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Review: FlashForward - Gimme Some Truth

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 23rd 2009 4:02AM
Peter Coyote, Courtney B. Vance (FlashForward)(S01E05) FlashForward took us to Washington, DC to see the political ramifications of the blackouts, as well as some of the maneuverings that the city is made of, at least in this reality. Also in this reality, Peter Coyote is President. I've always liked him, and I like how he plays the characters as a very regular and relatable guy.

We were introduced to a new character in Senator Joyce Clemente (Barbara Williams), and she's definitely set up to be a major thorn in the side of the ongoing investigation. There was always something a little wacky about the LA office taking Mark's vision and building an entire investigative force around it just because they felt like it. And now, they have to face the music and justify their very existence.

It made for some pretty intense television. That and the bullets flying at the heads of our intrepid heroes.

It's an old and tired cliche when we open with a dramatic action sequence, in this case a car crash and gunfight, and then cut back to sometime before that. You then spend the rest of the episode working your way back to the moment we opened with. The idea is that the big climactic moment at the beginning will lure you in and keep you riveted until you find out what happened.

I'm such a terrible viewer, I guess, I completely forgot about it. I was so wrapped up in all the political maneuvering going on between Clemente and President Segovia and Wedeck. Not to mention Ben's trainwreck performance at the hearing in front of Clemente. Wedeck said it right, though. She is a complete bitch, but she was absolutely right to question why Mark was able to piece together about 30 seconds of a two minutes thirteen second vision when everybody else recalled theirs with crystal clarity.

So maybe there's something to be said for having an agenda. Her having the agenda probably cost Wedeck a job on Segovia's cabinet, as he had to instead blackmail the President into securing his funding. And the President had to appoint Clemente Vice-President in order to make that happen. That puts her one step closer to her own vision where she saw herself as President. But if that's the case, what happens to Segovia, as he had a vision of his own?

The plot is thickening and the layers weaving tighter and tighter. And if Wedeck had reason to doubt the authenticity of Benford's vision once he found out Mark was hammered in it, perhaps the Asian gunmen could put things back into perspective. There's no reason to doubt that these men tonight were a part of the same organization that's after Mark in his vision.

They're so organized, they coordinated a dual attack in DC and LA, gunning down Agent Janis Hawk in the streets. I loved the reveal that she was gay (I think this is the first we learned of it), as it adds another layer of complexity to her vision of being pregnant. She's gay and has no interest in kids. So how can she get that pregnant so soon? Being gay rules out accidental pregnancies, unless you know something I don't.

Yes, it could be as simple as she and the girl she was on the date with wind up getting very serious very quickly; that would also explain the wedding ring the date saw in her flashforward. But I somehow doubt it's anything quite that simple.

No Dominic Monaghan again, but it looks like he joins the story fully starting next week. And the good news is this episode didn't need him at all to be a fantastically compelling installment of an increasingly great story.

NOTES

  • When we first cut to the restaurant scene, it may have looked like they were showing us the wonderful plates of food being presented in front of Janis, but that wasn't the case at all. The food was out of focus. What was in focus? The zoom on her breasts peeking from the top of her dress before they panned up to her face. Subtlety need not apply.
  • The CIA thinks China was behind it, because they're crazy! Ever notice how the CIA is always the most amoral and crazy branch of government on TV shows?
  • Wedeck's burial of Segovia's indiscretions six years ago is why Sen. Clemente wants to destroy him, or at least that's what I'm assuming. She thinks she would be President had it not happened.

[For flashbacks, you can find clips and full episodes of FlashForward on SlashControl.]

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glenbob

Something important that no one seems to notice:

Episode starts with scene, where someone comments that they had lost funding, then crash, then shootout.

Then it says "39 hour earlier", and the episode unfolds.

Then the first scene repeats itself, except the same dude comments that the funding was preserved, then crash, then shootout.

The timeline is changing.

October 24 2009 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to glenbob's comment
jffm

That's not correct. No one says anything about them losing their funding in the opening scene. The only mention of trouble is Wedeck telling Mark to keep his mouth shut about being drunk in his FF otherwise, "... we are DOA.", but that's it.

Mark talks to Nicole on his cell phone, and refers to "... the whole trip's been a bit of a disaster..." but he's referring to their testimony going badly. Right after that, he tells her that Wedeck has pulled a rabbit out of his hat and had began the call telling her he was calling with good news.

The scenes aren't identical, the opening scene is edited to not reveal too many plot points that will be revealed later on. Mark isn't actually shown saying their funding was saved as in the closing version, it's only implied without revealing the specific outcome. We also don't see the news broadcast that let's us know that Clemente gets the VP spot.

October 24 2009 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ann

I was greatly disappointed by the gay overtones of the show. If it continues my husband and I will not keep watching the show. It started out good but I really don't desire to see gay women kissing on TV.

Ann in PA

October 24 2009 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MARY ROUX

ANYBODY NOTICED THAT SENATOR CLEMENTE'OR RATHER THE ACTRESS CAST IN THE ROLE LOOKS A LOT LIKE MARISKA HARGITAY[ONLY OLDER]

October 23 2009 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Echy

At 21:32 of the No More Good Days episode (on ABC's web site) Mark Benford states "... It was at night, 10 o'clock on the hour..." as he described his flashforward to the rest of the FBI agents in a meeting.

The time for the game is out of synch as well.

October 23 2009 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The1337

This episode was an improvement with the main story at Capitol Hill, but everything was still bad. The dialogue is difficult to stand and the characters are bad. I'm hanging on to see where this Somalia story will take us, but only by a thread. Full review of the episode.

http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/2009/10/review-flashforward-season-1-episode-5.html

October 23 2009 at 8:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

I thought it was a good show, except for the ridiculous shootout. The FBI guys were overmatched in firepower, had their car blown up, and were drunk, and yet they managed to win and not even get hurt.

And did anyone else notice that while the new girlfriend was certainly gorgeous, she had no acting talent whatsoever? She delivered each line in a total monotone. Did they hire a fashion model for the role? Really, she was utterly wooden. But I guess if you look good, that doesn't matter.

October 23 2009 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Echy

I thought that the time in the flashforward was around 10PM Pacific Time. Which makes sense for many of the flashforwards that we have seen except for Janis. Who goes to get a sonogram at 10PM?

October 23 2009 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Echy's comment
Echy

I agree with Josh. There was no way that everyone got out of the car before the grenade demolished it. Not a nick or scratch on anyone after being slammed by the SUV. This episode was disappointing.

October 23 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Echy's comment
John

y'know, I watched it twice on Hulu, and I swear that they were in a different silver sedan in the background and the attack was hitting the wrong car.

October 23 2009 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

I'm thinking maybe Wedeck isn't drunk in his vision but perhaps drugged. Even though these people know they can't change the future they're still trying to do it - and based on their actions of the past. I'm sure Wedeck is trying, and will continue to try right up to April 29, to avoid alcohol at all costs. So the only other answer is someone tries to poison or drug him. But he hasn't thought of this because he's just assuming he's going to fall off the wagon at some point. Of course now that I've stated it if that was the plan the writers will change it now. LOL.

One thing this show reminds us all is, no matter how well you plan something out it never, ever, turns out exactly the way you envisioned it. It can get pretty damn close, 99% even, but EXACTLY? What's that saying? Want to make God laugh? Make plans.

October 23 2009 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil Leitch

My take on the attack was that the President ordered it.

I don't think he traded the FBI investigation for the vice-presidency. Something else is going on there.

My first thought when the Pres. picked up the phone was that he'd just have the girl and kid killed. Instead I think he ordered the hit on the FBI team.

Maybe he had the CIA do it and they used Chinese to help their cause.

Or maybe the show is entirely wacked and nothing makes sense.

I still enjoy watching it. For some reason.

October 23 2009 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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