West Wing
The Dead Zone

Episode Report Card
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Crutching Teacher, Hidden Psychic
A man in a trench coat enters a darkened office at night. He tries to turn on the lights, but they don't work. As he walks over to his desk, he notices two people sitting there in the dark, waiting for him. It's Stillson and Ferret Face, a.k.a. Sonny. Stillson turns on the desk lamp. Stillson explains who he is; the guy knows. He asks Stillson to take his "pink gorilla" and get out. Actually, he says "paid gorilla," but it really sounded like "pink gorilla." The pink gorilla gets up and shoves him a bit. Turns out this guy's a newspaper editor named Brenner. Stillson says that he's damn near even in the polls, and that he's catching on big: "I'm gonna win, and I'm gonna win big. And I'll tell you something else..." Stillson stands up and glowers, "I've had a vision that I'm going to be President of the United States someday." Damn, he's as good as Johnny. "And I have accepted that responsibility and nobody..." He suddenly becomes enraged and throws a framed picture that shatters glass all over the place: "...I mean nobody is gonna stop me." Well, we'll just see. He goes on to complain about an editorial that's going to be in the papers the following day, which is not supportive of his campaign. Brenner is defiant, but Stillson, feet up on the desk now, suggests that they make a deal. At Stillson's behest, the pink gorilla shows Brenner a bunch of blackmail pictures, which are obviously of him and some woman with whom he's having an affair. Brenner knows he's screwed. Brenner calls Stillson a son of a bitch and accuses Stillson of setting him up. I yawn, wondering how this could possibly be more pedestrian. Sonny starts to get rough with Brenner again, but Stillson starts to leave, suggesting they give Brenner some time to think about his wife, kids, and position in the community. As Stillson's putting on his coat, Brenner asks what happens if he won't make a deal. Stillson assures Brenner that he will make a deal, or he'll have Sonny "take [Brenner's] goddamned head off." It's just too much to buy Martin Sheen as a character who's basically a thug. My head hurts. Stillson and Sonny depart with some wise-ass remarks, leaving Brenner standing there looking dejected. Johnny is tutoring Chris at his house; Chris is reciting "The Raven." Johnny asks him to skip to the part about whether he'll ever see Lenore again. Chris dutifully reads. Then the doorbell rings. It's one of Stillson's campaign-bots. Johnny unwisely admits that he's not familiar with what Stillson stands for, giving the drone the opportunity to prattle on about Stillson's many supposed virtues. Johnny quickly realizes that was an error and asks if the guy can come back another time, since Johnny has a student. The drone asks whether he may leave some literature, and Johnny acquiesces. The drone turns to another campaign worker at the curb and says, "Honey, can you bring some of those brochures?" Naturally, "Honey" turns out to be Sarah, who stops short when she sees Johnny standing on the doorstep. She comes up and warmly says, "Hello, Johnny." Her husband quickly realizes who Johnny is. She introduces her husband, Walt. Walt tries to make nice, saying it's good to meet Johnny, and that he's heard Sarah talk about Johnny very often. It's pretty uncomfortable for all three of them. Chris wanders up at this point to ask Johnny to come back to the tutoring. Walt suggests that they should get back to work themselves, and Sarah hands Johnny a brochure. They leave, and Johnny watches them go. As Walt gently puts his hand on Sarah's back, Johnny closes the door and leans against it, his face turned away from Chris. He's crying. Chris asks, "Who was that?" Johnny just gestures with his hand for Chris to leave him alone. Chris is really concerned and wants to know why Johnny's crying. Johnny finally turns and hugs Chris, who looks appropriately nervous. If my tutor were crying for some unknown reason and started hugging me, I think I would be freaked out. Johnny stands back a bit from Chris, with his hands on his shoulders, and suddenly winces violently: he's having a spell. He sees Chris in a hockey uniform plunged underwater, along with two other kids. They've fallen through ice. Chris is even more scared now and asks, "What's the matter?" Johnny says it's nothing. Chris's limo driver honks, and Chris leaves.

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West Wing




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