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October 10, 2015

'FlashForward' - 'The Garden of Forking Paths' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 23rd 2010 11:25AM
(S01E17) This show just keeps twisting and turning. Every time I think we've found a path to walk along for awhile, it ends, forks and twists back around so much that we don't even know if we're going in the same direction.
John Cho, 'FlashForward'Dyson Frost was the new path. He had connections to Charlie, he abducted Demetri and he seemed to know more about the myriad potential futures than anyone else on the show. But was he working with the opposition forces that Mark has been fighting?

Or was he just another victim of situations beyond his control? Terrified of an inexorable fate barreling down on him just like Demetri's date with destiny was racing to meet him? Perhaps, he is all of those things.

Unfortunately, he's dead.

Just like that, the voice on the other end of the investigation shifts strangely enough to a strange little man behind Olivia at a food vendor. James Callis (Dr. Gaius Baltar, 'Battlestar Galactica'), in an American accent that really fits him oddly has apparently also had multiple flashforwards, only like Frost, his encounter with a Benford did not go as expected.

For all of Frost's machinations through the years, he turned out to be just as terrified of fate as Demetri or anyone else in the show. His conversation with Demetri at the warehouse about how these certain moments in the future really, really want to happen, and no matter how you try to change them, events try to twist around so that they will happen showed what a burden his knowledge was.

I liked Frost's line that many prophets are mad, driven so by the very futures they see. Is that a statement about the mental state of the world after the blackout?

Frost's vision of his encounter with Benford clearly had him with the upper hand, so when Mark spit the acid in his eye to gain control, he was suddenly in uncharted territory. Thus, he wouldn't have known the escape woman was there, with him in her line of sight. He did, however, know that the odds were that he and/or Demetri would die that day, and in that much he got it right.

What's a little more confusing is that Alda, before she escaped, gave Zoey an accurate number to Demetri's location, and then Janis is the one who came through for Mark by helping steer him toward building No. 7. It would have been so easy for either one of them to not offer up the information that would save Demetri's life. They are, after all, representatives of the enemy, right? Obviously Demetri's death is not on their agenda, or maybe cheating the future in this way helps their cause.

My head's starting to hurt.

Mark and Demetri could certainly have used one of Olivia and Agent Vreede's savants before they pulled Demetri out of that chair. Everything Frost did was for a reason, so what was the reason for not wanting anyone to see his garden of forking paths? I loved the visual parallel to the dominoes he was setting up early in the project, before the blackout, and the crazy bits of information on that wall behind Demetri's head.

The one bit that Mark did pull out is yet another date of significance for the series, albeit one that would require a miraculous increase in the ratings for 'FlashForward' to ever reach. Maybe there's a seven-year arc in place, which would mean the real battle is to figure out what "The End" means, and how to thwart it before December 12, 2016.

[Make your own garden with the events from clips and full episodes of 'FlashForward' on SlashControl.]

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Daniel M

This episode would have been better if the man who jumped off the roof at the fbi building lived. It would give a sense of destiny and fate. This episode would have been better if it was the first example of the future can be changed.

Anyways, their is vvery little emotional connection with anyone, I guess Janis. I think she is in a situation beyond her control. I really liked her but this mole thing is bothering me.

April 24 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sorry but I have to call BS on this episode. There were some incredibly ridiculous events that happened.

Mark went to the station without any type of communications device (Hello? Wire? Earpiece?) and the FBI couldn't tell who was on the phone or what the call was about. C'mon!

Then he makes it the desert to meet Frost, spits gasoline from the water bottle, and watches the killer get away. How did he siphon the gas? Why didn't the gas eat through the plastic bottle? Why didn't he hear the motorcycle before the shooting?

And what's with the elaborate escape for Alda? Are the feds really that inept? I guess she was the only one with the keys for the stealth motorcycle, or maybe she's the bad guy's only sniper.

Cue the shark!

April 23 2010 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Killing" Demetri just ended up a manipulating event.

In his flash forward, he was dead, murdered March 15. Yet, Dyson was going to kill him in order to fulfill that vision and this makes no sense. (Not that one should find logic in this series). Either something was going to happen to Demetri or not.

And, curious of whether a gun really can be rigged in that way so any movement would trigger it.

April 23 2010 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hanna's comment

Correction: Demitri had NO Flash forward.

The likely scenarios are that: 1) He will still die before the Flash Forwarded day. 2) The future truly has changed, as was previously proved in the show or 3) He is passed out on FF-day at the time everyone saw their future, as was previously speculated in the show.

April 24 2010 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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