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October 22, 2014

'FlashForward' - 'Better Angels' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 2nd 2010 4:23AM
'FlashForward' - 'Better Angels'
(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.]

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Danielle

Did Bryce ever met up w/ the woman in his flashforward? I cannot remember. Was his flashforward resolved?

April 06 2010 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Danielle's comment
karine22

He nearly met her when he travelled after her, but her parents new about her flash forward and deliberately told him she didn't live at her parents home. So he returned in vain. She went to the US, but just missed him at the airport. So the answer is no.. Not all flash forwards are coming true, that is clear.

April 06 2010 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tri

It would not have been enough for D. Gibbons to FlashForward himself into the future to steal the tower designs. Remember, the reason that Simon gave for his designs being strictly theoretical is that we lacked technology (today, still!) to implement them. There's more going on here.

April 06 2010 at 3:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tri's comment
karine22

Well he might have flashed forward him often enough and far enough into the future to be able to create the needed technology with a special team back in 1991. But I agree that time travel would be an easier solution. Probably the flash forward technology is the first hint of time travel. So the ones from the future that want to use that technology and have sole power over it, would need to travel back in time to prevent others from inventing or learning about it? ... plus that person would need to hunt down the ones that would come after him in the future.... like Dimitri or his offspring?... some wild guesses here. But isn't that part of the fun? :) Probably that person (D.Gibbons) would also need to create a way that he has access to that technology in the future. Reason why he needed Simon to invent and design the first machines. He needed to recreate the past in such a way that he only can have access to that technology... Simon killing his oncle probably was not part of his plan.

April 06 2010 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan H

Oh, and anybody who was intriuged by the videotape at the end...I cannot urge you enough to check out the episdoe of Dr. Who entitled "Blink". It was on SyFy network a few years ago, and is completely stand alone...you don't need to know anything about Dr. Who to appreciate this episode, and it absolutely nailed that whole video-tape thing. I find it the single best episode in the series history and one of the best episodes of television ever. I cannot reccomend it enough.

April 05 2010 at 8:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dan H's comment
Europa

Well, at least you're not telling us to watch an ep of "Lost."

April 05 2010 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan H

When I watch this show (and admittedly I was vey tired and starting to fall asleep), I got the impression that Olivia wanted them to move so he would stop working on the investigation completely, not work on it remotely. I thought she wanted him to stop trying to save everybody. Unless I missed it, I never got the impression she would have accepted teleconfrencing.

April 05 2010 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mona

I'm pretty sure that the guy that tells Vogel " mark benford is dead" is james remar who plays james ermine. he's the guy that apperantley took Tracy, interesting to see how it gonna play out.

April 02 2010 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mona's comment
jffm

I'm going to have to watch that scene again. As I saw it, Vogel hung up from a cell phone call (presumably with the news) and told the guy he was with that Mark Benson was dead, not the other way around.

April 03 2010 at 11:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Europa

Maybe this is too much to ask but can you please review this show without constant "Lost" comparisons? Not all of us are watchers of "Lost." I've never seen one episode and have never been interested in the show. It's okay to compare and contrast occasionally but enough is enough. Just review *this* show on *its* merits. Good, bad, or indifferent. Perhaps get a TVSquad member who isn't predisposed to "Lost" to help you out or to provide a "second opinion" review. Thank you.

April 02 2010 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Europa's comment
Dave

Yes! Well said. I couldn't agree more! Lost has nothing to do with FlashForward. I'm sick and tired of reading about it.

April 04 2010 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jffm

Yup, the show seems to be in a nice little groove now.

I'm okay with the Demetri/Janis thing. Despite all the 'the future can be altered' stuff going on, I can easily believe he might still feel pretty fatalistic. He just found out Mark's gun mysteriously disappeared from storage, and there are still tons of flash forwards still happening. Given how people are reacting, probably far more are coming true than not.

So I can understand how he could see a friend having her badly wanted flash forward slip away, and impulsively say that he's going to try and give her a chance at the happiness she wants when it looks like fate is turning against her too. One last chance to take back a little control and spit in the eye of destiny; maybe subconsciously hoping that if he can affect destiny to make a flash forward happen, maybe he can affect it to make one not happen too.

As far as Mark and Olivia goes, I'm completely in Mark's corner. He's working to possibly save the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. With that on the line, you don't start throwing up needless impediments like trying to handle the whole thing remotely or some other nonsense. She, on the other hand, has one monumental task on her plate: Not sleeping with another man. Yes, his life is at risk, but frankly, she's always known that was part of his job, and now's definitely not the time to go all wobbly at the knees and declaring 'my way or the highway'.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Vogel is a red herring. The man he was talking to last night was wearing a communications earpiece, and it looked to me like they were there providing security for Mark's wife and/or Lloyd Simcoe. Vogel simply passing on the news that Mark had been killed (which could be bad information or intentional misinformation) doesn't lock in Vogel as a bad guy.

Actually, my dark horse candidate for the mole is Janis.

April 02 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TR

I'm really enjoying Flash Forward this time around. I'll admit that by the time they went on hiatus my interest had faded some, the show just seemed to have no purpose. Since it's return they've really picked things up.

However I find myself not wanting to buy into it all totally due to the fact that everything I like these days seems to get canceled just as I'm getting really involved.

Seeing the inside of the one remaining tower really added depth to the storyline. It also gave me more questions than answers... Just like any good show!!

April 02 2010 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Binky

I really like where this show is going now, I'm actually re-watching the first half of the season and it's not as pointless the second time around because the second half is starting to give answers for the questions posed in the first half. I don't know if it was their plan all along, but considering the many viewers that grew tired of watching the first half, I don't think it was a very good plan.

As for Demetri's offer to impregnate Janis, I do agree that it seems to come out of left field a bit. He seems to be so in love and committed to Zoey, and considering how hard she is at working to prevent his future murder, him offering to impregnate another woman, just makes sound like a total jackass. I hope it was just the Somalian rum talking and they didn't actually go through with it. However, it would explain why Janis was crying in her flashforward when she found out the sex of the baby.

The end part was jaw-dropping - and it's true, it did get my attention. We know that D.Gibbons/Dyson Frost managed to conduct the experiment that jumped the consciousness of the villagers two weeks into the future, but could it be that before that he had conducted that experiment to himself and saw Demetri and Simon watching that tape in the tower? Can't wait for next week for the answers (hopefully they'll answer it next week!).

And I have to agree with St3v3n - I think Vogel must be part of whoever was responsible for the blackout. He may not be the one pulling the trigger, but he may give the order. But what were they doing outside the Benford house? If they were coming to kill Lloyd would they be standing outside nonchalantly talking where anyone could see them? Or were they guarding the house? It would explain why Lloyd and Olivia could still do the nasty, and why Dylan was there hanging out with Charlie. Maybe Mark himself invited Lloyd & Dylan to live with them so he could protect them? Now that would be interesting...

April 02 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Binky's comment
karine22

I agree where you say: 'If they were coming to kill Lloyd would they be standing outside nonchalantly talking where anyone could see them? Or were they guarding the house?' It looks like they were garding it. I am not convinced LLoyd and Olivia did 'the nasty'. He wrote a formular on the bedroom mirror? So looks more like they were just sleeping in the same bedroom. The nice looking evening gown from Olivia is just a distraction to make us think they were doing other stuff. Plus I don't think they would feel comfortable with their kids awake downstairs and people watching the house? Then about Vogel: he surely knows more about the black out and who caused it. He worked with the woman who told Demitri that he would be shot, and she also protected B. Gibbons remember? She told B. Gibbons 'I can no longer protect you'. Plus Vogel didn't speak of his flashforward which would have been a contribution to the clues. So he certainly has a second agenda. What Vogel said was : ' i was doing my job'. So appearantly he understands and already knows why he will say in his flashforward 'Marc Benford is dead'. Questions I still have is: the design of the tower that was built in 1991. Is it time travel?.. or as someone mentioned here : D.Gibbons put himself under a flashforward. But I think he couldn't get enough info to learn all he knows about Marc and Dimitri etc just by experiencing minutes at some point into the future? So I think time travel is more logical, as well to explain the design of towers in the past. I assume they messed with the future/past and had to go further and further into the past to correct it (i love those type of stories by the way, as I totally love this show). Anyhow .. Another question that remains is how much Simon really knows. OK, A small flaw in the edition where he kills is uncle, like that dead body and the death of the old professor is going to go unnoticed by the CIA?... looking forward to all the answers... :)

April 04 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
st3v3n

I liked this episode a lot. I wish people would just stop comparing it to Lost and let it grow.

I really liked the tape from '91 angle, and can't wait to see what their explanation is. I would be satisfied with time travel, but I think the shows current lack of any mention of time travel in relation to Simon's design showing up early might mean something else entirely.


Also, I have a feeling Vogel might be part of who was behind the blackout, and may have taken this position in order to get closer to Mark, and eventually kill him. If this were true, we could logically assume he was at the house to get rid of Lloyd next (assuming Mark and him are still working together).

April 02 2010 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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