Empath and Psychic

The way heartbreak, time, fate, and second sight converge and play out in this scene from The Dead Zone, beginning @4:41 min. From Poe’s poem, “The Raven”, recited out loud for Johnny—and for us; to the mention of Lenore; Johnny asking Chris, his student, to skip to the part of “will I ever see her again?” (How the poem is for Johnny, about his heartbreak and loss, not just a scholastic exercise for Chris); to Johnny’s lost Sarah appearing after many years at Johnny’s door, now married to another man, both volunteers for the evil US senatorial candidate, Greg Stillson. Johnny, the empath and psychic, cries after seeing Sarah again. Against the door, beside himself. He can’t hide his grief. Johnny and Chris also love each other. Console one another. Chris doesn’t have psychic powers, but he has love, and Cronenberg knows the two are the same.

Later Johnny will tell Sarah—and us—in a goodbye letter read as narration that “there has never been anyone else for him.” When Johnny gets shot due to his attempted assasination of Stillson, Sarah will hold him in her arms, weeping. She will whisper into Johnny’s ear that she loves him, and he’ll well up from this and die in peace because of this. Sarah is weeping because she knows that “time is love” (Manhunter), and she lost both. And Johnny has too. Johnny especially. Love as prophetic, telepathic. As being able to see not-love. Like the male angel in Pasolini’s Teorema, love makes you holy. Love makes you love.

Crossposted with Love Dog.

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