Review: ABC's "FlashForward" at its Mid-Point

11/14/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Todd Larkin

ABC’s "FlashForward" brings us all something we’ve dreamed of--a glimpse into the future and the chance to know what comes next. Now, we are half-way through the first season and the glimpse we see into the future continues to be confusing and grim.

About the show.  It began with everyone on the Earth blacking out at the same moment for exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds.  Their flash forward came at the same time--April 29, 2010.

"FlashForward" hits on the same note as "Lost" in how it builds on the mystery that caused the situation. The show doesn’t focus on the millions of lives lost during the blackout.  Instead, it focuses on what and who caused the blackout and the revelations they see in the future.

The investigation of this shattering global phenomenon is assumed by the Los Angeles bureau of the FBI, which is a little like giving Mr. Kotter's science class responsibility for checking out global warming. The show's cast of characters have filled roles in "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle," "Friday Night Lights" and "Lord of The Rings."

In the show, supervisor Stanford Wedeck (Courtney B. Vance) assigns the Mosaic case, as it's known, to agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) and his partner, Demitri Noh (John Cho), with support from colleague Janis Hawk (Christine Woods). For each of them, this is a personal mission as all experienced a flash-forward event.

Benford, sober for seven years, saw himself drinking from a flask. Hawk, with no current boyfriend, had visions of being pregnant. Scariest of all, Noh can't recall seeing anything during the blackout.

Also agitated during the pilot is Benford's wife, Olivia (Sonya Walger), who saw herself with another man.  Finally, there's Benford's AA sponsor, Aaron Stark (Brian F. O'Byrne), who glimpsed his daughter even though she was believed to have been killed while on duty in Afghanistan.

Over the next few episodes, we learn more about the Benfords' visions as Olivia treats a young boy with autism who turns out being the son of the man in her vision, Lloyd Simcoe (Jack Davenport).

Finishing this recap will be explained easier by detailing each characters vision:

- Demetri Noh:  Saw nothing and is fearing the worst.  He's afraid this means he'll be dead in six months. Noh then learns his fiancé sees what she feels is him at their wedding. In later episodes, he begins to having greater issues with the fact that he saw nothing in his flash forward.

- Olivia:  Sees her mystery man, Lloyd Simcoe, who (*spoiler alert!*) we later find out is the father of a boy injured during the blackout. Olivia saved his life and when the boy first came into the hospital, he somehow referred to her by her first name.

- Aaron Stark. When he experienced his flash forward, he saw his daughter, who had been killed two years ago in Afghanistan.  Later, he gets approval to have her remains exhumed and her DNA tested.

- Stan Wedeck:  Had probably the most unusual flash of them all.  He was reading the newspaper while sitting on the toilet.  In the moment he saw into the future, it involved a headline that noted Kobe Bryant was done for the year after tearing a ligament.

- Janis Hawk:  Glimpsed having a sonogram, though she wasn’t pregnant at the time and, more curiously, Hawk is a lesbian who doesn’t want children. She later learns something incredible from footage from a security camera at a baseball game.

In the show, everyone blacked out except for one man, who was viewed walking around dressed in black.  Who is he?  Find out is among the show's hooks.

"FlashForward" should continue to attract a respectable number of viewers with its combination of surprise and suspense. Special effects that aren’t over the top add the perfect edge that should have viewers seeing visions every Thursday night on ABC.

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  1. Anonymous said...

    I love this show

  2. Anonymous said...

    Great show glad to see ABC climbing back to the top. Good review!!

  3. Greg said...

    One of my favorite new shows.