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October 4, 2015

Review: FlashForward - Believe

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 20th 2009 11:49AM
Takeuchi Yuko(S01E09) I've thought since the beginning that Bryce was more one of the more intriguing characters on the series. The fact that he was on the verge of suicide when he had his flashforward was indicative of some deeper hurts that we hadn't explored yet, but this week he finally got his due. We also got to meet the mystery woman from his vision, and now his sketches.

I've also realized that a lot of you are right about one thing. The character of Mark Benford isn't working for me anymore. He's a dick through and through, and he absolutely proved that this week in how he handled trying to track down some information.

In fact, even though Olivia's a little better than Mark, I'd say the "first family" of FlashForward are the two least likable or interesting characters on the show. I think the drama may have been better served by having Mark die in Al's place a couple of weeks ago.

His death would have still proven that you can avoid your flashed fate, and we'd still have Al. Aaron could be sympathetic to Olivia's needs as she tries to avoid falling into the arms of Lloyd. Or maybe she embraces her destiny. Who knows. Regardless it'd be a lot more interesting than watching Mark be an asshole first to Aaron and then to his own boss.

I get it, Mark. You want to know who sent the text. But you have about the worst possible approaches conceivable in asking the people you've told this secret to. Not to mention that he could have probably just used the FBI resources to back-track the message and found out where it originated. But no, Mark would rather try and burn some bridges. The man has no diplomatic skills, but at least he can brood and look pissed off, so there's that.

FlashForward is still a show that I'm really enjoying. I'm just discovering, as in this episode, that I enjoy it a whole lot more when Mark isn't at the center of it.

The mismatched lovers quest this episode was great. I loved the addition of the Keiko character, and the full revelation of her and Bryce's shared vision throughout the episode. Yes, it was a bit cliche to reveal at the end that the restaurant they met at was in LA and not in Tokyo, where Bryce had gone to try and find her, but the moment is coming closer. Nicole told Bryce that he probably can't hurry this, and she was right. She also seemed a bit smitten with him, which could complicate things.

I do, however, like the character of Keiko. She's intelligent with a strong streak of independence. And she spoke in Japanese. I always appreciate a TV show or movie that has people in foreign countries speaking in their native languages as opposed to English. It makes the whole thing so much more realistic for me, even if I do have to read subtitles.

I'm not sure why Aaron thinks he and Mark have crossed some imaginary line where he can't be Mark's sponsor anymore, but they can still be friends. I suspect it has to do with the writers wanting to move them beyond that relationship, but it seemed a bit forced. Or maybe Aaron already slipped (did he drink and I missed it?).

With Tracy in the house and boozing it up, it has to be a nightmare situation for Aaron. He wants to be a supportive father to his daughter, but she's so angry and almost unrecognizable from the little girl he raised. And, what's worse, she's now suffering from the same addiction he did, and offering him temptation at the same time. Temptation at a time when he's emotionally torn up over what she's going through. That's a hell of a test for a recovering alcoholic.

On the actual flashforward case front, we got a weird scene with the NSA saying she was uncomfortable talking in front of Demetri, but we never got why. It was because of the call he received, but she knew what that call was and didn't seem to think it compromised him as an agent, nor did anyone else on the task force. Instead, it was just a terribly written way to get us to the point where the call could be retrieved and analyzed to give Demetri a lead on the woman who said he was going to die.

So it looks like we're off to China next week to chance fate some more.

[Put together the clues with clips and full episodes of FlashForward at SlashControl.]

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At least this week we didn't have Mark thinking he had found clues to the cause of the flashforward because they were on his board in his flashforward. How can it be the future if none of the main characters are acting like they knew their futures in the future?

Overall felt it was not a great episode. I'd be watching Grey's Anatomy if I wanted attractive people working in hospitals with music played loudly over scenes.

November 22 2009 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

For me it was my least favorite episode so far. I do not like the Aaron/Tracy storyline and only hope it ties in somehow. But right now it just does not seem to fit in.

I like the Bryce part of the storyline but way too much time was spent introducing Keiko when there are many others I would have liked to have more story and screen time.

I like the character Mark but he was an idiot regarding the text message. He may have only told 2 people he was drunk during the flashforward but the whole world knows little bits of the future. It seems reasonable that the guys coming to kill him in the flashforward (as well as those connected to them) would have know of Mark's drinking and that it why the attack was timed that day. How long do you think it will take Mark or the FBI to figure that out?

Also, if I wanted to read my tv I would have on the closed captioning.

November 20 2009 at 8:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can I just point out that EVERY text message I've gotten on my phone has some kind of number attached to it. I know it's a TV show, and so they can play around with reality a little to create drama, but come on.

BTW, they blew it with showing Keiko sprawled on the bathroom floor, bathed in sunlight after the blackout. It was 4am in Japan when it happened. I don't care how early she had to get up for work, it would be dark at that hour.

November 20 2009 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mrkorb's comment

Probably an anonymous text, that is also possible.

And Keiko fell on a hard underground, maybe smashed her head to the edge of her shower (that corner looks nasty, it could have killed her) and she was unconsious for a few hours.

November 20 2009 at 7:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Yme Sandelmann

I really liked this episode and the character Keiko. But I totally forgot that I was watching "FlashForward"... because they weren't moving the story along.

November 20 2009 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Mark is becoming a douche because they're prepping him for the alcohol relapse. And being sponsorless, he'll get closer to falling off the wagon. And I think Aaron told him he can't be his sponsor anymore because he wasn't balanced enough. He has his own stuff to deal with, and he can't keep anyone else sober.

November 20 2009 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

please kill off aaron. mark might be a douche, but aaron is intolerable to watch. i'll also watch any show with peyton list in it.

November 20 2009 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Definitely thought this was one of the strongest episodes of the season since the pilot. I was captivated by Bryce and Keiko's stories and star-crossed paths.

More of that please.

November 20 2009 at 12:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Keith L.

I thought it was probably the best episode all season
it got away from all the stress and actually got a bit
of some character development not just strained looks on mark's face ....

Bryce is a good character...expand his story line
we need some happy storylines...

November 20 2009 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

If you paid attention to what the NSA woman actually said, her bosses did believe Demitri was suspect because of the call he received and its source and had flagged him, thus she was uncomfortable when they wanted her to answer questions outside the scope of her prepared briefing. The FBI complained that the briefing didn't have much information; she was either reluctant to reveal that Demitri was the reason it didn't, or reveal more in his presence, or both.

Couldn't disagree more about Mark. Being direct rather sneakily investigating a personal problem using FBI resources isn't dishonorable, and the men's denials mean nothing, because if either of them did send the text it's because of some ulterior motive that they would likely lie about as well. But maybe he should start investigating, because if it didn't come from the people he told, it came from one of the men in his flash forward, who must know who he is and who his wife is, which seems pretty significant.

November 20 2009 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BC McKinney's comment

Absolutely - Mark was trying to force extreme reactions out of the two men to absolutely convince himself neither of them were responsible. If you've done something you shouldn't and are possibly ashamed of, and the person comes and confronts you directly like Mark did, it's possible you might come clean out of guilt. Mark didn't expect either Aaron or Wedeck to confess, because he didn't believe either one of them could do it - but he had to be sure before investigating who might actually have found out and done it. Now, he did try to apologize to Aaron but Aaron was too caught up in his own self-pity to hear him.

November 23 2009 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Aaron and Mark crossed the imaginary line because Aaron is supposed to be Mark's sponsor, but he started using Mark's resources to track down his daughter and find out more information, completely crossing the line of a sponsor and moving more into a friend territory.

At least thats how I took it.

November 20 2009 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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