Flashforward Better Angels S01E14 (ABC)

FlashForward title screen, via Wikipedia

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.

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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.

* * * * *

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. No improvement on the pacing. This show was picked up for a full season, but it’s still very slow.

I still can’t believe that Defying Gravity was canceled before this show. Seems like such a waste. At least in Defying Gravity, there is a lot better pacing and the characters are engaging.

As usual, things are moving along very slowly. Janis is alright, Simcoe and Benford finally meet. We learn that Simcoe is behind the flash forwards. He was working with a quantum physicist. I wonder if this is tied to the the search for the Higgs boson with the Large Hadron Collider, like in the book on which this series is based.

This series is faring better than Defying Gravity. It has been given a full first season.

We find out that Mark’s gun killed Dem in the future. This isn’t all. Their foray into Hong Kong has severe consequences for the both of them. Also, Simcoe and Simon make their press conference announcing to the world that they are responsible for the deaths of 20 million people. This makes them mass murderers in the eyes of most people. There is more going on though. Simon discovers as much when he finds that part of his theoretical research was turned into prototypes almost 15 years ago in Somalia, right at the time when one of the other blackouts happened.

In the last episode, we learned who Suspect Zero was and what exactly happened on that day. Although it does answer some questions, it poses some more. Someone in Campos’ family is involved as well as the mysterious D. Gibbons.

Aaron makes an idiotic mistake and Jericho finds his daughter. He goes on the warpath to get her back. Meanwhile, Lloyd and Mark start working together to stop the mysterious people behind the blackout. There will be another since they tortured Campos in front of Simcoe in order to get the full details behind his experiment. Apparently, his experiment enhanced the blackout way out of proportion. It was initially supposed to be a lot smaller.

* * * * *

The team arrives in Somalia. Simon wants a gun, but Vogel isn’t giving him one. The tower is marked with the numbers 666. As soon as they arrive in the vicinity, they get fired upon. Abdicalif shoots their interpreter. He speaks good English. They single out Campos. He says that Campos didn’t cause this, God caused this. He says that others came when he was a boy. Foreigners built the towers telling the villagers that it was for power. He left to tend the goats. When he came back, everyone was unconscious. He shoots the pilot. He wants to know why they are here.

They manage to escape and they go back to the chopper. They get weapons, but Abdis got a HUMVEE with a 50 cal.

He says that the people weren’t unconscious but dead. He saw himself in his FF as speaking to Somalia and about better angels. He wants planes, tanks, and boats. He kills another hostage.

Vogels says that there is nothing that they can do. They are here without any support. There is no call to make. He comes to kill Campos, but Janice speaks out. She says that the prophecy was wrong. She knows about the better angels.

She shows him Mosaic. There was a man at the assembly of the African Union at a peace conference. He saw Abdi speak. She says that his destiny is to stop the war, not make one.

Abdi realizes that the other people were driven away by the foreigners. They must have had FF as well. Adbi leads them to the tower.

Inside, they find a VHS tape. On it, Abdi sees his mother talking. She was looking for him in her FF. They see D. Gibbons on the tape. Their FF was from two weeks in the future. Campos finds a trap. He goes down. There were 5 linear accelerators which created the beta-block and tachyon burst. This lead to the blackout.

Vogels finds some skeletons. It’s the villagers. It looks like they were killed. Abdi finds his mother’s necklace. Vogels shoots Abdi when he wants to kill Campos.

Dem offers to sleep with Janice so that she can conceive. He says that chances are that he won’t be around in a few weeks.

Vogels is the one that Charlie saw in her vision talking to someone outside her home. He was reporting that Mark Benford was dead. So who is Vogels really working for?

Dem listens to the tape one more time and finds a message for him from Dyson Frost. It was recorded in 1991.

Mark is looking for Dyson Frost. Olivia wants to move away. Mark tells Olivia that he wants to talk with Charlie about what she saw in her FF. It’s come to the point where they need to find out what she knows. Olivia wants to talk to her first.

Charlie says that she saw Dylan in her kitchen. She heard Lloyd talking. Dylan wrote D. Gibbons is a bad man on the refrigerator. She went to the back door and saw people talking. They said that Mark Benford is dead.

Olivia wants to get away from here, but Mark won’t go. She tells them that he can’t have it both ways. Either he leaves with her or he stays here and goes down the path that he sees.

Bryce is puking his guts out. He bumps into Nicole, who tells him that she’s trying out for a pre-med class.

* * * * *

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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