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October 7, 2015

'FlashForward' - 'Future Shock' Recap (Series Finale)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 28th 2010 8:06AM
'FlashForward' - 'Future Shock'(S01E22) While it was by no means perfect, the 'FlashForward finale did a great job of setting up the potential fun of future seasons that will never be. As a series finale, it didn't really accomplish as much as I would have liked.

While last week, it was all about our various cast members putting themselves into situations that would seem to make it impossible for them to be in place for their flashforwards at 10PM PT, this week was an exploration of just how much you can alter what fate has foretold for you.

Mark found out when the next blackout would occur, which was one of the better surprises on the night. It did, however, set up one of the most implausible situations of the entire series so far. But, it also got the sci-fi fanboy in me excited about what could have been. Meanwhile, 'FlashForward' gets to go down in television history as another genre network series that didn't come close to a proper finish.

The writers did a good job of giving us everyone's pivotal flashforward moment. Sure, you could look at it as a lot of hackneyed contrivances, but the romantic in me prefers to believe that Keiko's mother caused that diversion not because the writers didn't know how else to get Keiko and Bryce together, but because of genuine affection for her daughter.

It is interesting, however, to consider that now this meeting at the restaurant is the first for Bryce and Keiko, which means the absolute only reason they ever met is because of the flashforward. Was that the case in the flashforward as well, or were they supposed to meet somehow before this. Bryce only went to Japan because of her, and she only came to the US because of him, so I'm not sure how else they could have met, but they could have.

Fate proved harder to avoid than Al Gough hoped when he committed suicide earlier in the season. For example, Wedeck still wound up in the toilet at FBI headquarters, but this time it was poised with a weapon drawn, as opposed to reading the paper. Kind of makes you wonder what the hell was going on the first time around, with Benford being stalked by those snipers at the same time Wedeck was spending some alone time on the throne?

Mark got in position because Wedeck bailed him out, while Wedeck was where he needed to be, because he went in after Mark when the bombs were found in the building. Only, he didn't make it to Mark on account of all the guys with masks and guns running around. Mark, on the other hand, was a one-man wrecking crew. At one point, he ran along a conference table while at least four guys fired at him and none of them so much as grazed him.

Things started getting a bit wonky after that, but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we have to get to the good stuff. Before he became Rambo, Mark was looking at his mosaic board, and finally decided to change the red string the way Gabriel had drawn it up. The resultant points hit numbers that spelled out when the next blackout would occur specifically.

Coupled with the formula Lloyd finally solved, with help from Simon and his own son, Mark figured out the next blackout was at 10:14 PM PT. That puts it 14 minutes after the moments seen in the first blackout. Which leads to the implausibility of a global response in a matter of minutes to minimize the devastation of this second blackout.

By the time Mark got the message to Wedeck, there were mere minutes left to go. Then Wedeck had to get on the line with the President, and then the message could go out. Are we to believe that this was enough time for the governments of the world to alert their people of an impending blackout, and for all of those people to respond appropriately, as we saw with the cars parked on the side of the road, and no fires burning, or accidents? How about zero percent chance of that going down like that?

Before we got that impossible scenario, we had Mark killing one of the two gunmen coming after him when he was hunched by the phone calling Wedeck and then Olivia. He snuck around and took out one of them, but I must have missed when he took out the second, because it was as if the moment never happened.

I'm sorry, but the FBI and investigation sequences remained the weakest points of the episode. I'm far more interested in the more human moments. I was pleased that Janice's vision carried through exactly as she had foreseen. Even Nicole's vision of being drowned became something far more sweeter. Instead, it was a man saving her from drowning. Olivia and Lloyd almost recreated their vision exactly, minus the afterglow of sex, while interestingly the two principal characters who had no vision were together and at the heart of the machine.

Is it possible that Demetri's proximity to the device that triggers the blackouts at 10 PM PT was the reason he had no vision, or was he truly supposed to be dead? When the new blackout hit, he and Simon both got to experience it, but we don't know what they might have seen.

Instead, we got a montage of visions likely dealing with the whole world, and as always it is these possible futures that open the mind's imagination into the rich potential this show had. This time around, there appeared to be multiple dates spotlighted, though the most prominent was New Year's 2015. We also saw a notably older Charlie saying, "They found him! He's alive!"

This could be in response to Mark Benford, as it didn't look like he made it to that helicopter before the blackout. But, it could have been filled with people wearing the same rings as the woman who wheeled Janice away during the blackout. Maybe they got Mark out of the building before it exploded while everyone was unconscious. Maybe, he said hopefully (even though it doesn't matter anymore), that means that Mark Benford would have been off of the show for the next several seasons.

Because I'm used to unfinished business when it comes to genre shows, I'm not as frustrated as I probably should be. I got a mostly enjoyable ride into a very intriguing reality, and I'm left to allow my imagination to run wild as to what could happen next. I guess that'll have to do for now.

[Flashback to the good times with clips and full episodes of 'FlashForward' on SlashControl or below.]

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I watched it piecemeal while it aired on television, missing a few episodes but I always enjoyed the show. I just finished watching (moments ago) all the episodes over the span of a week on Hulu and I came away loving the show and very sad that it was canceled. The story is brilliant science fiction which begs all sorts of philosophical questions and discussions with no cut and dry answers (as any good sci-fi story does----hello, "LOST"). My only minor complaint from the beginning was actor Joseph Fiennes who was perpetually constipated looking and acting--a minor annoyance. He's a good actor otherwise but I think perhaps miscast for FlashForward. I recall reading about some (or perhaps many) television critics panning this show because it didn't live up to "LOST" (which is and will always be my all time favorite "sci-fi, fantasy, drama, whatever" show that I have watched on television over my 45 years on this earth!!!!!). Nothing will ever live up to LOST but I was always think very fondly of FlashForward as one of the better sci-fi genre shows on television. Audiences have short attention spans nowadays and they seem to be getting shorter. I have little faith for any long term sci-fi genre shows of high or low quality ever lasting beyond one or two seasons, especially on network television. R.I.P. FlashForward---you are in the lofty company of some very good canceled sci-fi shows over the past decade or so.

April 12 2011 at 3:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I would like shows like Heroes or Stargate Atlantis to have a miniseries or movie wrap up, I think FlashForward would only be good if they a second season. Facebook campaign, hell yeah!

June 01 2010 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My dream ending would have been that the show ended with the 2nd blackout and everyone waking up from the *first* blackout. Just a nice little closed loop universe....

May 29 2010 at 6:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Siegler

Anyway, my wife and I loved this show, and I know several other friends who did. I think the long break did more harm than good.

Also, I don't think they could have picked up both this and V. It was one or the other. Not both.

May 29 2010 at 1:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Siegler

The woman wearing the scrubs in the final scene was the woman who was in bed with "Suspect Zero" in the motel who looked good in her underwear.

May 29 2010 at 1:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wish that they did not cancel the show. Yes, it was going nowhere before the break, but I thought that the last month, or so, was good. I was sitting at the edge of my seat toward the end just like I would on "24" which lasted 8 seasons!

Is it possible for Facebook to start a campaign for ABC to reconsider? The way it got Betty White on SNL?

Was it Janice that was wheeled away? I thought it was Nicole. Why would Janice be wearing scrubs?

And... we've never found out why the V.P. was now the President.

Too bad all those reality shows are more popular and more profitable. The numbing of America.

May 29 2010 at 12:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While not a perfect show FF was intriguing in its premise,compelling with its characters story lines.I am very disappointed that its gone & that we won't have another season of exploration.Sadly come fall the networks/cable stations will once again offer us a tsunami of police,legal,medical,& sitcom shows again.Nothing fresh or original as FF was.

May 28 2010 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Nichols

While not the best show on TV, FlashForward was a nice and needed break from all the reality shows that have plagued my TV as of the past few years. While the writing wasn't the greatest, I think that FlashForward was finally figuring out where it was heading. I just find it frustrating that the networks only give shows one season to develop their story to perfection, and find a massive audience. /end rant.

I did like how the long flash forward did happen. I just wish that there was a real end to the series

May 28 2010 at 3:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It pisses me off that they ended the 4400, then LOST now flashforward. So angry, we need more shows like these on TV for good entertainment. Why the hell would they cancel! Sick of all the bland shows that are not original.

May 28 2010 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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