Stephen King's Dead Zone: Season 5, Episode 3

Panic (2 Jul. 2006)
"The Dead Zone" Panic (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 48 users  
Reviews: 2 user

When a young man comes to the Smith house in danger, Johnny uses images of his family's WWII past to save the group.

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Title: Panic (02 Jul 2006)

Panic (02 Jul 2006) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Cabot
...
Zed
...
...
Randy
Spencer Achtymichuk ...
Robert Egger ...
Steve Jensen
Darren Moore ...
Marcus Perez
Jim Codrington ...
Federal Marshal Dwight Connors
Craig Lapthorne ...
Man #1
...
John Smith - Johnny's Grandfather
Sam Charles ...
Issey Lamb ...
Young Koji (10 yrs)
...
Harris Knowles - 1941
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Storyline

Randy, a teenage neighbor of Johnny Smith, comes home to find his father shot in the head. Escaping from two hired killers who want his own head as well, Randy runs to Johnny Smith's house, with the gunmen hot on his trail. Johnny's visions prevent him from fatal run-ins with the killers, and to see that they have cut phone and power to the house. As the group race to stay one step ahead of the killers who have now broken in, Johnny learns (as has Sheriff Bannerman, who arrives on the scene solo only to get held hostage) that Randy and his father were unwitting witnesses to a mob hit and the men after them are cold-blooded assassins sent by the imprisoned mobster to kill them in retribution for locking him up for life. Meanwhile, Johnny begins to get visions of his father Herb as a young boy in 1941 during World War II. The visions, which show Herb convincing his father to harbor the family of his Japanese friend from an angry mob, also expose to John a few secrets of the house that ... Written by Keith Tyler

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TV-14
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2 July 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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No need to panic about this one
25 September 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Another thing needed to get over with while watching this series, along with the fact that TDZ refuses to continue its main storyline for several episodes at a time and air what I call "standalones," is the trauma factor. Johnny Smith has had a plethora of women, for whom he deeply cared about, die on him, he has seen countless murders take place, and he has come close to death on a number of other occasions. Any one of these things happening to a normal person is enough to send him or her into therapy for years with nightmares, insomnia, and/or drugs in the package. Yet these things happen week after week on the Dead Zone, not just to Johnny, but to his son JJ, JJ's adopted father Walt, Johnny's best bud Bruce, and the other cast of characters whenever they're paired up with Johnny. In this particular episode, two murderers threaten the family, JJ included, they attempt to set fire to the Smith home, and they cause scary damage. In the next episode all this will have been forgotten like a dream and there will be a new problem stalking OFP (our favorite psychic) and whoever is hanging out with him at the time. So, after getting over the standalone factor, I then realized that I had to get over the trauma factor. Once I forced myself to do that, I started to really enjoy this episode.

The way to get over the trauma factor is to view each show as a complete bubble from the others. All the traumatic events that happened to Johnny and his family in the episodes preceding this one mean nothing, just forget that they are supposed to have any real effect. Now watch this like it is the only problem that they are ever going to face. Each episode's trauma is the big one. And then when next week rolls around, this show never happened either. Basically, you have to learn to not treat the DZ series to equate to: "This episode happened AND then this happened AND then this episode happened AND then this episode happened" because that will add up to a lot of trauma for anyone to handle. So, instead, except for the Stillson arc storyline, watch the shows thinking, "This happened to Johnny OR maybe this happened OR it would be cool if this happened to Johnny and JJ." Since they won't reference any past traumatic experience, like for example with JJ in the way Sara's father almost got killed and JJ had to save him, or people trying to kill JJ and his family when they were going hiking in season 2, or how Johnny, Sara, and JJ almost got killed in a bank robbery in the first season, just pretend it never happened and that the episode you're watching is the only Dead Zone trauma that ever happened to the boy. Once that mindset is achieved, part of you will feel like a goof for having to go through this weird exercise and the other part of you will be glad you did because the shows themselves are really well done.

I never saw the movie Panic Room but I am assuming that this episode was a take on that movie, with the locking yourself in a room while people try to hunt you down through your house. I usually think it's silly to blatantly copy movie ideas for TV show episode concepts but it didn't bother me so much here because I never saw the film and also because at least they were not trying to hide the fact that they were doing so. They actually called the show Panic, telling us that, "Yea, we know, but we don't care. We saw the movie and thought it would be a cool idea for a DZ show." And that's respectable.

And I'm always a sucker for Johnny discovering things about his father and grandfather's past. They make it so that sometimes you actually think that the ancestors and Johnny, who is viewing them, can see each other. I love that. Plus, the production crew always makes sure to put some kind of cool visual in every episode and this one was no exception. The shot of the bad guy with the Search and Destroy tattoo across his back watching while the world in front of him was in flames was a very cool angle, looking like he was standing before the gates of some type of hell.

There was also a lot of great action in this episode. It was a thrilling ride from start to finish, and although the obligatory corny moments were present, it was a roller-coaster worth experiencing.

(If I could, I would rate this a 7.5)


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