Flashforward Goodbye Yellow Brick Road S01E18 (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.


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.

I found it interesting that there were two moles in the Mosaic investigation. The big reveal is that Janice is one of them, and she’s got a cast-iron alibi. She actually took out Marcy and got shot, so no one is ever going to suspect her.

Dyson Frost’s death was anticlimactic. I was amazed that he just died. He was shot by Alda Herzog. This kind of sucked, because the show had portrayed him as the big bogeyman. Now, Mosaic will focus on the conspiracy itself.

* * * * *

You’re going to be saved by the lady you see every day. That’s what Frost told Benford before getting shot.

This is about Janis. She joined the FBI because Dem joined. She was a lawyer before.

This was 2 years before the blackout. She’s probably getting recruited by some woman named Leta. Janis goes to see some woman in a fish shop. She is being groomed as a double agent and she doesn’t seem to mind it. She meets Vogel just after graduating. Vogel is with the CIA. She’s a potential target for hostile recruitment. So she’s a triple agent. He tells her that an organization will approach her to be a mole in the LA FBI office.

In the present, Benford has got some blueprints from Frost’s body. Vogel is all pissed at how this went down.

One of the nutters from the sanatorium breaks into Olivia’s place and spouts nonsense. He is Gabriel McDowell. He keeps talking about Raven River. She calls Mark and comes upon an accident on the way to work. She realizes that the man was warning her about something that might kill her. He was having FF as well and it drove him insane.

Janis is called in by her gynaecologist. She has to get an ultrasound. She is told that she needs to take better care of herself or she will lose the baby.

On the photos, they find soil from Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, Aaron is meeting a contact. He meets Malik, one of Weddic’s contacts and they go looking for someone who might know where Tracy is. They get stopped on the road and Malik is killed. Aaron escapes. Kamir finds him.

Janis is told that the blueprint reminds the professor of the antikythera mechanism, something from ancient Greece that was used to calculate dates. Janis also shows this to her contact at the fish shop, who tells her to get all of the blueprints back. She wants the copies destroyed and the originals in her hand. Janis breaks into the office of the professor. She leaves an e-bomb to destroy the evidence. The e-bomb shorts out the power and all electrical devices in the room. It’s funny how these people don’t have any qualms of being traitors. Mark catches Janis trying to take the plans. She broke into his office to retrieve the blueprint. He tells her to hand the blueprints over and leave. Mark is very suspicious of her.

Olivia goes through her photos and finds images of that nutter in her past. He was at school with her and at her wedding. He tells one of the investigators on Mark’s team. There’s a hospital called Raven River that dealt with autism, schizophrenia and savants. My guess is that they made these people get FF.

Benford gets the professor back in the office. The device is some kind of mechanical clock, or a series of dates. The 1st date is the date of the blackout.

On the day of the blackout, Janis is getting a call from Mark. They are trailing Alda Herzog. The blackout happens. She goes to see the woman in the fish shop. She says that she wants out. Carlynne says that she can’t get out. Janis did this all for money.

Olivia and the agent go to the Raven River hospital in Arizona. The nutter is waiting for her. He says that he knew that she was coming. Gabriel says that for 2 years, they performed experiments on them. They were getting FF. Frost watched all of this. When they came back, they had to write it all down. They were used for the eidetic memory, they were all savants. When they were finished, Frost told them to kill them all. She says that she is going the wrong way with Lloyd. In the futures he saw, she was always with Lloyd.

Janis tells Benford that she’s preggers, as if that will excuse her traitorous behaviour. Frost checks the queen in one of Frost’s chess pieces. There is a QED ring in it. They can’t understand it. It’s future tech. Campos says that this is a quantum entanglement device. The device anchors their consciousness in spacetime. It kept them from blacking out.

Janis is told by fish lady that she has to get the ring back. They also want Benford dead.

* * * * *

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Author: range

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

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