"FlashForward": Episode Review

11/19/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Todd Larkin

The last two episodes of “FlashForward” have probably been the best yet, throwing in some of the most explosive action since the premier--and adding new mysterious characters along the way.

We meet Simon (Dominic Monaghan) on a train to Los Angeles spouting off talk of the blackout. He sees a girl by the bar and uses a fresh pick-up line: "I know what caused the flash forwards." We learn that Simon supposedly is a quantum physicist genius. Another FBI agent also is added to the mix, the young Agent Al Gough (Lee Thompson Young), who later sees a vision of a bird crashing into an office window and him taking a frantic phone call from his lawyer.

At the beginning of the fifth episode, we see Benford and Wedeck's car collide head-on with another car in a parking garage. The episode jumps back a few days to show the agents traveling to campaign for more funding for the MOSAIC program from a Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C. We learn that Wedeck is a close friend to the President and then we’re struck by his vision--something horrible is going to happen six months down the road.

During Benford, Wedeck and Noh’s trip to Washington, Hawk stays behind to investigate a Somalia connection to the blackout, dating back to 1991. Her martial arts partner and new lover, Maya (Navi Rawat), explore Hawk’s flash forward as a mother to be.

As Benford prepares to plead the case for more funding, Olivia is back at home in Los Angeles worried about Mark’s stress level and his alcoholism. She later realizes her worst fear when she receives a text message from a blocked number saying her husband will be drinking in his flash forward.

With their plans failing with the committee, Wedeck pleads with the President to force the committee to grant MOSAIC more money. The President offers Wedeck the nomination for Director of Homeland Security, but he doesn't give the prestigious position a second thought.

That same night Bedford reveals to Wedeck why his flash forward was so hazy--he was loaded. Wedeck loses it as he realizes he just begged for funding for a project based on the inclinations of a man under the influence. They resolve their differences quickly over massive gun fire from mystery assailants, who crash into the team's car before launching an RPG at their vehicle. Benford, Wedeck and Noh all escape without injury. Meanwhile, at the same time as their attack, a jilted Agent Hawk, who is walking home after breaking up with her lover over her flash forward, also is attacked and shot in the stomach. Still, she manages to kill two of her attackers. Looking at her lying in the middle of the street, we wonder how Hawk’s flash forward still could come true.

The sixth episode opens with Olivia trying to save Agent Hawk’s life as the team makes their way to the hospital after their shoot-out in D.C. Olivia and Mark embrace each other in the hospital after the horrific night he has shared. They both agree to live in the present rather than being so upset and worried about their flash forward. Olivia confirms Hawk will be fine and Wedeck dismisses the team for the night--although Demetri and Al head to the morgue to inquire about the two people killed in the shoot out.

At the morgue, Demetri and Al find one of the two bodies has blue hands--a feature Mark noted as a piece of evidence when he's investigating the blackout in his flash forward.

Back at the hospital Lloyd Simcoe gets Dylan a costume for Halloween, but he instead uses the costume and the distraction of the holiday to sneak out of the hospital and onto the local bus headed to none other than the Benford home.

At Hawk’s bedside, she and Wedeck begin to talk about pregnancy and giving birth when her blood count suddenly drops and she's rushed back in for surgery. She eventually stabilizes but learns the scarring from her gunshot wound has made it almost impossible for her to become pregnant.

Dylan makes his way to the Benford's, literally walking right in and grabbing a cookie as if he is right at home. Mark soon comes home not knowing Dylan is connected to Lloyd, and then things get really awkward when Lloyd comes to retrieve Dylan and Olivia returns from work. Lloyd quickly recognizes the house from his flash forward and connects the dots. Mark wastes no time in ordering the Simcoes to leave so that he and Olivia can hash it out.

Agent Gough starts revealing more of his flash forward--the fact that he has possibly killed a single mother by accident. We start to understand the toll it is taking on him emotionally, so much so that Gough leaves a meeting and heads to the roof. The rest of the team quickly realizes what is about to happen and rush to him. Gough tells Demetri he can stop the flash forwards and prevent them from coming true--and jumps off the roof.

The episode ends on another surprise appearance from Simon, except this time he's not on top of a female but instead hiding in the back of Lloyd's car dressed as Herman Munster. Simon puts a gun to Lloyd's head saying he and some people are worried about him and need to talk.

In the early episodes, the exploration of knowing the future and how it can cause devastation to lives has been the show's entire theme. That aspect is what keeps me coming back and build a connection, it’s easy to think about how disruptive your own future could be. Yet “FlashForward” has character issues the writers need to solve to hook those viewers on the fence.

The later episodes finally start moving the story on and opening up the window for plot twists and revelations. The weak point remains--character development and diving deeper into their dark flashes.

These two episodes slowly opened that door and addressed some of those issues, smoothing out several characters. Once they figure out how to be more concerned with making us care for the characters and less on filling the one hour time block, the show will in no doubt take over Thursday nights.

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