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Review: FlashForward - A561984

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 4th 2009 4:30AM
FlashForward: A561984
I knew FlashForward was headed toward a hiatus, but I didn't expect it to be here so soon. Thankfully, this was one of the best episodes of the season so far, pushing things dramatically forward for most of the characters and the blackout mystery, as well. We also gained more insight, and thus more confusion, about Simon and his motives.

There won't be any new episodes until March 2010, which coincidentally (or more likely, not coincidentally) is when Demetri is supposed to die, according to the Persian woman on the phone. When the show returns, will its internal continuity have jumped forward three months, as well? I have a feeling it will.

I think more may have happened in this hour than has happened in the last seven or eight episodes. Let's dig into it.

I'll back off my claim that Mark is a jackass; maybe he was just having a bad day. He really proved himself a solid friend and partner this episode, taking the fall completely for the trip he and Demetri took to China. Unfortunately, he remains as impulsive as ever, reacting on emotion over thought a lot of the time. He handled the restaurant owner just fine in tracking down our Persian, named Nhadra Udaya, but when it came to handling her directly, he came unhinged.

It was a pretty stunning revelation from Udaya that it will be Mark that kills Demetri, and with the gun he had on him at the time. Later, though, Mark was stripped of his badge and gun and effectively booted off the FBI for his actions in taking Udaya hostage for a brief time. Turns out, he probably should have found a way to hang onto her, as she clearly has a direct connection to D. Gibbons.

What I found infinitely more intriguing was the possibility that Simon doesn't. He's definitely sinister and mysterious, but he seemed genuine in his assertion to Lloyd after that press conference that he did not believe them responsible for the blackout. It was actually pretty crazy and premature of Lloyd to formally take responsibility on behalf of himself, Simon and Gordon Myhill (their third partner in the experiment). Especially if there is a chance they were not responsible. Again, someone acting on emotion.

Again, Simon seemed sincere and incredibly disturbed to find out that not only were the photographs of his design real, but that they predated his coming up with the idea. Couple that with Nhadra's claim that Demetri's death sets off a domino effect of other events, and I have to wonder if time travel is going to be an element in this show, as it is in Lost. That's just what FlashForward needs. More comparisons to Lost.

I'd been doubting Zoey's vision of her wedding, thinking perhaps that Demetri wasn't there, but I never considered that it might be his funeral instead they were attending. A good thing out of all of this is that finally Demetri's parents can accept her in his life. And, as we learned a couple of weeks ago, the future is not written in stone. There's hope.

Most of the characters were left in a pretty stable situation to go into a long break. Even Mark's getting fired is a good place for a break. The only awkward break is the one established at the end. I thought I saw that ending coming a mile away, but I expected it to be Dylan that was taken, or both him and Lloyd. I didn't expect the men to take Lloyd and leave the boy with Olivia. However, if Olivia takes the boy into her home for the time being, that would start to push that series of visions closer to reality.

In a way, I think this hiatus is good for the story. It can come back in March and rush headlong toward the moment everyone saw. If anyone comes back to watch it then, it looks like things are really going to get intense. The best thing FlashForward could have done after a solid episode was show the extensive clips from upcoming episodes the way they did. There's Mark saying he should have killed Demetri, and the claim that there will be another blackout.

It looks like the back half is going to move at a much faster clip (I hope) and be much more cohesive than this first half. I'll be back. Will you?

[To refresh your memory until it comes back, you can always find clips and full episodes of FlashForward on SlashControl.]

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Apparently judging from the reviews I have read on this and other websites, the sneak preview I saw was different than what others saw. Here is what I read on tvguide.com:
- Simon narrates the preview. "When it comes to destiny," he says, "nothing is set in stone." Simon also states that everyone's lives are about to change "in ways we've never imagined."
- Janis is seen holding a pregnancy test with a shocked look on her face
- "Someone will die," Simon says as we see Zoe telling Demetri her flashforward was of his funeral. "Or receive a second chance."
- "True love could be found." Cut to Bryce and Nicole in full make-out mode (steamy!)
- "Or perhaps vows will be broken." We see Olivia and Mark making out in their bedroom and then it changes to Olivia and Lloyd making out (even more steamy!)
- The mysterious man we last saw buying the suitcase of rings is injects Mark with some kind of substance and says, "Let the wild rumpus begin."
- "All of us will face the most shocking possibility of all," Simon warns before we see the actor Gil Bellows (or the Ally McBeal actor's exact twin) with a bad receding hairline telling Nicole: "It's not fate vs. free will. It's fate and free will."
- Mark tells Demetri he should have killed him
- Olivia says there's nothing she won't do to save her marriage
- Zoe yelling at Demetri about some deep, dark secret of his
- And finally, Mark talking into a phone saying, "There's going to be another blackout."
Here is what I saw:
-Benford getting an injection while asking the question "is this gonna hurt" and getting the response back from the female person administering the injection "the truth always does a little"
-Zoe telling Demitri that it wasn't their wedding she saw it was his memorial
-Mark has a makeshift Mosaic board in his home, with his voiceover "I'm driving people away around me because I can't deal with what my future might be"
-A bloody and dirt covered Lloyd in what looks like a basement
-Marks voiceover saying "someone at the bureau has been leaking information" (I think that's the second biggest announcement in this sneak preview)
-And finally Demitri pointing a gun at Mark in his own house asking him if Mark thinks that Dem is the Mole, To which Mark replies "what better cover is there than pretending you didn't see anything" (that's the biggest announcement in this sneak peek)
Its not as all-encompassing in terms of the other characters fates, but it might shine a reason as to my Mark potentially shoots Dem.

December 14 2009 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't believe Simon a bit - I think he's completely in league with D. Gibbons, the Persian Princess, et al. I believe his work with Simcoe on the supercollider was his "day job" or even one he manufactured himself to allow the Evil Cabal a convenient scapegoat. If he was able to maneuver the scientists at Simcoe's company into performing an experiment at the same time they themselves actually caused the blackouts, the world would have their explanation. A supposedly reputable company does a mea culpa, shrugs their shoulders, doesn't know how it happened but promises to shut everything down so it doesn't happen again - hopefully the public will breathe a big sigh of relief until they baddies do it again.

I think Simon knew full well of the existence of the Somalian towers, but was playing the FBI for all it was worth. Simcoe and their companies were fall guys.

December 07 2009 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As for Mark's gun, why don't they (Mark and/or Demetri) just destroy the gun? Demetri doesn't want to die. Mark doesn't want to kill him. Why don't they destroy the murder weapon? Mark certainly believes he can change the future. The FBI agent who suicided appears to have proven that. Since the prediction is that particular gun is the murder weapon, why not melt it down into slag or drop it in the deepest part of the ocean?

Despite any FBI regulations that it be turned in, if I were Demetri, I wouldn't worry about regulatory niceties. I'd take measures to save my own life. (In fact, killing Mark wouldn't be such a bad idea!)

December 06 2009 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I'd been doubting Zoey's vision of her wedding, thinking perhaps that Demetri wasn't there, but I never considered that it might be his funeral instead..."

I'm confused on one point. Why would Demetri's memorial service be delayed six weeks to two months after his death? And why a memorial service instead of a funeral?

December 06 2009 at 4:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some might say that since they saw their futures, they are in an alternate reality already. Having seen them means that they can't possibly become [completely] true

December 06 2009 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The most important dialogue in this episode was between Olivia and Lloyd - about alternate realities.

Since it seems so many characters seem to have been successful at introducing elements that look like they're going to create a different future from their visions, perhaps the visions are of an alternate reality - and our characters are attempting to change futures that would never have existed in the first place...

December 05 2009 at 5:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like many other characters' visions, we only saw a small portion of Charlie's flash forward.

December 05 2009 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GerryofNorVA's comment

Da##it, that was supposed to be in reply to Teleholic, stupid blogging app.

December 05 2009 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Congratulations ABC, you have probably killed both Flash Forward and V with your scheduling. At oleast they will have LOST to fall back on...oh wait...

December 05 2009 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, we're on a break until March? How have the viewership numbers been for FlashForward? I haven't been able to watch it live, but I either DVR it or catch it on ABC's website (which should help count as viewership hits). My concern is whether ABC executives have heard about what happened at CBS with Jericho. Great show, and in the first season, it was finally finding its footing when it went on the winter hiatus for 2 months. Viewership tanked (they weren't tracking DVR or web hits back then, as I recall), and it took a major fan uprising to bring the show back for a 2nd season to attempt to wrap things up. I sincerely hope that ABC doesn't follow in those footsteps. We sent peanuts to CBS...not sure what we would send to ABC execs.

December 04 2009 at 9:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm still wondering how Mark's daughter Charlie knew that "D. Gibbons is a bad man", especially since we saw her flashforward and it involved her and Dylan in her house.

December 04 2009 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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