'FlashForward' - 'Better Angels' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 2nd 2010 4:23AM
(S01E14) With this week's episode, 'FlashForward' started to remind me a little of some of the more intriguing moments early on in 'Lost.' It's a risky comparison to find itself in, because 'Lost' is poised to be one of the greatest long-form narratives in the history of television.
Plus, with a series name that reminds people of one element of 'Lost,' even if the book that 'FlashForward' was based on did precede the island mystery saga, and with Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger in the cast, does it really need to keep reminding people of a show it probably can't stand neck-and-neck with?
Regardless, though, once again 'FlashForward' took some important steps forward in its narrative, while Mark continued taking stupid steps backwards because ... well, he is still Mark Benford.
I guess I should be grateful that the new showrunners haven't completely changed his character from the imbecilic moron I'd grown to despise over the first ten episodes. Professionally, I can't say as I have any complaints about his performance since the series hiatus, but he was in true bonehead mode this week, with Olivia not far behind.
In their vision, the two of them are not together, and Olivia is getting freaky with Lloyd Simcoe. Her plan to avoid that was to move, which was a good plan. Mark can certainly spearhead the investigation from another FBI homebase. He could teleconference or even fly to California regularly to keep things going.
Instead, he'd rather push the issue to the point where Olivia is ready to get separated right now. From her side, she's an idiot for allowing it. If she really doesn't want to be separated from him, and in the arms of another man by April 29, then she wouldn't be so willing to take that step right now, over this. Instead, she seems to be running headlong into her flashforward.
Didn't they get the memo that these visions aren't set in stone? If they didn't, I'm sure Demetri can fill them in when he gets back, now that scar-faced boy is dead and his own vision has been thwarted.
Demetri confused me a little bit this week. I get that he's pretty convinced he's going to die soon, despite knowing that not all visions are coming true, but his offer to have sex with Janis kind of came out of nowhere. Even if she doesn't have the baby from her vision, she can still have a baby. He's supposedly engaged and committed to Zoey, so how can he possibly be sincerely proposing they just go crazy right there, right then?
Plotwise, the trip to Somalia bared plenty of fruit, including that 'Lost'-like moment. Everything about the Dharma Initiative started with the hatch and that first video, and I got that same sense of wonder when they found that old VCR cassette inside the tower. We got proof that the five towers were creating a localized flashforward effect on the villagers. More importantly, we got a great ending to the episode, when the tape started up and the man on it started talking directly to Demetri from the past.
The mystery thickened when Olivia finally got Charlie to admit what she'd seen in her vision. "D. Gibbons is a bad man" turned out to be a bit of a red herring, as it was little more than the ramblings of Lloyd's autistic son. It was what happened after that she was so traumatized about. She heard a man tell another man, right outside the house, that "Mark Benford is dead."
The later reveal that it was in fact CIA Agent Marshall Vogel, currently in Somalia, relaying this information adds more questions on top of the questions I already have about what's going on at the Benford home. Who is this other man, and why are they both meeting right there? Did Lloyd know, and if so, why was he upstairs presumably doing the nasty with Olivia.
With all of this being laid out for us as a two course meal, the side story with Bryce and Nicole seemed like the mint you get at the end. It was sweet, but it certainly lacked the gravitas of the other plots. Things are coming together nicely with the pacing of the series, and they really do seem to have corrected most of the meandering pointlessness that plagued large portions of the first half of the season.
I just wish I could flashforward to the end of the season and see if it manages to pick up any viewers, or at least stop bleeding the few of us that are left. I'm actually starting to believe these creators might just give us a really cool climax to this prophetic saga, and I'll be damned disappointed if they blow me away, set me up for an even more exciting second season, and then get canceled because no one was willing to give it another chance.
[You can always rejoin the fold with clips and full episodes of 'FlashForward' on SlashControl.]