, why he stays locked up in the house. His point is that he's already living in a controlled environment: "Nothing can touch me here. I'm alone. I'm safe."