Flashforward Countdown S01E21 (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.

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.

Good news! ABC decided to kill off this lame duck of a show. It wasn’t going anywhere, and wherever it was going, it was going there quite slowly, with unnecessary fake thriller-type moments. Anyway, what’s even worse was there weren’t many surprises. It was all pretty straightforward. I hope they end this series with a bang.

* * * * *

Charlie wakes up at 3:23AM on April 29th. She had a bad dream. Today is the day that her daddy will die.

Campos tells Janis that he needs to get near the mainframe at ENLAP.

That morning, Dem and Mark are eating breakfast. He gives Dem a mixed CD and tells him to go to Hawaii.

Hellinger was future casting. He bought low in dot coms, real estate, and other schemes, always getting out before at the peak. Hellinger says that he caused the blackouts. He has seen so many different versions of this moment. In every version that he saw, Mark has control and then he will lose control. Then, at the end of it all, Mark will be killed in the office. He draws Mark a sketch of what will happen. He doesn’t say much but wrote F wipe. The F is the symbol for tachyon. A tachyon wipe isn’t possible, at least that is what Simcoe says.

Nicole comes to see Bryce. She sees his sketches of Keiko. Meanwhile, Keiko is in an immigration detention center. If she can’t come up with her bail, she could be stuck here for a year. Nicole and Bryce have made plans. Nicole thinks that she will drown and that she deserves it. She tells him about Keiko. Her mother comes to pick Keiko up. She is told that the INS people will make sure that she is on the 11-o’clock flight. Keiko wants to be in a sushi restaurant at 10PM.

Dem meets Zoey at LAX. He tells her that he slept with Janis to inseminate her. She says that she is going to Hawaii with her parents. She doesn’t want him to come. After that, she doesn’t know.

Erin has Tracy. She needs to get to a hospital. Erin finds out that the village of people that they were supposed to have killed. They weren’t killed, they were unconscious. It was for a test run for the global blackout. Tracy is crashing.

Mark has found a reference in Hellinger’s holdings. It’s for a warehouse. Vogel says that Mark is staying here. Weddic says so too.

Dem comes to find Janis and sees Campos about to leave. Dem isn’t about to let him go so Janis disarms him. Dem takes him out. At the last moment, he decides to go to ENLAP.

At the warehouse, the team is ambushed by some men. Hellinger is just watching and smiling. He thinks that the moment has arrived. Weddic stops him. Charlie and Olivia arrive. Mark immediately cools down. Charlie is looking at the Mosaic case board. She needed her dad.

Hellinger continually baits Mark and he lashes out. Weddic tells some agents to get Benford out of here. He’s been on the brink of losing control all day.

Mark is walking on the streets. The party has started. A guy who says that he saw himself not drinking in his FF, he gives Mark his flask. He starts drinking. He continues to drink in a bar. A drunk gets on Mark’s nerves and he starts a fight. He winds up in lockup.

Olivia tells Simcoe that she needs some space. She also needs to be away from Mark. She is not going to be in that house. Dylan tells Simcoe that they are not coming back.

* * * * *

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Author: range

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

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