A mysterious global event causes everyone on the planet to simultaneously see, for two minutes and seventeen seconds, his or her life six months in the future. When it is over, many are dead in accidents involving vehicles, aircraft, and any other device needing human control. Everyone who survived is left wondering if what they saw will actually happen.
A Los Angeles FBI agent named Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) tries to figure out what exactly happened and why it happened. Along with his team, he creates a database of people’s flash forwards from around the world called the Mosaic Collective (for which a website has been launched). Apart from the various catastrophic visions, people also see themselves engaging in unexpected behavior; for example, Benford sees himself drinking again, and his wife Olivia has a vision of herself with another man.
So there is another new science-fiction series. Well, it’s hard to attribute this series a science-fiction label, as unlike the book, the flash forward that the world experiences is only 6 months away. In the book, it’s 21 years and tied to the CERN Large Hadron Collider as well as the search for the Higgs boson. It’s based on a science-fiction novel of the same name by Robert J. Sawyer. That’s strange. I’ve been thinking about the Higgs boson for the last few days.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
* * * * *
So a plot tool from Lost has become a TV series in its own right. That’s kind of funny. What’s not funny is how slow the story progresses. Even with Lost, the story moves at a certain pace. The first episode of FlashForward seemed to just crawl along, with nothing really happening at all.
It’s also described as a thriller, but I’d call it a fake-thriller, since none of the thrills are surprising. They are easily predictable. However, the show is beautifully shot. I hope that the next few episodes will move at a quicker pace and we will discover more.
* * * * *
The story is very slow. It takes forever for something to happen.
Something has happened. A man crawls out of a car. It’s been tumbled around. He’s looking for Dmitry. He’s surrounded by devastation.
Our story goes back 4 hours when everything was fine. He leaves for work. His wife Olivia works at the hospital. Olivia calls Bryce, who went missing from work yesterday. Bryce is walking along a pier. Bryce leaves his phone, his wallet and takes out a gun.
Olivia’s husband Mark is a recovering alcoholic. He’s in group therapy with his sponsor. He’s also a cop of some kind. They are doing surveillance. They are doing a sting operation. He’s an FBI agent in an anti-terrorism task force. Some middle-eastern dudes meet a white unidentified woman. They get into an SUV. It doesn’t take the bad guys long to make them. They call in backup.
Nicole is Olivia’s babysitter and she’s getting busy with her boyfriend in Olivia’s house. Olivia is prepping for surgery. Bryce is about to kill himself. Something happens. The flash forward I presume. It’s April 29th 2010. Mark sees himself doing some investigation. He’s trying to find out who else knows when some men come bursting in with assault rifles.
Everyone slowly wakes up. It’s pandemonium around Mark. He looks out to the city. It looks like the Apocalypse. He finds Dmitry. The network is down. They save a few people and find their SUV. They find the girl. Dmitry tells Mark to go check on Olivia. She’s close by at the hospital, which is 2 miles away.
On his way there, he sees some big helicopters in the sky and a kangaroo. He also discovers that it happened all over the world. He gets a call from Olivia. Bryce arrives at the hospital.
Mark goes to the office. Everyone was out for 2:17 exactly. Everyone is just gathering intel. No one knows what happened. The Vice-President is dead. Air Force 2 was in the air when the blackouts occurred. Mark says that he remembers stuff from when he blacked out. He was having a memory from the future. He saw the date. April 29th 2010. They all saw the same day. Al has an idea. He saw Fiona Banks in London. They call her. She had the same vision. They were talking about the Rutherford case.
There is a new report. It says that everyone saw the future. Mark says that he was working on Mosaic case. They don’t know anything about the case. They brainstorm and decide to start a website for people to record their flash forward. They can then draw patterns and trends. Dmitry, John, and a female agent are put in charge of finding out more.
Mark is trying to reconstruct the Mosaic case from memory. He saw a case board. Dmitry doesn’t remember anything. This means that he will be dead. Mark was drinking again in his flash forward. He talks to his sponsor. In the sponsor’s flash forward, Tracy was still alive. He needs to find her. She died in Afghanistan two years ago. They ID her through DNA. There wasn’t enough left of her.
Bryce tells Olivia that he was contemplating suicide when the event happened. He saw a glimpse of his future. It is a gift from God. Olivia saw the end of her marriage.
At home, Olivia doesn’t want to talk about her vision. Mark probes. She says that it was too upsetting. Olivia says that she was with another man. He was in their house. She had very strong feelings for him. She called him honey.
She was with the father of the boy she saved today. That boy knew her name for some reason.
The female agent has been going through surveillance footage. She finds that in Detroit, a man was walking around during the event. He wasn’t unconscious.